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Unlocking Performance: Strategies for Finding Power on the Erg

In the world of fitness, indoor rowing has emerged as a popular choice for individuals seeking a full-body workout. Indoor rowing machines, commonly known as ergometers or rowers, offer a means to improve cardiovascular health and build muscle strength. Indoor rowing is renowned for its ability to deliver a comprehensive full-body workout. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just starting, increasing the intensity of your indoor rowing sessions can enhance your fitness gains and push your limits further. In this blog, we'll explore various techniques and strategies to help you generate more power and intensity on an indoor rower, ultimately maximizing the effectiveness of your workouts.

But you have to use the machine right to get the biggest benefits!


a crucial step in optimizing your indoor performance! 


Before diving into intensity-boosting strategies, you’ll want to ensure that you’re set up properly with the foot stretcher and the damper setting. With the foot stretcher, the strap should fall across the widest part of your foot (at the base of the big toe). You can lower it if you have tight hips or hamstrings and need a little more room at the catch position. On a Concept 2 Air rower, from there, you’ll want to check your damper. The damper setting on an indoor rower regulates the airflow to the flywheel, essentially controlling the resistance you feel during each stroke. While a higher damper setting may seem like the logical choice for generating more power, it's essential to find the right balance. Experiment with different damper settings to find what feels most effective for your body and goals. Remember, a higher damper setting doesn't necessarily mean more intensity; it's about finding the setting that allows you to maintain optimal form and power output. Start between 3-5 and modify from there.


Once you’re set-up, jump on the machine and master the fundamentals! A strong core is essential for maintaining stability and transferring power efficiently during rowing. Focus on engaging your core muscles throughout the entire stroke, from the initial drive with your legs to the final pull with your arms. Incorporate exercises such as planks, Russian twists, and leg raises into your routine to strengthen your core and enhance rowing performance. Focus on initiating the stroke with your legs, engaging your core, and finishing with a strong pull of the arms. A smooth and efficient stroke not only minimizes wasted energy but also maximizes power output.


Let’s take a look at some strategies to kick up the intensity of your rowing!



Interval Training 

Interval training is a highly effective method for boosting intensity and burning calories. Alternate between periods of high-intensity rowing and active recovery. For example, row at maximum effort for 1 minute, followed by 2 minutes of slower rowing or rest. Repeat this cycle for a set duration, gradually increasing the intensity or reducing the recovery time as you progress. Interval training not only spikes your heart rate but also keeps your body guessing, leading to greater fitness gains.


Strength Training 

Incorporating strength training will make you more powerful on the rower! Strength training complements rowing by improving muscular strength, power, and endurance. Prioritize compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and rows to target the muscles essential for rowing. Include plyometric exercises to enhance explosiveness and agility. 


Rowing Technique

Intensity in rowing often means pushing past your comfort zone. Embrace discomfort as a sign of growth and  v improvement. Push yourself to maintain intensity even when fatigue sets in, knowing that each stroke brings you closer to your goals. Harness the power of mental focus and visualization to enhance intensity. Before each session, visualize yourself executing flawless strokes with unwavering determination. During rowing, concentrate on your technique, breathing, and the sensations in your body, blocking out distractions to maintain peak intensity.


Progress and performance 

Keep a training journal to track your progress and performance metrics. Note your intensity levels, distances, times, and any observations or reflections after each session. Monitoring your progress provides valuable insights into what works best for you and keeps you motivated to push harder. 


Maximizing intensity on an indoor rower requires a combination of proper technique, strategic adjustments, and mental determination. By incorporating these techniques into your workouts and continuously challenging yourself, you can elevate the effectiveness of your indoor rowing sessions, improve overall fitness, and achieve your goals faster than ever before. Remember to listen to your body, gradually increase intensity, and always prioritize safety and proper form for optimal results.


















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