Drills provide a good refresher on technique and that's why we regularly do them. You can work on drills on any kind of ergs: Concept2, Concept2 on slides, and RP3s or any other machine (below we show examples on the ergs mentioned). Drills can improve your catch and relax your recovery leading to better rhythm and increased efficiency.
What are drills?
Drills are repeated parts of a stroke, small chunks of a stroke. Quiske prefers a segmented rowing style, where different segments or chunks follow each other, albeit fluidly. By doing rowing drills you can isolate the different segments and finetune them, but when rowing normal full strokes the segments blend into each other with a bit of overlap resulting in efficient fluid rowing. It is good to do rowing drills regularly, e.g. for warming up before your training. Switch drills every 30 seconds and you get a nice 5min warmup that you can include once or twice in your weekly training:
Technique drills on Concept 2
Drilling into the data
By looking at the measured rowing data we can learn more about the drills and how they join together to form a full fluid stroke. The below graphs show a full stroke, both the drive and the recovery of the seat (red) and handle (blue) measured with the Quiske Rowing App and pod (phone on the handle and pod on the seat). The y-axis shows the speed in m/s and the x-axis corresponds to the time, which in the case of the 20 SPM below is 3 seconds. When the speed is positive the seat and/or the handle is moving in the driving direction and when negative in the recovering direction:
Let's look at the drills one by one and learn where each drill is located within the full rowing stroke. We'll start with descriptions on how to correctly perform the drill and then provide a graph indicating where the particular drill segment would fit inside the full stroke graph.
How to do it:
The arms produce only 10% of the work. The below graphs show the seat speed and the handle speed of a full stroke at 20SPM on the Concept 2 and the yellow area corresponds to the segment where the arms drive and recover (the seat is stationary at this point since the legs have fully extended before you start pulling with your hands). When working on drills you focus on learning how to make the most of the weakest part of your body producing the best possible finish and start of the recovery.
Arms & Hips
The next drill brings your trunk into play, with a swing.
The Arms & Hips correspond to 30%+10% of the full work. The yellow area shows the period of the swing from 11am to 1pm and back to 11am during the drive and recovery where the seat is stationary (legs extended).
During the leg push the handle should move with the same speed as the seat (the blue and red graphs have the same gradient in the graph below). Opening your back too early results in the handle speed growing past the seat speed during the early drive and you can learn to avoid this by working on leg drills and keeping your back put. This part of the stroke influences the Style factor of the Quiske Virtual Coach the most. The legs produce about 60% of the full work. The yellow area below shows the drive phase of the legs:
Legs & Hips
Legs& Hips provide about 90% of the work. The yellow area below shows the legs&hips drive phase:
Pause at arms away
This drill adds a pause at arms away:
Pause at Arms & Body over
This drill adds a pause at arms& body over:
What does the Virtual Coach say?
Quiske promotes segmented rowing with legs first, then the hips and finally the arms. When rowing like this the Virtual Coach may give you thumbs up or even a heart. See our earlier blogs about the Virtual Coach if you'd like to learn more.
The above drills were done on the Concept 2. However, some drills are more easily done on dynamic ergs, such as the Concept2 on slides or the RP3. It may even be easier to master some of these drills (e.g. legs only) first on dynamic and after that to perform them correctly on static. Check videos of the drills on Concept2 on slides and on the RP3 below. Contact us if you'd like the above graphs measured on dynamic ergs: they do look quite different as the frame corresponds to the seat on the static.
Technique Drills on Concept2 on Slides
Technique drills on the RP3
It's always a good idea to not only measure yourself but also shoot some video directly from the side to spot areas for improvement.
Wishing enjoyable rowing drills,
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