If you have had such a slow lunch recently that you’ve read over a few of my posts, you may have gathered that one of the main focuses of my stroke is trying to improve what’s going on at the catch.
There are several issues with it – but one of the biggest ones seems to be that in order to get more length, I over-reach at the catch, leading to a rounded back, and therefore a loss of power.
After watching the real-life rowing at the Glasgow European Championships at the weekend, I noticed just how compressed these guys and gals are getting at the catch, while still maintaining a powerful back.
This started cogs turning in my head! Was I over-reaching because I was under compressing? I get to the catch, shins vertical, but there’s still more room to go – so I reach – but I’m not fully compressed. What if?
On returning home, I strapped in, and started to examine my stroke. And it felt like I’d stumbled on something real. Sure, it may just be different, but a few days later, I’m still feeling the difference. It feels like I’m connecting at the catch a lot better, and more importantly, I feel like I’m wound up like a spring, ready to fire off with my legs explosively, instead of just going through a motion of pushing.
I dunno. I’ll keep at this, but compare the two following photos, and you may spot what I mean. The handle is in the same place, but although I’m a tiny bit past shins vertical in the second one – I hope you’ll agree that the difference in my back is huge! Thought welcomed of course (as is abuse at the topless shots)