Rowing. To many, a WOD that includes rowing often results in loud, painful groaning noises, coupled with “I’m just not good at rowing,” or “I just don’t have an extra gear when it comes to rowing.” Perhaps it’s because there are so many elements of CrossFit that are seemingly more complex and take longer to master. Ask most people about hand stand push-ups, the snatch or muscle-ups and you will typically hear people voice their respect or admiration for people that do those moves well. Not the rower, though. If we hear that you enjoy rowing, we often say “You’re crazy!” or “How can you actually love rowing?!?!” with looks of complete disbelief. The thing is, folks, rowing is not as easy as we think. And perhaps that is why so many of us despise it. Thankfully, this general disdain for the rower is not uncommon and there are a number of great articles written to help you get over your hatred.
Earlier this year, Tabata Times published an article titled “Rowing: How to Stop Hating the Erg.”. The first part of the article is included below, with a link to its remainder. Once you’ve read that article and decided that, yes, you too can lessen your rower hatred and begin improving your ability, Breaking Muscle’s article “2 Numbers That Will Make You a Better Rower” is a great place to start. Enjoy and, happy rowing.
Even as a rowing instructor, I can’t pretend it’s fun all the time. Because let’s be real: if you’re doing it right, rowing is always challenging and occasionally brutal.
Fact: Bring up indoor rowing to a bunch of CrossFitters and without fail someone will start looking sheepish and confess, “You know, I just don’t like rowing.”
One girl is very small, like me. She feels like her splits aren’t good enough, and that her build puts her at a disadvantage. Others say it’s too boring. Some admit that their “form is really bad,” so their happy place is anywhere that the erg isn’t.
I hear them. Even as a rowing instructor, I can’t pretend it’s fun all the time. Because let’s be real: if you’re doing it right, rowing is always challenging and occasionally brutal.
I fear little more than a 2k race.
Longer rowing pieces (over 4 min, or anything north of 1000m) are an endurance grind. And take it from someone who’s rowed a half marathon on an erg: shit gets real boring. The biggest battle is mental as you fight to stay focused and connected drive after drive after drive.
But what makes rowing different than any other dreaded CrossFit move? Nobody in the history of ever thinks burpees are fun. Wall balls can kiss my ass. Do a Hero WOD and try not to hurl. But ergo-phobia is real and it keeps people from some of the best conditioning time spent out there. (We’re talking about an exercise that works every large muscle group in your body. Fitness jackpot!). Click Here to Read More