Building strength for rowing requires strength and stamina, which is why it’s so important that you include a variety of different exercises in your training regime to help develop the required endurance.
The following movements can help in building strength for rowing:
Best Exercises For Building Strength For Rowing
Here’s a look at six such exercises:
It also helps improve your rowing form by teaching you to use your legs more efficiently. That’s a key factor in optimizing your rowing technique, as having strong leg muscles can help you push into the catch position with increased stability and accuracy.
To perform a deadlift, stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward or slightly turned out (about 10 degrees). Proceed as follows:
- Keeping back flat and shoulders pulled back, hinge at the hips, and bend down to grip the barbell along the sides of the shins, with your hands about shoulder-width apart.
- Hinge forward from the hips till the upper thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Push your butt back to the starting position as you lift the weight up off ground using powerful glutes and hamstrings, keeping the arms straight throughout the movement.
- Slowly lower the barbell back onto the ground under control without letting it touch the floor between reps.
- Perform three sets of five repetitions before increasing weight significantly or switching to dumbbells for a better range of motion, if necessary.
Performing a pull-up requires you to use your bodyweight as resistance against gravity. That makes it an ideal exercise for building strength for rowing, as you can do them anywhere with no equipment required.
To perform a pull-up:
- Hang from an overhead bar with your palms facing away from you and shoulders relaxed down the back.
- The arms should be straight (or very close to it), with the feet together or slightly apart, depending on where you’re doing it.
- Pull yourself up so that your chin clears the bar with full extension of the elbows at the top position of this movement.
- Lower back down till they’re bent at 90 degrees again before repeating once more to complete one repetition.
- Perform two sets doing ten reps per set
3) Single-arm dumbbell row
To do the exercise:
- Grab a light dumbbell (1-5 pounds) with your right hand, and hold it in front of your chest, with the palm facing up. Rest one knee on a bench with your feet hip-width apart.
- The knees should be slightly bent, and the back should be neutral to slightly arched.
- The torso and upper body should be parallel to the bench
- Lift a dumbbell in one hand, keeping your elbow close to the ribs as you raise it above waist level.
- Slowly pull the weight towards the side of your body till it reaches just below the height of your shoulder. Keep good posture throughout the exercise, without leaning back.
- Once you’ve completed the movement, hold for two seconds before returning to the starting position under control (meaning without letting momentum guide or throw off any part of the movement).
- Repeat on both sides for ten repetitions per set (total 20 reps), resting, as needed, between sets.
4) Dead hang
Dead hangs are an excellent way to build grip strength. This exercise can be utilized for building strength for rowing by building grip strength, which is so crucial in the sport.
To perform dead hangs, either straighten your arms or bend them at the elbow, and hang from a bar or other sturdy object for as long as you can (your goal should be at least 30 seconds). You can do this exercise with two hands or one, with an overhand grip or an underhand grip, and with a towel, rope, strap, or even just your fingers.
The key is to find something that allows you to hang freely without swinging back and forth too much. If your feet aren’t touching the floor while doing dead hangs, use weights in each hand till they’re — but avoid letting go of the bar altogether.
5) Lat pull-down
Lat pull-downs target the latissimus dorsi, the muscle responsible for giving you that V-taper. You can use the exercise for building strength for rowing.
Here’s how to do lat pull-downs:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms extended down.
- Grab the bar with palms facing downward and thumbs wrapped around the bar. Grasping it this way helps prevent injury to the wrists and elbows.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull the bar down towards your chest or chin (depending on how far you’re able to go).
- Keep your back straight throughout the movement. Don’t lean forward or backward.
6) Barbell row
This exercise is the same as the dumbbell row, except that you use both hands to hold the weight.
You can use it for building strength for rowing by following these steps:
- Hold a barbell at shoulder width, with your legs bent. Bend over, and lower yourself till your back is parallel to the ground.
- Raise your torso back up by pulling on the barbell with one arm while keeping your elbow close to your side.
- Repeat the movement for 8-12 repetitions per set, and switch sides to work both arms evenly.
These were just a few of the best exercises that can help in building strength for rowing.
If you want to take it up a notch, try adding weights to these moves or trying them with one leg off the ground at all times. There are many options when it comes down to strengthening the back and arms, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
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