Square Blades Challenge #2

 In Faster Masters Rowing Radio

Two more drills to get yourself rowing with square blades. And tips on ways to practice.

01:00 Recap last week’s drills. Progressively add these exercises – the ladder of learning concept.
You can always do more of the basics.
02:00 Row Circles
Drills of two types – isolation or exaggeration.
This is an isolation drill – row with one oar. Stabilise the boat with one oar while you practice. This is good for self-coaching as you can watch your blade. Get your release timing perfect.
Practice the tap down – do it as a progression moving from arms only to full slide.
Ensure you are entering and exiting the water correctly. How much weight in the handle do you need to maintain the shaft height above the water.
Ensure the oar not rowing is resting on the water and maintaining the balance of the boat.
05:00 Try looking at your handle while doing this. A visual reference for yourself.
Look past the handle to something beyond so you know if your hand is not in line with that point you’re not at the right height for square blade rowing.

Join the Faster Masters Rowing Training Group on Facebook for discussion and support.

07:00 Delayed feather drill.
This is an exaggeration drill. Release square, when hands change direction away from the body, then move to feather off the oar.
This can also be done as a slide build progression.
If you’ve never done this before, add it to your rowing in circles work (above).
Visualise a soccer ball on the water behind your blade – make the oar go up and over the floating ball.
This drill fits with the Episode 1 drills.
Do make the drills challenging – switch them up.
10:00 Do the drill for 10 strokes and then go back to normal sculling. Reduce your tension then return to the drill. Score yourself for your tension (low) and quality of strokes.
Are you more dexterous on one side?
Go back to the stationary stability drill to help fix this.
12:00 being able to lift the blades high off the water at the release is a good skill for rough water and when you’re racing.
13:00 Testing and proving that the blades balance the boat when they are out of the water drill.
Observe when you press down on right hand, does the boat tip to the left or right? If your boat tips more to one side – which of your hands is likely at the wrong height? What should you do to bring the boat back to balance?
15:00 if you get caught at the finish, try tapping the finish out earlier. It should easily come out of the water at the release.
Experiment with the timing – when it’s right, the release helps you to get the oars out square.

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