Head races are time trial / processional races that take place from autumn (fall) to early spring (depending on local conditions). Boats begin with a rolling start at intervals of 10 – 20 seconds, and are timed over a set distance. Head courses usually vary in length from 2,000 metres (1.24 mi) to 12,000 metres (7.46 mi), though there are longer races such as the Boston Rowing Marathon and shorter such as Pairs Head.

Outside of resistance type, we found the number-one arbiter of ride feel to be cord quality. Water ergometers tend to employ nylon cords, while air ergometers feature metal chains — a durability factor we anticipated would result in our favoring air. But while all three water rowers aced our expectation of smooth, high-tension strokes, perfecting the chain seems to be more difficult: Some tug with just a slight rumble, others feature bouncy, grinding chains that are incredibly loud, something akin to angry snoring. As for nylon, the best wind and unwind like elastic silk — no slack, no sound, no catching, just perfectly even tension throughout the stroke.
The recovery phase follows the drive. The recovery starts with the extraction and involves coordinating the body movements with the goal to move the oar back to the catch position. In extraction, the rower pushes down on the oar handle to quickly lift the blade from the water and rapidly rotates the oar so that the blade is parallel to the water. This process is sometimes referred to as feathering the blade. Simultaneously, the rower pushes the oar handle away from the chest. The blade emerges from the water square and feathers immediately once clear of the water. After feathering and extending the arms, the rower pivots the body forward. Once the hands are past the knees, the rower compresses the legs which moves the seat towards the stern of the boat. The leg compression occurs relatively slowly compared to the rest of the stroke, which affords the rower a moment to recover, and allows the boat to glide through the water. The gliding of the boat through the water during recovery is often called run.
Regarding comparability of results between machines: As stated, the above indoor rowing competitions use the Concept 2 rowing ergometer, currently the Model D, which like previous models, is equipped with an electronic performance monitor that compensates for differences in resistance adjustment (1989 US Patent US4875674A; Assignee: Concept 2). Therefore it is widely accepted that a result on one machine can be fairly compared with a result on another machine regardless of their respective resistance settings. The assumed consistency between machines would be correct if another, unmeasured resistance variable did not exist. This is the variability of the resistance of the elastic cord used to take up the chain and return the handle. The electronic performance monitor only measures the energy expended to spin the flywheel. It does this via small magnets embedded in the face of the flywheel which pass a sensor connected to the performance monitor (see patent US4875674A referenced above). The monitor does not measure the energy required to stretch the elastic cord, therefore unless the force required to stretch the elastic cord is a guaranteed constant, there is no guarantee that the performance monitor will display the actual total energy expended by the user.
The frame is beyond durable and is designed for absorbing sound and vibration. There’s no creaking or other sounds that you might expect from wood components. It has a low center of gravity that keeps the rower in place while exerting full rowing power. The polycarbonate water tank is equally durable and practically indestructible. The Classic Rower doesn’t have any moving parts that can wear out, or belts and pulleys that need to be maintained.

The drive is initiated by the extension of the legs; the body remains in the catch posture at this point of the drive. As the legs continue to full extension, the rower engages the core to begin the motion of the body levering backward, adding to the work of the legs. When the legs are flat, the rower begins to pull the handle toward the chest with their arms while keeping their arms straight and parallel to the floor.
Braked flywheel resistance models comprise magnetic, air and water resistance rowers. These machines are mechanically similar since all three types use a handle connected to a flywheel by rope, chain, or strap to provide resistance to the user – the types differ only in braking mechanism. Because the handle is attached to the resistance source by rope or similarly flexible media, the trajectory of the hands in the vertical plane is free making it possible for the rower to emulate the hand height difference between the stroke and the return. Most of these models have the characteristic sliding seat typical of competitive on-the-water boats.

Rowing technique on the erg broadly follows the same pattern as that of a normal rowing stroke on water, but with minor modifications: it is not necessary to "tap down" at the finish, since there are no blades to extract from water; but many who also row on water do this anyway. Also, the rigid, single-piece handle enables neither a sweep nor a sculling stroke. The oar handle during a sweep stroke follows a long arc, while the oar handles during a sculling stroke follow two arcs. The standard handle does neither. But regardless of this, to reduce the chance of injury, an exercise machine should enable a bio-mechanically correct movement of the user. The handle is the interface between the human and the machine, and should adapt to the natural movement of the user, not the user to the machine, as is now the case. During competitions an exaggerated finish is often used, whereby the hands are pulled further up the chest than would be possible on the water, resulting in a steep angulation of the wrists - but even with a normal stroke, stop-action images show wrist angulation at the finish, evidence that the standard rigid, single-piece handle does not allow the user to maintain a bio-mechanically correct alignment of hands, wrists, and forearms in the direction of applied force. On the Concept 2 website "Forum", many regular users of the indoor rower have complained of chronic wrist pain. Some have rigged handgrips with flexible straps to enable their hands, wrists, and forearms to maintain proper alignment, and thereby reduce the possibility of repetitive strain injury. Rowing machine manufacturers have ignored this problem.
The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine includes the excellent PM5 monitor that provides all vital data. It can display your workout performance in two ways. You can choose to see your workout in total distance and time, or as “splits”. Splits is a way of seeing how your pace is varying along two set points. Either way is useful, but splits give you more of a “real-time”, in the moment calculation of how you are doing.
Too many Fights Gone Bad? Tabata Interval blues? Try something different! Challenge yourself during one of our individual and team challenges, or join an affiliation! Keep track of your meters in our Online Logbook and work towards joining our Million Meter Clubs! Learn about these programs and more in our Motivation section. Visit our Service section, where you can find out everything from troubleshooting bumpy seat rollers to learning how to set up an interval workout with undefined rest on your Performance Monitor.
There are many differing sets of rules governing racing, and these are generally defined by the governing body of the sport in a particular country—e.g., British Rowing in England and Wales, Rowing Australia in Australia, and USRowing in the United States. In international competitions, the rules are set out by the world governing body, the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron (FISA). The rules are mostly similar but do vary; for example, British Rowing requires coxswains to wear buoyancy aids at all times, whereas FISA rules do not.
The oldest, and arguably most famous, head race is the Head of the River Race, founded by Steve Fairbairn in 1926 which takes place each March on the river Thames in London, United Kingdom. Head racing was exported to the United States in the 1950s, and the Head of the Charles Regatta held each October on the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts, United States is now the largest rowing event in the world. The Head of the Charles, along with the Head of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia and the Head of the Connecticut, are considered to be the three “fall classics.”[40]
The standard measurement of speed on an ergometer is generally known as the "split", or the amount of time in minutes and seconds required to travel 500 metres (1,600 ft) at the current pace — a split of 2:00 represents a speed of two minutes per 500 metres, or about 4.17 m/s (15.0 km/h). The split does not necessarily correspond to how many strokes the rower takes (the "rating") since strokes can vary in power.
In addition to this, certain crew members have other titles and roles. In an 8+ the stern pair are responsible for setting the stroke rate and rhythm for the rest of the boat to follow. The middle four (sometimes called the "engine room" or "power house") are usually the less technical, but more powerful rowers in the crew, whilst the bow pair are the more technical and generally regarded as the pair to set up the balance of the boat. They also have most influence on the line the boat steers.
In 1995, Casper Rekers, a Dutch engineer, was granted a U.S. patent for a "Dynamically Balanced Rowing Simulator" (US5382210A). This device differed from the prior art in that the flywheel and footrests are fixed to a carriage, the carriage being free to slide fore and aft on a rail or rails integral to the frame. The seat is also free to slide fore and aft on a rail or rails integral to the frame. From the patent Abstract: "During exercise, the independent seat and energy dissipating unit move apart and then together in a co-ordinated manner as a function of the stroke cycle of the oarsman.". "RowPerfect" and "Oartec" are two companies which currently manufacture commercial embodiments of the Rekers device.
While it’s not hard to spend a pretty penny on high-end rowers, you can find many basic machines that won’t break the bank. You don’t have to sacrifice quality on your rowing machine to save a buck, as there are numerous models with extensive features for under $200. You may have access to a rower at your gym, but if rowing is your main form of exercise, you can save money in the long run. Purchase the rower pictured here.
The frame is beyond durable and is designed for absorbing sound and vibration. There’s no creaking or other sounds that you might expect from wood components. It has a low center of gravity that keeps the rower in place while exerting full rowing power. The polycarbonate water tank is equally durable and practically indestructible. The Classic Rower doesn’t have any moving parts that can wear out, or belts and pulleys that need to be maintained.
Originally made from wood, shells are now almost always made from a composite material (usually a double skin of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic with a sandwich of honeycomb material) for strength and weight advantages. FISA rules specify minimum weights for each class of boat so that no individual team will gain a great advantage from the use of expensive materials or technology.
Adaptive rowing is a special category of races for those with physical disabilities. Under FISA rules there are 5 boat classes for adaptive rowers; mixed (2 men and 2 women plus cox) LTA (Legs, Trunk, Arms), mixed intellectual disability (2 men and 2 women plus cox) LTA (Legs, Trunk, Arms), mixed (1 man and 1 woman) TA (Trunk and Arms), and men's and women's AS (Arms and Shoulders). Events are held at the World Rowing Championships and were also held at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.[59]

Chris Kinsey works as an editor for a medical publisher and has experience dealing with many topics, ranging from athlete's foot to cancer and brain injury. Kinsey has a great deal of freelance experience writing for sports and parenting magazines as well. Kinsey holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California University of Pennsylvania.
If you’re just beginning your journey to get in shape, the maze of complicated workout machines at the gym might have your head spinning. Don’t worry! Exercising on a rowing machine is relatively simple to learn and ideal for all ages and abilities. It’s important to make sure you use proper rowing technique when you exercise. It will help to both maximize your workout and minimize the potential for injury. Your feet should be securely fastened in the stirrups with your shins close to a 90 degree angle to the floor. It’s best to keep your back straight, your core engaged, and to row in a smooth, fluid motion. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!

Rowing is one of the few non-weight bearing sports that exercises all the major muscle groups, including quads, biceps, triceps, lats, glutes and abdominal muscles. The sport also improves cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. High-performance rowers tend to be tall and muscular: although extra weight does increase the drag on the boat, the larger athletes' increased power tends to be more significant. The increased power is achieved through increased length of leverage on the oar through longer limbs of the athlete. In multi-person boats (2,4, or 8), the lightest person typically rows in the bow seat at the front of the boat.
For those who are overweight or have existing joint problems, high-impact workouts may carry more risks than benefits. A rowing machine is a great alternative for those who are unable to perform weight-bearing exercises, such as running, hiking, walking, and yoga. The motion of rowing is natural and low impact, putting minimal stress on the joints. Like stationary bikes, rowers are great for injury prevention and are also an excellent way to strengthen and condition the knees after surgery. While back strain is a concern, you can minimize your risk by using correct rowing form. Good rowing posture lets your legs do the work, taking the pressure off your back. Check out #9 for more details on proper rowing technique.
The WaterRower Natural is handcrafted from solid Ash wood, finished with a honey oak stain and danish oil. The WaterRower's patented WaterFlywheel has been specifically designed to emulate the dynamics of a boat moving though water and is unsurpassed in its simulation of the physical and physiological benefits of rowing. WaterRower will not provide support or documentation for any product transported outside of the original country of purchase

Indoor rowers which utilize a pivoting handle or handles to simulate a sweep or sculling stroke (thus referred to as "rowing simulators"), can be of the above described "stationary" or "dynamically balanced" type of rowing ergometer. The Coffey rowing machine, designed by Olympic silver medalist rower, Calvin Coffey, can be configured to enable a sweep or a sculling stroke, in either a "stationary" or "dynamically balanced" mode. The flywheel is positioned horizontally at the rear of the device, under the seat rails (US patents: US4743011A 1988; US7862484B1; Inventor: Calvin Coffey).


A common misconception is that putting the fan setting up to 10 is somehow better or harder, but Frandsen completely disagrees. “In my 18 years of rowing, I never trained on the erg at anything over a fan setting of 3 or 4. Anything higher puts a lot of unnecessary load on the body at the beginning of the stroke and can lead to injuries,” says Frandsen. He recommends keeping the fan setting low and working on posture and quickness around the catch to pick up the resistance, instead of depending on the machine to give you that heavy load.

On a rowing machine, you don’t want to be wearing clothes that are too baggy as the fabric can get caught between the seat and the beam it slides on.  It’s not a disaster if that happens, but it can get annoying if your shorts keep getting caught there while you’re trying to get a serious workout.   It’s better to wear shorter, tighter-fitting shorts (nothing ridiculous), but just enough to ensure it doesn’t the material doesn’t hang down.
Outside of resistance type, we found the number-one arbiter of ride feel to be cord quality. Water ergometers tend to employ nylon cords, while air ergometers feature metal chains — a durability factor we anticipated would result in our favoring air. But while all three water rowers aced our expectation of smooth, high-tension strokes, perfecting the chain seems to be more difficult: Some tug with just a slight rumble, others feature bouncy, grinding chains that are incredibly loud, something akin to angry snoring. As for nylon, the best wind and unwind like elastic silk — no slack, no sound, no catching, just perfectly even tension throughout the stroke.
One of the underrated advantages of treadmills and bikes is that they attempt to replicate something with which most people are already familiar—walking, running, or biking. The barriers to entry are low, and the task of planning and completing a workout is a little more intuitive, since most people know what those activities feel like. Those heuristics are out the door with a rowing machine, though. Do you just... pull? How far? How hard? And why does it insist on measuring distance in meters? We asked Caley Crawford, the Director of Education at Row House, for tips on getting started so that, hopefully, your experience doesn't end with you throwing your hands up in frustration and crawling back to the elliptical room.
Rowing events use a systematic nomenclature for the naming of events, so that age, gender, ability and size of boat can all be expressed in a few numbers and letters. The first letter to be used is 'L' or 'Lt' for lightweight. If absent then the crew is open weight. This can be followed by either a 'J' or 'B' to signify junior (under 19 years) or under 23 years respectively. If absent the crew is open age (the letter 'O' is sometimes used). Next is either an 'M' or 'W' to signify if the crew are men or women. Then there is a number to show how many athletes are in the boat (1,2,4 or 8). An 'x' following the number indicates a sculling boat. Finally either a + or – is added to indicate whether the boat is coxed or coxswainless.
Yes! The mother of indoor rowing competitions is the CRASH-B Sprints, held annually in Boston. The Charles River All-Star Has-Beens started when the U.S. boycotted the Olympics in 1980 — during the same era that Concept 2 launched their Model A; necessity met opportunity. CRASH-B is still held with aplomb and doesn’t require any special qualification of its applicants.
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