Concept2 master trainer Angela Hart shows how adjustments in your rowing technique can improve your power and efficiency.
At the catch, you want to achieve an acute angle of about 60 degrees, whereas at the finish, you want to achieve an obtuse angle of about 120 degrees, Hart says. While most rowers can achieve the angle at the back of their stroke, the front angle is problematic.
“You’ve gotta close the hinge so you can spring it open and get that power that you needed to make the rowing stroke effective,” Hart says.
A cue Hart provides for this front angle is to pinch a finger in the hip crease. “You want to feel that pinch occur before the knees bend,” she says.
Hart demonstrates proper rowing angles during the stroke and has the class follow along.
“Legs, hips, arms. Turn it around. Arms, hips, legs,” she cues. “Notice the rhythm: quick drive, slow recovery. Push, glide. Push, glide.”
Hart then builds the force curve from the catch, adding each piece together: the kick, the swing and then the pull. From the finish, she builds the second half of the curve, adding the pull, the swing and then the legs.
“Try to make sure your knees open before your hips. Keep your elbows long and loose until the shoulders are through the hips. Then you can bend the elbows,” Hart says.
Additional reading: Rowing Technique by Angela Hart, published Oct. 1, 2006.