Influence of foot-stretcher height on rowing technique and performance


Strength, technique, and coordination are crucial to rowing performance, but external interventions such as foot-stretcher set-up can fine-tune technique and optimise power output. For the same resultant force, raising the height of foot-stretchers on a rowing ergometer theoretically alters the orientation of the resultant force vector in favour of the horizontal component. This study modified foot-stretcher heights and examined their instantaneous effect on foot forces and rowing technique. Ten male participants rowed at four foot-stretcher heights on an ergometer that measured handle force, stroke length, and vertical and horizontal foot forces. Rowers were instrumented with motion sensors to measure ankle, knee, hip, and lumbar–pelvic kinematics. Key resultant effects of increased foot-stretcher heights included progressive reductions in horizontal foot force, stroke length, and pelvis range of motion. Raising foot-stretcher height did not increase the horizontal component of foot force as previously speculated. The reduced ability to anteriorly rotate the pelvis at the front of the stroke may be a key obstacle in gaining benefits from raised foot-stretcher heights. This study shows that small changes in athlete set-up can influence ergometer rowing technique, and rowers must individually fine-tune their foot-stretcher height to optimise power transfer through the rowing stroke on an ergometer.

Autor / Fonte:Erica M Buckeridge, Robert A Weinert-Aplin, Anthony M J Bull, Alison H McGregor Sports Biomechanics 2016 June 2, : 1-14