Skip Navigation LinksHome > June 2008 - Volume 40 - Issue 6 > Rowing Skill Affects Power Loss on a Modified Rowing Ergomet...
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181668671
APPLIED SCIENCES: Biodynamics

Rowing Skill Affects Power Loss on a Modified Rowing Ergometer

HOFMIJSTER, MATHIJS J.; VAN SOEST, A. J.; DE KONING, JOS J.

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Abstract

Purpose: In rowing, the athlete has to maximize power output and to minimize energy losses to processes unrelated to average shell velocity. The contribution of velocity efficiency (evelocity; the fraction of mechanical power not lost to velocity fluctuations) to rowing performance in relation to the contributions of maximum oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) and gross efficiency (egross) was investigated. Relationships between evelocity and movement execution were determined.

Methods: Twenty-two well-trained female rowers participated in two testing sessions. In the first session, they performed a 2000-m time trial on a modified rowing ergometer that allowed for power losses due to velocity fluctuations. The V˙O2max, the evelocity, and the amount of rower-induced impulse fluctuations (RIIF) due to horizontal handle and foot stretcher forces were determined in a steady state part of the time trial. RIIF was used as a measure of movement execution. In the second session, egross was determined at submaximal intensity.

Results: As expected, V˙O2max accounted for the major part of explained variance in the 2000-m time (53%, P < 0.001). Velocity efficiency accounted for a further 14%, egross for 11% (P < 0.05). Negative correlations were found between evelocity and RIIF values of several discreet intervals within a stroke cycle. The results suggest that optimal timing of forces applied to the ergometer will help minimizing power loss to velocity fluctuations.

Conclusions: This study indicates that a relationship exists between performance and evelocity. Furthermore, evelocity appears to be related to movement execution, in particular the timing of handle and foot stretcher forces.

©2008The American College of Sports Medicine

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