Rowing WITHOUT STRAPS?! Rowing Machine Beginner Series

– What’s up, Dark Horses, and welcome back to our beginner series. This is where we are laying
out 10-minute workouts that are designed for you, the beginner, to get comfortable on this
machine for the first time. So if that is you, this is your workout, this is where you should be, to get confident on this machine. Now, with that being said, today’s workout is 10 minutes, as all of these beginner workouts are. Now the thing to know
about today’s workout, I’m taking away a few variables that may be very comfortable to you or that you may rely upon as you use this machine, and that is not without purpose. I am doing that for
the purposes (chuckles) of almost getting you
out of your comfort zone so that you can have a
better thriving workout and that when you get on this, you inherently understand
what you are doing, what your body is doing, and you’re not reliant upon the machine to be guiding you through the
workout, if that makes sense. Allow me to discuss what
I mean by that. (laughs) First and foremost, I’m taking away the
straps in today’s workout. There are two ways you can go about this. If you want a bit of caution, you can still put your feet
in, but leave the straps loose, so no tightening down
the straps, but ideally, you put your feet on top of the straps so that you don’t have
the straps to depend on. Now why are we doing that? Well, one of the biggest
problems on this machine are that people believe that
because the strap is there, it’s there to pull them
forward through the recovery, so as I finish the stroke I
use my feet to pull me forward, but that creates an inherent problem because in that recovery phase,
we are supposed to recover. We are not supposed to pull on the feet. That becomes a waste of energy. I end up working through
both phases of the stroke, when in reality, I only
wanna put my efforts into the drive, not the recovery. So if I can put my feet
on top of these straps, what ends up happening is that I am forced to learn how to push myself forward instead of pulling myself forward, and those are two big
differences in approach through the recovery,
so that’s number one. Number two, I’m actually going to have you take away your monitor. Now I am not going to take away mine but that’s (chuckles) only
because I need to know when the 10 minutes is done. So I want you to fold your monitor down. I don’t want you worrying about what the results on this monitors say. You’re welcome to check
them after the workout, so you’re welcome to set 10 minutes, fold the monitor down,
and then do your workout, and when we finish, we’ll finish together. But I do not want you to be looking at that monitor today for this workout, and that’s because this
monitor, for a lot of people, creates a focal point, I guess, mentally, and it takes you out of
listening to your body and feeling the stroke and that’s really what I want from from you
today in this workout, is that you feel how you are moving, because that’s a really
critical point of learning. So do me that favor when
we start this workout. Now the third piece to this is, I’m not going to coach today. If you’ve gone and seen
the other beginner series, the other 10-minute workouts, I would encourage you
to perhaps start there. This workout is intended for 10 minutes of you practicing the stroke. I’m gonna be here and I’m going to set a stroke rate of 18 for you. I’m just gonna be a consistent 18. I’d encourage you to join me in that 18. You don’t have to, but then why would you
be watching this video? So I’m gonna go in at 18 and
just hold 18 for 10 minutes. No foot stretchers, no monitor. Your objective, get comfortable
without the foot stretchers, and just listen to your body
and the way that it’s moving. Now let’s talk about points of performance when it comes to the foot
stretchers and not having a strap. Number one, make sure that you are pushing through your entire foot as you press into the release position. If you’ve just been
pushing through your toes, then you’re gonna have no foot grounded here to feel connected to the machine. So number one, press
through your whole foot. Number two, don’t lay too far back. If you are somebody who is
always laying really far back, this drill is going to be
really, really uncomfortable, so (chuckles) you need to make sure you stop that layback at 11 o’clock. And then number three is as you
press yourself to extension, I want you to be in control, not throwing yourself off the back, and that’s a big difference
in approach to the stroke! You always wanna be pushing
the machine away from you, not leaning against the handle, trying to fall away from
the stroke, if you will, is how I like to talk about it. You’re falling away from the stroke instead of pushing the
machine away from you. And the difference between
those two mechanics will result in either comfort, the ability to press
without straps and return, or falling off the backside, which I don’t encourage you to do. So those are the difference in approaches. Now it’s probably gonna
take you a minute or two, maybe even three to get
comfortable without the straps. That’s okay, go with
me on this, all right? This is not about intensity,
this is not about performance, this is about your movement mechanics. That’s the point of today. So that being said, let’s
talk about our normal housecleaning notes before any workout. Number one, make sure that you have water handy if you need it. It’s only 10 minutes,
but if you do want water, make sure you’ve got
it sitting next to you. Sound, I would encourage you to just listen to me during this. Third is your screens. If you want to be tracking your workouts, you can either have ErgData, which is the free Concept2
app on your phone, mounted on your monitor, or
you could also follow along on Asensei, where I have
programs that will help you to learn how to use this machine, you get to follow along with me on video, and you are gonna be coached
with an artificial coach as well as myself as you’re moving, so you’re using video to
watch, you’re rowing with me, and I’m able to coach you as
you go through your workout and personalize your workouts as you go. So if that interests you,
make sure that you head over to and you’ll be able to
sign up for that program and get involved in a much deeper way into the way that you
move on this machine. We both teach you to row as well as give you full-body workouts that get you comfortable, happy, healthy. It’s a GPP program, general
physical preparedness. With that being said,
let’s get into the workout and setting up the monitor. So if you’re going to set
up the 10 minutes with me, from the main menu you would go to select workout, which is the B button. Then new workout, that’s the D button, then single time, that’s B. Changing it to 10 minutes is simply tapping the C button twice, one, two. That should give you 10
minutes on your screen and then when you’re ready to
go you’ll hit the E button, the check mark, and you’ve
got 10 minutes on your screen. So go ahead and get your monitor set up, get your body set up, make sure you’ve warmed
up yourself ahead of time, and let’s hit this workout! Okay, gettin’ this thing started. Again, you have two options for the feet. Keep the straps loose
and put your feet in, or my preferred method, put
your feet on top of the straps. I am even keeping my shoes untied today to help just keep me in line with that thinking of
relaxed, but pressing. I don’t wanna be buttoned
down and constrained, so I’ve left my shoes untied on purpose and I’m gonna be putting my
feet on top of the straps. So let’s get into it. Feet in the foot stretchers,
grab that handle. I again will be at an 18, but I’m not gonna talk through this. So consider this a silent 10 minutes. Focus on your mechanics, focus
on the way that you move, constantly learning with
every single stroke. All right, sit ready at the catch. Three, two, one, go. (machine whooshing) All right, how was it? Hopefully, as the piece played on, you got more and more comfortable putting pressure into the foot stretchers, trusting that you weren’t
gonna go off the back, and that you were braced and tight through the midline to keep you in place and keep you feeling the mechanics of the push, not the pull. As we always say, push, don’t pull. That push is so extremely important that the instant you start pulling, the entirety of the mechanics
break down because of it. And that can be a pull from the elbow, it can be a pull from the shoulders, it can be a pull from the head! Any of those things can result in a degradation of the mechanics. Our goal, lock you in place, get you comfortable and
tight, learning how to push. Hopefully as well, having
that monitor folded down took away some of the stress of worrying about what you were doing, instead put it all into your movement as opposed to this psychological battle that can happen at times on the machine. So with that being said, if
you guys enjoyed this video and you found yourselves
connecting with the message, that we’re here to learn, and that you wanna learn
and better yourself, and you wanna find a
path to health, fitness, performance, whatever it may
be, wherever you wanna go, we want you to be the hero of
your own story and we wanna be the guide that gets you
to where you wanna go! And that’s why the Dark
Horse community is so strong, is because we all support each other, we all understand what that feeling is, to have this desire to do something more and to go somewhere but also knowing that we’re the ones responsible
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hit that subscribe button and the bell next to it
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connect with this community, and all of us here, to
help each other through. So with that being said guys, also, oh, I wanted to throw out an additional, I’ve started updating our descriptions. So the descriptions that
you’re gonna see below often are different than
what you’ve seen before. This channel survives just (chuckles) to serve all of you and so if any of you are thinking about
purchasing any equipment, whether it’s a machine, a rowing machine, or any of the training
tools that I have in here, we try to link to as many of
those down below as possible, and any help that you can
do by using those links will only go to further
support this channel, to make sure that we can keep producing amazing content for you. I’d really appreciate it
from the bottom of my heart. I mean it when I say
that I love all of you, and as always, I’ll see
you on the other side! Hey guys, and thanks for watching. If you enjoyed this and you want more, we’ve partnered with
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9 Replies to “Rowing WITHOUT STRAPS?! Rowing Machine Beginner Series”

  1. Fantastic workout! Really enjoyed that. Been off the rower for a week or two due to setting up a Cystic Fibrosis team on Zwift and Zwiftpower 😬. Take a look Shane- team R4CF. We need members !!! Anyone.. welcome, especially those with CF or know CF friends/ Family etc. Race For Cystic Fibrosis. Works for Row as well. Zwift profile Dan – CysticFibrosis. Keep keeping on Shane, I enjoy the rowing workouts, how long before Zwift looks at this ? Any issues with Zwift… newbies do suffer a bit; check out Shane Miller GPLAMA. His Vlogs will put you guys straight. Peace ✌️

  2. Okay, you motivated me to give rowing strapless a serious try. I'm approaching 19 million logged meters on the Concept2, but I've done very little strapless rowing, and when I've done it, I've really disliked it.

    But after I watched this, I got on the machine and committed to rowing 1,000 strokes strapless – and I did it. 11,481 meters. I actually kind of liked it; because I was so focused on form and keeping my feet on the foot stretchers, it made me slow down, which made it something of a recovery workout. I didn't turn the PM away, though, and I used ErgData to keep track of the number of strokes, which leads me to a question that I hope you'll answer:

    ErgData revealed that my stroke length and maximum force decreased slightly from my "strapped" rows. The stroke length in particular interests me. Do you think those decreases are reasonable consequences of rowing strapless? Have you ever done that comparison, and if so, will you share your observation?

    Thanks for this video, and all your videos. You've definitely motivated me to try more strapless rowing!

  3. A great video, Shane. Thank you. This may be a little off the subject, but my Stamina machine has pivoting footrests, and I'm unable to get my shins in position for a good catch. Do you have any suggestions (other than buying a Concept II)? Thanks for all you do for the rowing community. Bill

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