Biomechanical assessment procedure

An important part of the Biomechanics assessment procedure is the testing protocol, which must provide standard conditions and make results comparable between rowers and over the course of time. There are two major factors affecting rowing technique: the stroke frequency and fatigue. Therefore, there was used a test protocol consisting of two parts:

  • Step test with increasing stroke rate: e.g. 5-6 pieces by 250m or 1 minute at 20, 24, 28, 32, 36 str/min with a free recovery about 3-5 minutes and 30 second maximal effort;
  • Race piece 2000m with full effort or specified percentage of it (say, at 95%).

This test protocol was quite time consuming (1-2 hours) and puts a significant load on rowers. Therefore, there was designed a combined test protocol, which allows determination of both effects at once. The test consists of one continuous 2000m piece at racing force application, but various rates:

This testing protocol revived very positive feedback from rowers and coaches: this test was a good training load itself; the first half of it is performed at aerobic training intensity, which allows smooth transition to the second half with anaerobic intensity; only the last 500m is performed with the stroke rates close to racing. There can be some variation of this protocol for junior rowers and veterans: eg, the pieces N5 and 7 could be replaced with light paddling with corresponding reduction of the stroke rate for the next pieces. The data samples are taken and averaged at every lap (see Data Processing).

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