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How to RipRow

How to RipRow

The movements that I teach mountain bikers happen to help BMXers, motocrossers, cross-country skiers, horse riders, mothers and other athletes. (Yes, moms are athletes! They have to lift, carry, chase and endure.)

These tips are written for mountain bikers, but they help everyone. 

I can’t wait to create some badass videos, but here’s an intro to RipRow-ology.


RipRow prototype v5.5 and an adjustable dumbbell have been my staples for endurance and strength training. 

Before you get started

  1. Set up your RipRow™ at your trailhead, race pit, gym, office, garage or in front of the TV (hint: watch Supercross!).
  2. Adjust the optional saddle to your riding height. The saddle makes the RipRow™ feel more like a bike or motorcycle.
  3. Place the optional pedal platforms in bike stance or motorcycle or horse stance. 
  4. Adjust the length of the RipRow™ frame to fit your body (or your bike). The production model adjusts to fit more than 90% of adults.  
  5. Set the damper resistance from 1-11 for both the pull and push directions.
  6. Dress comfortably. Drink some water!

    1. ShredLift

    You’ve heard of the deadlift, well this is the ShredLift.

    The “ShredLift” creates maximum power. In this type of row, your arms stay straight. When you drive your hips up and forward, your rock-hard torso levers your shoulders up and back, and that pulls your bars backward.

    The row phase of the ShredLift is the key to creating max torque for technical climbs, gate starts, wheelie drops, big hops and most other power moves. The anti-row is critical for riding down steep slopes (and loading the row).

    Ladies and gentlemen ... the ShredLift! 

    The ShredLift motion is just like climbing a ledge. In this video watch those hip drives!

    Pedaling up a ledge : slow motion from Lee McCormack on Vimeo.

    2. LowRow

    The “LowRow” helps you ride downhill. When you have speed, you need more control than power. When you’re in a deep hinge you have maximum arm range for braking, cornering and bumps, and you can manage terrain very quickly. 

    LowRow. Your hips stay locked in space while your upper body manages ups, downs and turns.

    The LowRow teaches the arm motions you use when riding over bumps and pumping rollers. Watch the arm motion in these videos:

    3. RipRow

    The fully integrated “RipRow” enables true ripping. This challenging skill combines elements from the ShredLift and LowRow. You use hip drive to pull the bars backward, then you quickly hinge and push the bars forward. This pattern is the key to high-level technical climbing, pumping, pump-manualing, hopping, jumping and — ultimately — cornering.

    When a skilled rider pumps through rollers, rocks and other big bumps, this is what the cycle looks like. Constant row or anti-row, driven by the hips and integrated from hands to feet. Notice how fast I drop my torso as I begin the anti-row. This gets my shoulder behind the bars so I can push them away.

    The RipRow motion is the key to pumping, hopping and jumping. Watch for the RipRow motion in these videos.

    ShredLift, LowRow and RipRow are the three big moves. Advanced riders can lean and rotate like they’re in corners, and they can also do work with one arm or leg. This really turns on your core!

    The better you get at RipRowing, the better you get at Riding! I thought I was a decent rider before. Thanks to RipRow™ I’m riding a crazy new level of strength, power, confidence and speed. If I had to give it a number, I’d say I’ve improved 30% in the past year. Seriously, that much! I’m old and broken. What’s gonna happen when younger, healthier riders start RipRowing?

    Pro enduro racer Curtis Keene tests a RipRow™ prototype in his garage gym. He currently has a prototype to aid his Enduro World Series training, and he’ll be getting a production unit as soon as it’s ready. “Dude, I need one of these. I’ll pay for it.” 

    After training on a RipRow™ for a few weeks, Curtis rode motocross for the first time in months. “The guys I ride with are pros, and I usually have a hard time keeping up with them. Dude, I have never felt so strong and fast on a moto. I was easily holding pace with these guys, and they were pulling off the track because they were getting tired. They were both like, ‘What the hell have you been doing?'”

    And: Curtis says he's faster than ever on his mountain bike. 

    Lee McCormack is a world renowned mountain bike skills author and instructor, as well as the inventor of RipRow™. You can reach him at www.leelikesbikes.com and www.riprow.com.

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