The World Rowing Championships are finally here! From September 24-October 1, the biggest event in rowing will return to the US for the first time in more than 20 years. By the time this group of elite athletes takes to the water at the newly-developed Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla., they will have spent years training for this moment.
Want to replicate some of their top conditioning moves at home, or prepare for your own turn at the oars? You don’t need water or a rowing machine: all you need is your TRX(R) Home Suspension Trainer™. Much like rowing, TRX exercises can target and strengthen your legs, shoulders, arms, back, and core. Let’s look at four TRX Suspension Trainer exercises you can challenge yourself on, to become a better rower.
TRX Chest Press
The TRX Chest Press is a straightforward method of maintaining upper body strength and may aid in preventing injuries in rowing. While similar to a traditional push-up, the allowable slip of the straps on the TRX Suspension Trainer™ offers more of an upper body stability challenge than the push-ups you rep out on the stable floor.
Start facing away from your anchor point with the straps fully lengthened. Extend your arms in front of your shoulders and choose the appropriate foot stance for your fitness level. (Feet closer together and/or toward the anchor point will increase your difficulty, while feet wider apart and/or away from the anchor point will make the move easier.) While maintaining a plank position, lower your body by bending your elbows to 90 degrees. Return to your straight-arm starting position by driving through the palms and squeezing your chest, be sure to maintain your plank..
Add three rounds of 15 reps to your workout plan.
TRX Front Squat
A front squat requires a more engaged torso than a standard squat, and develops quadricep strength. The bottom, fully-crouched position of the TRX Front Squat is similar to the rowing catch, so the full range of motion is replicating the core and lower-body movement required in rowing. Olympic rower Seth Weil notes, “Rowing puts a lot of stress on your lower back. Front squats are going to force you to keep your posture a little bit better.”
For the TRX Front Squat, stand facing away from your anchor point, with the straps fully lengthened. You’ll need to place the straps under your arms, with your hands beside the chest, and your body weight on the handles. Next, walk back so your body is at a 45-degree plank position. Place your weight on the balls of your feet, then lower your hips towards the ground while keeping the knees stationary. Return to the standing plank position by driving through the balls of your feet, squeezing the glutes, and extending your hips. To make this move more difficult, you can hop between your fully-extended position and crouched position and/or increase your angle by stepping towards the anchor point.
Try incorporating three sets of 15 reps in your workout.
TRX Suspended Lunge
Most people unconsciously favor one leg over the other, which can lead to uneven muscle development, and inefficient performance in rowing. To help create balance in your leg strength, work on improving your TRX Lunge.
For this move, stand facing away from your anchor point with your TRX Suspension Trainer™ at the mid-calf position. Place one foot through both foot cradles and stand with your shoulders positioned over your hips. Next, drive the suspended knee back, and lower your hips until your front knee is at 90 degrees and your rear knee on the ground. To return lift the rear knee off the ground, push your suspended foot slightly back. Then, drive through the midfoot and heel of your front leg to return to full standing position with your knees together.
Try two sets of 15 reps on each leg.
TRX Low Rows
We can’t talk about training for improved rowing performance without incorporating… TRX Rows. The TRX Low Row will help you target the rhomboids and improve your stroke.
Begin with the TRX Suspension Trainer™ fully shortened and facing the anchor point. Your shoulder blades should be down and back, your elbows should be bent, positioning the handles at your rib cage, and you’ll want to walk your feet toward the anchor point to the appropriate angle. Keep your body in a plank position, and lower your body until the arms are fully extended. To return to your starting position, pull your body toward the anchor point by driving your elbows straight back, close to the body.
Try three sets of 15 reps.
Still looking for more rowing inspiration? Even if you can’t make it to Sarasota to see the races in person, you can watch all the action on Eurovision Sports. Live video streaming will be available for the A/B Semifinals and the A-finals on www.worldrowing.com. Watch, learn, practice, and maybe next year it will be your turn to take the oars.