>>>> Dear all,
>>>> In the October 2011 Rowing Biomechanics Newsletter Dr. Kleshnev writes:
>>>> An optimal force curve must be frontloaded , full and not have any humps
>>>> (RBN 2006/06, 2008/02).
>>>> When I think about it, it occurs to me that I actually do not know what
>>>> frontloaded means.
>>>> Is Dr. Kleshnev merely advising us to get as much power as we can as quickly
>>>> as we can?
>>>> Or is he advising us to get as long as we possibly can at the catch, even at
>>>> the expense of the finish?
>>>> Or does he mean something else?
>>>> Frontloaded catches are a very familiar term in rowing circles these days.
>>>> Can anyone provide a definition?
>>> I think I was agreeing with you - the cappuccino froth was when I get it wrong and inefficient and do not properly bury the blade.
>>> The bit I am trying to analyse is when I bend the handle.
>> That's easy. The shaft bends in direct proportion to the load, but the
>> load varies from catch to finish, starting from zero & returning to
>> zero. So, unless & until you bend the shaft you have no load & are
>> doing no work - in effect wasting time & stroke distance in which you
>> should/could have been doing work. That's what I meant about the
>> pointlessness of the touchy-feely approach to technique.
>>> bury blade, apply force by bringing the hands together and then leg drive.
>>> Are you saying that my arms are sufficiently strong enough to bend the shaft? - It feels to me that my arms are string enough to generate that initial lift (read my 'lock on') and then the legs are strong enough to bend the shaft.
>> And there's the conceptual problem: any load bends the shaft - the shaft
>> is completely elastic & there is _no_ point in the loading process at
>> which it starts to bend - it happens (minutely) as the very first
>> migrograms of force are applied to the handles. I love the idea of arms
>> being "string enough" & clearly recall feeling that knackered that
>> string was all that remained ;)
>> Let's get clear, too: you don't "generate the initial lift". You
>> generate the load & 'lift' is the way that water flowing along the
>> length of the blade reacts to any loaded foil (remember, what ever we
>> may choose to believe to the contrary, the blade travels tip-first
>> through the water over the first 1/3 or so of the stroke). Talking
>> about you generating lift is like talking about hard ground doing
>> something for you when you jump. No, it just sits there, fairly
>> unyeilding, & can't help itself but stay put, so you jump & think
>> nothing about it.
>>> so I think (though I do express myself sloppily on occasion) the only bit where I differ from what I understand (though referred to by another and attributed to you) you state, is in breaking the arms at the catch. My thinking on this is sheer muscle size - while I can see that many rowers can break early and then row through with bent arms, it introduces a weaker set of muscles that we would never encourage in say weightlifting.
>> Stroke force builds up over time & distance, so the supposedly weaker
>> muscles are well suited to do their stuff during the early loading
>> process when loads, 'though rising, are low. Rowing suffers from being
>> interminably described as a series of postures as if no rower actually
>> moved in a fluid manner. If you think of the stroke in dynamic terms,
>> with the relative motions of all those various light & heavier chunks of
>> body interacting with each other, the boat, the handles & the handles
>> themselves reacting against a flexible oar-shaft, then it becomes
>> admittedly a more complex problem. But we do have to shake off the
>> shackles of simplistic postural thinking to be able to understand what
>> really happens in the stroke.
>> How well an arm, say, carries a load depends on the degree to which it
>> is bent & whether you insist on trying to hold that elbow joint in any
>> one position regardless of load or treat the arm as a flexible,
>> contractable link in the whole process, one able to apply modest loads
>> when somewhat bent but carry everything your legs can throw at it when
>> not "locked out" (that's over-extension, IMHO) but when scarcely bent.
>>> When I break early (all other things being equal) I feel weaker - whereas when I create that early lift/connection with the inward movement of the hands (without breaking or pushing backwards) I feel I am connected and ready to bend the shafts with the drive.
>> You may now see the problem with this kind of sequential postural
>> thinking? Don't try to take the stroke with any particular set of
>> muscles. The body will work well enough without you telling it the
>> order or by how much different bits should work. Take away the rigid
>> thinking & you'll have a living, dynamic action which you can mould into
>> one which becomes more effective & natural. That's pretty much what
>> Steve Fairbairn was advocating the best part of a century back
>>> Hey ho, happy to admit that I could be way wrong through :)(sunlight is the best disinfectant though!)
>> Being wrong is what we all do, most of the time.
>> First mistake was taking up rowing, but what a wonderful mistake to have
>> made! Thinking of rowing as a set of postures rather than a flowing
>> action is, however, an unfortunate error, the result of rowing not being
>> seen often enough by its teachers as a gymnastic process in which the
>> relative motions of every body element flow inexorably from what went
>> immediately before & which in turn must flow into the next frame of the
>> movie. Rowing is not a "stop-motion" but a live action process. And we
>> are all fumbling towards that understanding.
>> Cheers -
>> Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
>> Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing Low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
>> Write: Harris Boatyard, Laleham Reach, Chertsey KT16 8RP, UK
>> Find: tinyurl.com/2tqujf
> Thanks Carl
> I am trying to simplify it in my head as a means of explaining it correctly to others - while happily questioning the coaching orthodoxy.
> Apologies for always getting the causes and components of the forces and results of forces wrong - I am precise in other parts of my life! (That I think I understand!)
> I will play with the pecks vs bent arms and see what it does to my sequence and posture!
Well, I don't know to what extent I helped. What I've re-read looks a