Hamstring Length for Rowing Strength


There is a length to strength ratio in every muscle of our body. Rowers tend to strengthen their legs every chance they get: weight lifting, running, erging, rowing, etc. Unfortunately, most rowers don’t understand the importance of muscle length; therefore, don’t take stretching seriously. A shorter hamstring is weaker than a longer hamstring (the same applies to every muscle). Additionally, a shorter hamstring will pull on the athletes’ pelvis causing a change in position of the bone itself and every single muscle attached to it!

The pelvis plays a central role in rowing because athletes sit on it!

Rowers are supposed to sit on their ichial tuberosities [sitting bones]; however, due to more strength and less length in their tissues {aka weaker hamstrings among many other muscles} the pelvis tilts, posterior tilts, over time. The more time that goes by (years) the more of a change in the position of the pelvis will occur.

One of the main reasons rowers experience pain/injury/setback in their legs, backs, shoulders is because their length to strength relationship is off balance. Start lengthening at the hamstrings to get a much greater and healthier amount of strength in the body.


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lee

    A great piece of advice, now what does the presenter recommend for lengthening the hamstrings?

  2. Graham Cawood

    Is hamstring pain partly due to pressure on the tendons where they connect to the sit bones? Two popularly coached techniques can increase pressure on these tendons.
    1.Straightening the back. This will cause the pelvis to lean further forward.
    2.Delayed layback.
    1. Allow the back to curve comfortably throughout the stroke. Watch any expert
    2. Layback at the catch by rotating the torso above the hips.
    3. Do not bring the legs down before using the arms. Arrange that legs and arms finish TOGETHER. The arms are immediately started forward, and the legs rebound. No pausing. Less hamstring force required.

    Visit Dr. Fiona Wilson on the web for expert opinion on a straight vs curved back in rowing. Visit Youtube Rhecon Sculling to see a style with the above features,
    Have fun.

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