Int J Sports Med 2000; 21(1): 41-44
DOI: 10.1055/s-2000-8850
Training and Testing
Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart ·New York

Joint Excursion, Handle Velocity, and Applied Force: a Biomechanical Analysis of Ergonometric Rowing

R. Torres-Moreno1 , C. Tanaka1,2,3 , K. L. Penney1
  • 1 School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2 Curso de Fisioterapia da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
  • 3 Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo - FAPESP, São Paulo, Brasil
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31. Dezember 2000 (online)

Rowers may sacrifice on-water technique during ergonometric training in an attempt to increase stroke output. This cross-sectional study aimed to identify characteristics of ergonometric rowing technique that could be potentially detrimental to an effective and safe on-water performance. Joint excursion, handle velocity, and applied force were measured in 44 athletes while they performed a 2500 meter race on an instrumented ergometer. Results on four subjects are presented here. Their performance is compared to that of a Barcelona Olympic and World champion rower with 12 years of experience to illustrate how athletes deviate from standard on-water technique. Kinematic data showed knee joint oscillations and out-of-phase hip and knee joint reversals. Horizontal handle velocity curves indicated that higher stroke rates were achieved by a decrease in recovery time. Vertical handle velocity curves exhibited bi-directional variations. The largest amplitude occurred at the end of the drive phase during an upward displacement of the handle that was associated with a jerk in the applied force. Force-time curves at different stroke rates showed greater variability in the initial portion of the drive phase. Perpetuation of these technique deviations may be detrimental to on-water performance. Biomechanical analyses may allow coaches to better monitor technique during ergonometric training.


Bioengineering Ph.D. Ricardo Torres-Moreno

Biomechanics Laboratory School of Physical and Occupational Therapy Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

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