Torso positions for rowing and Concept2

One of the questions I often get is about the body position of the torso when rowing on the Concept2.  How closely does it parallel a deadlift or kettlebell swing?  Do I finish the stroke with a “big chest?”

A recently published Rowing Biomechanics Newsletter by Dr. Kleshnev analyzes the position of the lower back and torso of some of the world’s top single scullers.  The conclusion is that a straighter lower back generally results in higher force transfer from the legs to the handles, but also that a more curved upper torso results in a more elastic response from the body.  Note that all of the scullers finish with a concave chest, in contrast to the “big chest” often encouraged in Crossfit.  The analogy is that you use the relatively weaker muscles of the upper body as a “rubber band” to store some of the energy of the leg drive and release it as you approach the finish.  This then encourages the fast hands away as a “rebound”.

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