BY RICH DAVIS
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER
Like athletes of all ages, masters rowers are prone to aches, pains, and injury. The difference is in their recovery time, which tends to be longer than that of less seasoned rowers.
Good technique will help protect against these less pleasant aspects of training, which is why I emphasize proper form whenever I am coaching masters.
Thankfully, serious injuries are relatively rare in rowing because ours is not a high-impact sport. Sure, veteran rowers may develop range of motion issues that make coming up the slide problematic. And tight quads limit good forward body angle and lead to faster recoveries because of the discomfort in holding the legs down.
But rowing in general is a safe activity, provided you take the time to take care of yourself. Yoga and stretching will help build the flexibility needed to row properly, however fitness and flexibility take time to develop.
Working out with a friend makes it more likely that you will stick with a program and get better results. Poor posture, not setting the correct body angle on the recovery, and improper hand levels on both the recovery and drive are the most common technical errors masters make.
Eliminating these will lead to a more stable shell and stronger drive without having to pull any harder.