How to Row Like a Pro

Coach and CrossFit Games athlete, Armi Balevicius, talks to us about all things rowing.

Hear it from the Coaches

Jun 4, 2020

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We caught up with Cork based Coach and Athlete, Armi Balevicius, regarding his new bespoke rowing programming.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m 27 years old, Crossfit athlete based in Crossfit82 in Ireland. Started doing Crossfit 6 years ago. During that time I have two Regionals appearances as well as representing my country at the Crossfit Games last year.

You program specific rowing classes. What's the format of these?

My “7 Week Rowing Program” is specific to increase an athletes 2km and 5km rowing benchmarks. It will consists of 3 sessions a week with each taking approximately 30mins to complete. Each program will be individualised depending on the athletes capabilities on the rower.

What's the best form of assessment, timed rows, watts, stroke or pull?

Personally I would say it all depends on the athlete. Taller athlete might be able to generate a great pace by rowing @22-24s/m , whereas a shorter athlete like myself would most likely have to row @26-28s/m to achieve the same pace. So I think you have to find what works best for you and stick with it !!

Any tips to help your row/ common mistakes?

Two most common mistakes that stand out to me would be:

- Athletes not using their legs to drive.

Rowing is mostly about your legs. Our legs are far stronger than our arms and should be doing the vast majority of the work.

- Athletes pulling with their arms.

Keep your elbows straight as you drive with your legs. As soon as your arms bend,  you’ve lost the ability to translate power from your legs.

Can you give us a sample of what to expect from your rowing program?

One of the workouts that you are likely to see on the program is:

Row 500m

Row 750m

Row 1000m

Row 750m

Row 500m

* You rest what you row

** Each interval pace will be  determined depending your benchmark test score at the start of the program

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