Effects of non-oarside-arm pull on the forces at the handle and foot-stretcher in sweep-rowing

Klaus Mattes, Stefanie Manzer, Nina Schaffert, Martin Reischmann, Wolfgang Böhmert


In sweep-rowing the rotational movement of the oar-handle around the swivel is executed by the arm and shoulder and results in an asymmetry between the body sides. The non-oarside-hand (-arm, -shoulder and -leg) pulls with a longer lever and more tangentially at the handle than the oarside-arm. Aim of the study was to examine the non-oarside-arm-force and its effect on the longitudinal, normal force at the oar-handle, and on the stretcher-force of the non-oarside- and oarside-leg.

Twenty-six male elite rowers of the German Rowing Federation participated in coxless-fours. Normal, longitudinal, non-oarside-arm force on the oar-handle, and stretcher-force of the oarside- and non-oarside-leg were measured with a mobile measuring system. Normal two-handed rowing (Baseline), one-handed oarside-arm, non-oarside-arm, and dominant two-handed non-oarside-arm pull were compared using an analysis of variance.

The results showed that the non-oarside-arm pull produced higher propulsion compared to the oarside-arm because the torque on the oar is greater and the stretcher-force reduced with lower differences between the oarside- and non-oarside-leg. Main reason is the longer lever and in addition the more tangential pull direction at the handle of the oarside-arm. A dominant non-oarside-arm pull should be practiced for increased performance and reduced leg asymmetry, but increases trunk asymmetry.


biomechanics, technique optimisation, rowing technique, sweep-rowing, propulsive efficiency

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12922/jshp.v4i1.79


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