Friday 140425

Posted by | April 24, 2014 | WODs | 14 Comments
Rowing sucks when you’re inefficient. Over the next couple of Fridays I’ll break down the basics, then discuss common faults and ways to fix them. Post questions to comments.


Part I: Body Position + Mechanics
These are your first priority, period. Rowing hard with crap form wastes energy (and contributes to the CrossFit population’s blind hatred of the erg). Fix the following for happier paddling.


The Catch
Shins perpendicular to floor, straight arms, neutral neck, sitting tall with torso leaned forward at 1 o’clock (hips slightly behind you)
Common faults: rounded shoulders, shoulders above or behind hips
The Finish
Hands and oar handle at sternum, laid back to 11 o’clock, straight legs, neutral neck, relaxed shoulders
Common faults: rounded shoulders, oar handle too high, body laid back too far/not far enough
There are two dynamic parts of the stroke: the drive (from catch to finish) and the recovery (from finish to catch).

Extend legs while maintaining straight arms and the 1 o’clock lean. Lay back to 11 o’clock, then gently bring the hands into the sternum.
This is cued as follows:
​The order of operations is critical. Laying back and/or pulling the arms before full extension of the legs shorts your power output — similar to an early arm bend in the clean or snatch. Over dozens or hundreds of strokes these micro-ineffiencies add up, and make your coaches sad.


Proceed in the opposite order: from the finish, extend arms out, lean forward to 1 o’clock, then bend the legs and slide back to the catch position.
This is cued as such:
Screw up the order here and you’re in a bad position for the next stroke. The arms must be fully extended and the body must be leaned over the legs before the legs bend. I would get this tattooed on my forehead if I could.


–Have another athlete check out your body position at the catch and finish. Fix any errors.
–Practice mechanics by breaking down the stroke’s three distinct components, pausing between each: legs-back-arms, arms-back-legs. It will feel jerky and awkward. Do it anyway.
The good news: after about 10,000 strokes, mechanics become second nature. Until then, force yourself to think about the order with every single stroke. It’s the only way.
Onward, to rowing glory.
–Alison PCF

EMOTM 10 Minutes
2 Front Squats
5 Toes to Bar

3 Rounds
50 Calorie Row
50 Double Unders

3 Rounds
50 Calorie Row
35 Double Unders

3 Rounds
40 Calorie Row
15 Push ups/Knee push ups
100 Single Unders


  • Paul says:

    unrelated to this post, but I heard all the ERGs down for maintenance.

  • Wiz says:

    PCF Party People,

    Hear ye, hear ye! The time is nearly upon us to celebrate the 1.0 Anniversary of PCF 2.0. Please come join us at 3 pm Saturday to revel in this year’s success. The party goes until everything has been eaten and drank, or we all pass out trying.

    Here’s what we have planned right now:
    • Pork Barrel BBQ!
    • NorCal Margaritas, sangria, bar & beer!
    • Shots shots shots shots shots shots!
    • Yard games and drinking games!
    • Feats of strength!
    • Musical entertainment!

    This is totally casual but many of the games are going to have a physical aspect so you should definitely wear your favorite PCF shirt to improve your performance.

    Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what YOU can do for US. Bring one item to use in a photo booth that you don’t mind losing over the course of the day. So a giant foam cowboy hat or a ridiculous wig are good choices; your grandmother’s antique string of pearls is probably a bad choice.


  • Erika PCF says:

    Anyone have a graphic design background or experience with producing and printing things? Yea, I’m being vague on purpose. I have a project. Hit me up if yes. Gracias.

  • John B says:

    EMOTM: 155 FS

    Metcon: 17:58
    (row Rx/ HSPU Rx / 100 SUs)

    50 Cal rows: 2:24 / 2:26 / 2:21
    Broke HSPU into sets of 5
    Tried DUs first round, went to SUs
    Good mix

  • John S. says:

    @Allison – I notice that when I row it makes me really really tired, but I begin to feel better immediately after stopping. Is this a form issue?
    EMOTM: 135 w/5 TTB
    METCON: 17:40 Rx. HSPUs were 7-5-3, 3×5, 5×3. worked pretty well. Decent day with the jump rope.
    Great job 0530 and DJBostonMikeyPCF.

  • Justin B says:

    EMOTM: 165 FS + 5 TTB
    Metcon: 19:52 @ LII

    DUs took forever

  • Josh says:

    Here is video demonstration from Crossfit Anapolis.

  • Aaron PCF says:

    Sister on the front of the CF Games page. Link in my name.

  • Paul says:

    EMOTM: 185/50 (hang squat clean + 1 FS)

    Metcon: 16:20 rx

    For those keeping score at home this was one of the Master Qualifying events for the games. The top men’s score (40-44) was 9:16 and women’s score was 11:48. So yea, there’s that…

  • AlisonPCF says:

    Yeah Emma and Kristin!!

    @John you know I don’t do existential issues.

  • Patrick Z says:

    Paul, this morning I felt really good about myself, after this new knowledge I will start HH very early today

  • Paul says:

    Patrick Z, you and me both. This workout should not be underestimated.

  • c deedy says:

    Emotm- (1 sc+ 1 fs) 145 for 5 rounds then upped to 165 for last 5
    METCON- 16:34 rx

  • Kris says:

    Thanks for the great tips on rowing and how to be more efficient.