Benefits of Rowing

Recreational or Competitive

What is it that makes rowing on an indoor rowing machine or on the water a superior fitness activity at any age? There are many other choices: running, biking, weight training, but none as complete as rowing!


Rowing is a suitable sport for anyone wishing to begin a fitness program, lose weight, looking to keep in shape, rehabilitate from injury or surgery, or for the seasoned athlete looking for a cross training option. Rowing provides the perfect cardiovascular and muscle toning workout with minimal impact.

Full Body Fitness

Rowing is such a great exercise providing a total body workout through efficient, rhythmic motion.


The rowing stroke engages all major muscle groups - even your mind. The arms, chest, back abdominal, legs and buttocks. To many a surprise, the legs provide most of the power in the rowing stroke; your upper body adds the rest.


Rowing is one of the few aerobic activities that can actually strengthen your back. The sports smooth, rhythmic impact free motions provides aerobic conditioning as well as strength conditioning.


Best of all the surroundings, where the sport usually takes place (the outdoors) helps clear the head and ease the stress of the day. We think you'll also find peace of mind in the improvements you make to your overall health.

Greater Flexibility

Rowing exercises muscles through a wider range of motion than most other exercises, thereby improving and maintaining flexibility around some of the major joints.



Burns Calories

Rowing is a great calorie burner! Combined with healthy eating, it will help shed pounds as it conditions the muscles, therefore increasing your metabolism.




Rowing can be performed indoors or out, on water or on land, competitively or recreationally, intensely or easily.

Lifelong Pursuit

Rowing is a lifelong sport, able to be enjoyed by all ages, from youth to senior - rowing is for life!



• Low-impact (easy on the knees and ankles)

• High calorie burner using a number of muscle groups

• Lower body (the legs initiate the drive)

• Upper body (completes the stroke)


• Great for joint health with a wide range of motion

• Works the back and abs too!

• Superb cardiovascular fitness

• Relieves Stress for overall health and well-being

Rowers and Coxswain's Guide to Terminology

Getting Familiar with the Shell


  • Starboard:                                                         coxswains right
  • Port:                                                                 coxswains left
  • Stern:                                                               closest to cox / starting with #8 seat
  • Bow:                                                                 farthest from cox / starting with #1 seat
  • Shell:                                                                boat
  • Oar:                                                                  blade and shaft used to move shell
  • Slide:                                                                the metal track that seat rolls on
  • Rigger:                                                             metal tubes attached to shell that supports oar lock
  • Oar Lock/gate:                                                  holds/locks oars on rigger
  • Button:                                                            a set collar to keep the oar positioned for inboard/outboard
  • Sleeve:                                                             located in the middle of the oar shaft that keeps the oar frictionless in the oar lock
  • Gunnel:                                                            the sides of the shell above the water
  • Foot Stretchers:                                               holds feet in place to push on when taking a stroke
  • Bow ball:                                                         ball located at the bow, bounces off docks and other boats to prevent damage


More Commands

Verbiage in the Shell


  • Check her down:                                          panic stop – dig blades into the water
  • Way enough:                                               stop rowing – hold oar handles on gun whale until released by cox
  • Let it run:                                                    stop rowing - let oars drag on the water
  • Ready – row:                                                start rowing
  • Hold water:                                                  bury blade in the water (to stop)
  • Sit ready:                                                     ready to row at the finish position
  • At finish/at the release:                                oar positioned closest to your body; ready to row
  • At the catch:                                                oar positioned away from your body; ready to row
  • Roll up:                                                        the motion at which your oar blade squares up before going into the water
  • Recovery:                                                    the allotted time you have to relax/prepare for the next stroke
  • Row/on the square:                                     oar should be vertical when rowing, do not feather
  • Feather:                                                      oar blade is horizontal off the water to reduce wind drag
  • Eyes in the boat:                                          keep eyes focused forward/centered
  • Arms only:                                                    no legs and back when rowing; no moving slide
  • Body swing:                                                  swing body when rowing
  • Half slide:                                                     use half of the slide when rowing
  • Full slide:                                                      use the full length of slide
  • Bow pair:                                                      #’s 1 and 2 seats
  • Bow four:                                                     #’s 1, 2, 3 and 4 seats
  • Stern pair:                                                    #’s 7 and 8 seats
  • Stern four:                                                    #’s 5, 6, 7 and 8 seats
  • Engine room:                                                #’s 3, 4, 5 and 6 seats in an eight
  • Strokes per min:                                           amount of strokes taken per minute (rating)
  • Keel:                                                           balance in the shell – the keel of the boat steady
  • Ratio:                                                          the fraction of drive segment of strokes over recovery segment

Getting in and out of the Shell


  • One foot in:                                              one foot in boat, holding your oar handle
  • Oars across:                                             slide oars out to riggers, be ready for the next command
  • Walk it down:                                           hand-push the shell down the dock
  • One foot on the dock/one foot out:          ready to exit shell, one foot out holding oar
  • Count down when ready:                          #1 starts the count, when reaches #8, cox acknowledges everyone is ready

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