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Posture [rowing]

I was the first person to the boathouse this morning, shortly after 6 am. It has been nippy out, the last two mornings, but at least this morning, the water was mirror-flat. As I finished my first lap, I saw a whole bunch of small boats starting to launch, so I quick-turned and kept going to try and stay ahead of the congestion. They managed to catch up to me by the time I reached the far end, and Serious Double asked if I was interested in joining them for more interval pieces - 10 minutes (or so) of 90 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Okay, yes. I could use the practice under pressure. Serious Double was accompanied by Happy Double and Grumpy Old Man Double, and on our way back towards the launching area we picked up another single. Five boats at race pace in a narrow space, yipes! We can only comfortably fit three boats across in the narrow Aquatic Park.

But the pieces went well overall. No collisions, although I bounced back and forth like a pinball at certain points just because I got nervous and wanted to stay out of the way of the faster boats. Serious Double had us slower boats start out ahead, so they could spend the first 3 intervals gradually mowing us down. I am still very much feeling like I'm still rowing like a teenager* when working under pressure, but if I want to get any better I need to keep at it. There's also something fun and exhilarating about getting to race other boats during practice - a sense of, "Oh yeah, THAT's why I like rowing."

Before everyone else showed up this morning, I also had a few moments where I could start to feel that certain rowing postural muscles are shaping up again, finally - things in the lumbar region of the spine that help hold the spine erect when I am sitting ready at the release with just a bit of layback. I haven't found any other activity that activates those muscles in the way that rowing does, and whenever I'm off the water for extended periods those muscles get flabby, my posture disintegrates, and my back gets vaguely grumpy. But for the time being, it's starting to feel like various rowing muscles are coming back together nicely. It's a good thing, too, because I have a race coming up in 2.5 weeks in Eugene. While I don't expect to be particularly fast, it would be nice to at least feel like I can row with a reasonable amount of finesse while at race pace and pressure. That all contributes to that magnificent sensation of flying that is the real underlying addiction of rowing. I had maybe four such strokes in total while on the water today.

*Rowing like a teenager basically means rowing in an enthusiastic but sloppy manner.



( 2 remarks — Remark )
Mar. 30th, 2016 07:57 pm (UTC)
http://www.buzzfeed.com/karendu/can-you-do-the-asian-squat Does the asian squat help your back muscles?
Mar. 31st, 2016 03:17 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I don't know! Not the ones that I'm referring to, at least. But I should do more Asian squats.

Here's a photo of a guy who is almost to the release position:

So his center of gravity is very much controlled by his hips, and his ab muscles are engaged - both the abdominus rectus and the obliques.

Most of what I can feel probably comes from engaging parts of the obliques - a quick review of back muscle anatomy seems to support this notion, although all of the postural muscles shown in Figure 12 of this page are getting a pretty good workout, too.
( 2 remarks — Remark )

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