[title size=”2″]Improving Technique by Direct Bio-Feedback[/title]

ROWING: Perfect coordination is a prime factor.

For many people, the main attraction in rowing is the permanent quest for the optimal combination of force, endurance and perfect coordination. Experience teaches that of these three factors, perfect coordination is the most difficult to train. It is therefore important that rowers should give at least the same attention to improving their coordination pattern as is given to improving strength and endurance. To fine-tune the coordination pattern during land based winter training it is essential that the equipment that is being used simulates the dynamic behaviour of a light racing shell, freely floating on the water, as closely as possible. The ROWPERFECT3 (RP3) rowing simulator does this.

Immediate “bio-feedback” to the rower is essential for changing the coordination pattern. The force/length curves made on the ROWPERFECT3 (RP3) dynamic rowing simulator coincide very well with similar curves made in the boat, and they give immediate bio-feedback to the rowers. This makes it an essential tool for improving technique and for synchronising crews. The shape of this force/length curve depends on the technique, and gives a clear insight to the coordination between legs, back and arms during a stroke. This force/length curve, therefore, can be used to detect technical flaws, and to diagnose the causes.

Immediate bio-feedback is achieved by showing an “ideal” reference stroke profile as a template, together with each actual stroke profile. For each stroke the rower can see the difference between his actual stroke profile and the target. This makes the learning process very efficient, allowing the rower to much more rapidly acquire a technical improvement than by any other means, and then to automate it.

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The graph above illustrates what can be achieved in terms of improvement of coordination in a short time. This graph shows how deficiencies in the force length curve of a novice sculler have been eliminated in a period as short as 2 months.

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