Fitness Standards

Physical Fitness Assessment

Applicants may row either the 2000 Meter Row or the 4 Minute Row. Minimum passing standards for each test are below. 

Proper Rowing Technique

There are two parts to the rowing stroke, the drive and the recovery, but the movements are blended together to make the stroke smooth and continuous. There should be no stopping at any point in the stroke. Improper technique can lead to injury.

  1. The catch:
    1. The rower reaches forward with knees bent, arms extended, and body leaning toward the flywheel.
    2. The drive begins with the legs and the back doing all the work.  Note: The arms are straight and the shoulders are relaxed.
  2. The drive:
    1. During the drive, the rower straightens the legs and swings the back through the vertical position.
    2. Halfway through the drive, the arms are still straight and the shoulders are relaxed.
  3. The finish:
    1. At the finish of the drive, the handle is pulled by the arms and shoulders into the abdomen.
    2. The legs are straight and the body is leaning back slightly. Note: The height of the handle is neither at the chest nor in the lap.
  4. The recovery:
    1. The recovery begins by extending the arms and swinging the body forward at the hips.
    2. This puts the handle in front of the knees to avoid interference between the knees and hands as the seat moves forward.
  5. The catch:
    1. The body is drawn forward with the legs to the starting position for the next stroke.
    2. The rower is now ready to begin the next drive.
    3. Remember that your body should never come to a complete stop.



A certified row test will stop when any of the following are observed:

  • Applicant cannot stay balanced on the seat
  • Applicant begins to exhale with a whistle sound
  • Applicant is compromising form and technique that elevates the risk of injury
  • Skin turns ashen and displays signs of other health complications
  • Applicant is no longer rowing with a continuous flow

Minimum Standards

2,000-Meter Row Calculator

Candidates must pass each of the following physical assessment components:

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