Guess who’s back. . . .Kelly’s back, Kelly’s back, Kelly’s back

Aw, do your hands hurt? Well someone’s whole body’s gonna hurt cuz you just pulled rowing duty. Does anyone else’s hands hurt? I DIDN’T THINK SO.

(The DSCF brunch crew post-“Desforges” WOD on the USMC birthday.)

Here is a good article about rowing technique, summarizing many of the points I have been relaying about how to row efficiently. Take a look at this and ask yourself if you are doing these:

The 17 Commandments of Rowing – My Journey From Hate to Happiness

It’s always helpful to get multiple points of view, perspectives, and cues from different sources. The same thing said a different way may be all it takes to get the light bulb to turn on. Here are a few things I have said about rowing which relate to each of the points described in the article with an additional final point which perhaps is the biggest take away of all but not mentioned in the post:

  1. Hold the handle loosely in your fingers, no “death grip”.
  2. Rowing is “80-90% leg driven”.
  3. I’ve likened rowing to a deadlift in the sense that the handle should move as your legs drive but this is more closely related to point #6.
  4. “Legs, lean, arms, arms, lean, legs” – same difference.
  5. This is a good point but so far everyone has been good about this. Just be aware when you start to drive hard that you don’t leave your seat.
  6. This is called “shooting the butt” and a few of us are guilty of this. When your legs drive that handle should move as well, the same as with a deadlift. If your hips move up in a deadlift and that bar does not leave the ground then you are wasting your leg drive and taking them out of the equation. Feel and pull against the flywheel resistance as you drive against the pedals.
  7. This is part of keeping that rigid chain through your body so that the power from the leg drive transfers from your legs through your back, shoulders, arms, and hands into the handles. Don’t let anything go slack.
  8. This is similar to what we’ve discussed while reviewing the bench press.
  9. See #10.
  10. The shoulder shrug and handle finish position go hand-in-hand. It is difficult for one to happen without the other. Pull that handle into the upper abdomen and that will help your upper back stay in position to allow you to pull straight back.
  11. Keeping your chest up and a tall back applies to EVERYTHING! If you have trouble with posture, make sure you are diligent with yourself throughout your day-to-day activities. Chest up, shoulders back. Not letting your shoulders or lower back collapse relates to keeping that rigid chain through your body to facilitate power transfer into the handle.
  12. This is an analogy we’ve used – they just imagine the clock facing the other direction.
  13. Wrench those feet in the pedals to stay in contact at all times.
  14. “Create a window for your knees to pass through” is what you may have heard me say.
  15. Leg drive begins when your “shins are vertical”.
  16. Breathing is….uh….important and stuff.
  17. This is similar to being “long for your body” and not “shorting your strokes”. Jerking the handle is going to be taxing and incredibly inefficient. This leads me to the last and probably most important point:
  18. Rest on the recovery – RELAX. Pulling yourself quickly back in does NOTHING to advance the boat so don’t waste your energy then.

Muscle-up progression



Rowing with “Kelly” (30 min. cap)

5 rounds

    • 500m row (or 400m run if you so desire)
    • 30 wall balls (20/14)
    • 30 box jumps (24/20)


Post time to comments. Compare to Monday 9/10/2012.

by admin in Coach's Tips, WOD

5 Responses to Guess who’s back. . . .Kelly’s back, Kelly’s back, Kelly’s back

  1. Tim S

    Wha-why??? Okay… See you at 6:30.

    • JJ Christopher

      hahaha I want to give you something to brag about when you go back home for Thanksgiving this week:

      Tim: “Hey everyone! I improved my Kelly time by 3 minutes in two months!”
      Family: “Uh…what?”

      And that’s exactly how it’s gonna go down.

      • Tim S

        I don’t know if my family would ask questions (or say anything for that matter) if I mentioned my “Kelly time.” haha.

        This went south pretty fast.

  2. JJ Christopher

    Busy morning today! Awesome 7 person turn-out in the 6 am class. Here are the scores with the 30 minute cap:

    Dave L. 4+45 (run/14/24)
    Annie M. 4+30 (row/12/20)
    David H. 4+run (run/14/24)
    Eric F. 3+run (run/14/24)
    Chandler F. 4+run (run/12/20)
    Johanna L. 3+33 (row/10/20)
    Catherine H. 3+15 (row/10/20)

    Dan Sullivan 3+53 (run/14/24)
    Alice O. 3+30 (run/10/16)
    Kevin D. 4 (run/20/24)
    Jenny D. 3+row (row/10/12)
    Moosah R. 30:00 Rx row

    • JJ Christopher

      Jupe S. 26:06 run Rx
      Sophia K. 3+45 (run/10/20)
      Nic A. 4+200m row (row/10/20)
      Brandon A. 29:40 run Rx
      Justin V. 4+run (run/20/24)
      Sara M. 4+row (row/12/12)
      Frank L. 28:11 (run/14/24)
      Richard B. 4+run (run/14/20)

      Tim S. 25:44 run Rx
      Justin K. 4+32 (run/14/24)
      Allison D. 4+15 (run/12/20)
      Brian S. 3+40 (row/14/20)
      Stacy C. 3+50 (row/10/20)
      Milbreezy 29:11 row Rx
      Amanda M. 4 (row/10/20)

      Congrats to those who were able to finish this one!!