Teaching how to hinge from the hip in rowing


For coaches one of the most challenging techniques to teach to athletes is improving the body over position in the stroke cycle.

Rowing hinge from the hip by Joe de Leo Rowing hinge from the hip by Joe de Leo

Here is a brand new video where Joe de Leo helps rower Matt George improve his toe touch as well as teaching him to move from his hips.

Moving from the hips in rowing

Here is what you will learn:

  • How to improve flexibility in the posterior chain
  • Separating movement from low back vs. movement from hips/pelvis
  • The importance of the weight shift from the back of the seat to front of the seat
  • Strategies you can implement for yourself or with your own athletes!

I watched the full video and noticed that on the third try Matt manages to touch his toes 2’50” into the video.
At 5’42” Joe moves into how to move from the hips – note how touching his head creates the lift up in the torso posture and isolates the pelvis movement.

8’24” how to make the pelvis move alone – this is very challenging and a key step in the tutorial
He does this by teaching a one leg lunge and pelvic movement.

12’00” Shift the weight from the back of the erg seat to the front of the seat “hip hinging” successfully.

Abdominal Training to Improve Rib Cage Position in the Rowing Stroke

An abdominal exercise called the back pressure crunch is also helpful where the athlete does not sit correctly on the seat while on the recovery.

Using a band to help them feel what they should be doing to maintain proper rib cage and pelvis position.

  1. sniff air through nose, exhale through the diaphragm.
  2. push out through the rib cage – push pelvis down into the floor. this engages the abdominals
  3. the band should not slide if the core is engaged.

Teach athletes how to maintain the position by using their abdominals
Stage two is learning how to straighten legs while the coach is still pulling on the band.  It should not slip.
Do 10-20 second holds. This teaches the athlete how to keep their rib cage down in the pelvis – increasing difficulty by adding in the leg movement.

4’30” on the erg note that Joe is careful to go back to the beginning and teach it over again when the athlete does the movement wrong.  He describes this as “preventing the rib cage lift and flare”.  The athlete is instructed to do deliberate rowing strokes.

7’26” the athletes gets into incorrect form

  • How to improve rib cage and body over position in the rowing stroke.
  • How to avoid arching/hyperextending through the lumbar spine.
  • Moving from the pelvis and hips to set the upper body/torso position.

These are all strategies you can implement for yourself or with your own athletes! Or contact Joe de Leo.


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