Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

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Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby tonyp » October 12th, 2017, 3:56 pm

I have an injury that prevents me from using the straps. I can only work with resistance at a top pace of 26 SPM. The issue I have is on the pull back, pressure on the top of my foot while in the straps, results in a little pain. I have just started back to rowing. The injury itself has not healed and the foot surgeon has only one remedy and that's total ankle fusion. I still feel the rower is the best whole body workout. My intention is to row smooth at a moderate cadence with low power take offs and starts but working with resistance and power to compensate through out the row. Does anyone row out of the straps and can you share what your technique and strategy are?
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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby Parky » October 13th, 2017, 8:31 am

I've just done two x 2k unstrapped for the first time and my average rate dropped to 21 from the strapped rate of 27. Going by what you've said about ankle fusion op, I'd suggest you shorten your stroke so your elbows don't go beyond your knees and your ankles don't bend to lift your feet of the footrest. Try tying a strap around the slide so you don't go beyond that position.
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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby hjs » October 13th, 2017, 8:55 am

tonyp wrote:I have an injury that prevents me from using the straps. I can only work with resistance at a top pace of 26 SPM. The issue I have is on the pull back, pressure on the top of my foot while in the straps, results in a little pain. I have just started back to rowing. The injury itself has not healed and the foot surgeon has only one remedy and that's total ankle fusion. I still feel the rower is the best whole body workout. My intention is to row smooth at a moderate cadence with low power take offs and starts but working with resistance and power to compensate through out the row. Does anyone row out of the straps and can you share what your technique and strategy are?


I row 90% of my meters without, only faster work is strapped in.
Strapless makes it tough to row higher rates and you can,t lean back much. But for longer endurance work strappes are hardly needed.
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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby G-dub » October 13th, 2017, 8:55 am

You are in luck - many on here row "strapless". It helps to center you over the seat and helps link your body's parts because it forces it to happen - you can't dump it all at the back end. It takes a while to get used to it without feeling like you are going to fall off the seat so add length to the layback incrementally. Keep your feet connected to the foot plate. Get hands back out and away quick at the finish. Using your core is essential.
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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby JerekKruger » October 13th, 2017, 9:03 am

I also row the majority of my metres strapless as I believe it encourages and reinforces good technique. It'll probably take you some getting used to, but you'll get the hang of it.
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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby Dangerscouse » October 13th, 2017, 10:03 am

Good luck with the fusion op if you need it. I've never rowed strapless, and I'd probably end up on the floor every time if I did.

I almost rowed out of my trainers early on this week, so I guess it will take a lot of practice if you've got a lot of experience.
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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby hjs » October 13th, 2017, 10:09 am

Dangerscouse wrote:Good luck with the fusion op if you need it. I've never rowed strapless, and I'd probably end up on the floor every time if I did.

I almost rowed out of my trainers early on this week, so I guess it will take a lot of practice if you've got a lot of experience.


If so, you have lots of energy left, that should go in the chain, not the straps.
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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby Ombrax » October 13th, 2017, 8:24 pm

99.9% of my rowing is strapless.

The only time I use them is when I'm trying to set a personal record of some sort, and I hardly ever do that. (Haven't bothered yet this year.)

Do be careful your hands don't get too sweaty - if they are and you're pushing a bit at the end of a piece one of them might slip off the handle and you could find yourself off the back end of the slide.

If that is an issue, these gloves work very well for me and improve my grip: http://www.thecrewstop.com/rowinggloves.html

Wrist sweatbands also help.

Bottom line, IMO not being able to use the straps is not an issue at all, unless you're a racer or you're really going super, super hard.
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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby Anth_F » October 14th, 2017, 1:50 pm

I used to row strapless quite a bit in the beginning and it sure was tricky, but eventually got it down good. Now i no longer row strapless! I can keep my feet well planted and connected on the footplates all the time now. And never use the straps as a means of stopping myself in the finish and pulling myself back up to catch with them.

I think fast stuff and sprints could pose a problem strapless.
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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby DavidA » October 17th, 2017, 4:05 pm

I also do all my rows strapless.

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Re: Rowing out of the straps on an ERG

Postby Remo » October 17th, 2017, 7:38 pm

I've done a lot of feet out rowing: both indoors and on the water. It is a great drill and is a big part of my workout routine. It teaches a good finish.

If you are having trouble around the back end (i.e., your feet start coming off the footboards and you continue to roll back), you might want to increase the damper setting. The heavier setting will allow the arm pull at the finish to stop your body prior to the feet coming off of the stretchers. (And you are more efficively transferring the kinetic energy of your moving body into speeding up the erg flywheel)
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