In order to help the brain re-pattern with more effective movement patterns, certain conditions need to be present in order to facilitate this process.
2 of the big conditions are “Movement with Attention” and the other one is “Good Coaching”.
Most experts agree that movement is central to our health and well being. It is important to note that movement alone, done repetitiously, without attention, does not provide the brain with any new information. In fact, movement done in this way will only help to groove already existing brain patterns more deeply and if you are not rowing properly this is a big problem. This is I will say one of the biggest problems among many rowers.
Research shows that as soon as we bring attention to our movements, the brain resumes growing new connections and creating new neural pathways. This in turn helps us create new possibilities for ourselves. But this needs to be done correctly and to assure that we need good coaching.
In order to do that, it is important that we find ways to get direct feedback to the movement we are executing in order to recognize progress. We need to know what we are doing and know if it is done well or not.
A second key condition is “Reducing the Effort”. We can only do fast what we already know. In order to begin creating new movement patterns, we need to be able to feel what it is that we are doing. In order to do that, we need to move slowly.
In order to slow down the rowing movement we need to bring the stroke rate down to 16 and increase de drag factor or resistance to slow down the drive. A good way to do that on the water is by stopping part of the crew or adding a boungee to slow down the boat.
By reducing our efforts, kinesthetic-sensory acuity is improved and it becomes possible for a person to make fine distinctions about what they are doing and to become aware of unconscious or unknown aspects of their physical organization, movement, and action.
But I repeat it again and again. You can slow down, you can increase the drag, you can do all the rocket science you want that without good coaching and good direct feedback to your actions, your effort won’t be rewarded as much as it could have been.