British Rowing Technique

Follow our simple technique guide below to optimise your workout.

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If you are new to indoor rowing and want to know more about how to get started onto a machine, check out the British Rowing technique video with Alex Gregory (Double Olympic Champion).

There are two phases to the rowing stroke:

1. The Drive where you’re pushing your legs.

2. The Recovery where you move back to the start.


The Drive

The body movement sequence is – Legs, Body, Arms.


The Recovery

The body movement sequence is reversed – Arms, Body, Legs.


Remember:

The sequence is key: Legs, body, arms, arms, body, legs.

Focus on your legs – 60% of the power is from the legs, 30% body, 10% arms.

Maintain good core stability.

Want to know more?

A Good Starting Position

A good starting position in the Drive is key to pushing effectively with the legs.

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Aim for:

  • Loose overhand grip
  • Arms straight but relaxed
  • Shoulders relaxed, back and down
  • Spine long and straight
  • Body tipped forwards from hips
  • Knees above ankles

The Drive Phase

  • Keep core engaged to maintain the strong starting position
  • Focus on the leg push and think about leaving the arms behind
  • The Drive sequence is then:
Legs Body Arms
Push with the legs; core holding body still. Once the legs are nearly straight, start to lean back a little. Draw handle into body – lower rib cage.
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Legs
Push with the legs; core holding body still.
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Body
Once the legs are nearly straight, start to lean back a little.
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Arms
Draw handle into body – lower rib cage.
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  • There should be no movement in the back or shoulders until the legs are nearly straight i.e. do not pull with upper body before pushing with legs
  • Wrists should remain straight as the handle is drawn into the body
  • No need to lean back more than about 11 o’clock at the end of the drive

The Recovery Phase

  • Takes you back to the start
  • The sequence is the reverse of the Drive:
Arms Body Legs
Straighten arms to move handle away from body. Keeping legs straight, tip body forwards from hips. Keeping body still, bend the knees and slide forwards.
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Arms
Straighten arms to move handle away from body.
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Body
Keeping legs straight, tip body forwards from hips.
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Legs
Keeping body still, bend the knees and slide forwards.
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  • It’s important to get the arms straight and body tipped forwards before bending the knees otherwise the handle has to be lifted over the knees
  • The spine should be long and straight, not slumped or rounded
  • The recoil on the handle at the start of the recovery can cause a loss of control and a rushing forwards up the slide. Be prepared to resist this. Ideally, the recovery should take twice as long as the explosive drive phase

Why Go Row Indoor?

There are many great reasons to Go Row Indoor

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Anyone can do it, it is great for core strength, efficient for fat burning and easy to learn and access.

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