- Lubo Kisiov formerly of Thames Rowing Club uploaded demonstrating in this video how to row.[23/04/14 amendment]
- This video is rowing technique on the Erg and not rowing technique on the water. No one should mix erg rowing technique with on water rowing technique.
- Adam, who is doing the rowing on the Erg in this video, was a Novice rower – He had never rowed before. I have to say that Adam, did very, very well considering that he just started rowing. For Adam was very hard to do everything “the proper way” but he did his best. Can’t ask for more than that!]
Chris George wrote a critique….. reproduced in full below.
Rowperfect stands for excellent technique. We believe it’s very important to demonstrate accurately and clearly what movements you want your athletes to make when rowing, sculling and coxing.
Having a correct explanation and incorrect video of athletes is a common problem. Anyone seen the “Go Faster with Foster” DVD? It’s full of footage of athletes in the boat with Tim Foster doing it wrong – especially the short slide drills.
We sparked a row with the ‘powers that be’ over their photograph of ergo technique used for a national advertising campaign.
Which side of the discussion do you favour?
British Rowing Technique
Want a quick check up on good rowing technique? Take a browse over to the Rowperfect store where you can download Rosie Mayglothling’s slides “British Rowing Technique“.
The companion document of Drills and Exercises for British Rowing Technique was written by Rowperfect UK and sets out 10 drills that reinforce the base technique.
The Critique of erg technique
When will you guys learn how to row properly? You have a great coach in Ben and this is exactly how NOT do to it properly. (Sorry Adam it is not personal).
- Point 1 the finish. There is no hands down and away action “sufficient to clear the squared blade from the water”; the hands are a bit too high with the wrists not in a straight line of “pull” at the finish (elbows down, wrists cocked (forearm should be parallel to floor); blade handle hitting body (should be JUST clear as it goes ROUND).
- Point 2 there is zero body movement before his knees come up so the hands body slide becomes hands slide/body. That is the one thing that stops boats dead!
- Point 3 Zero movement upwards at the catch to take the stroke. This is the most important movement in the rowing stroke – GET THE BLADE INTO THE WATER fully BEFORE PUSHING gently WITH THE legs.
- Point 4 the catch This is leg based not leg and back. Adam is not doing that. That deals with the intro Now lets look at the breakdown.
- Point 5 Anyone who advocates “hands only” rowing (even on a fixed head) has not understood that it is the most useless and harmful exercise for good rowing. Why? well consider doing this in a moving boat. It is incumbent to get the blade into the water before you pull and I have yet to see any athlete do this UNLESS they are ghost paddling (and most do not have the skill to) at rates of less than 10 – better still lower). It is possible but it is a seriously difficult skill to row hands only properly. I might have risked it with the Tyrian crew who were technically one of the best HW crews I have seen (LW are generally much better) but I did not see the point. ALL such work was done at the front end. So doing hands only at the back end is a complete waste of time as it encourages bad technique and the use of the exercise on the water. It also artificially dissociates the momentum of the action which is crucial to a good finish under power.
- Point 6 Even on this video the hands only – the hands are not going round the turn –
- Point 7 On a positive point, Adam has actually got a good finish position here with respect to the forearm angles to the floor – nothing like he was doing earlier so there is a lesson here to learn.
- Point 8 the hands action is not completed before the body swings over. Most (if not all) of the hand action should be done till they are extended before the body starts to swing.
- Point 9 Lubo is right in his text Take the stroke with the body before finishing with the arms but that is not what Adam is doing!
- Point 10 Just look at the timing of the knee rise with respect to the body – see point 2 above.
- Point 11 “he initiates the stroke with legs and body…” Just so! but he should be initiating with the legs only and only after raising the hands and not hard with the legs. Soft to begin with then accelerate but that is difficult on a fixed head which is do far removed from the physics of a dynamic head machine.
- Point 12 Rhythm. This is largely absent with regard to time in the water / time on the slide. Difficult to do on fixed head but possible if you hold the knees.
- Point 13 Compressing more than 90º – as an aside if you do do this (and some world gold medallists in the GB eight did) and use it not to push but to put in the blade then that is a cheating mechanism that is quite effective to ensure you are at 90 when you start pulling – not recommending it but noting it as an observation of fact.
- Point 14 The catch position coaching – not a single mention of hand action! Adam shows about 10 degrees with a large gap between body and legs- it should be 25 to 30 according to the intro. 15 and this remains the case till half way through the slide BEFORE the body starts to open. In this case Adam is doing not a bad job apart from the initial lack of body reach –
- Point 15 The finish – note the little kick upwards on the body. All this is completely wrong. Were you do do this in the water with a square blade you would catch a crab on the first stroke! There is absolutely no movement to clear the blade from the water. What is the point of introducing muscle memory of this action? Rowing is a very simple technique “catch drive recovery” No! it is a very complex technique and requires “feel” and sensitivity and a rowing simulator that obeys Newton’s third law. You need to feel the boat moving under you and treat the boat as part of your body – you and the boat are one unit. The boat travels fasted on the middle part of the recovery and slowest 27% after the entry of the blade into the water. Keep that in mind.
I am now motivated to put a similar video out with points 1 to 15 using one of the 8 rowing simulators you guys should learn to use! Watch this space!