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Back 2 Basics: How to Row

What to expect this week at Cryptid CrossFit: the row. This dynamic movement simulates water-sport rowing. It is an exceptional cardiovascular exercise and engages multiple muscle groups to provide full-body strength and endurance movement.

Set-up
  1. Sit centered on the seat. Place feet under the foot straps on the footrest. The top of your shoe should come about ½ inch over the foot ramp. The footrests are adjustable and numbered to make setting up your feet simple each time you row. Pull the foot straps tight.
  2. Turn the display on and set it to the desired data measurement (meters, calories, or watts).
  3. Set the damper to the desired number – typically 3-5 for beginners. Higher damper settings allow more air into the flywheel housing. The more air, the more work it takes to spin the flywheel against the air. More air also slows the flywheel down faster on the recovery, requiring more work to accelerate it on the next stroke. Lower damper settings allow less air into the flywheel housing, making it easier to spin the flywheel.
  4. Pull the handle out of the handle hook and set your grip. Hands should be even on each side. Extend your arms straight toward the flywheel and keep your wrists flat.
  5. Your spine should be neutral and tilted forward slightly at the hips. Shins are vertical and feet firmly planted in the footrests.
Performing the Row
CrossFit video showing good form while Rowing

Focus on consistent steady movement – You are the master of the numbers on the display, not the victim of them. Remember you are on the “water” – smooth movement is rewarded. Smooth movement is fast and efficient. Jerky movements make waves and flip boats.

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