What are the key elements in a good rowing strength training program? In this article, we’ll cover five priorities for each major area of exercise selection, strength training performance, and annual training program design. These priorities are where we see the greatest benefits in rowing strength training and changes that we make when I work with coaches and rowers of all ages, types, and levels.
Key Points: In exercise selection, all rowers should be doing some form of squat, hinge, upper body pull, upper body push, and specific minor exercises for the hip, shoulder, and core. These exercises train for specific performance elements of rowing, and also fill gaps in physical development from only rowing and erging. When strength training, rowers should use good technique, tempo control of the lowering and lifting phases of each rep and exercise, as much range of motion as they can effectively control (with a few exceptions), and achieve the appropriate strain targets for each set and exercise. Only after these four factors is the load (weight) of the exercise important for progression. The rowing strength training program design factors that I’ve found most important are knowing when and how to individualize training, having an off-season building phase for general physical development, planning a transition phase to prepare for in-season training, a maintenance plan for the in-season or race prep, and making time to rejuvenate following the final race.
Table of Contents:
- Priorities for exercise selection
- Priorities for strength training performance
- Priorities for program design
- Program priority summary