Rowing Pick Drills and Stroke Rate

WOD: “Helen Goes Swimming”

3 rounds for time of:

  • 500m Row (400m run on TF)
  • 21 American Kettlebell Swings (1.5/1 pood)
  • 12 Pull-ups (rx+ 12 C2B)


Two most important numbers to look for on the rower: meters and calories, right? WRONG! The key to proper movement is dependent on efficiency, and the key to strong rowing…is rowing smart! Today we are working on stroke rate…this is the number found in the bottom left corner on the main. It is measured in strokes per minute (SPM). Essentially, this is how many times you go back and forth on the rower each minute. Most of the time in training this number should be somewhere between 18-30. In a competitive scenario stroke rate could be between 30-40spm.

What is important for us(and even if you are an intermediate or advanced athlete, chances are you are a beginner rower) is to have intention and control when it comes to stroke rate. What happens when people refuse to look at their monitors when rowing is that their stroke rate is all over the map, with no discernable rhythm. For a second they are rowing 24spm, then 18spm, then 34spm. Would you run like that? Would you take four short steps, then two long steps, and then four medium steps? You’d likely fall on your face and it certainly isn’t efficient. So let’s learn how to control and dial this in!!

Simple take on a “girl” workout today, taking Helen and putting it on a rower verse the running version. Three hard effort rounds, aiming to do the KBS and Pull ups as unbroken as possible!

Box brief:

No 6:15am classes on Thursdays.

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