Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eye Position to support Rowing Stroke. Awesome Efficiency

I've written before (kb front squat | arthrokinetic reflex) about what i've learned in z-health about connecting eye movements with actions: up for extension; down for flexion. Feeling rather thick in retrospect, i finally applied this reflexive approah to the rowing stroke phases, where i use Kenneth Jay's VWC translated to a water rower rather than KB's with the 36:36 protocol (vwc overview if this thing's new to you).

Smooth? By looking down coming into the catch and looking (not head tilting but using my eyes) up just before pushing back into the power stroke, here's what i noticed: the drive was WAY (i mean WAY) smoother. The funny part is i felt that i had more smoothness than muscle - like part of the effort was so much easier but my muscles were still fatiguing appropriately. It's weird to describe.

xeno muller talking breathing when rowing with the Water Rower

If you try it give it a go: see if you can feel the difference between rowing without thinking about eye position, and then trying with eye position.

Avoiding Back Collapse. It's important (at least for me) to avoid total flexion collapse which is a place it's real easy to degrade to: rowing with a slumped back. Good form has good back neutral throughout, uses the hips and has only some flexion at the end of the drive, complemented by good extension going into the recovery - reaching more with the arms and bending at the hips (like a kb snatch) than curving over.

The eye-up also helped get into good hip and back extension for both the end of the drive and coming back into recovery. I may play next session with keeping eyes neutral rather than down for the recovery, and just up for the drive.

The Eye's Do It. So if you row regularly or as part of your cardio/endurance regimen, consider eye movements.

And heck if you're just getting into rowing or want to consider it, take a look at xeno muller's channel. His stuff is v.good. And ok, yes if you're thinking about putting a rower into your life, sure no one ever got fired for getting a concept II, but just *listen* to the water rower in Xeno's vids. Sweet machine; great great movement.

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