Entries in Sculling (3)

Wednesday
Nov062013

Diagnostic of rowing performance and technique to optimise technique training

We were fortunate enough to have Klaus Mattes present on the topic: Diagnostic of rowing performance and technique to optimise technique training

Mahe Drysdale and Ondrej Synek was used as examples as to how rowers can apply technique under different conditions and importantly, during different segments of the 2000m race, whether it be at the start or in the last 250m. Using the 2013 World Champion, Synek, and the 2012 Olympic Champion, he went onto note how individual characteristics of internationally successful rowing teams can be misinterpreted as "a development of rowing technique".

Mattes explained the following:

- How rowing technique can be tested with the help of biomechanics.

- How results from these biomenchanical measurements can be interpreted.

- Using biomechanical feedback from racing.

Key areas that were identified were:

- Biomechanical measurement such as force angles in the gate, foot stretches and the boat.

- The rowing angle, stroke phases as well as boat velocity.

Using these, Mattes explained that the graphs used from elite German crews highlighted that these different measurements before and after feedback could positively impact on the cure and therefore boat speed.

For more on this topic: 

More talks for the Youth Coaching Conference:

Arne Gullich's presentation on Considering long term sustainability in talent promotion – Implications for talent development in rowing.'

Marc Swienty's presentation on the Olympic training centre and rowing boarding school Ratzeburg: Structures and objectives.’ 

Mario Woldt on Actual aspects and considerations of ethics in sport.

Klaus Mattes on: ‘Diagnostic of rowing performance and technique to optimise technique training

Nina Schaffert on: 'Visual and auditory / acoustic feedback to optimise rowing technique and boat acceleration'

 

Monday
Jan092012

Boat Orientation & Skill Level in Sculling Boats

Constanze Loschner & Margy Galloway - New South Wales Institute of Sport, Sydney, Australia

Provided by: CoachesInfo.com   


The amount of yaw, pitch and roll induced in the boat by a sculler will affect the efficiency of boat propulsion. The purpose of this study was to analyse the movement of a rowing boat (Single Scull) in three dimensions and relate the results to the rowing style of the sculler. The study examines the relationship between the boat orientations and the seat and hand position. In rowing, the pitch of the boat is influenced by the movement of the seat and the rowers' body mass. The roll and yaw of the boat is dependent on the skill level of the athlete. All movement in any of these three directions will influence the boat velocity.

Introduction

The speed of the boat (and therefore the athletes' performance) is very dependent on the stability of the boat. Being able to keep the boat balanced around all axes will decrease the water resistance (hydrodynamic drag) and will be energetically more efficient for the athlete to maintain or increase boat speed. The rower's seat and body mass move along the longitudinal axis of the boat and the system (boat, athlete and sculls) is unstable. The crossing of the handles during the drive and recovery phase adds asymmetrical elements to the rowing motion and so to the roll and the yaw of the hull (Wagner, Bartmus, de Marees,1993). Until now there has only been one study that has examined boat motion in three dimensions. In that paper only example data for two rowers was reported. If boat orientation information was available, it could be linked with aspects of the rower's technique and ultimately lead to improvements.
 
The purpose of this study was to measure boat orientation during single sculling and to relate the results to characteristics of the rower and the rowers' technique and performance.

Materials & Methods

Thirteen single scullers were directed to row at four ascending rating steps (20,24,28 and above 32 strokes per minute (str×min-1)) for 20 strokes each, separated by one minute of light rowing. The athletes were all experienced elite level rowers with the potential to step up into the international level over the next two years. The composition of the testing group was: 6 male (2 heavyweight, 4 lightweight) and 7 female (5 heavyweight, 2 lightweight) rowers.
 
The biomechanical testing boat was set up and adjusted for each athlete incorporating their individual requirements (pins, seat, footstretcher height, pitch and position). The transducers were all calibrated before each test and the data were sampled at 100 Hz and telemetered to the shore.
 
The measurements taken to describe the body movement of the athlete were: as an indication of hand position, the oar angles (electrogoniometer) on both sides mounted over the pin and, as an indication of trunk position, the seat displacement (cable and drum driven potentiometer). The boat angular velocity in all three dimensions was measured with three gyroscopes and the boat linear velocity with a magnetised impeller and coil sensor.
 
The gyroscopes and the velocity sensor were placed in the centre of the longitudinal axis of the boat. The three dimensions measured were determined as: X-axis (Yaw), Y-axis (Pitch), Z-axis (Roll) (Figure 1).
 
Figure 1 .Definition of boat axes and orientation

X-Axis: Yaw
Change of boat direction around the vertical axis of the boat
Y-Axis: Pitch
Change of boat direction around the horizontal axis of the boat
Z-axis: Roll
Change of boat direction around the longitudinal axis of the boat
Negative Value
Bow turns to Bow Side (left side)

Positive Value
Bow turns to Stroke Side (right side)

Negative Value
Bow goes up

Positive Value
Bow goes down

Negative Value
towards Bow Side (left side)

Positive Value
towards stroke side (right side)

 

 

The angular velocity of the three boat directions was integrated to evaluate angular displacement (degrees) with a resolution of 0.1 degrees. The frequency bandwidth was limited to 0.15 - 20 Hz. The whole time series was examined for transient effects of wind gusts, for example, and these sections excluded from the data analysis. Only the within-stroke changes in orientation for each rower were considered. The data was subsequently normalised to percent of stroke and each rower's strokes averaged.

Results

Discussion: The results of this study indicated the variability of the boat movement in all three dimensions throughout the whole test. Although the timing and amplitude of the leg drive (Range = 0.61 m, mean SD = 0.006 m) and arm drive (Range = 111.4 degrees, mean SD = 0.792 degrees) was remarkably similar among all rowers, the boat orientation showed high variability among these athletes. Analysing the three dimensions separately there are some clear differences, which seem to affect the boat run.

Pitch The pattern of the 'Pitch graph' for all subjects showed the same changes throughout the stroke. The range of motion was from 0.3 to 0.5 degrees. There was a moderate correlation of 0.68 between the rowers' mass and the pitch range of motion. Thus about 50% of the variability in pitch motion can be accounted for by the mass of the rower.

There are three significant points that relate to the transfer of the body weight (at the first half of drive phase - peak velocity of leg drive; finish of the stroke - release of blades; first half of recovery phase - Start of leg drive). The change in the pitch correlates with the transfer of the weight of the athlete and the distribution of vertical forces between the seat and the stretcher. The bow reaches the lowest point during the finish of the stroke and the change of direction of motion of the rowers' trunk.

Yaw:This group of subjects produced a yaw ranging from 0.1 to 0.6 degrees. 0.5 degrees correspond to a 2.5 cm movement at the bow of the boat. The changes appeared especially during the first half of the drive phase, where the major forces were applied to the blade and the footstretcher as well as when the oar handles cross over during the drive phase.

Roll The range of direction changes around the longitudinal axis was the highest of all three dimensions being from 0.3 to 2.0 degrees. The 'roll' of the boat started just after the catch. Some athletes were capable of keeping the boat very stable around the longitudinal axis.
The more drastic changes of the boat orientation, the more the boat velocity was affected. This could be one explanation for a lighter athlete being able to row faster over a short distance, even with less force applied to the boat.

Conclusion

The results demonstrate a high relationship between the:

  • Boat orientation and boat run
  • Boat orientation and technique, technique adjustments (skill level, weather conditions)
  • Boat orientation (Pitch) and Weight of the athlete.
  • Information about the boat orientation provides athletes and coaches with another performance indicator that can be applied during training and performance assessment.

References

Wagner,J., Bartmus,U., de Marees,H. (1993). Three Axes Gyro System Quantifying the Specific Balance of Rowing. International Journal of Sports Medicine,14,35-38

Sunday
Jul172011

Mike Spracklen's Notes, October 1987

By: Mike Spracklen, October 1987
From: Spracklen's Notes
PDF site link: Spracklen's Notes

TRAINING FOR TECHNIQUE

This training System has been designed to provide a variety of methods that are compatible with the process of learning good rowing technique. The methods are not dissimilar to those used by coaches throughout the rowing world, but they have been adapted to encourage the improvement of technique in such a way that technical progress is an important part of the System.

The System originated from the concept that technique should play a bigger part in the preparation of oarsmen for racing. One benefit to be gained from the principle of this System of training is that the drudgeries of winter training become purposeful. The oarsmen become distracted from the hard work

they are doing without realizing it!

Mike Spracklen.
October 1987

TECHNIQUE

An efficient technique is essential for the greatest utilization of athletic endeavor. The sport of rowing is a highly skilled activity and even small deficiencies can detract from a rower’s performance.

There is more than one way to move a boat fast through the water and gold medals have been won using a variety of different techniques. There is one common factor present in all fast crews, which is that the rowers in those boats apply their power together. As in the old adage, 'a load shared is a load halved'.

In order to achieve efficiency of effort, the oarsperson must be taught to row with identical movements. This is referred to as 'style'. It is for the benefit of all rowing that rowers be taught a uniform style. It is to the benefit of our international squads if a common style is adopted by all.

Technique has played a minor role in Britain during the past decade. In an environment where success is easier to achieve from physical training than by the slower methods of teaching technique, successes at higher levels have been elusive. Improvements in technique would help to improve the performances of our International crews in the world.

FACTORS AFFECTING THE PROCESS OF LEARNING A NEW ROWING STYLE

When trying to adapt to a different technique, whether it is a completely new movement or a change, a rower has more difficulty in controlling his actions in certain identifiable circumstances and the learning process slows down. These problem areas are identified as follows:

  1. at high rates of striking
  2. at maximum intensity of work
  3. in a state of physical tiredness
  4. when large increases and sudden changes are demanded
  5. when too many changes are to be made at one time

This system avoids the extremes of these adverse conditions. Increases are made in easy stages and only when a rower has shown that he/she is able to cope with the change are further increases demanded of him/her. Training periods of long duration at low rates form the foundation of the System. At low rates the oarsperson is able to control their movements and make corrections as they go when deterioration occurs. The gradual onset of fatigue when training over long distances permits control to be attained. When explosive work is introduced the rower will have built a sound foundation to cope with high demands without loss of form.

The more hours spent on the water practicing a particular movement the sooner that movement will become natural to the rower. This 'grooving in' process is accelerated when the rowers are able to hold good form through long periods of tiredness, but care must be taken to ensure that quality is not lost and that bad faults are not being ingrained. The ultimate test for an rower's technical ability is whether or not he/she can hold good quality when he is under extreme pressure from physical exertion, like the last 250 meters of that one important race!

An outline of the techniques practiced by the men’s' heavyweight squad are illustrated in this pamphlet. To explain the training methods which will help to achieve good technique is the purpose of this publication.

TRAINING

Whilst importance is placed on the improvement of technique in this System, the training methods have been devised to provide the best preparation for oarsmen at all levels of competition. Training for the improvement of endurance levels is a high priority. Long outings with variations of low rates are essential for the development of strength coordination and aerobic endurance as well as for 'grooving in' new techniques. This System provides guidelines for achieving a sound physical and physiological foundation for 2000-meter racing.

TRAINING LOADS

Training loads have been prepared so that one method can be compared with another even though the work content may be different. The loads have been derived from a mixture of simple mathematics and the experience of crew training up to the highest levels of competition.

  • The methods are based on a normal training load representing 80% of a rower’s maximum effort. The suffix 'N after the method code signifies Normal Training Load.
  • Maximum loads are suffixed with 'H’ signifying High Loads. High loads are equal to 100% effort and are calculated by increasing a normal load by 25%.
  • Reduced loads are suffixed with the letter 'L' signifying low loads and these are generally 25% below the normal load.

The work methods have been prepared on a time basis rather than on distances. This allows a rower to work at his own pace regardless of the type of boat in which he is training e.g. pair, four or single. The intensity of work is programmed to suit the ability of the oarsmen individually or the squad as a whole.

When no suffix is shown against a Method Code, only one set is required. A numeral before the code will indicate the number of sets to be completed.

An example of a training load for an International oarsman who is training twice a day for six days a week would be, five sessions at 'N', normal load, one or two at 'H', high load, 3 or 4 at 'L, low load with one or two light outings.

REST PERIODS

The recovery periods between sets should be sufficient to allow the pulse rate of an oarsperson, after work, to drop below 120 beats per minute. These rest periods are shown as 5 minutes light paddling, but should be reduced as the rower’s physical condition improves with training. 

INTENSITY OF WORK

All strokes, unless otherwise stated, are rowed as hard as can be maintained for the session. An important part of the system is that pressure is maintained as the rates rise so that an oarsperson is able to apply maximum output to 200 strokes when he needs to!

AEROBIC/ANAEROBIC CONTENT

All work methods below the rate of 30 are continuous for the improvement of aerobic capacity. Where the stretch of water does not permit continuous work, turns should be made quickly and the work set back by 30 seconds. Work above rate 32 contains a high anaerobic content. This type of work is done intermittently with controlled rests between each set piece. 

WARMING UP AND WINDING DOWN

Stretching exercises should be made routine, before and after each session. Thirty minutes of warming up paddling should be done before scheduled work commences. A more specific warm up should be adopted before intensive training so that the body is in a fully prepared condition.

Fifteen minutes of paddling after exercise to wind down is important. Gentle muscular contraction helps the body to clear waste products, which have accumulated in the blood stream during heavy exercise.

RATE CHANGES

Rates of striking (stroke rate) are changed by only two strokes per minute at any one time. These gradual changes help the rower to retain technical control during and after the change has been made.

Increases in rates are carried out by generally quickening movements (lively recovery and faster catches etc.) and reductions, by sliding slower forward between strokes.

Rhythm is affected by the speed of the boat. Two or three slightly shorter and quicker strokes will increase boat speed and help the rower to achieve a higher rate whilst maintaining a good rhythm.

It is not easy for a crew to make a rate change and to hold the rate consistently for any length of time. Rates should be checked frequently and adjusted when necessary. It should not be expected that a crew will achieve the rates on every occasion, often the crew will have difficulty in making the change successfully without loss of quality. It is the determination to improve which is of greater value than the actual rate which is scheduled.

HOW THE SYSTEM OPERATES

A particular point of technique is selected in a rower or crew. This may be emphasis on part of the stroke or a correction to an existing movement. Examples would be:

  1. Individual fault corrections
  2. Greater acceleration of the blade through the stroke and stronger finishes
  3. A longer reach forward

A target rate is selected and a period of time for improvement allocated in the training program. At the beginning of a winter period the target rate would be 26 or 28 and the time period about 14 days depending on the difficulty of the change

The first outing would be a long piece of work at a low rate. The coach would ensure that the correct interpretation and application of the change during this outing, was accomplished.

Various methods involving rate changes below the target rate are introduced to add flexibility and variety to the program. The rowers have to concentrate on control of movements as rates change up and down. Gradually confidence grows and the change is 'grooved in' at the lower rates.

The rates slowly increase throughout the period. Care is taken by the coach to ensure that when deterioration occurs the rate is reduced until good form is reestablished.

At the end of the period the target rate is consolidated with a long row.

If the desired success has not been achieved, the coach decides from which point the schedule should be repeated or whether a new approach should be adopted. If the crew has been successful the coach will select another point of technique for improvement and a similar process is completed. Even at the highest levels there is always room for improvement. No rower is perfect.

The coach uses his/her skills to decide which point of technique are important. He/she will usually work on the weakest link in the chain throughout the training period, gradually improving one fault after another until his crew has achieved good technique at race rate at the end of the winter.

The rate of improvement will of course depend on the ability of the rowers, their motivation, and degree of difficulty of the change and of course the skill of the coach. Perfection is never achieved and the coach decides which points of technique are worth pursuing and those that are not.

 

METHODS

The meanings of some words used are as follows:

PROGRAM

The complete training program in its entirety

PERIOD 

A specified period of time within the program

SESSION

One complete training session from stretching exercises to winding down.

METHOD  

The type of work and its content

SET OR SET PIECE

A piece of continuous work normally part of a Method.

QUALITY

Refers to technique

CONTINUOUS

Work done without change of pressure.

INTERMITTENT

Work done with light paddling between each set piece

Note:  

“minute” is symbolized by ‘ … therefore the following: “change rates at 3' 2' 1' 2' 3' 4' - 11' total” -reads as “change rates at 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minutes, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes – 11 minutes total.”

DESCRIPTION OF “METHODS”

PYRAMID

Change rates at 3' 2' 1' 2' 3' 4' - 11' total.

Rates increase then decrease by 2 at each change.  

CASTLE

 

Change rates up and down by 2 alternately every 2 minutes.  

PYRAMID  CASTLE  

Change rates by 2 at end of each minute as follows: 22,24,26,24,26,28,26,26,26,28,26,24,26,24,22. -15' total.   

STAIRCASE

Increase rate by 2 at each stage.  

LADDER

Row 20 strokes at each rate with 10 light strokes between each change. Rates increase by 2 strokes per minute.

 

E.g.       24 to 34, 26 to 36 etc

 

 

CONSOLIDATION

Continuous work for the time and rate given.  

SPEED WORK

 

 

5 (5 x 20 strokes. 10 light between) rate 36. Rate 36 - 500 strokes

Rate 36 - 400 strokes Rate 40 - 300 strokes

 

 

WORKOUTS

This section implements all of the preceding sections. For the most part each workout is outlined in terms of training effect, training load, and technical aim; these will be bolded for ease of understanding.

PYRAMID

 

Change rates at 3' 2' 1' 2' 3' 4' - 11' total.   

Rates increase then decrease by 2 at each change.

 

 

 

 

Minutes

 

Total

 

 

3’

2’

1’

2'

3’ 

11’

PYR 24 

5 sets at rates

20

22

24 

22 

20 

55’ 

PYR 26

5 sets at rates 

22

24 

26 

24 

22 

55’

PYR 28

4 sets at rates

24

26

28

26

24

44’

PYR 30

3 sets at rates

26

28 

30 

28 

26 

33’

PYR 32

3 sets at rates

28

30 

32 

30 

28 

33’

PYR 34

2 sets at rates

30

32 

34 

32 

30 

33’ 

When the above Pyramids are rowed continuously -each set piece with a five-minute period of light paddling between sets - training effect is improvement of aerobic capacity.  

When these Pyramids are rowed intermittently -one minute light paddling between each rate change and a five minute rest period of light paddling between sets -training effect is improvement of aerobic capacity and acclimatization of lactate in the body

All the above work is Normal training load, but can be increased or reduced by 25%. Alterations should be made to times, making sure that the Pyramid principle is retained, but normally a different type of work would be done if it is necessary to amend the load for the best training effect.

Technical aim is to establish good technique at the lowest rate and to hold this quality as the rate increases. This method is a useful part of the system because longer pieces are rowed at the lower rates and the quality at the higher rates has to be held for a shorter space of time. It is equally important to hold quality when rates drop during the second half of a Pyramid.

When no suffix is shown, one only set is required.
A Half Pyramid refers to first half.

CASTLE

 

 

 

 

Minutes

Method 

Rates

Changes

Total

CAS 24 N

22 & 24

2’

66’

CAS 26 N

24 & 26

2’

44’

CAS 28 N

26 & 28

2’

36’

CAS 30 N

28 & 30

2’

26’

 

This work is continuous. If turns are necessary, they should be made within 30 seconds with work resuming as quickly as possible. Training effect is improvement of aerobic capacity. 

 

 

 

Minutes

 

Method

Rates

Changes

Total 

Execution 

CAS 32 N

30

+ 32

2'

24'

3 x  8'

CAS 34 N

32

+ 34

18'

3 x 6'

CAS 36 N

34

+ 36

1¼’

15'

3 x  5'

CAS 38 N

36

+ 38

1'

12'

3 x  4'

 

This work is intermittent with five minutes of light paddling between sets. Training effect is development of anaerobic capacity.   

Training loads            'N' = Normal training load of approximately 80%

 

'H' = High training load of 100%, an increase of 25%

‘L’  = Low training load of 60% a decrease of 25%

Technical aim is to establish good quality at the higher rate making sure that the quality improves when more time is available at the lower rate.

Where the stretch of water does not permit more than eight minutes of continuous work the changes are reduced to 1½ minutes. Below five minutes the changes are reduced to intervals of one minute. The total time for the method remains.

PYRAMID CASTLE

 

1.    PYR/CAS  28  L

The rates change every one-minute as follows:

22,24,26,24,26, 28,26,28,26,28, 26,24,26,24,22.

Continuous work for 15 minutes x two sets   =total work 30 minutes.

The rate of striking (stroke rate) increases by two strokes at the end of each minute. At the end of the third minute the rate returns to the rate of the previous minute and starts the same process again until the maximum rate of 28 is reached. The method then follows a pattern of the same format returning to the original rate of 22.

'N' Normal training load is three sets x 15 min - total 45 minutes. 'H' High training load is four sets x 15 min - total 60 minutes.

2.   PYR/CAS  30  N

The rates change every one minute as follows:

24, 26, 28, 26, 28, 30, 28, 30, 28, 30, 28, 26, 28, 26, 24

Continuous work for 15 minutes x two sets = total work 30 minutes. The format is exactly as for PYR/CAS 28 above.

'H' High training load is three sets x 15 minutes - total 45 minutes. 'L' Low training load is one set of 15 minutes.

Technical aim. This method is a valuable part of the System. If the oarsmen are unable to hold quality when rates increase the reduction of rate gives sufficient time for the quality to be re-established.

If the stretch of water allows thirty minutes of continuous work the changes should be increased to two minutes. When no suffix is shown, one only set is required.

STAIRCASE

Method

Sets

Rates 

Changes 

Set 

Total 

Light 

SIC 26 N

x 20:22:24:26: 

4'

16'

45' 

3’

S/C 28 N

3

x 20:22:24:26:28:

3’

15'

45'

3’

S/C 30 N

3

x 20:22:24:26:28:30:

2’

12'

36'

2’

S/C 32 N

3

x

22:24:26:28:30:32:

1½’

9'

27'

1½’

S/C 34 N

4

x

24:26:28:30:32:34:

1'

6' 

24'

1’

 

 

 

 

 

Strokes 

 

S/C 36 N 

8

x 26:28:30:32:34:36: 

10

60

480 

2’

S/C 38 N

7

x 28:30:32:34:36:38:

10

60

420

2'

S/C 40 N

6

x 30:32:34:36:38:40:

10

60

360

2'

S/C 42 N

x 32:34:36:38:40:42:

10 

60

300

2' 

All work is rowed continuously for each set with light paddling between sets.  

The training effect of staircases below rate 32 are basically for improvement of aerobic endurance and above 32 the work is anaerobic.

Training load. When no suffix is shown on the schedule this indicates that only one set piece is required. If more than one Staircase is required, the Method Code will be preceded by the number e.g. 2 x 5/C 40. Staircases are seldom used for an entire workload; they are used to supplement others to make a useful session of complex work.

Technical aim is to establish quality at the lowest rates and to hold good form throughout the session. Technically this is one of the toughest exercises in the scheme.

LADDER

Row 20 strokes at each rate with 10 light strokes between each change. Rates increase by 2 strokes per minute.

Method

Rates

Strokes

Set

Total 

Light 

LAD 26 N

20: 22: 24: 26

80

24

1920

1’

LAD 28 N

20:22:24:26:28

100

16

1600

1’

LAD  30 N

20: 22: 24: 26: 28: 30

120

12

1440

1’

LAD  32 N

22: 24: 26: 28: 30: 32

120

9

1080

2’

LAD  34 N

24: 26: 28: 30: 32: 34

120

8

96O

2’

LAD  36 N

26: 28: 30: 32: 34: 36

120

7

840

2’

LAD  38 N

28: 30: 32: 34: 36:38

120

6

720

3’

LAD  40 N

30: 32: 34: 36: 38: 40

120

5

600

3

LAD 42 N

32: 34: 36: 38: 40: 42

120

4

480

3 

 

Row 20 strokes at each of the above rates with 10 light strokes between. Light paddling for five minutes between each set.

Pulse rates should drop between 100 and 120 per minute during light paddle after each set before the next set is started. The recovery times are a guide and should be adapted to meet the required rest period for each crew.

 

The rate should be built up before the tenth stroke and the target rate held for the last ten strokes.

When no suffix is shown, one only set is required. When more than one set is required the Method code will be proceeded by the quantity.

The sets shown indicate the total work required for a Normal training load. It is not suggested that a LAD 26 N be done in its entirety for one session. LADDER work is a useful training method; it adds variety to a session and flexibility to the training loads.

Example: LADDER PROGRAM

LAD/PROG 40 N

22:24:26:28:30:32
24:26:28:30:32:34
26:28:30:32:34:36
28:30:32:34:36:38
30:32:34:36:38:40
600 strokes.

Row for twenty strokes at each of the above rates with 10 light strokes between.

CONSOLIDATION

Method

Rate

Minutes 

CON 20N

20

120'

CON 22 N

22

80'

CON 24 N

24

60'

CON 26 N

26

40'

CON 28 N

28

30'

CON 30 N

30

24'

 

Training effect of the above work is improvement of aerobic endurance. 

CON 32 

N

32

20'

4 x 5” with 5’ light between.

CON 34

N

34

15'

5 x 3’ with 3’ light between.

CON 36

N

36

12'

6 x 2’ with 2’ light between.

CON 38

N

38

9'

6 x 1½’ with 1½’ light between.

CON 40

40

8' 

8 x 1’ with 1’ light between.

Training effect of this work is improvement of anaerobic endurance.  

All above work is at Normal training load of approximately 80%. Times should be increased or decreased by 25% for amendments.

Technical aim is to Consolidate equality at a specific rate. Good quality must be established early in the session and held throughout the period of tiredness, which gradually develops until it reaches its peak of exhaustion at the end of the work

 

SPEED WORK

Method

Rates 

 

 

SPE 36 N

36

5 (5 x 20 strokes 10 light) 

500 strokes

SPE 38 N

38

4 (5 x 20 strokes 10 light)

400 strokes

SPE 40 N

40 

3 (5 x 20 strokes 10 light)

300 strokes

Build the rate up over 10 strokes and hold the target rate for the remaining ten strokes.  

For 'H' high training load the rest period between strokes is reduced to 5 strokes light.

For 'L' low training load the rest period between strokes is increased to 20 strokes light.

Example: SPEED PROGRAM  

SPEED/PROG N above race rate.

5 x

20 

strokes 

10

light 

5' rest

5 x

20

strokes

5

light

5' rest

5 x

20 

strokes

5

light

5' rest

5 x

20

strokes

10

light

5' rest

5 x

20

strokes

15

light

5' rest

5 x

20 

strokes

20 

light

600 strokes. 

   

SPECIFIC WORK

Other types of work can be included in the system.

Examples would be:

I.

Timed rows:

6 x

500m

 

 

4 x

1OOOm

 

 

 

3 x

15OOm

 

 

 

2 x

2OOOm

All above work is at Normal training load of approximately 80%. Times should be increased or decreased by 25% for amendments. 

Technical aim is to Consolidate equality at a specific rate. Good quality must be established early in the session and held throughout the period of tiredness, which gradually develops until it reaches its peak of exhaustion at the end of the work.

SUMMARY OF WORKOUTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Methods

 

 

 

 

Loads

 

 

 

 

 

PYR

26

N

76

mins

4 sets

x 19

mins

 

 

 

 

28

N

57

mins

3 sets

x 19

mins

 

 

 

 

30

N

38

mins

2 sets

x 19

mins

 

 

 

 

32

N

30

mins

2 sets

x 15

mins

 

 

 

 

34

N

22

mins

2 sets

x 11

mins

 

 

 

 

36

N

19

mins

1 set

x 19

mins

 

 

 

 

38

N

15

mins

1 set

x 15

mins

 

 

 

CAS

24

N

66

mins

2 mm.

changes

 

 

 

 

26

N

44

mins

2 mm.

changes

 

 

 

 

28

N

36

mins

2 mm.

changes

 

 

 

 

30

N

26

mins

2 mm.

changes

 

 

 

 

32

N

24

mins

3 sets

x 8 mins

 

 

 

 

34

N

18

mins

3 sets

x 6 mins

 

 

 

 

36

N

15

mins

3 sets

x 5 mins

 

 

 

 

38

N

12

mins

3 sets

x 4 mins

 

 

 

PYR/CAS

28

L

30

mins

2 sets

x 15 mins

 

 

 

 

30

N

30

mins

2 sets

x 15 mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changes.

 

S/C

26

N

48

mins

3 sets

x 16

mins

4

mins

 

 

28

N

45

mins

3 sets

x 15

mins

3

mins

 

 

30

N

36

mins

3 sets

x 12

mins

2

mins

 

 

32

N

27

mins

3 sets

x 9

mins

mins

 

 

34

N

24

mins

4 sets

x 6

mins

1

mins

 

 

36

N

480

str

8 sets

x 60

str

10

str

 

 

38

N

420

str

7 sets

x 60

str

10

str

 

 

40

N

360

str

6 sets

x 60

str

10

str

 

 

42

N

300

str

5 sets

x 60

str

10

str

 

LAD

26

N 1920

str

24

sets

x 80

str.

4

x 20:10

light.

 

28

N 1600

str

16

sets

x1OO

str.

5

x 20:10

light.

 

30

N 1440

str

12

sets

x120

str.

6

x 20:10

light.

 

32

N 1080

str

9

sets

x120

str.

6

x 20:10

light.

 

34

N

960

str

8

sets

x120

str.

6

x 20:10

light.

 

36

N

840

str

7

sets

x120

str.

6

x 20:10

light.

 

38

N

720

str

6

sets

x120

str.

6

x 20:10

light.

 

40

N

600

str

5

sets

x12O

str.

6

x 20:10

light.

 

42

N

480

str

4

sets

x120

str.

6

x 20:10

light.

CON

20

N

120

mins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

N

80

mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

N

60

mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

N

40

mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28

N

30

mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

N

24

mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

N

20

mins

4 sets

x 5

mins

 

 

 

 

34

N

15

mins

5 sets

x 3

mins

 

 

 

 

36

N

12

mins

6 sets

x 2

mins

 

 

 

 

38

N

9

mins

6 sets

x 1½ mins

 

 

 

 

40

N

8

mins

8 sets

x 1

mins

 

 

 

SPE

36

N

500

str

 

5 sets

x   100 str (5 x 20:10 light)

 

 

36

N

400

str

 

5 sets

x   100 str

 

 

 

 

40

N

300

str

 

5 sets

x 100 str

 

 

 

 

SAMPLE PROGRAM

PERIOD 2:                           14 to 29 November.

TRAINING AIM:

Development of aerobic capacity with some strength improvement.

TECHNICAL AIM:

To make full use of body weight at the finish, make sure that the body swings back while the blade is driving through the stroke, and do not let the body curl forward at the finish.

DAY

1

a.m.

 

CON 22  L

 

 

p.m.

 

CAS 24  N

 

2

a.m.

6

LAD 26

 

 

p.m.

 

PYR 26 N

 

3

a.m.

 

CON 24 L

 

 

p.m.

 

CAS 26 H

 

4

a.m.

4

LAD 28

 

 

p .m.

 

PYR 28 N

 

5

a.m.

 

S/C 26 L

 

 

p.m.

 

PYR 30 N

 

6

a.m.

 

S/C 30 L

 

 

p.m.

 

LAD 30 N

 

7

a.m.

 

Rest

 

 

p.m.

 

Rest

 

8

a.m.

 

CON 26 L

 

 

p.m.

 

PYR/CAS 28 L

 

9

a.m.

 

PYR 30 N

 

 

p.m.

 

CAS 28 N

 

10

a.m.

6

LAD 28

 

 

p.m.

 

PYR 30 H

 

11

a.m.

 

S/C 28

 

 

p.m.

 

PYR/CAS 28 L

 

12

a.m.

 

CAS 26 N

 

 

p.m.

 

PYR 30 L

 

13

a.m.

 

CON 28 N

 

 

p.m.

2

S/C 30

 

14

a.m.

 

Rest

 

 

p.m.

 

Rest

TARGET RATE:  28

 

 

 

TIME KEEPING AND RATINGS CONTROL

 

 

 

A means of measuring the stroke rate and the timed pieces is essential. A stroke meter is the ideal instrument, but a normal stopwatch can be used successfully. Counting the number of strokes rowed for each minute or part of a minute can identify ratings. The easiest way is to count the strokes completed in 15 seconds, 30 seconds and then the full minute, for greater accuracy. For example:

8 strokes in 15 seconds = rate 32 (8 strokes x 4) 16 strokes in 30 seconds = rate 32 (16 strokes x 2)

When counting the strokes it is easier to count the number of ‘catches’ rowed. A stroke begins and finishes at the same place and nine catches are equal to eight strokes. Seventeen catches are equal to sixteen strokes, and thirty three catches are equal to thirty two strokes per minute.

ROWING  TECHNIQUE

STING AND FLOAT

Good rowing technique is a combination of POWER (muscular coordination) and BLADE control. A boat will only travel as fast as the blades drive it! 

In a 2000 meter race an Oarsperson rows between 200 and 250 strokes in his bid for a medal. This is a small number compared with the many thousands rowed in a training period. Concentration of effort per stroke is obvious and it is one of the hardest things to achieve in the sport.

A stroke can be divided into two phases:

1. The Power phase.

2. The Recovery phase.

This System sets out to train rowers to apply full power to each stroke and to take a good rest between strokes, which will enable them to apply a high load for a long time.

The phrase 'Sting and Float' identifies the Power as the 'sting' and the recovery as the 'float'.

Good technique is based on the coordinated strength of the oarsperson, which provides the power, and control of the blade to transmit that power into efficient propulsion of the boat.

The correct path for a blade, the sequence of movements, which coordinate muscular strength into power and the recovery phase, which helps the body to maintain full power for 200 strokes, is illustrated on the following pages.

BLADEWORK

The most efficient path for the blade is described as follows:

The blade should:

  • Enter the water quickly in the most acute angle to achieve full use of the reach forward.
  • Move quickly into the horizontal plane once it is covered.
  • Accelerate from entry, through the middle of the stroke to the finish where it reaches maximum thrust.
  • Remain at the same even depth throughout the stroke, well covered but with the shaft clear of the water.
  • Leave the water quickly and cleanly at the end of the stroke and turn onto the feather only when it is clear of the surface.
  • Travel forwards well clear of the water after extraction, at an even height until it comes down to the surface squared and ready for the next stroke.

It is important to avoid the following common TECHNICAL ERRORS for the reasons given:

1. BLADE MISSING THE FIRST PART OF THE STROKE.

The angle and speed of entry is critical. Length of stroke is lost and valuable leg drive is used inefficiently until the blade is covered.

2. BLADE TRAVELS TOO DEEP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STROKE.

The direction in which the blade travels through the stroke is important. It must relate to the direction of the boat. A blade moving in an angle, which takes it deep into the water at the midway point, is inefficient: the blade achieves less grip, some of the propulsive force is misdirected, and resistance to the oarsperson is caused by the shaft breaking through the water. These are the main areas of inefficiency, but other problems created by a deep blade are height of draw, balance, rhythm and inconsistency.

3. RAGGED EXTRACTION

The blade must be extracted cleanly at the finish of the stroke at the moment full power is released. A blade that drags out of the water impedes the smooth flow of a fast moving boat.

4. BLADES NOT CLEARING THE SURFACE DURING THE RECOVERY.

The blade must be carried forward well clear of the water to avoid contact with the surface, a wave or another puddle. If the blade is carried too close it is necessary to lift the blade higher when it is to be squared for the next stroke. This movement Just before blade entry inhibits the preparation for a good catch. It also leads to the blade missing the first part of the stroke as described before. A blade carried too close to the water restricts the free flow of the boat and the crew finds difficulty in keeping the boat on a level keel.

Correction of these errors is part of learning good technique. Understand what good blade work is, make sure the rowers are quite relaxed, and encourage them to look at their own blade work during technical sessions and inform them that practice makes perfect and mileage makes champions.

POWER

In the same way that oarsmen must apply their power together, the oarsmen must work their muscles in support of each other. The correct movements of the body to achieve this coordination of strength are described as follows:

  1. The hands guide the blade into the water.
  2. The legs provide the speed which gives the blade early grip on the water.
  3. The muscles of the back, shoulders and arms hold firm and provide strong connection between legs and blade.
  4. The legs provide the main source of the power and maintain firm pressure throughout the stroke. Soon after blade entry, the trunk begins to swing back and the shoulders send the seat forward, drawing the oar so that through the middle of the stroke all muscle groups are working together.
  5. The trunk continues to swing back till the time the arms are pulling so that pressure is maintained on the blade whilst the boat is increasing its speed.
  6. The oarsperson sits tall as his/her hands draw high into his/her chest at about the height of his second rib. He/she makes sure that his/her hands do not hit his/her body at the finish of the stroke.
  7. His/her hands move quickly and smoothly down and away from his/her body following the line of his thighs. The inside hand turns the blade onto the feather immediately after it is clear of the water.
  8. When the arms are relaxed and straight and hands clear the knees the trunk swings forward before the slide leaves backstops. The body angle is held all the way forward to the front stops in readiness for the next stroke.
  9. The seat leaves backstops slowly and unhurriedly, but without wasting any time. The sliding forwards is in sympathy with the motion of the boat and it is during this phase that the rower rests and prepares himself/herself for the next stroke.
  10. His/her legs begin to rise as the seat approaches front stops. He/she remains sitting tall in the boat and floats up over his/her knees ready for a long reach forward. He/she is quite relaxed, letting the speed of the boat running beneath him/her draw his/her seat forward to front stops.

The style is based on a powerful drive from the legs with other muscle groups working in support. Every available muscle is used to drive the blade. Immediately the blade is released from the water the rower relaxes. This allows his/her body to achieve some recovery. It is this recovery which enables the rower to apply full power to 250 strokes or the number of strokes it takes to row 2000 meters.

It is Important that the following common POWER ERRORS are avoided for the reasons given:

SITTING TOO LONG AT BACK STOPS POSITION.

The sooner the sliding seat leaves backstops the slower it needs to travel. At the rate of thirty, the time available for sliding forward with a good rhythm would be under 1+ seconds. Clearly, time spent sitting too long at backstops has to be made up to avoid the rate dropping, and the rower ends up sliding faster forward.

The momentum generated from the power of the stroke should be channeled into a smooth and lively recovery of the hands leading the body forward and the seat from back stops without wasting time.

SLIDING TOO FAST FORWARD

The speed of the sliding forward should not exceed the speed during the stroke. Sliding too fast forward does not allow the rower to rest fully. There are other disadvantages in that it does not permit smooth running of the boat, the rower loses feel for the boat and he/she is hurried into the forward position from which he/she is unable to time his/her next stroke. Falling or pitching over the knees at front stops stems from sliding too fast forward.

STRETCHING FOR MORE LENGTH FROM FRONT STOPS POSITION.

The length of stroke, determined by the angle of the body in the forward position, originates from the swing forward of the trunk from backstops. Attempting to reach for more length once the slide has left backstops often has the opposite affect. Diving forward for more length can cause the body to fall onto the thighs and actually prevent good length forward.

Stretching for more length, putting strain on the arms and back, at a time when the body should be set ready to spring onto the stroke, not only prevents a good beginning but it puts strain on the back which sometimes cannot hold firm. This leads to slide shooting which is a common fault!

Another common fault, which is linked to stretching for length, is the hands dropping which lifts the blade too high off the water. This inevitably means that the first part of the stroke is missed.

SHOOTING THE SLIDE.

When the legs drive at a faster pace than the hands move, it is evident that the back muscles have not held firm and some of the leg power is wasted. There is also the risk of injury to the back muscles. Stretching for more length forward is a common cause of slide shooting. It is important that the trunk holds firm as the legs drive the blade into the water.

OPENING THE TRUNK AT THE BEGINNING OF THE STROKE.

Young people and sometimes newcomers to the sport are often weak in the lower back and have difficulty in holding the trunk firm against the power of their legs. In these circumstances it is advisable to teach the technique of opening the body before driving the legs. This places the back in a stronger position and more able to hold firm. As development of the back muscles takes effect, gradual change in the technique should be introduced. It is very difficult to achieve a good catch in a fast moving boat without full use of the legs.

BODY CURLING FORWARDS AT THE FINISH OF THE STROKE.

This fault occurs when pressure is reduced on the blade during the last part of the stroke. With no support, the body curls forwards. This reduced blade pressure is caused by either of the following faults:

I. Using the arms at the beginning leaves the rower less arm strength with which to draw the finish. This also eliminates the powerful latissimus dorsi and reduces the effect of the deltoids (shoulders), gluteals and erector spinae muscles.

II. When the back does not hold firm against the leg drive, the legs reach backstops ahead of the stroke in the water. The arms are unable to cope with this amount of work left to do and pressure on the blade is reduced.

III. Opening the body at the beginning of the stroke which delays the leg drive and reduces the effect of the legs so that co-ordination of the muscle groups is less efficient. The weakness shows at the most vulnerable part of the stroke, i.e. the finish.

The oarsperson sits tall in the boat as he/she swings back at the finish, applying full body weight to the blade. This swing back supports the draw with the arms, and pressure is maintained on the blade of an accelerating boat. It is with this pressure that the body recovers itself for the next stroke.

UNCONTROLLED SLIDE FORWARD AND POOR PREPARATION OF THE BODY.

The hands extract the blade from the water in the lively flowing movement leading the body into an inclined forward position and the seat into motion, sliding to front stops. The rower relaxes during this recovery phase to help the body achieve some rest and to prepare for the next stroke. 

It is a common fault to move the seat off backstops with the arms still bent and the body not fully inclined forward. The effect of this is:

I. The hands are carried too high so that they can clear the knees as they rise. The blade is carried too close to the water, which also impedes the balance of the boat.

II. The body swinging forwards as the slide approaches front stops will fall onto the thighs and prevent a good forward reach.

III. The last minute reach forward prevents the rower from preparing well for the next stroke.

IV. The oarsperson is less able to relax and have sufficient rest. Tension will be likely in his hands and shoulders.

V. The stern of the boat will drop rapidly just before the catch as the oarsperson pitches forward from front stops.

VI. The body will be in a weaker position for the next stroke.

CORRECTION OF FAULTS

Understand what a fault is and accept that it exists.
Identify the cause of the fault.
Understand what good technique is and practice it.
Practice makes perfect.

SCULLING TECHNIQUE

Three factors determine the speed of the boat. They are:

1. Power - how fast the boat travels each stroke.
2. Length - how far the boat travels each stroke
3. Rate - how many strokes are rowed.

If a crew rowed at maximum capacity in all three of these components at the same time, it is doubtful that crew could row 10 strokes before technique withered and boat speed faded. The number of strokes required to complete 2000 meters is about 250 and clearly, an equilibrium of power, length and rate must be achieved. Rowing is basically a power endurance sport, but it requires a high level of skill. Choosing the "right" technique and then teaching it is a coaching skill and there are many differing opinions about which method is the best. Whatever the method, power, length and rate are the basic ingredients.

RATE

Rate is the easiest to achieve. Keeping it at its optimum in a race is not the main problem. Length and power are the first to deteriorate when the pressure of the race reaches its peak.

LENGTH

The most efficient part of the stroke is when the blade is passing at 90 degrees to the boat. Only when it is at this angle is its force propelling the boat wholly in the correct direction. In theory, an efficient length of stroke is from 45 degrees at the catch to 135 degrees at the finish. In practice, the body prevents the arms from reaching more than 125 degrees. To achieve 45 degrees at the catch, the reach must extend beyond this angle. A longer finish can be drawn in a sculling boat but it is inefficient to draw more than 130 degrees.

POWER

Maximal power is achieved by appropriate sequencing of the contributing muscles from strongest to weakest.

  • Legs first. The quadriceps and gluteals.
  • Then the Back. The lower back.
  • Then the Shoulders and Arms. The latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids and biceps.

THE STROKE

The boat goes only as fast as the blades drive it. The power transferred through the blade to the boat is only as much as the legs supply. A good technique is based on the work of the legs to create most of the total power.

THE CATCH

The faster the blade enters the water the more positive will be the grip, the longer will be the stroke and the faster the boat will travel. The important points are:

  1. Hands guide the blade into the water.
  2. Legs apply the power
  3. Trunk and arms link legs to blade

MIDDLE OF THE STROKE

All the muscles are working through their middle range and the blade is at its most efficient point in the stroke. Make full use of this advantage by beginning the draw with the arms before midway. The arms must start to draw well before the legs reach the backstops.

THE FINISH

Retain pressure on the blade through to the finish by pressing toes on the footboard, by using the leverage of the trunk, and by keeping the arms working with the body. Although legs reach backstops before the arms and trunk have finished working, the toes should continue pressing hard to give support with the back until the blade is extracted. The trunk should be moving towards the bow until the moment before the hands reach the body (if the arm draw starts too late, this timing will be delayed).

RHYTHM

The rowing stroke comprises fast movements and slow movements. The essence of good rhythm in the boat is the contrast between them. Done well, a good motion looks smooth, continuous, and unhurried but it can be difficult to see that contrast. The fast movements begin with the entry of the blade and continue through the stroke and the movement of the hands away from the body after blade extraction (the finish). The slower movements begin when the hands pass over the knees and continue until the next stroke. The inertia created by the power of the stroke carries the hands down and away from the body when the seat is at the backstops. The body relaxes immediately as the blade leaves the water so there is no interference with this natural free-flowing movement. The seat moves slowly forward in contrast to its speed during the stroke. The rower prepares by gathering, ready to spring from the stretcher onto the next stroke. The movement of the seat must be faster during the stroke than it is during the recovery. The sooner it leaves the backstops after the finish, the more time it has to reach the front stops and the slower it can travel. The hands and then the body move lively away from the finish to allow the seat to start on its way forward.

THE RECOVERY

Hands, Body, Slide...

1.Move the hands down and away over the knees
2.Pivot the body forward onto the feet
3.Move the seat away from the backstops.
4.Move forward, rest the body and let the boat run underneath you.

PREPARE FOR THE STROKE

To achieve optimum position for the application of power and good forward length - note the following points of posture:

  1. Head high encourages good posture for body and spine.
  2. Chest against thighs. Rotation should be centered around the hip joint, not the upper or lower back.
  3. Shins vertical - strong position for the quadriceps.
  4. Relaxed but alert - poised like a cat ready to spring

SCULLING

The oar handles should be held in the fingers, not the palms. The hands should generally be at the tips of the oars to maximize inboard leverage, with the thumbs pressed against the handle nub to generate sufficient outward pressure against the oarlock. As someone said, "The handles should be grasped like one is holding a small bird: firmly enough to hold on, but not so hard as to kill it." The grip of the fingers around the oar will automatically increase sufficiently when contact with the water is made The arms and hands should extend along a horizontal plane out well over the gunwales as the blade angle is increased in preparation for grasping the water. The entry of the blade into the water will be accomplished with a relaxation or slightly positive "flick" of the hands and arms while maintaining the blade angle (not opening the back) to achieve the catch.

RELAXATION

Contract only those muscles needed to perform a specific function. This is achieved by relaxation of the hands, arms and shoulders, the areas where tension will be most prevalent. The muscles of the upper body will be more effective if they begin the catch in a relaxed condition. Muscles will contract instantly when a load is forced upon them.

BLADEWORK

The importance of blade work must be appreciated. Only the blades move the boat, therefore an important part of the technique is the skill with which the blades are controlled.

Good blades have these characteristics:

  1. A long stroke in the water I Minimum loss of reach forward/Quickly grip the water I Covered throughout the stroke.
  2. Utilize power/Grip the water with minimum loss of leg drive/Work in a horizontal plane/Covered throughout the stroke.
  3. Do not interfere with the run of the boat/Clean extraction/Carried forward clear of the water/Balance the boat.

RHYTHM - WHERE TO POISE
 
It is always necessary to compose before any dynamic action (e.g. Lifting a weight, striking a note, hitting a ball, or rowing a stroke). The question is "where is the best place to "poise" prior to the action? There are different ideas in rowing on where the poise should be.

The current method is to poise during the last part of the movement towards the front stops. The inertia created by the draw at the finish is used to carry the hands away from the body, the trunk into the catch angle and the seat from backstops. The rower has time to relax, let the boat run under the seat, and to prepare for the next stroke. The poise just before blade entry is sufficient to achieve a very fast catch.

SCULLING STYLE

Sculling styles differ in where emphasis is p laced. Body positions and movements will be influenced by this emphasis. The method should be based on rhythm. The stroke is divided into two phases:

  1. The Stroke or power phase, and
  2. The Recovery or resting phase.

Scullers are trained to apply full power to each stroke and to rest during recovery, which will help them apply power to 250 strokes or the number required to complete the race.

The ability to apply power is an essential physical requirement. Physical capacity is acquired by training but the coordination of muscular contraction in the rowing stroke is the essence of good technique.

The System of Training Intensity Categories 

 

 

 RECUPERATION FROM PREVIOUS TRAINING