#1 Load up the Front End
The erg responds well to a front – loaded power phase. If you are working hard at the back end of the rowing stroke you are probably limiting your erg splits because:
A. Working the handle hard towards the finish is not very efficient
B. You are missing out on the natural erg response to loading the first 70 – 80% of the drive.
So if you can spend your power early in the drive and not rely on back loading towards the finish you can produce more efficient power. And it’s a power curve that the erg monitor responds to – sometimes by up to 1 second/500. (depending on your rating and power)
2# Work hard through the most effective part of the stroke.
Do you know what part it is?
The leg drive?
All or some of the above?
The answer is that it’s the part of the drive phase where all your levers are simultaneously engaged.
The point where your legs, back and arms are all loaded at full leverage.
Depending on your technique it’s where you have around 75% of the slide used, your body swing is in maximum speed of action and your arms are about to engage towards the pull phase.
To get it right your timing is crucial.
- Unwind your angles … make sure your legs, back and arms are connected in time with the speed of the handle.
- Don’t shift your seat back ahead of your handle (because you will be early with your legs and late with your back swing and pull phase)
- Don’t open your back up at the front end (because your legs will be late and your back swing and pull phase will be early )
- Don’t start to pull until you have your legs and back almost spent (because you will be early with your pull phase)
It’s all about timing the opening up of your angles.
#3 Relax the finish
This is tightly connected to tip #1. If you spend your power over the first 70 – 80% of the drive, try to release and relax the (dynamic) last few inches of your pull phase. As the handle comes in towards your body…. release the tension….. let it flow around the turn…. and move it away towards the beginning of the next power phase.
Releasing the power a little earlier will help you to relax your arms and upper body, save you energy and enable you to focus on Tip #1 and Tip #2.
One Final Tip…
All 3 are intertwined and changing 1 will require you to change all – for maximum efficiency and more power.