Exercises for newbies

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
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ramiroflores
Paddler
Posts: 1
Joined: May 10th, 2024, 3:21 am

Exercises for newbies

Post by ramiroflores » May 10th, 2024, 3:31 am

Hi everybody,

I've only been rowing for about 2 months, 31 years old. Start by doing 5 minutes at a slow pace and gradually increase, feeling muscle fatigue mainly in the back and shoulders. The only problem I have is do you have any advice, especially regarding specific distances recommended for paddlers?

Thank you!

Cyclist2
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Location: Bremerton, WA

Re: Exercises for newbies

Post by Cyclist2 » May 10th, 2024, 3:47 pm

Welcome!

At your stage of this journey, distance isn't as important as getting your technique down solid, getting familiar with the machine, and getting your technique down solid. Working on that, you'll get a good workout in at 20-30 minutes, don't worry about how far you've gone.

Fatigue in the upper body indicates your technique probably needs some adjustment, as rowing is more about legs than upper body. Watch the Concept 2 technique videos and the myriad YouTube videos to get it down pat so you don't ingrain bad habits (that you discover later and are harder to correct).

Use a low drag factor (damper lever at around 3) to start with to allow you to work on your technique without trying to do a deadlift each stroke.

Post a link to a video here and you'll get lots of semi-professional advice from long time erg users.

And, have fun!
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

Dangerscouse
Marathon Poster
Posts: 10038
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Exercises for newbies

Post by Dangerscouse » May 11th, 2024, 12:31 pm

ramiroflores wrote:
May 10th, 2024, 3:31 am
Hi everybody,

I've only been rowing for about 2 months, 31 years old. Start by doing 5 minutes at a slow pace and gradually increase, feeling muscle fatigue mainly in the back and shoulders. The only problem I have is do you have any advice, especially regarding specific distances recommended for paddlers?

Thank you!
As Mark mentioned, technique is really important in the early stages, so really concentrate on this. Imagine that your jumping horizontally with each stroke, and to establish a better mind muscle connection try the following:

Row with alternating pressure on each leg eg 70% left; 70% right then 50/50 and repeat for as long as you want to. You'll get a better understanding what the stroke should feel like in your legs when you do this.

Rowing is more of a push than a pull, so feeling it in your back and shoulders could be due to specific weaknesses, possibly over-reaching at the catch, both issues or something else entirely.

What drag factor are you using? It might be too high and causing you issues too
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

jamesg
Half Marathon Poster
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Joined: March 18th, 2006, 3:44 am
Location: Trentino Italy

Re: Exercises for newbies

Post by jamesg » May 12th, 2024, 1:03 am

feeling muscle fatigue mainly in the back and shoulders.
You mean you can still walk? Try using the legs:

https://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/ ... que-videos.

To get an idea of the effects of rowing there's nothing better than actually using the legs, as for example when climbing stairs. The Power we develop on stairs (and hills) is easily calculated:
height x weight x g (= 9.81) / time.

The C2 Rowerg shows directly the power we develop, in Watts, so no need to do any sums.

Two quality indices help to evaluate what we are doing: W/kg and Watts/Rating. It's advisable to row at low rates (18-22) for basic training, since our legs are strong and can do a lot of work. Our CV systems may not be up to it, initially, so we start with short pieces, a minute or two. But they soon will be.
08-1940, 183cm, 83kg. Last seen MHR 140.
2024: stroke 6 W-min @ 20-21. No times yet, now using WODs.

iain
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Joined: October 11th, 2007, 6:56 am
Location: Reading, UK

Re: Exercises for newbies

Post by iain » May 13th, 2024, 4:29 am

Just for some balance, I have often found my upper body takes a bit of time to adjust when I have not rowed for a prolonged period. I put this down to using my legs far more in daily life and so the muscle I lose when I stop is disproportionally upper body. THe muscle definition changes are also more obvious after rowing for a while in my upper body. Your body needs to get used to this particular exercise and this may mean DOMS in a few under used muscle groups. Bizarrely for me this can often mean my diaphragm.

That said, it may be made worse by technique and so I endorse that you should look for faults and ensure you push harder with your legs thatn you might be inclined to. In rowing we typically do little for 2-3 times longer than doing the work so need to work hard during the short drive to produce a reasonable average output (contrast with running, cycling, swimming etc. when the power is a higher proportion).
55, lightweight in pace, trying to get back to Lwt by gravity. Currently training 3 times a week after a break to slowly regain the pitiful fitness I achieved a few years ago. Free Spirit, come join us http://www.freespiritsrowing.com/forum/

p_b82
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Location: South Somerset, UK

Re: Exercises for newbies

Post by p_b82 » May 13th, 2024, 5:03 am

Hi and welcome,

Not much to add - Just a comment that when I first started I had quite significant lumbar discomfort as the muscles got used to the effort. It was exacerbated by poor posture and a "dodgy" back - so take your time and don't overdo things too quickly.

Another endorsement of making sure your technique is sound - stress in the arms/shoulders might imply that you're trying to pull too early in the sequence and bending your elbows before your leg drive has completed. I fell into that trap myself when starting.

Other than that - just keep doing things that you enjoy; some people like the spring distances; some people like the longer stuff, it's all good & most of it translates in either direction. set yourself a distance complete in a single sitting target at some point and work towards it. can either then increase distance or decrease time depending on what you feel like.
Some people like to follow plans with more structure, others (like myself) do things on the day as we feel like it.
M 6'4 born:'82
PB's
'23: 6k=25:23.5, HM=1:36:08.0, 30'=7,077m, 60'=13,702m
'24: 500m=1:37.7, 2k=7:44.80, 5k=20:42.9, 10k=42:13.1, FM=3:18:35.4
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