How Biomechanics Influences Olympic Rowing

Topics: Rowing, Velocity, Sculling Pages: 4 (1386 words) Published: March 31, 2012
Rowing is a sport in where athletes compete against each other in specially designed boats on rivers, lakes or oceans depending on the type of race and the discipline. Different types of race include endurance, time-trial, side by side Olympic rowing and many others. Rowing can take one of two formats * Sweep rowing – each rower has one oar, held with both hands, commonly done in pairs, fours or eights. * Sculling – each rower has two oars, one in each hand, commonly done as a single, pair or fours With reference to biomechanics, rowing has two main areas in which biomechanics can be applied to further understand and enhance performance. These are Technique and Equipment. Technique

* Of the stroke
The most important movement in rowing is the rowing stroke. Both sweep rowing and sculling use very similar stroke styles with the slight differences. The rowing stroke makes use of limbs acting as levers to generate force therefore a biomechanical understanding of how to use the limbs to generate a greater force will improve performance. * Of the movement

Rowing is a cyclic (intermittent) form of propulsion. Therefore a steady state system of motion is required to maintain a constant propulsion. In order to do this biomechanics can be applied to improve the system without accelerating or decelerating the system. Equipment

Biomechanics can be applied to examine and analyze equipment in terms of drag forces, weight and buoyancies issues to give optimal performance.

Specific topic – Technique
Rowing performance is majorly influenced by factors that affect overall boat speed or in biomechanical terms average velocity (Smith & Loschner, 2002). Rowing technique encompasses both the stroke and the cyclic movement of the stroke. The rowing stroke can be analyzed by breaking it down into two phases, drive and recovery. Drive

This is the phase from the catch to the extraction.
* As soon as the oar blade is securely placed in the water at the...
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