How to get started in Rowing

Rowing 1

Image credit: SportSG

Rowing is a sport that can be enjoyed by anyone, and it is easier than you think to get started. To learn how to row, you will need to get some lessons. The Singapore Rowing Association (SRA), provides classes for amateurs, with fees inclusive of equipment and instructors.

You do not need to be physically fit, but you should know how to swim or at least be able to tread water at the deep end of the pool for five minutes. If you have any medical conditions, you should consult your doctor on whether it is advisable for you to go ahead before making a booking. Should you have a disability, you can find out if the clubs have an adaptive program for the disabled.

Rowing is different from canoeing or kayaking because the rower faces the back / stern of the boat. They will propel the boat forward using oars. There are two types of rowing - sculling (where each rower holds an oar in each hand) and sweep rowing (where it is done in pairs, fours or eights and each rower holds one oar with both hands).

Each stroke through the water has three parts. The first is the drive, which simply means you move the oar such that the paddle section enters the water, then push your seat back by straightening your legs. Next, you draw the paddle through the water to move the boat forward and move the handle towards your chest. Lastly, you recover by raising the paddle from the water and move it back to the starting position. You keep repeating this action to move forward.

There are three different types of rowing you can practice. The sliding-seat involves you pushing your seat back each time you stroke the oar, while the fixed seat omits the drive and allows you to concentrate only on stroking. Finally, the last option is indoor rowing, and this is beginning to become more accessible in gyms. You can go for this option first if you are not sure about jumping into the deep end. The rowing machine in the gym is great for practising the motions of rowing and it can burn up to 1000 calories in an hour.

This sport uses a lot of the major muscle groups, especially the legs, arms and back. Your weight will be supported by the boat and if the motions are done correctly, there will be no impact on your joints. Why not try it today?

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