Rowing is a great monostructural movement that can help increase aerobic capacity.  It is a simple enough movement, but poor technique leads to inefficient movement and a large waste of energy. Great rowers have a very efficient stroke. Hopefully a quick read breaking down the movement will have you crushing new split times.
Movement Series: Rowing

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Posted by The FeedX on Thursday, January 21, 2016
Starting Position: There are a couple of things that you need to set up before you start rowing. -Make sure the damper setting is where you would like it to be (10 will be the most resistance and 1 will be the least. The damper setting will depend on how powerful you are as a rower) -Make sure the foot pedal is set to the correct setting. You want the ball of your foot and toes to be on the hard plastic part of the rower (this will allow you to get the most power when you push away) -Set the screen up at an angle that will allow you to see the screen in the most comfortable position [caption id="attachment_349437" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The staring position for rowing. The starting position for rowing.[/caption] Movement: In the simplest terms rowing can be broken down to the “pull phase” and the and the “return phase”.  We will break both of those down here, but it general it is important to keep the shoulders pulled back and engaged. Pull Phase: On the pull the sequence of moving parts will be legs, body then arms. Drive away from the rower with the legs, fully extending the knees. As you fully extend the legs you will also lean back about 45 degrees to get the most out of your leg drive. Once you have finished your leg drive and lean, you will finish the pull with the arms by rapidly pulling the handle to your sternum. [caption id="attachment_349465" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Extension of the legs on the pull phase with a lean back. Extension of the legs on the pull phase with a lean back.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_349466" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Finishing the stroke with the pull of the arms to just below the chest. Finishing the stroke with the pull of the arms to the sternum.[/caption]   Return Phase: The return phase will be the opposite of the pull phase, and the sequence of moving parts will be arms, body, then legs. The arms will fully extend, you will lean back forward, and then as soon as the hands start to pass the knees, you will bend the knees to bring your seat back to the starting position. The return should be slower than pull, and this is where you can control your breathing. Think of the pull and return as a 1:2 cadence. [caption id="attachment_349467" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Returning to the front of the rower by hinging forward and then bending the legs. Returning to the front of the rower by hinging forward and then bending the legs.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_349468" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The return to the front of a rower to start a new stroke.[/caption] Make sure the seat doesn't come in contact with your heels. You should maintain enough space between the seat and your heels so that you can get a powerful push away each time.  Now get out there and row!