CategoryIndoor-Rowing

Rowing Catch – 3 Things You Need To Know

You need to have a good rowing catch for lots of reasons. Most rowers get it right and are capable of working an excellent catch at the beginning of the rowing stroke.

But whether you row on a daily or weekly basis, on the erg or in the boat, you should always aim to have a great rowing catch to get the most out of your rowing training sessions. Here’s how you can do it.
 

# 1 Sit At The Right Angle

Make sure you sit up relatively straight at the catch position. Don’t be in a position where you are reaching forward too far from your hips or shoulders because this will cause a weakness in your set up and rowing timing.

And it could lead to other technical problems during the power phase.

The correct angle that you should aim to be at with your body at the rowing catch should be a pitch forward at about 1 or 2 o clock. Anything more than this will be over reaching and will cause you to work harder than you need to when you are opening up your body on the drive phase.

On the other hand if you are too upright (or even leaning back – which is a big NO NO) then you will not be able to fully utilise your body swing angle towards the finish of the drive phase.

If your shoulders are too far out of your sockets it will cause a rowing catch that is taken mainly by your shoulders. It could also cause problems in the rowing power phase just like the wrong body angle will.
 

#2 Catch The Flywheel

The perfect rowing stroke catch for you involves putting yourself in a position of maximum strength and bracing capability. If you are outside the zones of optimum position your catch will be either too weak or too hard.

A weak catch will force you to row harder late in the drive phase. It’s easy to spot a rower with a weak catch – they usually look a little slow in the first part of the drive (especially with the legs) and have a big whooosh rowing finish to compensate for the lack of power at the catch.

A hard rowing catch is not the best way to begin the rowing stroke either because you are risking loading your lower back and shoulders in a way that would risk injuring yourself. It’s not worth it.

The best rowing catch involves a little brain power.If you think about the word ‘catch’ for a second you will realise that it means to catch … i.e. you are not hitting, banging, lifting, pulling, connecting, reversing…

You are simply… catching.

Catch the flywheel on the fly, tip it along and keep it going, don’t slow it down or try to move the flywheel faster than the rest of the rowing stroke can take.

Just think ‘catch’, same as you you’d catch a ball in mid-air – with skill and definite poise.
 

# 3 You Need to Brace

The bracing of the load of the handle through your body and on to your legs is crucial. The seat on the rowing erg or in the boat is merely a balancing object – it has nothing to do with power.

It’s only useful to maintain your balance vertically on the drive phase and a good place to rest and relax your legs on the recovery phase.

All the power in rowing is anchored between the handle and your feet. You are pushing one off the other. And to do it correctly in the right rowing sequence, you need to begin correctly – at the catch.

If you don’t brace yourself correctly the transfer of power from your feet to your handle you will never be fully effective of efficient.

Think about engaging your big muscles in a good order and sequence (legs, back, arms). Once you catch, brace your arms and back while your legs do the job. Then and only then should you allow the brace position of your arms and legs to change (in the back swing) through the rowing sweet spot and towards the finish.

The 2k Erg Test Results, Findings and Recommendations

So we finally got the chance to do the 2k’s yesterday.

Here are the results including the January results and the PBs of the rowers:

Group A

Friday 2K January 2K PB
A1 21 YO Male 6:48.1 6:48 2k 6:44
A2 42 YO Male 6:54.2 6:54 2k 6:39
A3 18 YO Female 8:10.8 8:11 2k 8:06
A4 28 YO Female 7:22.4 7:24 2k 7:24

Group B

Friday 2k January 2K PB
B1 33 YO Female 8:52.1 2k 8:54 8:54
B2 28 YO Female 7:53.2 2k 7:57 7:45
B3 19 YO Male 6:27.8 2k 6:28 6:28
B4 56 YO Male 7:27.3 2k 7:25 7:23

 

Comments

Like all 2k erg tests, this was a hard test for all the rowers. Some suffered more than others. Some scored P.Bs. Some felt bulletproof, some felt empty.

But the glaring question is can we find anything from timing of the work sessions we did in the past couple of days?

Generally Group B (the group who did the 1000 meters at pace on Wednesday (2 days before the 2k test) and (3 days after the hard weekend) fared better. Here’s why…
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Rowing Lightweight? Here’s a Race Day Weigh – In Strategy

Lightweight rowers often spend more time thinking and talking to each other about ‘making weight’ than rowing technique and training.

Believe me, I’ve been there.

It’s particularly difficult at the beginning when you are an inexperienced rower or erg rower and haven’t got a clue on how to do it right.

But even if you are an experienced rower you might pick up a tip or 2 from the following discussion.

Wake Up Weight

Wake up early and check your weight  immediately. But make sure your bladder etc is empty becacuse this can make a difference of 200 – 300 grams. You should wear your weigh – in uisuit to get an accurate picture of how much you need to lose. Ideally you should not have to lose more than 1kg because anything more than this will lead you into a struggle you do not need. Continue reading

How To Make Every Session Count – Why You Should Sprint #2

I got an interesting email the other day from  Mike, shortly after I wrote about the sprint in rowing and why it can give you a competitive edge. He asked why I thought sprinting wouldn’t affect the general purpose of a particular erg workout. And gave an example of a session where you might be rowing long and steady on a lighter day before a harder quality day of erging.

Would sprinting on the lighter day tire you out so that the following day’s quality session would be affected?

He got me thinking.

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Indoor Rowing Workouts That Boost Your Vo2 Max

Boosting your VO2 max for rowing on the erg is absolutely essential if you want to score big in a 2k test. Good 2k erg times depend heavily on having a good VO2 max because during a 2k erg test, you are working near your VO2 max. Sometimes even above.

Imagine being able to boost that VO2 max. How much of a difference would it make to your erg scores?

Let’s have a look.

VO2 max is a measure of your ability to use oxygen. The greater your ability to use oxygen during a 2k erg test, the harder you can pull. While a lot of studies by sports scientists say that it is largely fixed by genetics, they still say that it can be increased with training.

How you can boost it – starting today.

You need to aim to train at an intensity greater than 85% of your VO2 max (92% of your Max heart rate). This training requires a good level of mental toughness and you… Continue reading

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