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The Importance of a Good Warm-Up

BY RICH DAVIS
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER

Masters need a little more warm-up time than “less experienced” rowers, but both should perform the same routine.

A good warm-up is particularly important for masters who take to the water before dawn when the day is coldest. And while they may need more time getting loose, the amount they perspire may not be a sufficient marker for the quality of the warm-up.

I used to have my crews shove off from the dock and begin paddling at a low rate before gradually increasing the cadence. They began at 24 strokes per minute for 10 strokes and then raised the stroke by two every 10 strokes until they would hit the rate they needed to hold for the workout.

For crew boats, try starting out with one pair balancing the boat. Many crews also like to begin with the pick drill. Just be sure you are warm and loose before beginning such exercises. The pick drill emphasizes timing and precision, and if you are not rowing well, you are practicing poor rowing.

Your warm-up doesn’t need to take place in the boat, either. Try a few calisthenics on land. Plan your practice time to include a significant warm-up and warm-down. Chocolate milk and carbohydrates in the first 10 minutes after practice will also help speed up your recovery.

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