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The Virtual Coach evolved

Indoor Rowing Technique Targets

Quiske measures rowing technique both indoors and on water. This spring we have been working on the indoor functionality, adding information about the technique targets to strive for, and we just got the update to the Quiske Rowing App launched on both Android and iOS.

Indoor coaching evolution

The Quiske Virtual Coach has come a long way since it was first launched in 2017. Back then the feedback consisted just of the raw data, the speed of the handle and seat overlaid. The data was complex and difficult for most people to grasp, what's the point with data that no-one understands?

The next step then was to decipher the data into metrics that make sense, such as speed, rhythm and style. Also these metrics were color-coded, with green, yellow, and red showing the scored performance of each of them.

Seeing red

However, we came to find out that giving red feedback to a rower trying to learn to row is not pedagogical. Rowers contacted us saying that seeing red made them want to stop rowing to throw the coach out of the window.

So we took away the red and focused on showing yellows and greens whenever rowing well or really well to spur the rower on. We did still show the possible red scores but only after the session, they were hidden while rowing. Later came the thumbs up and the hearts for more encouragement when rowing consistently well. People need encouragement, especially when rowing the erg. Indoor rowing not only requires mental concentration but is physically hard well.

Meet the new Coach

The next improvement suggestion we got was to add feedback regarding not only if but also on how successfully the targets had been met (or not) after each rowing session. That's what has been built into the new version of the Quiske Rowing App:

Quiske Rowing includes a Virtual Coach scoring and providing feedback on your workout

As before, after each session the Summary screen shows the color-coded scores for each of the five key metrics:

  1. Drive rhythm (%)
  2. Legs rhythm (%)
  3. Legs Max (m/s)
  4. Legs stopped (%)
  5. Style (%)
Now the color coded scores include also your numerical score and the rate-specific target value as well.

The new feature is available via a new screen called "Average Curves". It shows the value reached and compares it to the target for each of the above five metrics.

The Quiske Rowing summary screen

You can access the "Average Curves" by tapping "View Curves" or by swiping left from the Summary screen. The average graphs of the seat and handle speeds during one average stroke is displayed together with the average numerical metrics, compared with their targets at any stroke rate.

I have no swing or style. But at least I have rhythm

The above is the feedback from one of our recent customers. We hope that the new "Average Curves" screen will provide more information to help anyone looking to improve their segmentation, to reach higher scores on rowing technique. When you see the target values you can see how far off you were with any particular metric. Then you can fine tune your technique for your next session and see if that gets you closer to target.

Quiske Rowing App Rhythm score versus rate-dependent target value

You might have different scores, i.e. colors (green is great, yellow is good, and red means improvement is needed) for the different metrics in Summary screen and the Average Curves screen. This difference is due to the Summary screen containing the data from all strokes and the Average Curves screen containing only the subset of data of those strokes that are rowed at the rate mostly used during the session. If you end up with same scores in both screens it means your rowing signature is very consistent, which of course is very good.

What about dynamic?

As before the Quiske Rowing App can measure not only the common Concept 2 (or any other static machine) but also dynamic indoor rowing machines (RP3, Oartec, Concept2 on slides). When measuring static machines the pod goes on the seat whereas in the dynamic case the pod goes on the moving frame. In both cases the phone goes on the handle. Below example screenshots of a session on the RP3:

The Quiske Rowing App Summary Screens on the RP3

Want to learn more?

We have also just published a new 32-page guide which contains an introduction to good indoor rowing technique and explains in detail how to use Quiske to improve your technique. As a thank you for reading this blog this far you can download the guide for free from our shop with the code "VIRTUALCOACH" ;-)

The Guide to Indoor Rowing introduces good rowing technique and explains how to measure it

Hope enjoy the new Quiske Rowing App and that the Virtual Coach is useful in your training. By the way, this Autumn we will bring a similar update also for those rowing on water ;-)


Happy Rowing,

Quiske Team