How to improve your rowing force curve


Take a look at this short session of steady state UT2 rowing on a Rowperfect using the software.
Watch three things

  1. the force curve
  2. the numbers on right side – top one is Energy per stroke in Joules; lower one is stroke length in centimeters
  3. the sound of the fly wheel getting louder toward the end of each stroke

Notice the subtle variations from stroke to stroke?

How to improve this athlete

The athlete is a heavyweight man, he’s tall (rowing 160 cms at times means he must have long levers) and pulling over 950 and sometimes close to 1000 joules means he’s strong. The consistency of the force curve says he’s skillful and well-trained, he’s fit and has several years of high performance training behind him.

So what could be better?

See the force curve is not symmetrical? It doesn’t need to be a perfect shape, but it’s definitely got a ‘fatter’ up curve than down. There is probably a few more joules of energy and cms of stroke length that could be added to this curve by fleshing out the down slope side.

Look for the strokes where the force curve has a slightly jagged line. It’s always after the peak. That tells me that the athlete has a slightly less consistent power delivery after the peak than before. Could this be smoothed out consistently? He gets it smooth sometimes, but not all the time.

Lastly, the arm draw at the end of the force curve – this shows as a slight bulge in the curve or an irregularity in the last quarter of the stroke. Can this muscle group be introduced more seamlessly into the power so the curve is perfectly smooth over the legs/back transition to arms?

There are some really beautiful curves that have less of the shortcomings I’ve illustrated. I’d save these as a reference curve, and set it in the background the next time this athlete trains so he can try to replicate his best work every stroke.

Having said all that – this is a great looking power delivery and shows how well he’s been coached and trained to fitness.
Now, who is he?

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