The inflexible masters rower


I am a masters rower and find it extremely hard to get into full compression. My coach just shouts at me and tells me to make a change, which I am finding very frustrating and unhelpful. I have ordered a seat pad to raise my seat height and was wandering of you could suggest any other changes I could make in my boat. I also row over a barrel in an arch. I am down for every session and try to make changes I am just not able to get it into my head what to do. Can you help me? Is it me or the rigging?

Dear Inflexible Masters Rower,

your commitment is impressive – the thing about flexibility is that it’s time consuming to change…. and as older athletes it takes longer to change.

Here are rowing flexibility suggestions

  1. go to a sports masseuse or an osteopath and ask them to give you a massage to loosen up the joints / muscles which are not as flexible as you coach wants. This could be a once a week for a month programme to help you on your way
  2. ask the same person to give you stretches to do daily to improve your flexibility. Or buy Yoga for Rowers from our shop… read this review by Anna who spent a couple of months doing the exercises. If you’ve never done yoga before, go to a class a couple of times so you know the basic postures and how to get into them (it’s easier to be shown than to copy a photo with your head between your knees!!)
  3. if part of your flexibility challenge is your ankles and getting compressed into the catch, brush your teeth every morning and night squatting on the floor in the catch position. Two minutes in that posture twice a day is a great stretch aide.

Let me know how you get on!


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. graham cawood

    Use a 1:1 work:recovery ratio of about 25 spm. Allow the momentum of you moving up the slide to compress you for the catch. The blade stopping will stretch your arms, and at full stretch drop the newly squared blade in the water. Use the rebound from all this to help start the work. NO PAUSING!! It will all feel easier as you warm up.
    Have fun.

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