I'm a rower who's still learning, but here's what I've learnt from many different coaches so far!
  1. starting at backstops, sit up tall and pinch the shoulder blades together to open the chest. Arms are bent and hands are into the bra-line area.
  2. First move your hands away from your body. Usually you should lead with your left hand but your boat may be rigged to lead with right - ask your coach.
  3. Rock the body over using your hip-flexers keeping the chest open and back tall.
  4. Slowly bring the legs up bent until you reach the top of the slide
  5. At this point you shouldn't be over-reaching. Your legs shouldn't be more than a 90 degree angle. Your hands should be loose around the oars and arms straight.
  6. At the catch your chest should still be upright and not contacting with your legs. Your core needs to be strong so that you can maintain a solid position.
  7. When it comes to squaring your blades, you should want to aim to square then during the slide at half slide. Once they are squared you want to put them in just before you reach the top of the slide so that you can focus on pushing your legs down straight away without needed to place the blades in.
  8. When the blades are squared and in the water and your at front stops, you should feel a build of pressure in your hips/legs ready to push.
  9. When beginning to push don't just slam the legs down, control the push until you find the connection with the water and footplate. Then drive horizontally bringing the legs through (making sure your shoulders don't pop up as this means your taking the stroke through your upper body) and keeping a strong core holding that position.
  10. Once your legs have put the power down, rock back with your body keeping it upright. Then bring your arms through and hands to your bra-line, keeping your wrists flat and popping the blades out of the water by feathering.
  11. During the stroke you want to keep it as long as possible to keep the length, so the power can build.