QUANTIFYING THE HAND-CURVE AND OARLOCK FORCES FOR DETERMINING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXPERIENCED AND ELITE MALE SWEEP ROWERS

  • Matt Doyle
  • Andrew Lyttle
  • Bruce Elliott
  • Angus Burnett
Keywords: rowing biomechanics, sweep, force curves, hand-curves

Abstract

Rowing lends itself well to biomechanical research given that it is a closed, cyclic skill that is technically demanding. While a relatively large number of papers have been published on the force profile of the rowing stroke and its effect on performance (DalMonte and Komor, 1989; Millward, 1987), very little research has been conducted into describing specific technical points which may lead to undesirable force characteristics. To allow a more knowledgeable feedback to an athlete's technique, such that improved performances result, it is necessary to isolate the critical factors that can discriminate between performance levels. Angst (1980) prepared a paper in which he subjectively described a relationship between the path that the handle of the oar described (hand-curve) and the shape of the force profile. The hand-curve is one method that could be used as a more direct feedback to the rower, with observable adjustments in technique having direct implications to the force applied. The current project involves determining those hand-curve and force profile variables that can be used to effectively differentiate between performance levels in sweep rowing.