The technique of Rowing – sorry SCULLING!


image Rowing is a bit like swimming: attention to detail is key and makes a massive difference to your speed and power.

I know that a good technique from the start stands you in good stead so I have listened very carefully to the coaches during my novice season, and have been praised for being able to make instant changes when I am given advice. Still, there’s a lot still to be learned. In fact, you can never stop learning.

I spent a lot of last season getting the basics right. I found it really hard to get both wrists straight and flat like this picture, which is key for enabling the blades to catch and exit the water correctly.

Now I have mastered that (kinda!) I am now onto the task of correcting the grip.

image

The rowers ‘death grip’!

Rowing is associated with constant blisters. I had lots at first. I was told that the blisters tell you a tale, and their position tells you if you are gripping right or wrong.

When I started, I needed to take all my rings off, to minimise blisters. I have since learned that in fact I should only use my fingers, not my whole hand. So now I am trying to make sure I get blisters in the right places, aka fingers only!

I have managed to correct my grip to look like this:

Kinda the loose grip of the left picture with my thumb in the position shown in the right picture.

I have managed over the last few weeks, to eliminate the blisters I used to get on my palms, and can now leave my rings on. So I must be doing something right!

Today was a short row, spent on technique a lot of the time, with a really slow stroke rate. I was able to practice my grip, then I added some effort to my stroke, while the other three continued to cruise. In effect a personal Fartlek! It was a reduced time, so I needed to get the workout in somehow! It was also good to practice the technique under the pressure of increased effort.

Its like anything, when tired or going hell for leather, technique tends to go out the window, when in fact it is the most important element!

Today, only one small blister on Palm side of one knuckle. Awesome! Lol

PS: for the record, rowing is when each person uses one oar (the picture right at the top) and sculling is using two ‘sculls’ each, not called oars, which are much longer.

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