BY RICH DAVIS
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER
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Full disclosure: I slouch. But I am not alone.
Many of the masters I have coached over the years slouch too. This is not a strong position for rowing.
Instead, aim to sit up straight with your head over your shoulders and hips and your eyes on the horizon. This is not only a biomechanically better way to approach the stroke, it also puts you in a better position to ensure you are using your full lung capacity.
Poor posture is a source of not only back pain, but also muscle fatigue, breathing limitations, and arthritic joints. When our bodies are out of line our muscles have to work harder.
Prolonged slouching begets more slouching, with tightening tendons and muscles contributing to a default slouch position. Keeping your head up will help you keep your back straight.
On the recovery, try swinging a straight back from the hips to achieve proper forward body angle. Take time on the release to catch your breath and make sure your shoulders are relaxed, but not rounded.