Drills Library

Warm-up - square blades

  • arms only
  • arms and body
  • 1/4 (quarter) slide
  • 1/2 (half) slide
  • 3/4 (three quarter) slide
  • full slide
  • legs only rowing

Reason - to teach muscle patterns

  • tap down
  • bend body from hips
  • gradually warm the muscles
  • bend and extend before legs break
  • quick hands
  • getting into rhythm
  • keep arms and back extended until legs flat

Exercise - stationary

  • tapping at catch and finish
  • two 360 degree pivots; one each direction
  • square blade rowing on spot, very gentle, blades in water, slowly up slide to catch then slowly back to finish
  • egg beater left over right, then right over left
  • lift hands off oars
  • rollups with oars off water: arms, arms and body, half slide, full slide

Reason - for balance

  • keep boat level and hands at correct level
  • level of oars (blades and handles)
  • balance
  • sit as long as possible
  • more advanced

Exercise - moving

  • pause rowing at hands away
  • pause rowing at full bend
  • pause rowing at quarter slide
  • pause rowing at full slide
  • cut the cake
  • square blade rowing
  • square blade rowing, starting with hands only, then body, legs


  • level the boat
  • level the boat
  • level the boat
  • level the boat
  • level the boat
  • improve hand work

More advanced drills

  • legs only rowing
  • row half slide, quarter slide, half slide, full slide, half quarter, half, full etc
  • eyes closed
  • feet out of shoes
  • Russian catch (start at catch, push legs to half slide, tap down, beginners feathering, advanced, square blades, pull up slide to finish)
  • row with one blade square, other feathered
  • alternate hands square/feather


  • encourage use of legs, not body
  • improve hands work
  • for core muscles

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