During the podcast RowingChat with Marlene Royle she mentioned an easy way to demonstrate the “neutral spine” position for your athletes. [It’s at 19 minutes if you want to listen].
The safest position for a spine is neutral
How to find the neutral spine position – simply put your hands clasped behind your neck your spine will come into a neutral position. And then you can see if you are flexed or curved in the boat – of if you have a neutral spine.
Test this while sitting – get the feeling for what is a neutral spine – compare this to a photo of you in the boat or a video so you can see what you DO with what you think you do.
Rowing coaches always teach a neutral spine because it is more resilient to injury and it favours leverage in the rowing stroke – this is more important than pulling when the forces are going through your spine.