Carlos’s Tip #235: CARLOS DINARES: The ROWING Power curve

What is a Power curve in rowing?

Power curve is a curve that gets drawn on a computer software when there is power application of the blade in the water moving the boat. This power curve has on the base the length of the stroke and on the vertical the Force. The power curve shows what happens from the moment the blade enters the water and finds connection to the moment the blade gets out of the water and loses connection. Connection is when you have pressure in front of the blade and it goes all the way to the gate and the handle. Handle pressure on hands against blade pressure on water and feet pressure on boat is what produces the power curve. If these pressures are not there or not coordinated correctly, the power curve and power application won’t be as good as it could be.

By looking at a power curve shape, the area inside (Joules x stroke), the relative peak force position, the length of the curve and maximum force peak, you can see:

- Your level of Rowing Coordination.
- Your Level of Rowing Consistency stroke after stroke.
- The Level of strength on your body.
- What is the boat class your Power curve shape feats better.
- Level of fitness….

For the learning of a very complex pattern of movement such as rowing, and for improving rowing technique, a direct and continuous feedback of the results to the rower is of primary importance. If you have the chance to get a rowing machine that gives you direct feedback of your power curve or a system of sensors for the oarlocks in your rowing boat, you will have a huge advantage.

At the completion of each stroke the screen shows a force/length curve. The shape of this force-length curve depends on the technique, and gives a clear insight into the coordination between legs, back and arms during a stroke. This force/length curve, therefore, can be used to detect technical flaws, and to diagnose the causes.

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