Rowing is a sport that helps achieve a total body workout. Rowing takes place in a rowing "shell" a long, narrow and very light boat holding either one, two, four or eight participants. The shells are only slightly wider than a person's shoulders and about ten inches deep and are propelled by oars on each side. In a "eights" shell, there are four oars on the each side, one for each rower. Each rower sits on a sliding seat, with their feet strapped to the boat, to exert their full force to pull the oar back and push the boat. Competitive rowers race at the pace of a four minute mile through water!
The rowing action is as follows:
In an eight person or 4 person shell, the coxwain, steers the boat and instructs the rowers on their rowing pace.
Rowers require basic gym equipment, shirt, shoes, and shorts. The rowing shells are provided by the rowing clubs.
The Calgary Rowing Club (403-249-2880) is the best place to learn how to row. Its facilities are on the north shore of the Glenmore Reservoir (the blue boat house) with learn-to-row programs
for all ages. For between $120 and $150, the aspiring rower will get a three-week program with an hour of water training each day. Novice rowers begin in a training shell, which is more stable than the racing shells. As the rower becomes more comfortable, they are coordinated into crews for more regular rowing training. Learn-to row sessions begin in early May.
You can practice your rowing technique at many fitness clubs who have proper rowing machines (called "ergometers").