Technique Clinic

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JonT
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Technique Clinic

Post by JonT »

I have been meaning to do this for ages. I would really appreciate any feedback on the YouTube videos of me rowing at r20 and at r32 at the gym today (my C2 doesn't squeak!).

https://youtu.be/RRjkCvZ-ClE - r20
https://youtu.be/6yUUYS0VgXA - r32

My immediate observations are:
  • I am hinging at the hips earlier than I imagined. Too early? If so, top tips for remediation?
  • Things could be smoother on the recovery. It is a bit arms and then pivot and then legs rather than blending them together.
  • There seems to be a slight break at the elbows just after the catch.
  • I am leaning back further than I realised. Too far?
  • Am I reaching too far forwards with my arms and shoulders at the catch? Might explain my occasionally sore shoulders recently.
  • What is all the "finger fluttering" about??? :oops:
I'd appreciate any feedback. Don't pull your punches. I just want to get better and stay injury free.
55 years old, 5"10', clinging on to 75kg and frustratingly but understandably inconsistent
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spidermac
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Re: Technique Clinic

Post by spidermac »

Hi JonT , a few observations - feel free to ignore!!
1. At R20 looks very mechanical as you noted & I think a slight pause at the end of the stroke. Also you are totally straightening the legs which I don`t think is totally neccesary. Eric ( my guru) talks about soft knees & blending the arms/torso/legs into more of an integrated movement rather than 3 segments. Another of his tips is describing a very slight circular movement with the handle at the end & start of the stroke.
2. AT R32 your stroke looks a lot more fluid & continuous. Don`t think you are leaning back or reaching too far -you are not locking out the knees like at R20 - a good thing in my opinion. Also you could try moving foot stretchers up a hole & letting the heels lift a wee bit more.
Should post up some of myself for target practice!!! :lol: :lol:
Born 1957 71kg;6`2"
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plummy
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Re: Technique Clinic

Post by plummy »

JonT wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 6:30 pm
Not wanting to critique someone who is in the same weight class as me but is much faster - but here's what I see...

[*]I am hinging at the hips earlier than I imagined. Too early? If so, top tips for remediation?
You are definitely leaning back a bit too soon which lowers your leg drive power. You should "hang" whilst your legs are driving in the catch position until the handle is passed your knees
[*]Things could be smoother on the recovery. It is a bit arms and then pivot and then legs rather than blending them together.
The purists will say so but as long as it's smooth and your aren't lifting the handle over your knees, on an ergo I think you are fine. As Spider said, at 32 you are better than at 20 but that would apply to most I think
[*]There seems to be a slight break at the elbows just after the catch.
Only slight. It locks in the "feel" of the catch. At very high power there's a risk of tennis elbow..maybe
[*]I am leaning back further than I realised. Too far?
I didn't think so
[*]Am I reaching too far forwards with my arms and shoulders at the catch? Might explain my occasionally sore shoulders recently.
Yes, a little. You get a bit "hunched"
[*]What is all the "finger fluttering" about??? :oops:
Seen that before - not an issue. Means your grip is relaxed

I'd appreciate any feedback. Don't pull your punches. I just want to get better and stay injury free.
I like the almost total lack of heel lift - what shoes are you using?
59 yrs old, 74kg, 5' 10"
42Mm metres rowed - just pootling along now
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JonT
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Re: Technique Clinic

Post by JonT »

Thanks to Plummy and Spider for taking the time to give feedback.

I think I am going to dismiss the r20 video. My view is I was overthinking the stroke for the video and that made the whole thing look mechanical. In a few months I will try again but just focus on rowing as I usually would at that rating to see what it looks like.

The main feedback you both give is that starting the pivot at the hips too soon. This is a strongly formed habit now so it is going to take quite a bit of effort to fix, but I agree it will be worthwhile. The annoying thing is, I know when I delay the pivot I get more power in the stroke. It's exactly the same as when I used to focus on my pedal action on the bike and immediately saw a pick up in power. But knowing it and doing it are very different things.

I'm becoming more and more aware of that slight elbow break. I think noticing it has now made it worse. More likely is that I am just more aware of it.

Neither of you think I am leaning too far at the finish which is great to hear.

I think avoiding the over-reach at the catch will be a simpler thing to fix. I'll up my awareness of this.

Spider - try as I might, my knees lock out at lower ratings :cry:

Plummy - as for the shoes. They are a pair of old Adidas tennis shoes. They have relatively little heel wedge which I think is a good thing. I've talking to my daughter, who is a PT who focusses on weight training. Her view is, just like when she coaches dead lifts, socks would actually be best for rowing when it comes to good power transfer. I've never tried rowing in socks, so that's also now on the agenda.
55 years old, 5"10', clinging on to 75kg and frustratingly but understandably inconsistent
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Recess
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Re: Technique Clinic

Post by Recess »

Hey Jon,

As you got in touch about this - I thought I'd reply here, just to continue this thread, rather than just an off-shoot. (Hey Mr Plumb!)

I think the flaws in the 10spm have been covered well by Spider and Plummy. You look very tense and mechanical - remember, the sequencing is meant to flow from stage to stage, rather than 'clunk' (clunk is the wrong word, but I've just sat here for 2 minutes staring out the window, trying to think of a better word - and failed).

Spider's suggestion of slight circles with the handle could help here. I'm not an advocate of the "Scraping the handle across your legs" technique - as I feel that has the potential to totally destroy posture. However - in both videos, you are VERY tense through the shoulders. Shrugging them even - and that's one of the two big things I'd try to work on if I were you. By the time you come into the catch, your shoulders are almost up at your ears.

So as you finish, I want you to think about passing the handle underneath a table. Not a thick table. Just your ordinary 1 inch thickness. So come to a finish - then pass the handle under the table, and then as you come into the catch, raise the handle to get back up over the top of the table.

[-X WARNING - when you lift at the front - do everything you can do not open your hips up at the same time. This is why I just want a small drop. And this danger is why I don't like thr "Scrape across your legs" technique. As it leads not only to a slumped posture forwards, but a really early opening of the hips at the front.

Take it slowly, no actual rowing - and get used to this. Small circles, under and over the table. Hopefully that'll help lower your shoulders a bit.

NEXT....

You're doing what I do....

On the recovery, you get your hands away, body rocks forwards (let's not quiblle abou the knee bend being a bit early) and then as you get to the front of the machine - you add in an extra forward lean, which takes you plunging down to the front. This over-extension then weakens that 'bracing power' you'd have with a more powerful posture. And it's likely the cause of why you open your hips early - and it's almost certainly why you are grabbing with your arms early too - to overcome that forward lean. Although we're discounting the 20spm row - because of the speed you're rowing at, it's a lot easier to see this happening at 20 vs 32, but the overlean is still there - you can see the rounding of your back as you try to squeeze out more length with that extra bit.

So ironically, what I'm saying here is that I want you to lean LESS forwards at the front - but then hold that angle as you drive back.

I do wonder whether addressing your shrugged shoulders would be part of solving this too. Like I said - if you look at the catch position on the 32 - your shoulders are up at your ears. So if you can acheive a less rounded, more powerful posture at the front, alongside less shruggy shoulders, the two elements should fix themselves!

Spider's comment about raising the footstretcher is interesting. Personally, I wouldn't. Your shins are at vertical, and there's still some compression available as it is. If you lift the footretcher, you're going to put an awful lot of pressure through your lower back to get to the same compression.

If you're going to try socks - try it without moving the footplate, and then again with raising it a notch (to compensate for no heel in the shoes) and see how it feels. You look so 'bound up' at the front, that if you can find a way to be more powerful to hit that opening power in a stronger way - that would maybe help.

As always with technique, it's easy to pounce on these things. But it would be remiss to not say how good your stroke is in general. Nice timing, looks like you're getting power in from the legs and arms well - just a few tweaks maybe in order to get that power through effortlessly.

John
It's not how far you go... It's how go you far.
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JonT
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Re: Technique Clinic

Post by JonT »

John, many, many thanks for such a thorough piece of feedback. Lots to work on to make those improvements and improve the quality of the stroke. I know this will all help, as I get more experienced I can feel the power leaking and I'm sure that the tips that you, Plummy and Spider have given me are going to help. Better start to make those changes now than let even more time pass and bad habits become so established that they become really hard to overcome.

I'm very grateful to all three of you for taking the time to help. :fssmile:

Jon
55 years old, 5"10', clinging on to 75kg and frustratingly but understandably inconsistent
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