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on how to dance with the Ergo

· rowing performance,indoor rowing

When an athlete is developing his/her performance, repetition is key. For fine tuning the motion feedback is necessary, and immediate real time feedback is best.

However, real time feedback on technique is not available in most sports, and existing offline systems are expensive and difficult to install.

Our rowing performance system collects kinetic data from sensors on the boat, the oars, and the seat, computes meaningful results and delivers that to the rower right there on the spot so that they can improve their technique already from the next stroke.

Our technology building blocks consist of hardware, proprietary algorithms, and software, and these can be applied to any other sports that benefit from real time feedback on periodic motion.

With the sea freezing in Helsinki we turned our gaze indoors and naturally applied our rowing performance system to indoor rowing: We're pitching about our indoor rowing product for the first time at Smash on Nov 29th in Helsinki!

Rowing is physically and technically challenging

Indoor rowing consists of moments of acceleration, deceleration and pauses, that need to happen at exactly the right time. The rightly timed sequences need to happen with the right rhythm. You can compare it to dancing. Rowing (and I also mean indoor) is physically and technically a very challenging sport. It uses almost every major muscle group in your body and trains also your muscle coordination. Not only that but it is also suitable for people of any age. No wonder indoor rowing is growing in popularity. Indoor rowing is also of course part of popular Crossfit training. But to many people the indoor rowing machine seems cruel and unforgiving. Is it possible to make indoor rowing feel more enjoyable?

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The Concept2, also known as "the Ergo" is a popular high end indoor rowing machine that you can find at most gyms. A quick glance at people warming up on the Ergo reveals that most people could benefit from a little help on their technique. A friend of mine stated he couldn't do more than half a minute on the Concept2 because after that it started to feel "uncomfortable"... We think the answer to how to make indoor rowing more enjoyable is in finding the right rhythm, and rhythm is something we can measure and provide feedback on!

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We place our Quiske sensor on the seat of the Concept2 and a phone on the handle and gather data that we calculate meaningful metrics from so that you can improve your technique already from the next stroke. We visualize the errors in technique with simple colored cues. Red is wrong and green is right. Below we show the measured speed of the seat and the handle during one stroke of a novice and expert rower. Both graphs show real data measured from people in our own team. The graphs are available real time to the rowers so that they can focus on improving the rowing stroke one item at a time, to get rid of bum shooting, rushing on recovery, or any other of the typical beginner's mistakes.

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It's all about rhythm

Our indoor rowing system is beneficial for novice rowers who want to make indoor rowing more enjoyable by getting the hang of proper rhythm. Our system is however even more useful for competitive crew rowers: By measuring the indoor rowing technique rowers in a crew can strive for the exactly same rhythm, which will help their boat move more efficiently once summer comes. Rhythm is about much more than just strokerate, it is about achieving perfect synchrony of all sequences within the strokes of a crew.

Our rowing performance system for rowers ships already in January 2017 (preorders can be placed in our store). The indoor rowing product will be available later during Spring 2017.

Hope to see you at Smash on Nov 29th so we can talk more about improving indoor rowing performance! Otherwise get in touch for example by commenting below!

Br, Kristina B