2 key elements to ROWING are:
1) To wire on your body the right coordination.
2)To develop correctly your body strengths.
Good rowers are able to:
a) Row well. To do that they need to be efficient on their rowing stroke and have very good control of the boat at any weather conditions rowing individually or with others.
b) Go fast on racing and testing. To do that they need to be really fit to produce a sustainable power stroke over the length of the race, test.
Looking at the 2 key elements to rowing and what good rowers are able to do can really be applied to many sports. Let’s look at Canoe-Kayak sport. They move the boat differently than rowers. The boats are different and the way they move the boat is different.
Look at this picture:
What you can see in this picture is a different way to lever than rowing. This athlete is an elite athlete with Olympic medals. It is very interesting to see how he is going to move the boat from handle to knees-feet. He is using his body to lever from the paddle to the canoe. He doesn’t have a rigger and a pin that we have in rowing. In Canoe the fulcrum is only developed by the body.
Think about how important is to be on a very strong and biomechanically efficient position to move the boat. You can see that this athlete has developed all his body on a way to lever from handle to knees-feet. His body levers are impressive. If this athlete doesn’t hold correctly this position or doesn’t have enough body strength to keep it for the length of the race, the performance goes down.
Rowing is really similar to that. We move a boat handle to feet and we use our body to lever one against the other. In rowing we have the rigger and the pin that give us another fulcrum that is added to the system.
You can compare these 2 pictures and see how being 2 different sports how both of them are so well positioned to lever the boat with their body the best they can. On the first picture there is not much rigging. I believe the canoe size and paddle will be totally depending on the body and strength of the athlete. In rowing is not only the size of the boat and the oar but the rigging of many parts of the boat that help us to position the best we can to lever against the pin. This is why rigging and positioning are so important and work together because without them we cannot really move the boat efficiently. As the body gets stronger and the positioning changes, the rigging of the boat does too. A rower should keep adapting his boat and rigging to his body that is changing over good development.
Are you rowing without thinking that much about positioning?
Are you rowing your boat without adapting the rigging to your body and strengths?
Are you using efficiently the fulcrums of your body. Do you know them well? Do you develop them well?
I can assure you that working on these points will make you faster and a better rower.