Rowing basics are simple; take a seat, strap in your feet, and pull like crazy! Just like many things in life, there are many ways to do things. There are several wrong ways and a proper, more efficient way. Most of us were introduced to the erg through CrossFit and not much time gets spent on proper rowing mechanics. Usually you are directed to the erg and are told you are doing a time trial of some sort (500m, 1,000m, 2,000m, etc...). All you're thinking is how much this is going to hurt.
Rowing doesn't have to be overly complicated or difficult. There are four simple things to follow: legs, arms, arms, and legs. This means to drive with your legs then pull with your arms. Start the return to the catch position by extending the arms then bending your legs. The pull or release, should end at your chest not your neck. Lot's of people make this mistake by trying to extend their stroke thinking they are getting more meters or calories with each stroke by pulling higher or leaning further back. Here's a short video showing you how to properly increase the length of your stroke.
Kyle, Elijah, and Brandon doing 500m row repeats.