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“Feet-Out” Rowing

Novice Coach Resources

“Feet out rowing” is a technique used in rowing where rowers remove their feet from the shoes, rest their feet on the footboard, and continue to row. Feet out rowing is primarily used for skill development and improving specific aspects of rowing technique. It is not used during racing or for extended training sessions.

Balance and Stability:

  • Rowing with feet out requires rowers to rely more on their core and upper body for stability and balance. It helps improve their ability to maintain balance in the boat, which can be valuable when transitioning from beginner to more advanced rowing levels.

Blade Work:

  • This technique allows rowers to focus on their oar blade work and catch placement. Without the stability provided by foot straps, rowers must be more precise with their blade work to avoid catching crabs or losing balance.

Feel for the Water:

  • Feet out rowing helps rowers develop a better feel for the water, as they can sense the pressure on the oar blades more directly. This can improve their ability to adjust their stroke and make subtle corrections.

Strength and Technique:

  • Rowing without foot straps can also help develop leg strength and improve overall rowing technique. Rowers must engage their core and legs more effectively to maintain a strong stroke.

Gradual Progression:

  • Coaches should introduce feet out rowing gradually, starting with slow, controlled rowing conditions before progressing to faster or more challenging situations.

Feet out rowing can be a valuable tool for developing rowing skills and improving balance and technique. However, it should be used judiciously and under the guidance of an experienced coach to ensure safety and effective skill development.