5/5/2009 - Relaxing the Shoulders

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

One of the technical points that I have been working with my crews on this week is on relaxation of the shoulders. Coaches always tell rowers to relax the shoulders. One tip that I have always given has been to keep the shoulders low by keeping the distance between the ear and shoulder long. If you shrug the shoulders up, this distance is small. I like to tell rowers to keep the shoulders low from the start of the the hands away from the body all the way to the catch.

Another point that we just started to work on is to think as you square the blades that you just do it with the hands and not the shoulders. Tight shoulders will inhibit the blade from entering the water. Relaxed shoulders will allow for a smoother, efficient placement which will make you faster.

Even on the drive when you start with the legs think about the shoulders staying low. Shoulders that lift up or look like they are being ripped from the body are not strong. Once the shoulders lift up during the drive, the lats are taken out of the picture. You want to activate the lats during the drive. One way to keep the shoulders low during the drive is to think of rolling the elbows slightly down during the drive. This will help rotate the shoulders down. You can feel the difference when you do this

So next time you row try to think about what the shoulders are doing during different phases of the stroke. If relaxed it will add some free speed to your boat. Good luck.

updated: 11 years ago