The rounded and slouched back of the technological age is a distinct disadvantage for rowers. A curved back decreases performance due to a lack of muscle strength, length, and power – especially in the extensor groups.
It’s readily apparent in the study of angle transitions in the hip. Figure a. demonstrates the slight increase in angle of rowers with a rounded spine – they can not sufficiently shorten the angle at the catch nor fully lengthen the angle at the release. Figure b. shows the greater angle obtained by straight backed rowers, directly effecting stroke power and timing.
Rowing with your back round is a sign of
1. Short, limited hip flexors (muscles on the front of the hip) and compromise spinal stability when the hip is open.
2. Long, weak hip extensors (muscles on the back of the hip) results in compression and strain on the joints of the low back and sacroiliacs and requires low leg muscles to shorten.
Naturally strengthen your body and increase the total angle of your stroke by straightening your back, fully engaging the glute max, and stretching the hamstrings and calf muscles.
Contact us for tips on exactly what exercises straighten your back and increase your hip angles!