Robin Williams |

Using your hips for good technique

The hips have a crucial role to play in the efficiency of the rowing stroke. Coach consultant Robin Williams explains more

The hips are a critical part of the power transfer in rowing, connecting the effort from the legs via the trunk to the spoon. The muscles around the hips, particularly the gluteals, are also strong in their own right so they can really help power production and unite the leg and the trunk movements. It can sometimes be hard to see if the transfer is fully working or not because individual back shapes and the geometry of body positions vary between individuals, as do flexibility and movement patterns. Nevertheless, they are important, so I want to look at ways we can use the hips well, what things can go wrong, and I want to also suggest some technical fixes.

The standard textbook sequence for the drive usually focuses on legs/trunk/arms and arms/trunk/legs for the recovery, with no particular focus on the hips. Perhaps we just assume that the ‘trunk’ takes care of the hips as well, but let’s look closer and see if that’s really the case. It’s all about avoiding energy losses and we all know what a bum-shove looks like at the beginning of the stroke, or a slumped posture at the finish. Both examples would mean that some of the leg drive is dissipated and never reaches the spoon, obviously reducing the propulsion of the boat, so how you sit matters.

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