11 Dec 2013
From time to time it can be beneficial to look at yourself on camera. No we don’t care about the aesthetics or the fashion. We’re looking to gain feedback and a mental picture. We’re looking for just one or two cues that might give us a smoother, more powerful stroke. What’s going right? What’s going wrong? What can we do better?
You should be asking yourself, “What do I look like now? How do I move now? What could use some extra focus and improvement next time?” Don’t dwell on to many things at a time, just find one or two things that might make your life on the erg or in the boat a little better. Go work on them. Then reassess in a couple of weeks.
The Renegade Rowing Club has agreed to help everyone by taking a look at their strokes. If you’d like feedback similar to this, post a 20 second clip of you rowing to YouTube and share it with us in the comments of this post. I’ll do my best to give you a couple of things to work on!
For each of the following videos I’ll be ranking each rower on their posture, control, and connection. I’ll use a five point scale where 1 = poor and 5 = perfect. When dealing with posture we’re looking for the torso to be stacked and strong at all times. When talking about control we are looking at the smoothness of the recovery and how the seat moves toward the catch. Does it rush forward for the next stroke? Is there control in the last few inches of the slide to change direction without pushing the boat backwards? Last and most important, connection, are the seat and handle connected and moving together into and out of the catch as if connected by a belt.
Take a look and share what you might focus on next time you row!
Posture: 3, Control: 3, Connection: 2 – video
Feedback: Nice job getting the body over. Don’t let the seat stop at the catch. Be ready to push with the legs the second you hit the catch and keep the seat and hands connected.
Posture: 3, Control: 3, Connection: 4 – video
Feedback: Nice horizontal hands. Don’t let the handle pause at the finish. Focus on quicker hands away as if there were opposing magnets on the handle and your chest trying to push those hands away out of the finish.
Posture: 4, Control: 3, Connection: 3 – video
Feedback: Great posture and nice job getting the body over. Try not to be so rigid and don’t break the elbows as you initiate the drive. Relax a little on the recovery and make everything smooth.
Posture: 3, Control: 2, Connection: 3 – video
Feedback: Nice job getting the arms extended and ready for the catch. Try to not be so robotic and rigid at the finish. Focus on quick and smooth hands away. The handle should always be moving.
Posture: 4, Control: 3, Connection: 2 – video
Feedback: Good posture and nice horizontal hands. Don’t let the shoulders and torso reach for more at the catch. Focus on staying connected as you approach the catch. See if you can get the body over and find that reach earlier in the recovery, before you get to half slide.
Posture: 3, Control: 4, Connection: 2 – video
Feedback: Great work getting your body over on the recovery and getting prepared by half slide. Don’t let your posture go as you approach the catch. Focus on bringing the handle with you as you push the knees down. The first inch or two of the drive you are shooting the slide, so keep a big chest and solid abs/back as you push.
Posture: 3, Control: 3, Connection: 2 – video
Nice power and push on the drive. Try to keep your hands on one level plain and don’t let them drop coming into the catch. Focus on pointing the toes as you finish and then getting the proper sequence of arms away first, bodies over, and then knees come up during the recovery. Everything blends, but that’s the order of firing in terms of sequence.
12 Nov 2013
I have been using this supplement for the last 2 months. I really like it. I can definitely go deeper into that dark place. Watch this.
06 Nov 2013
2k Row CRASH-B Style @CFB
December 21st and January 25th
We’ll have 10 ergs hooked up to one another and displayed on the wall via a projector so that competitors and spectators can witness how fast each boat is going.
The 2k Row is a test of how much pain and glory athletes can endure over seven to eight minutes. Grab some friends, come on down, and get after it. This will be the first of two 2k competitions called the Renegade Rowing League, which is a good lead up to the CRASH-B Indoor Rowing World Championships in February. Anyone is welcome to come test themselves to see how they stack up.
If you’re interested in competing and bringing your gym shoot me an email at [email protected] I’ll have a registration link up soon. All those that compete in the Renegade Rowing League have a shot at a prize if they win their race category. The Renegade Rowing League will use the same event categories as CRASH-Bs.
Shout out if you’re training for the Renegade Rowing League and CRASH-B’s!
30 Oct 2013
Happy Halloween! I hope you’re planning on dressing up to WOD today! I’ll be dressing up to coach!
Announcing the 2013 Renegade Rowing Club!
It’s that time of year again. The weather has gotten cold and no one wants to row in the cold. Now is the time to get pumped for training in the gym and crushing your 2k on the erg! The 2013 Renegade Rowing Club will be held at 5:30pm on Monday nights at CrossFit Boston. Practices will start the Monday after Thanksgiving, December 2nd. The cost for the Renegade Rowing Club will be $47 per month or $94 for the whole winter. We will be training for the Renegade Rowing League, which will be held in December and January, leading up to CRASH-B’s. Who’s game? Email me if you plan on joining the Renegade Rowing Club, [email protected] There are only 16 spots available in the club, so let me know sooner rather than later!
Above is a video of the Wayland Weston Men’s Crew Team that I’ve been coaching this Fall. I wanted to give you all a view of the sport of rowing from the water. This was their last practice before the Head of the Fish Regatta, which is where that Fish Head came from that I hung on the gym wall earlier this week. If you’d like to learn to row on the water and get your own fish head someday, it starts in the gym this winter with the Renegade Rowing Club. Who’s game?
29 Oct 2013
I just wanted to pass on this video I just watched about opening up your hips. If you frequently have lower back or hip pain, give these drills a shot and see how much better you feel. Remember that you may not see dramatic results immediately, but with continued application of these drills, you will notice a reduction in pain and tightness.
23 Oct 2013
Just wanted to give a quick shout out to the 6am and 7am crew this morning. The gym was rocking and you guys crushed it. Even with that cold run. If you’re coming in later today take a look at the OH Walking Lunges in the video above. Make sure we’re not letting the chest/torso fall forward. Try to keep your torso upright and focus on active shoulders. If you have to stop and reset, do it. Keep everything locked out and stacked for every step. Today is a great opportunity to perfect form on all of the movements. Be honest with yourself and push it!
Can anyone guess what a Spider Worm is? We used it in todays warmup and I believe the 6am class came up with an interesting acronym.
Also, check out today’s main blog post by Alex Black! Great post on how to cure the common cold with good nutrition!
Have a great day!
16 Oct 2013
It’s been said that Rowing Is Passion! Rowing as a sport has been exploding over the last couple of years. You’ve seen it here in our very own gym. Do you know any other CrossFit gym that has 16 ergs at its disposal? I’ve been in touch with many followers of the Renegade Rowing WOD as well as athletes and gym owners who have started their own rowing clubs. They all have found passion in the hard work, power, and grace that it takes to row. Have you thought about joining the Renegade Rowing Club? We will be starting it up again this November and training for CRASH-B’s – The Indoor Rowing World Championships held here in Boston every February.
How do you incorporate rowing into your everyday training and what makes you passionate about this amazing sport?
Renegade Rowing was lucky enough to be interviewed by Alexa Pozniak of Boston.com for a video and article on why rowing can be such a great fitness tool and how local rowers are training for the Head of the Charles. Having the opportunity to spread my knowledge and passion for the sport with the athletes of Wayland-Weston Crew, Boston College Men’s Crew, CrossFit Boston, and followers of Renegade Rowing is what I live for. Seeing all of you improve and find passion in rowing is what it’s all about. Please checkout and share this video and article with your friends and get in touch with me, [email protected], if you’re interested in the Renegade Rowing Club.
Rhythm and Balance are two skills needed in the boat and in the gym. One way to improve a skill is by deliberate practice on a regular basis and making every act an act of conditioning. Showing your body and brain how to move properly over and over again in many different situations will force it to adapt and make a movement second nature. The simple task of taking the blade out of the water and putting it in the water in time with the rest of your crew is one example. Above is a video of the BC Men’s Crew Team practicing building 30’s and the chop spin. How do you spin the boat? Have you ever tried the chop spin? Do you use spinning the boat as an opportunity to improve rhythm, balance, timing, and feel?
What do you do every day in the gym that can help improve a skill or a goat? Picking up an empty barbell or plates from the floor? Picking up the med ball to start your first wall ball? Kicking up into a handstand from a standing position vs. the floor? Every act is an act of conditioning. If you’re focusing on a particular skill in the gym this month, look for little opportunities to keep improving and practicing proper movement patterns. If you need help dreaming up creative ways to practice a skill outside of class come find me and we’ll figure it out!
25 Sep 2013
Over the last few days my schedule has kicked in to full gear and I’ve had the opportunity to coach a wide range of athletes. In the mornings I coach athletes from CrossFit Boston and Boston College Men’s Crew in the gym. In the afternoon I coach high school athletes from Wayland-Weston Crew. The biggest thing all three teams need to improve their performance is mobility. Today is a good day to focus on improving your mobility. Let’s get after it!
In rowing the longer your stroke the further you can move the boat and ultimately the faster you can go. Same thing applies indoors, rowing on the erg. The only problem with that equation is your positioning. Are you in a strong position at the catch and finish? Today is a day to work on mobility and improve that positioning. Take at least 15 minutes, ideally longer, to work on your tight spots. What limits you? Ankle flexion at the catch? Shoulder mobility at the finish? Tight hips/hamstrings at Bodies Over?
Share where you tend to be tight during a row as well as your problem areas for WODs. What are you doing daily to work them out?
Last but definitely not least, the video at the top of the page is something I put together to inspire the families and firefighters still recovering from one of the deadliest blazes in Houston’s history. Tito, Hannah, and I attacked the “Iron Bill” Inspire WOD last Saturday. Who have you inspired lately?