Are There Physiological Differences Between the Concept2 and RowPerfect3 Rowing Ergometers? – By Joe DeLeo

An Analysis Of The Relationship Between Low Back Pain In Rowers and Rowing Biomechanics – By Alex Wolf

Health Characteristics of Lightweight And Openweight Female Collegiate Rowers – By Lisa Lowe

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Article Summaries

Boland, M., Crotty, N. M., Mahony, N., Donne, B., & Fleming, N. (2022). A Comparison of Physiological Response to Incremental Testing on Stationary and Dynamic Rowing Ergometers. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 17(4).

Researchers had 23 sub-elite male rowers perform a step-test on the Concept2 static ergometer and RowPerfect3 dynamic ergometer. The aim of this study was to determine if there were any physiological differences in heart rate (HR), VO2max, blood lactate (BLa) , and minute ventilation (VE) between both ergometers at submaximal, anaerobic threshold, and maximal intensities. The researchers found a significant difference in VEpeak at maximal intensity and significantly higher HR at two submaximal workloads. The researchers attribute these differences to the higher stroke rates rowed on the RP3. While there were no significant physiological differences between machines, the researchers found poor agreement between the Concept2 and RowPerfect3 at the anaerobic threshold. The results of this study suggest that training zones should be based upon the rowing manufacturer that you test upon.  

Nugent, F. J., Vinther, A., McGregor, A., Thornton, J. S., Wilkie, K., & Wilson, F. (2021).  The relationship between rowing-related low back pain and rowing biomechanics: a systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 55. 616-628.

This article provides a commentary of the key findings from the systematic review of literature to determine the relationship between low back pain (LBP) and rowing biomechanics. The systematic review identified 22 quality-controlled papers that reviewed kinematic (movement) and muscle activity of rowers. The researchers identified clear differences in movement and spinal muscle activity and size between healthy rowers and those currently or historically experiencing LBP. Both healthy rowers and those currently or historically experiencing LBP were negatively affected by fatigue resulting in changes in pelvic position. The results of this review suggest rowers and coaches can implement dryland training to support rowers’ spinal health as well as the potential to review water and ergometer training to reduce the impact of fatigue and loading.

Walsh, M., Crowell, N., & Merenstein, D. (2020, May 12). Exploring Health Demographics of Female Collegiate Rowers. Journal of Athletic Training, 55(6), 636–643.

This study set out to dive into the both physical and mental health of female collegiate lightweight and openweight rowers. Researchers looked at various factors of health that can influence performance and health in a female collegiate rower. They focused on the presence of female athlete triad components, perceived stress, athlete identity and bone stress injury history to determine if the prevalence of any of the factors is influenced by weight class. The results of this study suggest that regardless of weight class female collegiate rowers are equally susceptible to female athlete triad or relative energy deficiency syndrome.

About Science of Rowing

“Science of Rowing” is a monthly publication created by three dual rowing-and-strength coaches: Will Ruth, Blake Gourley, and Joe DeLeo. Our goal is to move research into practice for coaches and rowers of all ages, types, and levels. We are entirely member-funded and do not promote products or sell advertisements. Members receive one issue each month containing three reviews of recent and applicable research in rowing training, strength training for rowing, and other relevant performance areas like psychology, injury analysis, technology, and more.

Each issue includes video and graphic content to help move the knowledge into practice, as well as a podcast episode of the three of us discussing the takeaways and our experiences. Membership includes access to all prior issues, so join us for one month and get access to every issue. We also offer discounted annual and team memberships, as well as gift memberships for a special rower or coach in your life.