Workout of the Day:
Three sets of:
Jumping Squats x 8-10 reps (use 40-45% of Monday’s weight)
Rest 30 seconds
Russian Kettlebell Swings x 25 reps
Rest 3 minutes;
and then,
Three rounds for time of:
30 Double-Unders
20 Box Jumps (24″/18″)
10 Ball Slams (30/20 lbs.)

Don't try this at home, and don't even think about it at the gym.
Don't try this at home, and don't even think about it at the gym.

An Argument for Bad Form – Part One
Written by Shane Farmer

Being indoctrinated into the Invictus community means you’ll be taught the finer details of proper technique before you’ll be let loose (like the hungry athletes that you are) on the gym. Whether it’s learning a kipping pull-up from George, a clean from Calvin, or a snatch from Sage, you’ll have a pair of eyes taking you through the best form for moving weight.

When it comes to the Olympic lifts, we’re taught to strive for a connected drive off the ground, keeping a fluid link between the shoulders, bar, and hips. As coach Sage explains, “If any one of those three things moves without the other two moving as well, everything is thrown off.” Being that we train more often than not with this form, it makes sense that we’re accustomed to relating it to other exercises, such as rowing.

Therein lies the rub. Rowing calls for an altogether different set of movements. Before we can go into further explanation though, we need to explain the basic positions and movements of the body so we can all speak the same beautiful language of rowing.

The excessive use of quotes here will identify key terms. Make sure you study them because there will be a test later.

Assume a stroke starts with the body fully compressed, we call this position the “Catch” – because this is where the oar catches the water, allowing us to push as hard as we do.

Next we have one term for the whole work portion of the stroke called the “Drive.” The Drive is a collaboration of three components: (1) the “Legs” – when you drive/push with only your legs; (2) which is followed by the “Swing” – where the hips open; and finished off with the “Arms” – where we finish the movement by pulling the oar handle to our body.

After going through the “Drive” we arrive at the final position called the “Release,” or “Finish.” This is a position of full leg extension, hips slightly opened (about 5 – 10 degrees beyond perpindicular), and hands pulled into the body.

To review the three main positions of a rowing stroke as we’ve just gone over them. We start at the “Catch,” move through the “Drive,” and end at the “Release/Finish.” Remember these positions, love them, and embrace the improved form that lies in your near future.

Next time, we’ll begin to break down these movements a little further so we can really start talking rowing, because I know how excited you are for that. Please, keep the excitement to a dull roar.

  • commenting 38 minutes past midnight shows how excited i am to talk about, and improve, my rowing. or it could be me losing track of time reading the Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer’s Manual. _Riveting_

  • sagie poopers

    im totally gonna pass this test.

  • Brent

    Anybody else think he looks like a Hungry, Hungry Hippo?? No, oh well. Did my own little metcon today.
    3 Rounds: 400m run
    9 OHS 115#
    21 double-unders
    OHS to light and DUs too few, but not to bad, run was the worst part. Also did Split-jerk singles before hand, new PR 225.

  • pat

    Sage, the bad form test? Oh, yeah, I got it nailed, too.

    Nice summary of the technique. I thought I had a pretty good idea of the technique, but I picked up something to work on: Swing. Need to make sure I’m executing that part of the movement properly.

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