How to Use the Concept 2 Rower with Correct Form – 3 Useful Tips

Walk into any gym, anywhere in the world, make your way over to the cardio section, and you’ll almost certainly find that they have rowing machines, or a rowing machine at least.

Rowing machines are incredibly popular, and hugely beneficial pieces of cardio equipment that offer users a wide range of benefits. 99% of the time, the rowing machine that you’ll find in commercial gyms and CrossFit boxes all over the globe, is a Concept 2.

The Concept 2 rowing machine is the Rolls Royce or Ferrari of the rowing machine world. They are incredibly well made, very comfortable, ergonomic, they hold their value, and they provide users with one heck of a workout. Despite them being so fantastic, though, a lot of people use them wrong, and wonder why they don’t see the results that they should.

To help you crush your rowing machine workouts, here are 3 tips on how to use the Concept 2 rower with correct form.

Long Strokes

If you stop and look at various people using a rowing machine, you’ll notice how different people use different techniques with different stroke lengths.

When you use the Concept 2 rower, to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise, go for long and controlled strokes. A guaranteed way of burning out too quickly is to go with shorter strokes and not lean back enough.

The last thing you want when rowing is to run out of energy too early, so lengthen those strokes, and focus on really powering backwards to cover more distance.

Control Your Pace

Speaking of running out of energy too early, there’s nothing worse during a Concept 2 rowing workout than running out of breath when you’ve still got several hundred metres to go.

One of the most common mistakes that people make when using the rowing machine, is starting off too fast and too intensely. Sure, to begin with it’ll feel easy, but once those first few hundred metres are covered the lactic acid will build, your legs and arms will start to tire, and you’ll be desperate to throw in the towel and call it quits!

If you’re panting like a boiling hot dog in the sun for the duration of your workout, you’re going too fast and are rowing too quickly, so get that pace under control!

Unless you’re looking to break a 500m record, the key to covering long distances on the Concept 2 is to control and regulate your pace throughout the workout. That way you can reserve some energy and really let rip for those final 100 metres.

Generate Power with Your Legs

Yes, we know that rowing uses muscles in your upper body and is great for your back and core, but the majority of power you generate doesn’t come from your arms and back, it should come from your legs.

Don’t try to yank the chain as hard as you can, all this will do is use up more energy and tire you out quicker, and put you at risk of pulled muscles in your back, core, and arms. Instead, go ahead and focus on generating power from your legs instead.

First should come the legs, then your body, and finally your arms as you lean back. Your arms should actually do the least work, otherwise you’ll find your upper body becoming too tired too quickly. Focus on generating power from your thighs and you’ll find that you cover more distance much faster, while using up less energy in the process.