Q: I see newly formed blisters on my hand after just 2000m on the erg this morning. WTF! Do I need to invest in gloves?
A: Mention gloves to a bunch of rowers and they’ll set you straight pretty quick (and raise an eyebrow). Here’s the advice I was given when the same thing happened to me: Got blisters? Row more. More erg time (at least once a week) will toughen those hands right up.
Second, take a look at how tightly you’re holding the handle. Blisters are a sign you’ve got it in a death grip. I’ve also found that if I’m clenched onto that handle than I’m probably tense elsewhere, which is a big waste of energy. Relax your hands and let the handle float back to you on the drive. You really need surprisingly little grip to keep that handle in check. You can even try rowing a few strokes holding the handle with just the index and middle fingers on each hand to feel how little you really need to be hanging onto that thing.
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