Helpful Drills To Improve Your Upper Body Preparation On The Recovery While Rowing

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Upper body preparation on the recovery while rowing

Set Your Body Early In The Recovery

I spent some time this morning putting together some instructional videos to help with basic stroke fundamentals. The videos below help with body movement and preparation on the recovery. It is very important that a rower has the correct sequence of movement out of the release or finish position. If the rower can lock the arms away and set the body to establish forward body angle early then a lot of good things can happen after that.

For this reason, drills that help an athlete establish the forward body angle early can help with following technical issues.

  1. The length of the stroke is established by setting the body angle early in the recovery.
  2. If the body angle is set early there is no need for any more adjustment of body angle as the athlete approaches the catch. When early body preparation is established then the athlete is less likely to lunge for more length. Lunging for more length is detrimental to boat speed because it promotes imbalance, shortens stroke length and disrupts power application
  3. If the athlete has the correct body angle at the catch/entry it is more likely that they will initialize the stroke with the legs and drive through the hips.

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When selecting drills to improve an athlete’s technical rowing, it is important to choose exercises that break the stroke down into smaller components. The drills shown in the videos above accomplish this. The pause drill at arms away, followed by the two-part pause (this drill builds as it progresses) allows the athlete to establish the correct body position before the athlete approaches the catch. In the other video, the drill that combines a repeated two stroke cycle (one full-length stroke and one arms and body stroke, repeat) does an effective job of integrating the upper body preparation learned in the first drill with the full stroke. This alternating drill enables all athletes to “swing” together in a crew and that helps promote boat speed on the recovery and crew cohesion.

In conclusion, when picking a drill to incorporate into practice, try to think about ways that the drill can be used to reinforce the complete stroke cycle. Drills out of context of their application in the actual full stroke will not be as transferable as they could and should be.

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