Great Books about Rowing Technique

By Jane Hotspur , last updated November 11, 2011

The sport of rowing is not only about physical strength, but also about technique, so consider checking out some books on improving your rowing technique. Without proper technique, you risk injury and slowing down your boat. Fortunately, there are a number of books on the market, most of which are written for rowers of different skill levels.


Novice rowers will benefit the most from more general books that cover both blade work and body action. The Slim Book of Rowing by Barrie Robinson is perfect for beginners. In 75 pages, it coaches rowers on the fundamentals of how to take a stroke; it will also provide you with exercises that can help you put the book's principles into action on the water. Rowing Faster by Volker Nolte is another great book for novices, as it covers the art of rowing, devoting whole chapters to blade work, the catch, the leg drive and the recovery. Nolte's book also gives readers tips on how they can improve their technique and speed on the erg. The Slim Book of Rowing and Rowing Faster, though intended for novices, can also be great refreshers for more experienced rowers.


More experienced rowers, however, will likely benefit the most from reading High Performance Rowing by John McArther, the United Kingdom's foremost rowing coach. This book is intended those who strive for excellence in their technique. It not only explains in very clear terms what proper technique looks like, but also carefully details how to achieve the forms it describes and why these forms are the best. More experienced rowers who are looking to improve their blade work should also consider reading Textbook of Oarmanship by Gilbert Bourne. This book helps readers understand what the perfect stroke looks like and details in technical terms how they can improve their rowing technique

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