RowingChat: Rowing Technique and Aging


Masters rowing is one of the fastest growing parts of the sport.  Yet aging places compromises onto the rowing and sculling stroke.

Expert masters rowing coach, Marlene Royle joins Rebecca Caroe on this episode of RowingChat to discuss rowing technique and aging.

Listen to RowingChat Technique and Aging on SoundCloud

Timestamps to the interview

01:00 Introduction and background in Masters coaching

05:00 Sport and the aging process – changes due to disease, joint mobility, old injuries, mobility and strength.  Preserve co-ordination in the nervous system

09:00 Training these systems some can be trained and others have to be managed

10:00 Go faster by learning not to slow down.  What is your rhythm? This cna change boat speed – most people lose speed around the release

13:00 Gain new speed.  Entry timing, drive initiation

16:00 Gain strength – posture and body position in the boat is very important.  Good posture helps your muscles move QUIETLY

21:00 Spine health – what to check in your posture. How to check a neutral spine.  Exercise in a chair.  Stress on the rib cage.  Wrists flat is a safe position for joints.

30:00 Framework of support by making your body part of the structure of the boat.  Avoid extreme positions.  A ‘collected’ stroke rather than separated stroke.

36.00 Follow the path of hte handle with your body.  Regulate your range of motion – prevent weight falling in a direction that’s not conducive to moving the boat

41:00 Rigging tips – Oarlock height comes first.  Handles come to your centre of gravity.  Can you rest weight over the top of the oar handles?  Prioritise entry angle when choosing foot stretcher position.  Centre line of hip at centre of pin (or a bit sternwards).

47:00 Position of the heels to optimise the drive.  Do a test on the ergo – fixed rate for 2 minutes and change foot height.  Check your power or distance over each test to find the optimal position. Check your oars – standard size spoons can be 85cm inboard and 285 overall length or 1 cm shorter on both.

52:00 Customising your station in the boat – have confidence adjusting the boat and footstretcher.  Gives adaptability.  Could boat builders design boats that have masters athletes in mind?

55:00 Marlene is publishing a 1km Race Training Program in basic plan format.

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Watch RowingChat: Rowing Technique and Aging on YouTube


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. David Taylor

    In Marlene’s description of the sculling stroke she describes preferring applying the swing earlier in the stroke than what other coaches have instructed (legs, back, arms) please provide the rationale for this preference

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