Body positions for more effective rowing

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lgluckma
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Body positions for more effective rowing

Post by lgluckma » August 1st, 2006, 4:48 am

Dear Dev. Team,

Here is hoping your training is going well. I have been thinking a lot about technique lately since I work at several weekend sculling and week long sweep rowing camps and see an assortment of rowing techniques.

To borrow a phrase from Fred Borchelt, many time Olympic rower and fellow coach, "Practice makes permanent". So while you are preparing on the water or on the erg give some thought to a few items that might provide you a one percent improvement just by using your bodies in more effective ways.

a. Posture- consider the upper body a lever which connects the arms to the hips and legs and thus the seat. The longer you can make this lever the more chance you have to swing through from the catch position, then the perpendicular and finally the release position. So if you find yourself sitting on the erg in the same manner you watch TV try to push or pull the shoulders upward, lengthen the neck by watching the horizon and firm up the core and abdominal area.
b. Catch position- shins are near vertical, long upper body with the shoulder in front of the hip by several inches is met by the rising thighs to form a comfortable compressed position with the arms long at the elbow and parallel to the floor or gunnel.
c. Drive- engaging the water or wheel with a long arm so that the hips and handle feel connected. At this point the hips and handle must move together so that you are maximizing your leg drive(strongest muscle groups) against a prying back. Too eager the upper body and there is a loss of leg drive effectiveness. Too quick the legs and there is a loss of the upper body engagement and prying. Key concepts would be pressing the legs, prying the back and pulling with the arms. If the sequence is done correctly based on strength of body parts you will arrive with the handle passing your knees and your hips and shoulders will be nearly perpendicular to each other, your legs will be nearly down, your arms are long and there is a imaginary rectangle under your arms, above your thighs and between your upper body and an line dropped between your wrists and knees. This "power rectangle" is most frequently found in athletes rowing at the front of most elite races either on the water or on the erg.
d. Release or transition position-(formerly the finish)- legs are firmly pressed down, upper body is 5-10 degrees beyong the perpendicular, elbows are through the body with the wrist and forearms flat, core is strong and active, eyes are up.
e. Recovery- arms away(reach), upper body pivots (rock), release the knees upward(roll), achieve the catch position by 1/2 slide and then transport that body configuation through to the catch. Being patient on the recovery provides you the time to put the body in the most effective drive positon.

Finding a mirror, a bare wall with a light reflecting on you providing a shadow against the wall or video or still of each position will help fine tune the stroke. We will take between 200-230 strokes for our 2k, so lets make our preparation for that event not only fitfull but effective. To improve sometimes means taking a step backward so the next step ahead is a little longer.

Larry Gluckman

Flander
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Post by Flander » August 16th, 2006, 2:13 pm

I know it makes a difference on water, but does it make much difference on the Concept2 erg if your knees come up earlier or at the same time as your hips, which are moving up and forward?

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lindamuri
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Post by lindamuri » August 18th, 2006, 8:06 am

Flander wrote:I know it makes a difference on water, but does it make much difference on the Concept2 erg if your knees come up earlier or at the same time as your hips, which are moving up and forward?
As Larry mentioned, "Being patient on the recovery provides you the time to put the body in the most effective drive positon."

I think, therefore, he and I agree that having the body ready to transition from the recovery to the drive, sooner rather than later, makes for a more efficient power application on the drive. Also, if one lets the knees come up too early, it makes it difficult to get the proper body angle forward. Then one risks, additionally, having the weight on the backside of the seat at the catch rather than on the front of the seat - not a strong position.

The bottom line - I'd try to manage the recovery on the erg to match the recovery on the water.

Linda

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Yankeerunner
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Post by Yankeerunner » August 18th, 2006, 10:28 am

I tend to be on the backside of the seat instead of the front, and have a hard time delaying my knee bend before pivoting at the hips. I'm probably bending my back more than pivoting at the hips anyway.

Thanks for the tips. I'll be trying to work on it. I've already incorpororated the mental phrase "long arms" into my constant internal chatter while erging.

Rick

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lindamuri
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long arms and seat position

Post by lindamuri » August 18th, 2006, 10:50 am

Rick,
I think being on the back of the seat is pretty common, and even more so as we get a little tired. I try to focus on feeling the weight shift on the seat as I pivot into the recovery. Once that starts to happen, you can continue getting a little more forward as the knees come up, until full body angle at/by half slide. I find that as the knees come up, it eases the potential strain in the hamstrings which would otherwise occur if I tried to get all the body angle/pivot right away.
Re: long arms - I am pinching that from Larry and will use it with my team starting this fall. What great imagery.
Linda

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Seat position

Post by lgluckma » August 18th, 2006, 8:56 pm

Location on the seat is very important. The reason the seat has indentations is for your sit bones on the lowest part of your pelvis. By sitting on those bones your lower back is not exposed but supported by your pelvis. In addition by sitting on those bones you permit the upper body to pivot or rock forward so you can have the greatest amount of upper body swing augmenting your leg drive. Unless you permit the knees to come up after the body swings rocks forward you will not gain this opportunity to maximize the upper body drive.

Thanks,
Larry

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