Help With Technique

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
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Citroen
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Re: Help With Technique

Post by Citroen » April 21st, 2012, 9:09 am

If you're not in the flat lands, then altitude has an effect on drag. We don't get that problem on our small green island unless we take an ergo up Ben Nevis.

Bob S.
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Re: Help With Technique

Post by Bob S. » April 21st, 2012, 12:36 pm

Twitch,

I don't see a response to my comments about the elevations of various cities in Canada. You simply said the Canadian prairies. I am not sure just how much of the country is considered to be the prairies, but Calgary is described as a prairie city. Wikipedia shows it at over 3400 feet - not too short of the elevation here. If you are in the area near Calgary, then that might explain the low DF that you have.

Bob S.

Twitch
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Re: Help With Technique

Post by Twitch » April 21st, 2012, 1:16 pm

Bob S. wrote:Twitch,

I don't see a response to my comments about the elevations of various cities in Canada. You simply said the Canadian prairies. I am not sure just how much of the country is considered to be the prairies, but Calgary is described as a prairie city. Wikipedia shows it at over 3400 feet - not too short of the elevation here. If you are in the area near Calgary, then that might explain the low DF that you have.

Bob S.
I live in a city called Prince Albert in Saskatchewan. The elevation (according to wikipedia) is 440 m (1,440 ft) so I don't think that would effect it any. I sent an email to concept2, maybe they'll be able to provide a bit of input.

Snail Space
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Re: Help With Technique

Post by Snail Space » April 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm

Twitch, you look OK for so little experience.

Your degree of leanback is acceptable, but you could benefit from rocking further forward on the recovery. You need to do this earlier in the recovery. At the moment your knees are rising too soon - infact they start to come up at the same time as your hands push away. Consequently, your hands have to rise up over the knees. Try to sequence the recovery: hands away first (let them move away from your body as fast as they approach it on the drive, so that the faster you row the faster your hands move away), then rock your body over (from the hips - not by flexing the lumbar spine), and finally bring your knees up. Concentrate on ensuring that your hands are past your knees BEFORE your legs bend. That will help you to lean further forward as you slide forward. Your body should be in position for the catch when you are at, or little beyond, half-slide (where your knees are at a 90 deg angle). When you are at frontstops you should feel like a tense spring, waiting to recoil.

There are comments that could be made about the drive, but it looks OK for now. It is bbest to concentrate on one aspect of technique at a time, rather than try to produce a perfect stroke cycle all at once.

Cheers,
Dave.

Twitch
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Re: Help With Technique

Post by Twitch » April 21st, 2012, 10:54 pm

Snail Space wrote: At the moment your knees are rising too soon - infact they start to come up at the same time as your hands push away. Consequently, your hands have to rise up over the knees.
Someone mentioned this earlier too and I didn't realize I was doing it until I went back and watched the video. When I first started I tried to be very conscious of this motion so I could avoid this after watching the 'Common Mistakes' video, clearly I've gotten sloppy though.
Try to sequence the recovery: hands away first (let them move away from your body as fast as they approach it on the drive, so that the faster you row the faster your hands move away), then rock your body over (from the hips - not by flexing the lumbar spine), and finally bring your knees up.
Bending at the hips rather than the spine was something I didn't think about at all before you mentioned it, and comparing my video to other 'technique' videos it looks like I'm rounding my back a lot more than they are so I need to be really conscious of trying to get the torso movement from my hips rather than the spine.
Concentrate on ensuring that your hands are past your knees BEFORE your legs bend. That will help you to lean further forward as you slide forward. Your body should be in position for the catch when you are at, or little beyond, half-slide (where your knees are at a 90 deg angle). When you are at frontstops you should feel like a tense spring, waiting to recoil.
I'm not sure tense spring describes me as much as exhausted fatman in this position but it's something I'll work on. :) I know I'm not very explosive at the start of the stroke by any stretch but right now rowing with power isn't my problem, I still don't have the cardio/lung capacity to maintain the stroke rate/strength that I was using in that video for any more than maybe ten minutes or so. When that starts catching up I'll probably need to focus more on getting more power into the stroke initially.

Thank you very much for taking the time to post this. This, and the other posts, really gives me a couple key points I can focus on over the next few weeks to improve without feeling like I'm trying to work on too much at once. I didn't know if I'd find a lot of value in doing a video but I'm glad I did and I hope I can do another one in a few weeks to compare.

Thanks everyone!

Snail Space
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Re: Help With Technique

Post by Snail Space » April 22nd, 2012, 4:36 am

Twitch wrote:..., I still don't have the cardio/lung capacity to maintain the stroke rate/strength that I was using in that video for any more than maybe ten minutes or so. When that starts catching up I'll probably need to focus more on getting more power into the stroke initially.
I know that only too well! I started 6 years ago when my [then] 11 year old son started to row OTW. I hadn't done anything more strenuous than walk short distances - and that only slowly - for 20 years since stopping playing rugby [same shape ball as american football, but neither pads nor pretty cheerleaders]. My first ergo ended after 3 minutes, with me left unable to breath. For weeks I couldn't see how anyone could possibly row for more than 20 minutes max without killing themselves.

The improvements come slowly but inexorably. For a while you don't realise that you are making any progress, but you certainly are. Keeping records is a fantastic idea, because it comes as a gratifying surprise to see what [unrecognised] gain you have made in, say, 3 months.

Also, the improved fitness and probable weight loss enhance your sense of well-being and self-esteeem. Your energy levels for all your usual daily activities will be improved too. Your hhealth will improve immesurably. But, hey, I'm probably preaching to a convert.

Cheers,
Dave.

Twitch
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Re: Help With Technique

Post by Twitch » April 22nd, 2012, 2:11 pm

I did a 10k row today to assess my chances of completing the half marathon challenge in the next few weeks and my chances don't look good, but I'll keep trying.

I focused on lengthening my stroke and tried to focus on the handle/body lean/slide forward sequence as well. Lengthening the stroke really worked and I could tell just from the sound of the machine I was getting a much longer row out of every stroke. I can really feel it in the back of my shoulders today where I normally don't. I found compressing the knees more and reaching further forward helped keep proper form through the first part of the drive as well. At least it felt like it.

Now that I'm conscious of my handle having to go up over my knees on the return I can really notice it while I'm rowing. I found I could really only focus on working on getting a long stroke or the recovery sequence but not both. I guess I'm not good at multitasking.

I'm going to work on it for a week then I'll record and post another video to see if I've made progress.
Also, the improved fitness and probable weight loss enhance your sense of well-being and self-esteeem. Your energy levels for all your usual daily activities will be improved too. Your hhealth will improve immesurably. But, hey, I'm probably preaching to a convert.
This is all very true. Buying the concept 2 is probably the most positive step I've ever taken for my self-esteem and health. I've got visible biceps for the first time in my life probably, while the weight isn't coming off fast on the scale, the body composition monitor I've got shows my body fat % steadily dropping and my skeletal muscle % steadily gaining, and I feel really good about that. I've made big changes to my diet and once the muscle gain levels out I'm confident I'll start seeing the results in scale weight.

Another big plus is that my wife uses it as well and is doing great sticking to it.

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