For instructional purposes it can help to break the rowing action into its three phases and three corresponding positions.
The release position is at the end of the Drive phase. The Release is where active propulsion of the boat ceases and the oar is removed from the water. This is not the end of the stroke but simply the change in direction of the handle.
Phase I - The Rock Over Phase
The Rock Over phase begins at the release position and ends at the Rock Over position. The arms extend and the torso rocks over from the pelvis (not the lower back).
Position II - The Rocked Over Position
The Rocked Over position occurs at the end of the Rock Over phase. The arms are extended and the torso is rocked over adopting the upper body positioning of the catch.
Phase II - The Recovery Phase
The Recovery phase begins at the Rocked Over position and ends at the Catch position. No active propulsion takes place at this point. There is no movement of the upper body and torso during the Recovery phase, just the legs. All torso and upper body positions have been set at the Rocked Over position
Position III - The Catch Position
The catch position is the position of the body at the end of the recovery phase and the beginning of the drive phase. The body is coiled like a spring, ready to release.
Phase III - The Drive Phase
The drive phase is the work phase of the rowing action beginning at the catch position and ending at the release position.
Please click here to view Slow Motion of the Drive Phase