Rowing Lower Body
Rowing Lower Body
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Lower Body Flexibility For Rowing
Rowing is one of the few sports that have been practiced consistently for thousands of years. From an onlookers point of view this ancient sport requires no additional flexibility training. However improved flexibility can benefit the rowers in two very important ways.
1. Improved performance.
Most rowers extend the hip and knees from full flexion. The deep range is usually the weakest. This is true for any movement in any joint. Trying to extend from full flexion will produce less force, than try to extend even a few degrees away from full flexion. The muscles are the weakest when full stretched. The solution to this problem is to make the muscles in fully flexed joints, only slightly stretched. Because the joint does not allow any more range of motion, this can not be achieve with standard stretches. Only kinesiological stretches are able to do this, through muscle isolation.
2. Injury prevention.
Most if not all of those injuries happen as the results of one of the two occurrences. Weakness in deep range and compensation for weakness or lack of range.
Having no strength or not enough strength to contract from full flexion injures the muscle. This can happen over time, or acutely. Extending the range of motion and than strengthening in that range is the key. This program does both of those.
Compensation for weakness or lack of range in the hip joint can accur in an other joint. The knees can be forced into extreme flexion, and even rotation. Spine can over flex and either straight the muscle or rip the disk. Flexors of the elbow, retractor of the scapula and extensors of the shoulder can overstrain once again to compensate for tightest part of the body, which is usually the hips.
So far only few coaches have given serious attention to stretching techniques. And even so, the most common stretching techniques used for rowing are relaxed stretches. Those actually relax the muscle, decreasing it's ability to contract quickly. Second, those stretches can only go as far the joints mobility takes the muscle. As explained above, this is not enough for rowing technique.
Kinesilogical stretches take the muscle further, than full flexion of the hip, because they rely on the kinesiology of the muscle and not on it's biomechanical relationship to the skill. At the same time, kineisological stretching techniques use action vs action lengthening of the muscle. This allow to avoid the pain of the stretch reflex and develop flexibility quickly.
Most rowers report feeling lighter and stronger, just after few sessions.
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