RowPerfect Shop subscribe to newsletter

Dear customers, thank you for being loyal to Rowperfect. Unfortunately we closed our shop, we can't accept any new orders.
Our blog will still be running, feel free to check it out!
Customers from UK can still purchase products on Customers in the EU can purchase products on our Rowing-Network at

Which rowing style do you use?

Image via Wikipedia There are many ways to effectively move a rowing or sculling boat – but knowing … read more

Share this Post


1982: Martin Winter (front), Uwe Heppner (seco... Image via Wikipedia

There are many ways to effectively move a rowing or sculling boat – but knowing the style you want to use will help your crew align their technique so you are all using the same method to propel the hull through the water.  The advantage of this is that the propulsive movement of legs, back and arms are delivered simultaneously by each athlete so their individual body masses move through the sequence in a co-ordinated manner maximising the combined efforts of each crew member.

Body parts to use

Three parts of the body make up the propulsive power of the rowing stroke

  • legs
  • back
  • arms

The combination and sequencing of these three determine the different styles.  It is possible (though unusual) to use them each separately – legs-back-arms.  More normally, one blends into the next – legs-legs/back-arms, for example.

Four main styles have been identified:

  1. Adam – Comparatively long legs drive andlimited amplitude of the trunk.  Simultaneous activity of legs and trunk during the stroke;
  2. DDR – Large, forward declination of the trunk, which begins the drive, followed by simultaneous activity of the legs;
  3. Rosenberg – Large, forward declination of the trunk at the beginning of the stroke, then strong leg extension without significant trunk activation. At the end of the cycle the trunk stops in the deep backward position.
  4. Grinko – consequent timing and emphasis on the legs drive.

The two main distinguishing features  of each style are timing and emphasis on a body part.  Mapping these on two axes with body part on the vertical (trunk or body at the top and legs at the bottom) and timing on the horizontal on the left simultaneous (using body parts together at the same time) and on the right consequent (using each body part in sequence).  Gives this diagram of the four styles.

Four Rowing Styles diagram

How to work out your style

As a coach or an athlete you need to have a clear mental image of your preferred style so that you can assess whether you are successfully reproducing it in your boat.

Go and watch videos of good rowing.  There are great examples here, herehere and here.

Which is the style you prefer?

Source: Rowing Biomechanics newsletter

About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe

One thought on “Which rowing style do you use?

  1. Thanks for the comment, Sara-Mai
    If you took notes of what Tim McLaren said, we’d love to feature you as a guest blogger here.

Leave a Reply

Blog Related Posts

Masters International discussion with Marlene Royle

Calling all masters rowers – we have started a Facebook Group called “Masters Rowing International” to enable masters… read more

Olympics Liveblog – W4x

Next event is the womens quad. Eight entries in two heats. Heat 1: Poland, Germany, China an dUSA… read more

Explore Rowing Clubs get discount with Rowperfect

British Rowing’s Explore Rowing Programme has added two products sold by Rowperfect UK to its discount partner programme… read more

RowPerfect Shop subscribe to newsletter
Open chat
Questions, put an order, suggestions?
Hello, welcome to Rowperfect UK! How can we help you?