Regatta Online - News and Features
News and Features
Issue 96 - March 1997
Six steps to make your training March forward
1. The right stuff
Opportunities for on-water activity may be limited during winter, but, says
national coach for lightweight men Sean Bowden, there is still plenty
to think about.
Keep developing the five main points from February - connection, time,
relaxation, posture and goal setting. The secret to good rowing is that there
is no secret. It is about making a relatively straightforward movement and
organising your time and training to ensure long-term improvement.
The boat should move through the water at relatively even rates of acceleration
and with no sudden or jerky changes in speed. Each rower must have a sense of
making the boat move through co-ordinated movements of the legs, back, arms and
oar relative to the movement of the boat across the water.
We know that the legs will push and the arms will pull, etc. These ideas must
not dominate the stroke but must add to the main concept of making fluid,
4. Hands, body, slide
This sequence should not be exaggerated, but the movements must combine to
allow the rower to move forewards with plenty of time on the slide in the best
position to start the next stroke and without pressurising the stretcher early
and 'stopping' the boat.
Single points to get right are:
- the knees should be let up once the handle has cleared them;
- the body weight should be forwards of the seat but not over-reached;
- the back should be supported and stable approaching the catch;
- pressure should not be applied to the stretcher until the blade is in the
Good balance comes from each rower and sculler being 'balanced' in their own
rowing. Timing and rhythm are integral to helping the boat sit level.
In rowing each oarsman should carry more of his weight to the inside of his
seat as he moves towards the catch. Balance can be monitored with the oars
through sensitivity of the hands.
5. Quality of training
Not everyone has hours of free time to train, but huge volumes of training in
itself offers no guarantee of success, either. Concentrate on each session,
and make it work as well as possible. First, each rower has to be focussed on
the aim of the session and have the desire to make it go well. Following this
there has to be the correct technical input whilst ensuring that the correct
training parameters are adhered to.
Lack of time generally means that the important part of training is neglected.
Rowing doesn't place high demands on flexibility and mobility, but the
inability to achieve the correct rowing positions comfortably will lead to poor
technique and risk of injury.
Flexibility training should take two forms:
There are many good books available covering this topic.
- part of the warm-up routine for each session, and
- developmental stretching to increase the range of movement of specific
© Copyright Regatta Magazine, 1997.
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