The Accuracy of Three On-Water Power Instrumentation Systems – By Joe DeLeo

Does The Sound of The Rowing Stroke Help With Its Execution – By Alex Wolf

Are Rowers Fueling Enough? Knowledge and Management of RED-S – By Michael Naperalsky


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Article Summaries

Holt, A., Hopkins, W., Aughey, R., Siegel, R., Rouillard, V., & Ball, K. (2021). Concurrent validity of power from three on-water rowing instrumentation systems and a Concept2 Ergometer. Frontiers in Physiology, 1960.

Researchers had 15 rowers (eight female, seven male) perform a 30-second maximal test and 7 x 4 minute step test once a week for five weeks on a swingulator team rower to determine the concurrent validity of Peach Powerline, Nielsen-Kellerman EmPower, and Webasport OarPowerMeter against a custom-built Reference System. The researchers found that all three on-water instrumentation systems underestimated power compared to the Reference System. Peach Powerline had the least amount of random error in average power and differences in stroke to stroke variability of power. Rowers and coaches can use the results of this study to better understand how each on-water instrumentation system measures power and its accuracy. Recommendations will be provided for on-water power instrumentation and technical feedback systems. 

Schaffert, N., Oldag, B., & Cesari, P. (2020). Sound matters: The impact of auditory deprivation on movement precision in rowing. European Journal of Sport Science, 1–8.

The precision of movement while rowing relies on the rower’s tactile ability and recognize the cues from multiple sources of feedback. This includes the natural sounds made while rowing. For example, from the boat, riggers, oars, and the water. This study investigated the effects of movement precision when the natural sounds of rowing were masked. Elite national team rowers completed two trials of 1000 m, the first with normal hearing, and the second with masked hearing. Both trials had no external feedback. Rowers were asked pre and post trials around their experiences and importance of sound. In both hearing conditions movement precision was negatively affected without any external feedback, with masked hearing a greater decay in movement precision. After completing the trials, the rower’s also identified hearing was more important than first expected with regards to movement precision. The article provides an important insight into how we can manipulate the rower’s surroundings by implementing ‘constraints’ to augment tactile abilities to transfer into ‘normal’ rowing.

Gillbanks, L., Mountjoy, M., & Filbay, S. R. (2022). Insufficient knowledge and inappropriate physiotherapy management of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) in lightweight rowers. Physical Therapy in Sport, 54, 8-15..

Researchers conducted interviews with 12 lightweight rowers and 12 physiotherapists to understand the knowledge and management of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). The researchers identified key themes across the interviews: inadequate knowledge of RED-S; inadequate education of RED-S; poor management of athletes with RED-S; referral to other health care professionals; and prioritizing rowing performance over athlete health. Rowers, coaches, and support staff can use these results to understand what signs might appear with lightweight rowers and how to respond to suspected cases of RED-S.

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.