The neutral spine rowing drill is one of my favorite drills to teach the hip hinge and shoulder muscle control on the erg and ingrain good movement patterns. This drill is not as simple as “just pop your hands behind your head,” though, and requires a bit more analysis and troubleshooting to get the most out of it. Done correctly and analyzed thoroughly, the neutral spine drill provides a great learning opportunity for the athlete to dial in physical positioning and great feedback for the coach or self-coached rower on potential problem areas in stroke technique, strength, and mobility.
The general preparation block is one of the most productive training times to set up the rest of the year of training and performance. This is generally the off-season phase of training furthest away from the main competitive season. For 2km-focused rowers racing in the spring season, the general preparation block would be the summer season. This is a crucial time of training to build the aerobic base and muscular foundation that the rower will draw on for the rest of the year. Fixing rowing imbalances is also a major goal of this block. The main goals of the general preparation block are:
- Rest, recover, and heal
- Build a foundation of strength and aerobic fitness
- Fix rowing imbalances
- Enjoy the off-season and maintain your enthusiasm for future hard training
The racing season has ended, the final races rowed, and you’re ready to start down the road of off-season training. The off-season is a crucial time to set yourself up for the rest of the year. In this article, we’ll cover the major goals of off-season rowing strength training, general program guidelines, and example strength training programs for openweight, lightweight, and masters rowers.
This article is Part 1 in my strength training for rowing annual programming series. Read “The Basics of Strength Training for Rowing” for the general overview of the annual strength training plan, and then individual block-by-block articles after this one for Part 2 Specific Prep, Part 3 Pre-Season/Pre-Competitive, and Part 4 In-Season/Race Prep.
Table of Contents:
- Off-Season Rowing Strength Training Goals
- Off-Season Rowing Strength Training Programs
- Training for Openweights
- Training for Lightweights
- Training for Masters Rowers
- Combining Strength and Rowing Training