Are you struggling with achieving your desired intensity with a low stroke rate?
Try this drill called ‘Power Strokes’. The focus is to achieve as much distance per stroke, this will improve the efficiency of your rowing allowing you to row for longer and further in any workout.
There are 2 ways to practice Power Strokes; one way is to maintain your stroke rate but focus on increasing your speed and the other is to lower your stroke rate but hold your speed. See below for further details.
The first way to practice Power Strokes is to stay at the stroke rate you are rowing at but increase your speed/intensity.
Some tips to help you do this:
Increase the length of your stroke from the Catch Position to the Release Position
Focus on slowing down your Recovery forwards to the Catch Position
Focus on a more powerful Drive phase – power comes from a stronger leg push.
For example, if you are rowing at 24 strokes per minute (spm) at a speed of 2.5 meters per second (m/s), aim to increase your speed to 2.8 or 3.0 m/s and maintain a stroke rate of 24spm. Count 10 strokes and row lightly for 10 strokes. Repeat the 10 power strokes 4 or 5 x.
This drill can be performed towards the end of a warm up or during a Steady State session.
The second way to practice Power Strokes is to maintain your speed/intensity but lower your stroke rate. For example, if you are rowing steady state with a stroke rate 24spm at an intensity of 2.5 m/s, decrease your stroke rate to 22spm and hold your speed of 2.5 m/s.
Use the 3 tips above to help you do this.
Once you have achieved this, try to lower your stroke rate by 1 or 2spm again, therefore row at 21/20spm maintaining a speed of 2.5 m/s. Practice this in 1 minute sets.
Remember the more distance or speed you can get out of each stroke, the quicker and further you will row.