Wondering how to improve performance on that rowing machine at your gym? If so, then who better to give some tips than the U.S. Men's Eight Olympic Rowing team. We visited the team two weeks ago in Princeton, NJ, where it was finishing up its last two days of training in nearly 100-degree heat before heading off to London. Besides enlisting photographer John Loomis to document the last day of the team's stateside practice in this series of Web-exclusive photos (with additional outtakes of our interviews with the athletes), we also asked each member of the Men's Eight for a few tips on rowing better, both on the indoor rowing machine (also known as an ergometer, or "erg"), and on the water. (Loomis also took pictures of seat 2's Grant James demonstrating most of the tips in the erg room at the Princeton Boat House.) Launch Gallery >>
Relax on the recovery.
As in many sports, staying relaxed is key, particularly in the recovery. "Relax everything – your face, your shoulders, your neck – the key is to conserve your energy during the recovery and keep everything focused and composed," explains David Banks (bow seat), a former high school track and basketball player before he started rowing at Stanford, "then push one-hundred percent when you take the stroke again."
Credit: Photograph by John Loomis