Be a Self Coach: Rowing Warm-Up with the Concept2 Power Curve

Using the Concept2 Performance Monitor to gain rowing feedback and coach yourself is a great use of warm up time before jumping into class.  This article will give you the ideal power curve, common faults you might see, and a couple of challenges to try in a 5 minute warmup pre-class or training session.  Here’s a quick video on the power curve to get things started.  Check it out and then read through the rest of the article for tips and challenges to try.

1. The Ideal Power Curve

Ideal Power CurveSet the monitor to display the power curve (or force curve) during your next warmup to really dial in body awareness and technique.  The ideal curve is a smooth inverted parabola with the peak located in the center of the curve.  If you can make this happen then your technique has a nice smooth transition of force being applied to the handle from the legs, hips, and arms.  Everything from your head to your toes is working together in a nice smooth sequence that results in an efficient application of power.

2. Common Faults

Self Coach Power CurveIf you ever see a double peak or a curve that looks like the profile of the Green Mountains in Vermont there is something missing or room for improvement in your technique.  The power curve represents your rowing technique graphically and that is why it can be used to self coach.  If you were to divide the graph into three sections along the horizontal, the curve at each of those sections would represent how you’re legs, body, and arms are being used to produce force.  If the valley of a double peak curve is in the middle, then you know there is something lacking or missing from how your body/hips are being used through the middle of the drive.  Try to focus on making the curve smoother, eliminating chatter/inefficiency, while emphasizing the swing of your body through the middle.  Can you keep the force/pressure on the handle constant through the middle of the stroke?

3. 5 Minute Warm-Up Challenge

Set the monitor to display the power curve (or force curve) during your next warmup and try the following challenges during each consecutive minute.  Can you create an ideal power curve during each stroke no matter what the challenge?  See the video above for what this warm-up  should look like.

  1. 1min – Legs Only Rowing (Consistent Body Angle/Arms Straight)
  2. 1min – Legs and Body Rowing (Arms Straight)
  3. 1min – Full Strokes @20 strokes/minute
  4. 1min – Full Strokes @24 strokes/minute
  5. 1min – Full Strokes @28 strokes/minute

Watch your power curve on the monitor during every stroke of the 5 minute warm-up.  Is it a smooth inverted parabola?  Where’s the peak?  Is there a double peak that you need to eliminate?  Is there chatter you can eliminate?  Be in control of your stroke at all times and maintain good posture.  If you find something that seems jerky or out of control try to change it and make it different.  Experiment a little and have some fun!  Power Power CurveIf you’re looking for an added challenge, as the stroke rating increases to 24 strokes/minute and then 28 strokes/minute, try to move the peak of the curve to the left and get the curve to start higher up the vertical axis with a very steep slope.  This will mean you’re very connected and getting good initiation with the legs.  The challenge then becomes can you keep the curve smooth and chatter free!

If you’re interested in learning more or getting out on the water, email patrick.larcom@communityrowing.org!

Advertisements

Don’t Row Bad! 3 ways to look hotter and last longer in …

Row Better, Be Awesome!Who doesn’t want to look hotter and last longer in all that they do?  If your rowing is bad and you think rowing sucks, you have an opportunity to live a stronger, fitter, and more vital life.  Don’t Row Bad.

Instead of telling you all the awesome reasons to row, this post will try to give you the pitfalls of rowing in hopes that you can avoid them, make rowing suck less, and have more fun with one of the fastest growing sports in the country.

When rowing pops up in the open, in next months programming, or at your next competition, follow these three tips to not Row Bad.

Don't: Have Bad Posture

Don’t: Have Bad Posture

#1 – Everyone Wants to Be Taller …

Posture is the key to vitality and the number one thing you will probably lose when you first start to row.  Let’s face it, it’s hard to sit all day in an office or in a car and then be expected to sit tall and row strong in the gym.  However, if you can focus on one thing that will make you more attractive, more efficient, and more productive it would be holding better posture.  Before picking apart any other part of your rowing stroke, take 5 minutes to focus on posture.

Be Taller: Have Good Posture

Be Taller: Have Good Posture

Try This: Row for 5 minutes and pause every 5 strokes to check your posture.  Can you enter and exit the pause with perfect posture?  Can you hold good posture all the way through the next 5 strokes?  Imagine your significant other or future significant other is about to walk into the room, how tall do you want to be when they see you for the first time?

#2 – Use the Bigger Guns …

Don't: Use the Arms before the Legs

Don’t: Use the Arms before the Legs

Most of us like to show off our guns at the beach, but they tend to get in the way when we row.  Our Bigger Guns, the legs, can create more power and move the boat further per stroke if initiated first.  Our legs have bigger muscles and more muscle fibers to use than our arms.  They are better suited for the heavier part of the stroke, the front end.  When the fan is moving the slowest at the front end of the stroke, focus on pushing with the legs rather than pulling with the arms.  Remember, at the front end of the stroke, when the arms bend, the power ends.  Do more! Use the Bigger Guns first!

At the Front End: Push Legs First

At the Front End: Push Legs First

Try This: Start at the front end and take 3 strokes using the legs only, then take 3 full strokes.  Repeat this sequence for 3 minutes.  Can you push the legs down without changing your body angle or breaking your elbows in the first 3 legs only strokes?  Can you blend the leg drive into the 3 full strokes without being robotic or breaking the elbows early?

#3 – Get Over Yourself and Don’t Fall Off …

Don't: Fall off your sit bones or pull w/ toes on the foot straps

Don’t: Fall off your sit bones or pull w/ toes on the foot straps

No one likes a big-headed know it all with an ego.  No one wants to fall of their seat.  Good things to remember when you finish the stroke.  If you were to let go of the handle at the end of the stroke would you fall backward off the seat?  If so you probably aren’t sitting in a good position.  Stay on top of your sit bones when you finish the stroke, don’t fall off them!  Also, if you don’t get over your seat/hips/sit bones before sliding forward you will end up doing more work than necessary and wasting energy.  Finish the stroke, sit tall, get your shoulders stacked over your hips, then relax and enjoy sliding forward.  Don’t pull yourself forward with your toes/foot straps.  Relax your legs!

Sit Tall, Be On Sit Bones, Keep Bottom of Foot Connected to Footboard

Sit Tall, Be On Sit Bones, Keep Bottom of Foot Connected to Footboard

Try This: Row with your feet on top of the foot straps for 5 minutes. Can you keep your feet connected to the footboards through the finish?  Can you stay on your sit bones and get over your seat before letting it slide forward?  How smooth can you be?  Show everyone you know what you’re doing, but be smooth.  No need for an ego.

If you practice these three tips one at a time over the next week as part of your warm up, you will look hotter and last longer in anything you set your mind to, especially rowing.

For even more pro tips and ways to increase vitality through rowing, sign your gym’s rowing team up for the Charles River Rowing League 2016.

If you don’t have a team let me know and I’ll help you set one up!

 

S&C WOD 2/19/16: AMRAP12 – 12 Air Squats, 9 Push Ups, 6 Box Jumps, 400m Row – Post Score

Strength and Conditioning WOD:

The RRC attacking the 2k Row!

AMRAP12

12 Air Squats

9 Push Ups

6 Box Jumps

400m Row

  • Post Score to Comments.

CRASH-B’s is almost here!  February 28th all of our hard work gets put to the test.  Get in some solid work each day from now until then and be sure you’re recovering and feeling good.

Today’s Focus is Strength and Conditioning. Practice full range of motion in all movements.  If your form is solid, then go as fast as possible.  Push the intensity and get fired up like it’s the third 500m of our CRASH-B’s 2k.

Get after it and have a solid weekend!

Video Review 2/18/16: How can Kevin help you?

How’s it going Renegades? Today we’re taking a look at Kevin mid race. This is a video review that I put together to help him and you develop your stroke and find new areas to improve upon. I’ll be posting regular video reviews about once a week, usually on Thursdays. If you’d like feedback on your stroke or would like to see me talk about a certain area of the stroke, please let me know in the comments. If you’d like to be featured in the weekly Video Review please send me a 5 stroke video via email to pat@renegaderowing.com.

Also, if you’d like to join in the fun in person, the Renegade Rowing Club practices every Thursday morning at 6am and Wednesday evening at 6pm.  Everyone is welcome, just let me know via email – pat@renegaderowing.com, and I can get you the details on how to get started and join the group. Share your thoughts to comments and get fired up for CRASH-B 2016!

Strength and Conditioning WOD 2/17/15: “Rowing Helen” – 3RFT – 500m Row, 21 KB Swings, 12 Pull Ups – Post Time and Splits

Strength and Conditioning WOD:

The RRC attacking the 2k Row at the end of yesterday's practice.  Renegade Rowing League is coming up, Register Now!“Rowing Helen”

3 Rounds For Time

  • 500m Row
  • 21 KB Swings (24/16 kg)
  • 12 Pull Ups

Today’s focus is Rhythm and Intensity. Get in some good skill work by warming up with a Reverse Pic Drill and Pic Drill in your 10min Erg Warmup. Go hard for the start and finish of this workout, but be smooth and efficient through the bulk of the work. Focus on breathing and consistent pace.  Find the right scale so that each movement is challenging and pushes your intensity while allowing rhythm and flow.  A good goal would be holding a 2k-1 pace for the 500m pieces.

We’ve done this WOD a couple of times this winter.  Today is an opportunity to compete against yourself and everyone else on your team to have better form and go faster for Rowing Helen. Dig deep and push harder for the person next to you!

Take quality strokes and have fun pushing yourself.

Post your time for the Strength and Conditioning WOD to comments as well as your splits for each 500m piece.