The asensei youtube channel features livestream workouts from coach Eric Murray every week which are packed with insights and tips from one of rowing's all-time greats. In the Coaching Gold series we will highlight some of Eric's tips and insights from his Q&A sessions at the end of each workout - this time we focus on where to increase the power in your rowing stroke.
How to increase power in your rowing stroke?
Today's insight comes from the intro to Eric's livestream from 16th Jan 2022, where he outlines one of the key aims for that workout. At asensei we believe that practicing with purpose is key to improving performance and this is a great example of Eric setting out a clear coaching goal for the indoor rowing session to follow.
In the session Eric explains that many issues arise when people think they need to generate all the power in their rowing stroke at the start of the stroke, when they first start to push away from the catch position into the drive phase. You do want the flywheel to pickup at that point, but the real power should come once the legs are well into the middle of the stroke and as the body starts to move back. For anyone that has used a force curve, this corresponds to the highest parts of that curve.
Yes we want to keep the flywheel spinning at the pickup, but yanking the chain too hard at that stage, being too heavy at the front on every stroke will wear us down and it doesn't add speed overall. But, instead if we can get acceleration through the middle of the stroke, with the legs and the body, that's where we get our speed from.
So try and come away smooth from the catch, don't yank with the body or grab with the arms too early in the stroke at the catch and just create the movement with our body through the middle of the stroke.
In the full workout Eric talks at more length about this, coaching you to keeping your stroke smooth around the catch, relaxing as we feel the seat come underneath the body and pushing hard into the middle phase of the stroke. By practicing with this goal in mind it will really help you to improve your form and lead to greater speed overall.
Watch Eric explain in his own words in the excerpt below (3mins) and if you watch the full livestream Eric will coach you through the full workout:
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The asensei app tracks your force curve information, but right now the only way to view it is via the Concept 2 PM5 monitor during a workout as explained in the video above. On other rowing machines you may need to listen to the coaching cues in the asensei app and rely on feel to improve, or you can book personal video coaching sessions with Eric via email@example.com.