Resources for Land Training

Success on the water is earned as much by work in the gym as it is skills in the boat. Rowing machines or ‘Ergs’ (from Ergometer) allow you to build up strength, aerobic capacity and improve your individual form and technique. The universal model of Erg amongst the rowing community and in most gyms is the Concept 2 and the comments below will relate to this. 
Damper and Drag Factor:
Before sitting on your local Erg and setting off on a virtual row, it is important to understand the dial on the side of the fan.  Getting this right can save you pain and injury and make your workout more productive.  It does not function like the gears on a bike, more is not better or quicker.
Don’t just put the setting to 10. This maximises the ‘drag factor’ and unrealistic drag is not going to help.
You will picture yourself doing this…
but will in fact be trying to do this …
and end up like this.
The Correct Stroke:
Using the correct technique will allow you to go faster, go further and avoid injury. The video below is one of many out there that illustrate good style and how to build up the individual elements for a good overall stroke.  Done properly and embedded on the Erg this correct will transfer directly into the boat.

Stroke Rate – is faster automatically better?

Concept 2 Monitors:

Most up to date Ergs will have a PM5 monitor. Older models may have the PM3 which is very similar in operation.  These monitors provide a wealth of performance information. They include a common workout settings and can be set up create a wide range of specific workouts. They even feature games which can keep you occupied whilst getting fitter.
There are too many features to cover in detail here. The Concept 2 website has a page that goes into great detail, many of which are supported by specific videos. To go the that page Click Here.
Perhaps the most common starting point for the new rower is a explanation of the basics by a fellow club member or gym staff. This will allow you to set off and start work – after you have selected the appropriate damper setting to do it safely.

The 500m Split:

The world of rowing revolves around the time it has taken or is planned to take to cover each 500m. This is known as the 500m split and is a universal shorthand to measure performance and progress in training and racing. 
Depending on the screen configuration selected, it will appear in different places on the screen of the monitor and is a key part of the work out summary that your coach will use to judge you.

Some British Rowing Erg Workout Programmes:

Your club coach or squad captains will have land training programmes and workouts appropriate to your ability and upcoming events. If you are not yet with a club these graduated programmes should serve you well and improve ability whilst minimising injury.

Stretches for Rowers:

Like any sport, rowing on land or water will put strain on the associated muscle groups and a good regime of stretching will help performance, recovery and prevent injury. Concept 2 have a specific section on their website dedicated to this and to go there Click Here

Some Common Erging Mistakes: