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How to row 2000m as fast as possible

07th September 2016

Row row row your boat, vigorously, angrily and erratically down the stream. Sound like you? Simply follow our top tips on increasing your rowing speed and it’ll be plain sailing from here on out!

The rowing machine - a popular haunt of athletes that is perhaps the ultimate test of mental toughness in the gym. Alone in your own head with the distance ticker staring you right in the eyes, it fires lactic acid into almost every part of your body and lays you bare. Fun, right?

A 7-minute 2000 metre row is widely accepted as the benchmark for high level mental and physical strength, but we expect Lifestyle Fitness bunnies to go a little better than that. Here are a handful of tips to help tip you towards rowing machine greatness.

1. Mix up your distances during training
Sprints, slogs and half hour sojourns are a healthy mix on the rowing machine, building your core and allowing your mind to adjust to different challenges. Try to mix up your distance targets as regularly as possible.

2. Prepare during the first 500 metres
You may well find the first 500 metres to be a bit of a breeze, and if it’s possible to enjoy a 2000 metre blitz, then this is the time to do so. But don’t relax too much - the pain is in the post, and depending on your physical state, you’ll be hurting by the 600 metre mark. Use the opening stages to prep yourself into strong, positive self-talk, and a strong, healthy rhythm.

3. Set yourself a strong posture
New rowers might see it as an advantage to go at it with a flat, boarded back, or to crouch into a ball and pull away. The fact is that a smart, strong combination of the two is the right spot to hit, with strong shoulders and a slight lean in. Think about strength around your core and keep your posture throughout.

4. Focus on your legs
Many people see the rowing machine as the ultimate arm workout. The fact is that it is as much a test of your legs, and that your glutes are the most vital muscle group in a long distance row. Drive with your hips and legs and keep a strong, repeatable form.

5. Maintain a rhythmical stroke
It’s a common mistake to fire out strokes that are far too fast, far too slow, too short or too long. Focus on developing a strong and repeatable action that finishes at your sternum, and keep rhythm in mind even when the hurt kicks in - it’ll make all the difference in the latter stages.

6. Enjoy yourself
Whether you’re battling for the title of ultimate Lifestyle Fitness champion or just challenging yourself, enjoy it. A fitter, healthier you is well worth any short-term pain.