The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Rowing

Learn the basics of rowing when it comes to technique, jargon, and routine.

Jason Schneider


To get the most out of a rowing session, it’s essential to get your form right from the start. Think about breaking your movements down into four simple steps: 

Catch (Left): In the first part of the stroke, keep your arms straight, holding the bar with your upper body leaning forward from the hips and your shins vertical. 

Drive (Left Center): Push through your legs until they are fully extended, keeping your torso upright. Your arms should be pulled into your body, with the handle just below your bra line. 

Finish (Right Center): Now bring your torso back and finish pulling the bar toward your body. Think legs, body, arms, in that order. Pause slightly at the end. 

Recovery (Right): This is the opposite of the drive and finish. Extend your arms, then lean forward from the hips and use your legs to slide forward to do the catch. Think arms, body, legs, in that order. 

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