Dropping Hands

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.
Post Reply
KeithT
6k Poster
Posts: 622
Joined: February 5th, 2018, 12:41 pm

Dropping Hands

Post by KeithT » August 8th, 2019, 2:01 pm

So, I saw a video of me rowing last night that someone caught at the gym. In general I have good form and teach others on form but I noticed something I was doing a few months ago and thought I had fixed it but I guess not. I let my hands pass my knees on the recovery before bending them like you want but I am lowering the hands and when driving out of the catch sort of bringing them back up. It's not a huge movement but noticeable. While I will try and correct I wonder how much impact it really has and should I stress about it too much?
51 yo, 6'3" 207#
PBs (all since turning 50):
1 min - 373m, 500m - 1:21.9, 1K - 2:59.8, 4 min - 1265m, 2K - 6:29.9, 5K - 17:27, 30 min - 8277m, 10K - 36:30, 60 min - 16036, HM - 1:20:22

Dangerscouse
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2594
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Dropping Hands

Post by Dangerscouse » August 8th, 2019, 4:08 pm

KeithT wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 2:01 pm
So, I saw a video of me rowing last night that someone caught at the gym. In general I have good form and teach others on form but I noticed something I was doing a few months ago and thought I had fixed it but I guess not. I let my hands pass my knees on the recovery before bending them like you want but I am lowering the hands and when driving out of the catch sort of bringing them back up. It's not a huge movement but noticeable. While I will try and correct I wonder how much impact it really has and should I stress about it too much?
I don't do it, but I know Ben Saperia (Ben's Body on Insta) does the same thing and he is a very good rower. I really doubt it's anything to worry about judging by his results.
45 HWT; 6' 4"; Liverpool 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:27; 6k= 21:23; 10k= 36:21 30mins= 8,356m 60mins= 16,317m HM= 1:18:40; FM= 2:49:39; 50k= 3:28:18; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you Row"

Instagram: stuwenman

KeithT
6k Poster
Posts: 622
Joined: February 5th, 2018, 12:41 pm

Re: Dropping Hands

Post by KeithT » August 8th, 2019, 4:18 pm

Dangerscouse wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 4:08 pm
KeithT wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 2:01 pm
So, I saw a video of me rowing last night that someone caught at the gym. In general I have good form and teach others on form but I noticed something I was doing a few months ago and thought I had fixed it but I guess not. I let my hands pass my knees on the recovery before bending them like you want but I am lowering the hands and when driving out of the catch sort of bringing them back up. It's not a huge movement but noticeable. While I will try and correct I wonder how much impact it really has and should I stress about it too much?
I don't do it, but I know Ben Saperia (Ben's Body on Insta) does the same thing and he is a very good rower. I really doubt it's anything to worry about judging by his results.
I was doing it back when I set my 1K and 2K PBs and competed in the WRIC - so I know its not a huge thing but wondered if I was costing myself any time or energy. Sounds like it might not be a big deal.
51 yo, 6'3" 207#
PBs (all since turning 50):
1 min - 373m, 500m - 1:21.9, 1K - 2:59.8, 4 min - 1265m, 2K - 6:29.9, 5K - 17:27, 30 min - 8277m, 10K - 36:30, 60 min - 16036, HM - 1:20:22

User avatar
hjs
Marathon Poster
Posts: 8612
Joined: March 16th, 2006, 3:18 pm
Location: Amstelveen the netherlands
Contact:

Re: Dropping Hands

Post by hjs » August 9th, 2019, 3:13 am

Otw it would not work, but the erg handle is so light, don,t think it matters much.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

Tim huges
1k Poster
Posts: 174
Joined: July 7th, 2019, 5:24 am

Re: Dropping Hands

Post by Tim huges » August 9th, 2019, 4:58 am

I do something similar, i seem to pull the handle fairly high at the finnish so naturally my handle dips down as it passes over my knees. It doesnt feel awkward, forcing myself to keep the chain perfectly straight feels awkward. Im glad to read its no big deal as i wasnt quite sure. I did think that because it was on the recovery and my handle was relaxing down to my legs, that no energy was being wasted.

Watching and learning from the many youtube videos from many rowers of various sizes and shapes, it appears to me that no two rowers are the exact same.
34yrs 6ft 250lbs England
Started Jan 2019
500m 1:31.6
2k 6:41.0
10k 37:34
HM 1:28:58

KEEP CALM AND 30R20

lindsayh
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2798
Joined: June 23rd, 2013, 3:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Dropping Hands

Post by lindsayh » August 9th, 2019, 7:18 am

Keith I think in general it is regarded as best to try to keep the chain parallel with the floor and the hands up but there are many examples of people dropping their hands and still going fast.
Luke Wollenschlager for example is a South African 40+ guy who has won everything and set WRs with a very exaggerated hand drop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK6xeGXayps

...and this is the mighty Chris Cooper winning the 65+ WRIC Boston 2017 in 6:39.x just outside the WR he set 2 weeks prior. The video was filmed by Jean Gilmore (Jack "jackarabit"s wife) and opens with him but if you go to 5:50 you can see the final minute of the race.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D4Os2Q8FZQ
Lindsay
68yo 91kg
Sydney Australia
Forum Flyer
PBs (65y+) 1 min 349m, 500m 1:29.8, 1k 3:11.7 2k 6:47.4, 5km 18:07.9, 30' 7928m, 10k 37:57.2, 60' 15368m

User avatar
NavigationHazard
10k Poster
Posts: 1721
Joined: March 16th, 2006, 1:11 pm
Location: Wroclaw, Poland

Re: Dropping Hands

Post by NavigationHazard » August 9th, 2019, 8:07 am

In a boat, you've got an oar handle in your hands rather than an erg handle. What you do as far as hand height affects the business end of the oar, namely the blade. The blade will move vertically in the opposite direction from your hands. How much so depends on your gearing, i.e. the inboard/outboard ratio of your oar plus the overall length of the oar. Raise your hands high towards the finish and you bury the blade (and possibly part of the shaft as well) under the surface of the water. This makes it hard to extract the blade when you're done with the drive, and the more any part of the blade stays in the water (not to mention shaft), the more you're going to negate propulsive force. That's why OTW rowers tap the hands down at the finish -- it's to raise the blades at the business end of the oar out of the water, so you can feather them for the recovery. As you approach the catch OTW, it's normal to tap the hands down slightly so that you can square the oar blade for insertion into the water. And you do that by lifting the hands slightly.

If you look at erging videos, good OTW rowers will tend to follow the same hand-height pattern as above. Not always, but as a general principle. That's because their erging is secondary to their OTW rowing, and they don't want to ingrain habits that will be counterproductive in the boat.

Here's a screengrab of US international rower Caryn Davies demonstrating this technique in a video from the C2 US site:

Image

I've added an arrow showing how level the handle height is as she's taking the catch.

Here she is indoors, about 2/3 through the recovery: Image

Hands are lowered so as to allow the blade to be squared were she in a boat.

And here she is at the catch: Image



If all you're doing is erging, hand height doesn't matter so much. The main argument for keeping the chain reasonably level is that it facilitates a front-loaded drive (the force curve on one looks like a left-leaning haystack). You don't want to have to straighten out wobble before you start engaging the flywheel on the drive. You also want to be moving the handle backwards at the catch on a relatively level plane -- as opposed to upwards at an angle -- so as to maximize the acceleration you can apply quickly. It's rather easier to do this if you come up to the catch with the hands at the desired drive position, as opposed to raising them at the end of the recovery But if you've worked out the timing, such that your hands are where they should be when your legs start pushing back and there's no slack in the chain, the overall effect of the up/down hand movement is more or less negligible on the erg.
64 MH 6' 6"

KeithT
6k Poster
Posts: 622
Joined: February 5th, 2018, 12:41 pm

Re: Dropping Hands

Post by KeithT » August 9th, 2019, 8:19 am

Henry, Tim, Lindsay and Nav. - thank you so much for the replies!

I feel better now that I don't think the hand drop and the little up movement I have (before the pull) will hurt my ERGing. I get why this would be a different issue OTW - I have done some limited OTW rowing but I am definitely a "land rower". The videos really helped me see what others do as well. I remember at the WRIC seeing some top guys with a similar hand drop but this was during a race/test and I know things can get a little different then. I seem to be doing this at all paces and maybe more so when going slower and "relaxing" on the recovery. Anyway, I wont worry about it now, thanks again!
51 yo, 6'3" 207#
PBs (all since turning 50):
1 min - 373m, 500m - 1:21.9, 1K - 2:59.8, 4 min - 1265m, 2K - 6:29.9, 5K - 17:27, 30 min - 8277m, 10K - 36:30, 60 min - 16036, HM - 1:20:22

KeithT
6k Poster
Posts: 622
Joined: February 5th, 2018, 12:41 pm

Re: Dropping Hands

Post by KeithT » August 9th, 2019, 8:32 am

lindsayh wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 7:18 am
Keith I think in general it is regarded as best to try to keep the chain parallel with the floor and the hands up but there are many examples of people dropping their hands and still going fast.
Luke Wollenschlager for example is a South African 40+ guy who has won everything and set WRs with a very exaggerated hand drop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK6xeGXayps

...and this is the mighty Chris Cooper winning the 65+ WRIC Boston 2017 in 6:39.x just outside the WR he set 2 weeks prior. The video was filmed by Jean Gilmore (Jack "jackarabit"s wife) and opens with him but if you go to 5:50 you can see the final minute of the race.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D4Os2Q8FZQ
I can honestly say my hand drop is not quite this bad and I don't bend knees too early. Maybe not optimal but it's not an excuse I can use for a slower row - darn! LOL, actually I am happy this isn't that big of a deal.
51 yo, 6'3" 207#
PBs (all since turning 50):
1 min - 373m, 500m - 1:21.9, 1K - 2:59.8, 4 min - 1265m, 2K - 6:29.9, 5K - 17:27, 30 min - 8277m, 10K - 36:30, 60 min - 16036, HM - 1:20:22

jamesg
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2472
Joined: March 18th, 2006, 3:44 am
Location: Trentino Italy

Re: Dropping Hands

Post by jamesg » August 9th, 2019, 9:30 am

Keeping hands high takes effort; chain tension does enough, if it's there and we don't recover too fast.
78y, 188cm, 87kg, last seen MHR 163. 2k (24 May 19) 8.46.6@22

Post Reply