Indoor rowing is a pretty simple sport, but when you are starting it for the first time the terminology, abbreviations and nicknames can be a bit confusing. We'll try and explain them here, if we have missed anything let us know and we'll add it.
The catch in rowing is also known as the start or the ready position in the rowing stroke. The name comes from the point, on a boat, where the blade of the oar would first enter, or Catch the water.
The rowing stroke is often summarized as CATCH - DRIVE- FINISH - RECOVERY.
The Drive is the phase immediately after the CATCH, where the rower uses their legs to drive themselves back from the footplate. The correct sequence during the drive is to drive with the legs, then introduce the body, then use the arms until you reach the FINISH position.
The finish is the point at the end of a rowing stroke where your legs are fully extended, your body is tilted slightly back and you have pulled the handle of the machine/oar to your body.
The part of the rowing machine, or boat, where you place your feet. A good contact with the footplate is essential.
Open Rate means that you choose what stroke rate you are rowing at, not the coach. In a real race nobody is pacing you, and you'll row at the rate you feel most comfortable with to achieve the goals you have set.
|PACE||How fast you are going; your speed, often measured by SPLIT TIME. A fast pace on the water means your boat is really motoring. Sometimes a coach, or asensei, will ask you to increase your pace, this doesn't mean you have to row at a higher STROKE RATE, but it does mean you should try and increase your speed which means decreasing your split time.|
|RATE||Shorthand for STROKE RATE.|
|RATIO||A shorthand term used by coaches to talk about the relative duration spent in the drive and recovery phases. Increasing the speed of the drive can lead to more pace (or boat speed if on the water). e.g. a fast drive and a slow recovery.|
|RECOVERY||The phase of the rowing stroke after the FINISH, as you return to the CATCH position. Called the recovery because you don't use much energy as you return, the flywheel or the boat motion will help you, and it's a chance to recover a little before the power is laid down in the DRIVE phase.|
|STROKE RATE||Stroke rate in rowing is how many strokes per minute you are taking. Ability to hold a consistent stroke rate is a valuable skill.|
|SPLIT||Related to split time, sometimes a coach will suggest that you go 2 splits faster, which means to reduce your split time by 2 seconds.|
|SPLIT TIME||In rowing this is how long it takes you to row 500m. The lower the split time, the faster you will be going.|
|SPM||An abbreviation for Strokes Per Minute, or how many rowing strokes you take each minute. Higher strokes per minute mean you are moving your body faster through each stroke. You'll normally see your split time reduce at higher stroke rates, but it does also depend how much power you are laying down in each stroke, it's possible to row at a high SPM but start to lose pace/speed.|
If you want to learn more about the terms then our coaches explain them in great detail as you workout with asensei. Sign up for more workouts and great coaching at www.asensei.com