British Rowing Technique
There are two phases to the rowing stroke:
1. The Drive where you’re pushing your legs.
2. The Recovery where you move back to the start.
The body movement sequence is – Legs, Body, Arms.
The body movement sequence is reversed – Arms, Body, Legs.
The sequence is key: Legs, body, arms, arms, body, legs.
Focus on your legs – 60% of the power is from the legs, 30% body, 10% arms.
Maintain good core stability.
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A Good Starting Position
A good starting position in the Drive is key to pushing effectively with the legs.
- Loose overhand grip
- Arms straight but relaxed
- Shoulders relaxed, back and down
- Spine long and straight
- Body tipped forwards from hips
- Knees above ankles
The Drive Phase
- Keep core engaged to maintain the strong starting position
- Focus on the leg push and think about leaving the arms behind
- The Drive sequence is then:
|Push with the legs; core holding body still.||Once the legs are nearly straight, start to lean back a little.||Draw handle into body – lower rib cage.|
- Push with the legs; core holding body still.
- Once the legs are nearly straight, start to lean back a little.
- Draw handle into body – lower rib cage.
- There should be no movement in the back or shoulders until the legs are nearly straight i.e. do not pull with upper body before pushing with legs
- Wrists should remain straight as the handle is drawn into the body
- No need to lean back more than about 11 o’clock at the end of the drive
The Recovery Phase
- Takes you back to the start
- The sequence is the reverse of the Drive:
|Straighten arms to move handle away from body.||Keeping legs straight, tip body forwards from hips.||Keeping body still, bend the knees and slide forwards.|
- Straighten arms to move handle away from body.
- Keeping legs straight, tip body forwards from hips.
- Keeping body still, bend the knees and slide forwards.
- It’s important to get the arms straight and body tipped forwards before bending the knees otherwise the handle has to be lifted over the knees
- The spine should be long and straight, not slumped or rounded
- The recoil on the handle at the start of the recovery can cause a loss of control and a rushing forwards up the slide. Be prepared to resist this. Ideally, the recovery should take twice as long as the explosive drive phase