stomach fat getting in the way of maintaining proper technique

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: January 14th, 2020, 1:04 pm

stomach fat getting in the way of maintaining proper technique

Post by rowwim » January 14th, 2020, 1:22 pm

dear all

three and a half years after buying my model d, i've finally decided to start using it. i suppose being in such poor shape and keeping a bad diet kept me lethargic and unmotivated to use the rower previously - but things have come to a head now and i need to sort myself out.

so it's been a few days since i've been using the rower everyday. i think my overall technique is good but the biggest issue i have currently is my stomach getting in the way and messing up my catch and drive. it's got to the point where my legs are pivoting outwards. i know this is wrong and i am trying to fight against it but its hard keeping them inline.

question is do i allow this to happen and work them back in when i start losing weight or just force them to stay inline and reduce down my overall workout? its taking a lot of focus and energy to keep my legs inline. i am also really concerned that i won't be reaping the rewards of my session with my legs splaying out. at present i'm doing around 5 mins of warm up then 15 mins of rowing.

can someone please advise?

User avatar
Marathon Poster
Posts: 9363
Joined: March 16th, 2006, 3:18 pm
Location: Amstelveen the netherlands

Re: stomach fat getting in the way of maintaining proper technique

Post by hjs » January 15th, 2020, 6:49 am

You can set your feet lower, gives you a bit more room, but in the end you know the solution! Use that as an incentive, you got started, now keep going and increese the meters you make.
And rowing alone is not enough... clean up your diet!

User avatar
6k Poster
Posts: 601
Joined: July 23rd, 2017, 9:48 pm

Re: stomach fat getting in the way of maintaining proper technique

Post by lancecampeau » January 15th, 2020, 9:39 am

Congrats on making the decision to get back on the erg... I started 3 years ago and this is the right place to get informed & motivated about what to do and what not to do.

I've always been hefty with a sizable gut so I know this problem. When I started I weighted 253 lbs, even when I was peaking last year for an indoor rowing competition I dropped down to 226 lbs (but still had a gut)...

Since then I've had a season that has been setback by a pair of injuries, and now I've gone back up to 242 lbs and the gut is bigger and becoming a bit of a problem again.

Bottom line, I've had to adjust my stroke delivery over the last 3 years to deal with this situation, but it hasn't prevented me from getting some good results on the erg. If your goal is general improved health, just getting on the erg 3 or 4 times a week for 20 minutes is a good start. Try some slow, steady state (or SS) workouts and also some high intensity interval training (or HIIT) workouts.

If you want to lose weight its really about dietary choices (less overall calories, less alcohol, less sugars). In my first year, I focused on diet & exercise and lost about 20 lbs in 6 months. This year I have not been dieting at all and it shows.

I would also recommend doing weights once a week. Weight training triggers your body's chemistry in a good way.
Male, 46, 6ft / 240 lbs, 183cm / 108 kg / Started erging in Jan 2017

Posts: 25
Joined: January 3rd, 2020, 10:26 am

Re: stomach fat getting in the way of maintaining proper technique

Post by mdpfirrman1 » January 15th, 2020, 10:23 am

I used to be really pretty big. Though I've been dealing with an injury for the last year, I'm rowing again. Though I gained around 10 over the Holidays (I've since lost two or three already), my 195 is hardly nearly as big as I once was -- 255. The weight goes right to my gut and face first, so I can relate.

Find an app like Loseit or MyFitnessPal and count calories too. I went from 255 to around 219 by just working out and not being a human garbage can. Beyond that, it got hard to lose until I monitored just what I ate. I got as low as 170 ultimately and within a year! Now, I've gained back like 15 in muscle over five or six years of lifting and rowing, so my body comp looks much better now, even when I gain a few. But whenever I gain, right to the face and gut, it's just how I gain weight.

Just go as far as you can with proper form and work on the weight loss and diet. It will come off. Best of luck! I've kept mine off for nearly 10 years and my BP is great and so is my overall health. Times rowing, not so great right now, but that's slowly coming back around too.
Mike, Age 55, 195 lbs (currently, a bit pudgy after The Holidays!). 5' 10"


Post Reply