• BioRowTech system for ergometer

What is it for?

The three most typical mistakes in rowing technique, which have the largest impact on performance, can be seen and corrected both on-water and on the rowing machine:

  1. “Rolling” with the trunk at the catch “locks” the knees at their sharpest angle, which makes the work for the quadriceps very hard, stops the rower’s CM (in global coordinates) and increases variation of its velocity and inertial losses of energy. This could also be harmful for knee joints.
  2. “Grabbing” arms and shoulders during the first part of the drive, or a too early “opening” of the trunk activates smaller arm muscles and limits acceleration of rower’s mass, which significantly decreases effectiveness of rowing. Muscles of legs and arms, as well as ligaments and joints could be overloaded and injured.
  3. “Throwing” the trunk after the finish of the drive (prolongation of shoulder movement to the bow, when the handle has already changed direction and moves to the stern) means that the kinetic energy of the trunk was not utilised into blade propulsion, but was lost inside the rower-boat system. This overloads the stomach muscles and quads, and could be the cause of rib stress fracture at high stroke rates.

How it works?

Our new BioRowTech system for the rowing machine can help you with the problems above, and can be used as a complete instrument for rowing technique analysis and correction. It measures three variables: positions of the handle, seat and trunk (at the level of the shoulder joint). Velocities of the legs (seat), trunk and arms are derived from measured positions and are used in comprehensive analysis, which produces the following three indicators displayed instantly for the rower to see:


1. Catch Factor is the time difference between the instants of the handle and seat stopping at the catch. The optimal value is -25ms (-0.025s): by this time the seat should overtake the handle at the catch, which allows use of the legs for the initial movement at the catch and the acceleration of the rower’s mass. Positive values (red zone) mean “rolling back” with the trunk, or “grabbing” of the arms and shoulders; extremely negative values below -50ms (blue zone) means “slide shooting” at the catch and losses in leg power.



2. Rowing Style Factor is the ratio of the seat travel to the handle travel during the first 20% of the drive length (from the catch until the “transition point”, RBN 2015/10). The optimal value is 90%, which means only 10% of the handle movement should be provided by the upper body and the main contribution should come from the legs. Values lower than 80% (red zone) mean “grabbing” of the arms/shoulders or a too early “opening” of the trunk. Values higher than 100% (blue zone) mean the legs are going off too fast (“bum shoving”) and losing the power through a “weaker” back.


3. Finish Factor is the time difference between the instant of the stopping of the trunk and the handle at finish. The optimal value is -50ms (-0.05s). By this time the “return” of the trunk should overtake the stopping handle. Positive values (red zone) mean “throwing” the trunk after the finish; negative values lower than -100ms (blue zone) mean the rower is winding the trunk around the handle, and is losing trunk power at the finish.

The three indicators above are displayed for each stroke on the left side of the screen. On the right side, four curves are displayed: velocities of the legs, trunk (between seat and shoulders), arms, and handle velocity, which is the sum of the segments velocities. The curves are displayed relative to the handle position on the x-axis, so they make loops, where the drive phase is represented above the axis, and the recovery below it. The visual shape of the curves is complimentary to the indicators, and may help to understand better the specifics of rowing technique.

The BioRowTech system is quite a simple but effective tool for rowing technique improvement for rowers at all levels. For experts, it gives a lot of detailed information, such as the contribution of body segments into total stroke length, values and curves of segment’s velocities, etc. The system works with a modified BioRowTel software under Windows, which allows the recording of data samples, producing average curves, and analyse differences between various rowers and data samples.

3. What you get?

The system is supplied in a plastic box, which has two layers: a tablet PC at the top, and three sensors connected to the data collector – at the bottom. The sensor called the “string pot” is a compact cylinder with a spring-loaded string coming out of it. The strings of each three sensors is connected to the handle, seat, or rower’s shoulders and measures their movement. It creates less than 100g of tension, which goes practically unnoticed by the rower.

The software is preinstalled on the Tablet PC, so you need only turn it on, connect the Data Collector with sensors, and start using the system.


The sensors are mounted on the frame of the rowing machine using 3M Double-Lock tape, which provides strong fixation, as well as quick removal and reinstallation. The picture below shows installation on the Concept2 (a) and RP3 (b) rowing machines.

The handle sensor (1) is mounted on the frame close to the cog-wheel and its string, and connected with the string to the handle through the String Adjuster and Velcro strip. During the drive, the wire should be approximately parallel to the chain.

The seat position sensor (2) is mounted in the middle of the foot-plates of the stretcher using the supplied 3M Double Lock tape. Similarly, the String Adjuster is attached at the bottom of the seat, so that the wire is parallel to the travel of the seat.

The trunk position sensor (3) is mounted on the monitor arm of the erg using the supplied mounting tape. The string of the sensor is connected with the athlete’s clothes at shoulder level.

The Data Collector (4) is mounted on the frame, then the sensor cables should be made tidy using some sticky tape. Mount the tablet PC, turn it on and connect the cable to micro-USB socket B, which will power the Data Collector (a blue LED will start flashing).

In all sensors, use the automatic string adjusters to prevent string damage: it releases the string if the load exceeds about 0.5kg. In the trunk sensor, it helps to adjust the range of the shoulder movement to the range of the sensor, so the adjusted string should be extended by 20-40 cm, so the end of the string should never touch the sensor (5-10 cm gap should always at furthest shoulders position at catch). To wind the string back, remove the tension and push the button on the string adjusters, its internal coil will pull the string inside.

5. Using your BioRowTech system

Turn the tablet ON and start the programme, double click on the BioRowTech icon.

Click “Check” button to see if the data signal is going, then restart the program.

Click the button “Start Rowing” at the top toolbar and start rowing, watching immediate feedback on the screen.

Click “Log Data” to record you rowing data, which could be played back with the “Play” button.

Click “New File” to create a new session file/folder and make it easier to manage logged files.

For more details, see the “BioRowTech Software Manual” and video guides on www.biorow.com   

The following video may be helpful:

Video Installing BioRowTech on Concept2

Video Using BioRowTech on Concept2

Video Installing BioRowTech on RP3

Video Using BioRowTech on RP3

Video BioRowTech upgrading

BioRowTech raw data processing

BioRowTech analysis and reports

Examples of reports could be found here: BioRowTech on Concept2; BioRowTech on RP3

BioRow software installation

Sensor replacement

Download tha latest version of BioRowTech software from this link

©2018 Dr. Valery Kleshnev www.biorow.com

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BioRowTech system for ergometer

  • Product Code: BioRowTech for erg
  • Availability: In Stock
  • £1 200.00UK

  • Ex Tax: £1 200.00UK

Tags: BioRowTech system for ergometer