Kate's Rowing Technique Tips

We had the pleasure of meeting with rower Kate Hamilton, to learn correct rowing technique. Use the rowing drills below as a warm-up before your rowing workout and to improve your overall technique.

Your form

One of the most important elements to remember when rowing is that power is mainly generated from the legs, not the arms. The arms and back muscles come into play towards the end of the stroke, when you drive the elbows and lean back.

Below, Kate demonstrates the A, B, and C drills. These will help you to improve your stroke and are a great way to warm up before a workout on the ergometer.


Sit up tall with your body angled back about 30 degrees. Keep your core engaged, legs straight, and drive back with your elbows to pull the handle to your chest. Release and repeat.


Similar to the A-drill, your legs will remain straight. However, after pulling the handle to your chest, pivot the hips about 30 degrees forward and then pull the handle back in. Think about your upper body moving back and forth from 11 o'clock to the 1 o'clock position. Keep your core engaged and use your hips to pivot, not your back.


The C-drill is similar to a full stroke, although you don't reach the final 'catch' position. Instead, keep your heels flat and bend your knees half way.

As you move towards the machine, use your arms, core, and then legs. To drive back, use your legs, core, and then arms.

About Kate

Kate Hamilton is a senior rower at North Shore Rowing Club and has been rowing for seven years. She rows singles, quads and pairs, using both the sweeping and sculling technique.