Indoor rowing technique – Tip 1, where to put the damper.

On the side of the rower you will notice a little fan control, which can be set anywhere between 0 and 10.

When it is set to 0, no air can be pulled in through the side gills, this makes it much easier to row. When it is set to 10, with every stroke you are able to pull in a lot more air which greatly increases the resistance on each stroke.

Most beginners assume that strong people place this lever on 10 to get the best score possible, nothing could be further from the truth.

The score you see on the screen is calculated on the recovery (the part of the rowing stroke where you aren’t pulling), the really clever thing about doing this is that the machine can work out how quickly the flywheel is slowing down and then calibrate the score you see on the screen. So if you do have it set at 0 you will need to pull much faster to get the same reading on the screen if you had it on level 10.

This is one reason the Concept II is so popular. You can sit at any Concept II rower in the world and the reading on the display will be a true reflection of how much power you are pulling. It takes into consideration friction in the flywheel, different air densities and so on. Really clever stuff.

rowing from Andy Steven on Vimeo.

So, now it really comes down to personal preference. A bit like a cyclist, some have a higher pedal cadence than others, there is no right or wrong. Although most world record scores have the lever down on 2 or 3. You need to find one that feels right.

In a future article we will show you how to get the same resistance on any rower you use.

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