Technique Drills

 

Technique Drills (Page 2 of 2)

 

Technique drills break the stroke down into constituent parts to separate out each movement. Four drills are particularly useful;

 

1. Fixed-seat (Arms & Body Only) Rowing Drill

 

The fixed-seat or arms and body only rowing drill ensures there is no leg action when moving from the release position through the rocked over phase to the rocked over position.

 

This drill improves smoothness of the transition from drive to return. It is also very helpful in correcting and improving posture by rocking from the pelvis and not bending from the lower back.

 

Instructor Tip: Stopping the drill at the rocked over position Check Point encourages the hands to flow smoothly throughout the transition from the release position through the rock-over phase. It also allows the user to concentrate on the body rock over from the hips and not the lower back.

 

 

2. Catch Drill

The catch drill isolates the leg action at the beginning of the drive.

 

Practice shoulder relaxation and leg-back co-ordination by moving back and forth between the catch position and the beginning of the drive. 

 

Concentrate on feeling the connection of the paddle in the water as it "locks on", with the arms and shoulders staying still as the legs start to drive down. In this phase of the stroke, the legs do everything, so the body angle should stay the same and the arms should be straight throughout the exercise. 

 

 

This drill can be tricky to teach.

 

 

3. Slide Drill

Slide drill commences with arms only rowing, then fixed-seat or arms & body only rowing, then the slide (or legs) are gradually included, beginning with half slide (half leg compression)) and finally full slide (full leg compression). This drill is particularly useful for teaching people correct technique in steps.

 

Arms Only Rowing: Arms Only Rowing drill is rowing using only the arms, the legs are kept in a straight position (knees can be bent slightly if more comfortable) and the body remains still.

 

 

 

 

Fixed Seat or Arms & Body Only Rowing: as with arms only rowing above, the legs are kept straight and the body is rocked over from the pelvis.  Only the upper body and arms are used.

 

 

 

 

Half slide: at the rocked over checkpoint, the knees break and the legs are allowed to compress to about half slide (the recovery checkpoint). The drive is commenced from the recovery checkpoint.

 

 

 

 

 

Full slide: concentrating on maintaining the above sequence of movement, the legs compress fully reaching the catch checkpoint.

 

 

 

 

 

Slide work combines the different slide length drills together so that the user gradually builds up to full side and then builds down to no slide.  This embeds the elements of technique into the full slide action. Practicing each slide length for a minute or so and then returning to full-range rowing enables you to feel the effect of each drill on your co-ordination.

An examples of using the slide drill when warming up is:

  • 20 strokes at no slide
  • 20 strokes at half slide
  • 20 strokes at full slide
  • 20 strokes at half slide
  • 20 strokes at no slide

 

 

4. Slow Slide Drill

The slow slide drill entails a slow (to very slow) return to the catch with the intention of over emphasizing relaxation and posture during the recovery. The slow slide drill improves slide control, enhancing ratio and rhythm.  The ratio of work to recovery can be increased to 1:3 or 1:4.

Instructor Tip:  Over emphasizing the slowness of the recovery can assist in the perception of control.

 

 

 

Technique Calls 

 

These are some examples of calls to re-emphasize correct rowing technique. 

 

The Drive

 

Support the spine - back straight

Even push away on the footboard

Hang off the handle

Straight arm / level arm draw 

Accelerate the handle

Try to allow the knees and arms to finish the drive at the same time

The Recovery

 

Keep the hands moving at all times especially around the turn at the release

Hands away, body over before knees break

Hold the knees down

Let the knees follow the handle

Slow up the slide, let the boat run (listen to the sound of the water)

Curl slowly up the slide like a spring ready to unwind, but stay relaxed

Try to get the seat close to your heels for full range of motion

Sit up (at all times)

Hands away, then the body, then the slide (or hands, body, slide)

Other

 

Keep the movement flowing (don't stop)

Tap it along

Lift and run

Relax and draw

Some of these calls can be confusing if not having rowed in a boat. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us


 

Common Technical Faults

 

Too many people the rowing stroke is an unnatural action. However, with the correct technical instruction most people can master rowing and enjoy its physiological benefits. We have outlined a number of common faults which as an instructor you need to be able to recognize and correct. 

Common faults to look out for include:

 

Bent Arm Rowing

 

Bent Wrists

 

Bum Shoving

 

Raising Knees too Early

 

Exaggerated Lean Back

 

Hunched Catch

 

Low Hands

 

Drawing Too High

 

Elbows Out

 

Hunched Finish

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Technique Faults - Bent Arm Rowing

Bending the arms too early on in the drive phase or not straightening the arms properly at the release and during the recovery phase.

 

 

Correction: think of hanging off the handle as you drive with the legs and feel the paddle pick up the water.  At the release think of moving hands away, and reaching out with straight arms (not locked) on the recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

Technique Faults - Bent Wrists

 

Bent wrists, as the name suggests, occurs when the user cocks the wrist either up or down. This can occur either in the catch position or the release position. The wrists should be flat and the fingers simply hooked over the handle.

 

 

 

Tips for correction include;

 

• Focus on drawing the handle to the second from bottom rib.

• Focus on keeping the elbows close to the body.

• Focus on keeping the forearm horizontal.

• Squeeze the shoulder blades together at the release.

 

 

 

Technique Faults - Seat Shoving

 

The seat shove occurs when the drive of the legs is not well connected to the handle. The seat is pushed back and the shoulders are left forward.

Tell tale signs include;

 

• The seat moves independently of the handle

• The body angle closes as the legs are driven down

Tips for correction include;

 

• Focus on the seat being connected to the handle with the seat only moving when the handle moves.

• Focus on not closing the body angle but maintaining the same torso position through the beginning of the stroke.

• Keep chest up and spine straight

 

 

 

Technique Faults - Raising the Knees too Early

Raising the knees too early, as the name suggests, occurs when the user raises the knees before the hands have moved beyond the knees. The hands should move away from the body and over the knees before the knees break. This is known as the rock over phase.

 

Tell tale signs include;

 

• The hands fall in behind the knees

• The hand height varies up and down  

Tips for correction include;

 

• Focus on moving the hands away from the body and rocking the torso over before the knees break

• Focus on finishing the stroke with the hands away and torso over and not at the release

• Let the knees follow the handle up the slide on the recovery.

 

 

Technique Faults - Exaggerated Lean Back

The exaggerated lean back occurs when the user over exaggerates the use of the torso through the early part of the drive. The torso position at the Release should be just past the vertical.

Tell tale signs include;

 

• The body leans too far back as seen in the animation.

 

• The torso is used to draw the handle back rather than using the legs and arms.

 

 

 

Tips for correction include;

 

• Focus on sitting tall and just past the vertical at the end of the Drive in the Release position.

 

• Focus on using the legs for the first part of the Drive and finishing with drawing in the handle to the body.

 

• Focus on sitting tall yet relaxed throughout the rowing stroke.

 

 

Technique Faults - Hunched Catch

 

Hunched catch, as the name suggests, occurs when the user is hunched over at the catch. Hunched catches show bad posture and may make the user susceptible to back injuries.

  Tell tale signs include;

• The back is exaggeratedly curved at the catch

• The head is down at the catch

Tips for correction include;

• Focus on strong posture

• Focus on keeping the head up.

• Focus on looking forward.

• Focus on getting the seat up close to the heels at the catch.

 

 

Technique Faults - Low Hands

Low hands, as the name suggests, occurs when the user carries the hands too low on the way forward. The hands should move away from the body and back to the catch in a horizontal line.

  Tell tale signs include;

• The hands follow the profile of the legs

• The catch position is short

  Tips for correction include;

• Focus on reaching above the tank, not to the tank, reaching for the front pulley of the machine

• At the release think of moving hands away, and reaching out with straight arms (not locked) on the recovery.

 

 

Technique Faults - Drawing Too High

Drawing too high, as the name suggests, occurs when the user draws the handle too high. The handle should be drawn in to the middle of the torso, about the second from bottom rib.

 Tell tale signs include;

• The handle is drawn up uncomfortably high

• The elbows are poking out

Tips for correction include;

• Focus on drawing the handle to the second from bottom rib.

• Focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together.

 

 

Technique Faults - Elbows Out

Elbows out, as the name suggests, occurs when the user pokes their elbows out. This can often be associated with drawing too high. The elbows should be tucked into the side of the body as shown.

Tell tale signs include;

• The handle is drawn too high

• The elbows are poking out

Tips for correction include;

• Focus on drawing the handle to the second from bottom rib.

• Focus on keeping the elbows close to the body.

• Focus on keeping the forearm horizontal.

 



Technique Faults - Hunched Finish

Hunched finish, as the name suggests, occurs when the user is hunched over at the finish. Hunched finishes show bad posture and may make the user susceptible to back injuries.

Tell tale signs include;

• The back is exaggeratedly curved at the finish.

• The head is down at the finish.

• The shoulders are in front of the hip at the finish.

Tips for correction include;

• Focus on strong posture, sitting up.

• Focus on keeping the head up.

• Focus on looking forward.

• Focus on keeping the shoulders back at the finish.

• Keep feet firmly on the foot stretcher during the drive.


 

 

Additional information