A Good Head On Your Well-Toned Shoulders

, , , , | Learning | May 2, 2020

I spent four years rowing in college and I keep it up on rowing machines once in a while. Today at the gym, I sit down next to a guy with horrible technique and start passive-aggressively impressing and challenging him by pulling better numbers with lower resistance and waaay fewer strokes per minute.

Two guys are having a look at the machine on my other side. One sits down and starts pulling.

Me: “Hi. Can I give you a tip?”

Curious Guy #1: “Sure!”

Me: “The motion goes: legs-back-arms, arms-back-legs. Make sure your hands come forward before your legs bend; that way you’ll never hit your knees with the handle.”

I repeat a couple of times and demonstrate slowly. The guy starts to pick it up and then switches with his friend. The man with horrible technique stands up from the machine on my other side and approaches the Curious Guys.

Horrible Technique Guy: “You should be pulling the handle up high into your chest.”

Me: “I rowed for four years, and I pull it right at my bra strap — not that you have a bra strap, but… right here.” *Demonstrates* “Pulling it up so high gives you what we call chicken arms.”

Horrible Technique Guy: “Yes, but the trainer here told me that.” 

Me: “Yes. How long has the trainer spent rowing?”

Horrible Technique Guy: “All I’m saying is that everyone will have different advice, and you just have to find a way to do it that makes you comfortable.”

Curious Guy #2: “You have four years of experience; I’m going to trust you.”

Me: “Thanks. And when you’re ready, relax your shoulders!”

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