As a CrossFitter, you know that the Concept 2 Indoor Rower plays a large part in your training regimen, and having the proper rowing technique makes all the difference on your row times as well as what you get out of rowing. Take a look at the excerpt below from the CrossFit Journal a few years back. It talks about the technique of rowing, the damper setting (which is vitally important) and how it’s an exercise that gives immediate up-to-date information on you.
“What makes rowing popular with elite athletes and CrossFitters is exactly what many in the general fitness population dislike about it: your weaknesses cannot be hidden on the rowing machine. It is a human polygraph of physical and mental performance. Stroke for stroke, you are provided with feedback that both reveals any weak spots and very visibly demonstrates the relationship between performance and proper technique. If you want faster times, better scores, and superior performance, work to improve your rowing technique so you can harness your full potential.
Rowing engages all the major muscles of the body and works multiple joints through a large range of motion in a natural, powerful sequence in a no-impact manner. However, proper rowing technique is not an innate skill; mastering it requires instruction. The rowing stroke is very similar to a deadlift. In the drive (work) phase, the legs initiate the power, and arms remain straight. Then the hip flexors and torso muscles maintain the power through the leg and hip drive. Finally, the arms finish the stroke with an accelerating pull toward the torso that completes the smooth handoff of power from lower body to torso to upper body.
Many people are confused about the purpose and significance of the damper setting on the flywheel. This is not a resistance setting. You create greater resistance when you apply greater force, and the rowing machine adapts to every stroke. A high-intensity, powerful stroke will be met with much higher resistance than a low-intensity, weak stroke. The damper simply adjusts how quickly the force is applied to the machine. As you put in more effort, you will go faster, generate more power (watts), and use more energy (calories). Most people prefer a damper setting of 3 to 5 for all types of workouts. A higher damper setting results in a slower stroke rating (fewer strokes per minute) and is often preferred by endurance athletes who are accustomed to a slower leg turnover and increased time spent in a state of muscular contraction. A lower damper setting results in a faster stroke rating, which is often appealing to sprinters and competitive cyclists who are accustomed to a faster leg turn over and quick, explosive muscular work. (Not surprisingly, many CrossFitters—particularly the bigger, heavier ones—seem to prefer somewhat higher settings, going for both hard and fast.)”
– CrossFit Journal, October 2006
30 Clean & Jerk For Time @ 135/95