These exercises are designed to be useful in multiple ways, allowing your warm up to be as efficient as possible. Different crews will have their own way to warm up, but these are great to incorporate into your usual routine to get you perfectly prepared on race day.
A short run is a perfect way to see along the course before you boat, and will raise your heart rate as well as drawing the crew into a focused mood needed before a race. Use this time to take down blades to the bank and go to the toilet, so when you come back to the boat, the whole crew is ready to get on the water.
15x squat jumps
Stand shoulder width apart, squat down and engage your core before jumping up quickly.
These are great for raising your heart rate quickly, and can simulate the rowing stroke well if you control the downwards movement and then explode upwards. If you are less focused on initial heart rate increases then simple wide based squats will do great. Focus on keeping the chest up and hold the lower back in (put your hands behind your ears and your elbows as wide and as high as possible to keep your chest lifted)
20x dynamic glutes bridges
Lie flat on your back with your heels towards your body and your knees up. Lift your body up until it makes a straight line from the knees down to your head, before lowering the hips again.
These both stretch your hip flexors, very important for rowing, and work your core. Again, slow the downwards movement, and hold the position at the top for a few seconds.
20x dynamic spidermans (10 each side)
Lie on your front with your arms straight and your body flat. Bring one leg up and place it outside the hand on the same side, hold it there as you feel the stretch then return the leg and repeat.
Another great way to stretch the hip flexors, as well as improving flexibility in the legs.
15x sculling sit ups
Sit up, with your knees drawn to your body as if you were doing a regular sit up. Reach out with the arms to mimic the position at the catch. Lean your body back and extend the legs, drawing the hands back into the body like at the finish. Don’t let your feet or body touch the floor.
This exercise both uses and warms up your core, and simulates the rowing stroke so is perfect for a pre race warm up.
12x knee rolls (6 each side)
Lie on your back with your knees up in the air, and arms flat out on either side. Drop both knees down on one side and keep shoulders on the floor. Hold for one breath, then repeat.
This stretch is important for stretching and easing tensions in the lower back, especially important for rowers who have/had back injuries or niggles.
15x vertical press ups
Place feet shoulder width apart, and put your hands out on the wall at shoulder height. Bend your arms slowly and lean forwards, engaging your core as you do. Hold for a few seconds when your chin reaches the wall, before leaning back again.
Find a wall, boat trailer or willing crewmate, and do this exercise to both warm up the arm muscles and improve body stability by engaging the core.
10x kayak lunges (5 each side)
Step forward into a normal lunge, then move both hands to the left side as if they were at opposite ends of a long pole, with the left hand at the bottom. Rotate your body the same way, and feel the full range of movement in your arms and back.
This exercise is great for warming up and stretching the leg muscles, and can also be used to stretch your back if you reach round fully and draw back like a kayaker.
20x hamstring leg swings (10 each side)
Ideally holding a wall or leaning on a friend, swing one leg forwards and backwards in a controlled way. Face forwards the whole time, and lift your leg until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings.
Especially important for rowers with less flexible hamstrings, this is a great way to stretch them and is also dynamic so perfect for before a race.
10x broad jumps
Go into a deep squat, keeping your knees above your feet. Swing your arms up to jump up and forwards, landing in another squat and holding it before you do the next jump.
These jumps that will raise your heart rate, and will get your leg muscles used to working explosively before a race.