When you hold your body suspended during the drive, your wrists, elbows, shoulders and seating position will be positioned in a way that you can perform that. You can see that the rower who is going through the drive is using his upper body strength to hold his body weight away from the seat and hang on to the handle and the footstretcher. For me the development of good coordination and strength takes lots of good repetition and good coaching.
What I can see on this picture:
1- The rower is seating up straight with his head up and looking forward.
2- The position of his wrists, elbows and shoulders is helping him to keep his core engaged. He is not breaking his wrists, his forearms are paralel to the water. His elbows are pointing outside and not down. Shoulders are down and relaxed. His lats and core are totally engaged. Look at his upper body.
In order to hold your body weight up you need to:
1- Control your body weight. If you are too heavy it’s too hard to hang because you need too much power to suspend your weight.
2- Develop the right drive coordination. If you don’t have a coordinated stroke you cannot keep up your body weight up even if you are strong enough. To keep your body weight up you need to be connected to the water and keep your gravity center in front of your hips.
3- Have developed the right body strengths. To hold your body weight up during the drive you need to be really strong on your core.
4- For me it is not enough to do cross training or weights to achieve these powers. All this development needs to be adapted to the body doing the stroke cycle movement. You need to transfer this to the rowing stroke by doing the rowing movement.
So if you cannot look like the rower on this picture then you are not using your body weight to move the boat as much as you can. How do you get there?
For me the most important part to get there is to get a good ratio of body weight and body strength so you can suspend your weight. To get there body circuits where you suspend or lift your own body are the way to go. Also losing some weight so you can lift yourself easier from the ground. To suspend your body during the rowing stroke is required good upper body strength and a good executed coordinated power.
Here is an example on how I use the Rowperfect3s to develop this coordinated power and body strength necessary to suspend your body weight during the rowing drive.
These are the ways I develop strength in a rowing body to generate suspension:
1- Row on the water at low rates with a boungee making the drive slower and heavier.
2- Row on the water at low rates droping part of the crew.
3- Row on the water at low rates small boats.
4- Row on the Rowperfect3 with heavy drag at low rates.
5- Do body circuits on land with light weight and very dynamic movements.
6- Do some crossfit training.
7- Do dynamic core training.
8- Do alernative sports where you are required to use dynamic movements with your body like martial arts, boxing, etc…