Good Form is Free Speed - (RE)COMMIT #2

Good Form is Free Speed - (RE)COMMIT #2

4 minute read

Listen to article
Audio is generated by DropInBlog's AI and may have slight pronunciation nuances. Learn more

Good form is the key for becoming a faster indoor rower with less effort.  One of the primary benefits of the asensei rowing app is how easy it makes learning proper rowing technique, something a lot of recreational/gym rowers miss out on.  In the latest coaching video, below, double Olympic Champion and asensei coach Eric Murray talks through how good form leads to free speed.  There’s a lot to take into the equation of what makes you fast, including your height, fitness, and strength, however, practicing good rowing technique and form creates consistent speed for less effort.

Learn Great Rowing Technique

Rowing requires rhythm and sequence, getting the movements correct and consistent, as well as allowing the machine to do some of the work for you.  Getting from A to B as easily as possible, not complicating the movements or overworking yourself is key to eventually gaining speed.

Sitting at 18-22 SPM, allows us to focus on our form, dial in that technique and get the sequencing as close to perfect as possible.  Working up through those stroke rates, doing technical drills at each level and getting great form at each stage will lead to good form at your race pace.

In the video below Eric discusses focusing on individual aspects of the stroke during each workout instead of trying to perfect everything at once, whether it’s the front end, your lean back or drive. Breaking down the movement, focusing on what feels good and benefits the stroke most is a great way of improving your technical ability.  In the full (RE)COMMIT program in the asensei rowing app Eric introduces you to the fundamentals of technique as you workout during the 6 week training plan.

Eric Murray discusses the importance of technique in rowing

3 Common Technique Errors on the rowing machine

Here are some of the rowing technique tips that you will practice and perfect during your asensei training sessions.

Bending knees early

Probably the most common mistake you see, bending the knees before you get your hands and body over will mess up your whole stroke and compromise both your recovery and drive.  Your hands will have to bend or bounce over your knees in order to reach the catch, resulting in a less efficient movement and inconsistent rate.

Rushing the slide / Shooting the Slide

Rushing the slide, also known as "shooting the slide", flying up towards the catch will mess up your rhythm and stroke rate. The lack of control means you won’t be efficiently recovering either which will have consequences on your split and strength further into your workout.

Leaning back at the finish

A lot of people lean back at the finish in order to try and create a ‘longer’ stroke, however, it actually has zero benefit to do this.  It puts you in a weak position to do this and can affect your recovery! If you imagine your body as a clock, with 12 being at your most upright, you don’t want to be leaning back more than 11 O’clock.  This keeps your core engaged and stops you collapsing coming forward on the slide.


We have set out some of the most common errors to watch out for so if you are rowing by yourself why not pick one of these each time you workout and make sure you are focused on that aspect.  By selecting a different movement to isolate and improve during your workouts, you’ll soon see yourself improving your technique massively. If you are rowing with an asensei program such as (RE)COMMIT you will benefit from your coach giving you focus areas during your workouts.

Happy Rowing!

Articles In This Series

#1 Connected Coaching with asensei

#2 Good Form Is Free Speed (this article)

#3 Slow Down To Speed Up

#4 Baselines & Benchmarks

#5 Finding Flow


asensei is free to download and you can trial the first 3 workouts in the (RE)COMMIT program and let Eric calculate a 2k time that he can coach you to achieve in only 6 weeks.

All you need is an iPhone and access to an asensei Compatible rowing machine from Concept 2, WaterRower or FluidRower with a bluetooth capable monitor.

download asensei from the appstore

« Back to Blog