Erg Workouts for Sustaining a Powerful Stroke

WM4+ at Head of the Schuylkill 2011

Winter erg workouts are a perfect time to focus on developing long, powerful strokes. A great way to train this is with lower rating, high pressure rowing.

It’s a bit more complex than just getting your knees down fast and pulling hard on the handle. To sustain the length of power in your stroke (both time and distance in the water), you have to keep a powerful force on your handle. Correct body mechanics, blade work and sheer determination all play a part. The goal is to contribute to moving the boat over the whole arc of your stroke, instead of spiking a peak effort and then trailing off at the finish. When on the erg, set your display to watch the force curve by using the “change display” button.

Erg workout ideas

  • 10k steady state with power 15s every 4 minutes at 24spm
  • 1 to 3 x 20’ at 22spm with 5’ rest between. 90% pressure. Focus on a long, hanging pull (don’t break the arms early!)
  • Pyramid: 4 to 6 x 4’ > 3’ > 2’ > 1’ at 20 > 22 > 24 > 26spm at 90% pressure
  • Pyramid: 2 or 3 x 4’ > 3’ > 2’ > 1’ > 2’ > 3’ > 4’ at 20 > 22 > 24 > 26 > 24 > 22 > 20 at 75-100% pressure.
  • 3 to 6 x 5’ on/1’ off at 22-24spm.
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