As the nights grow darker and the temp drops a new training partner can be found in the Erg! The Ergometer has been a part of rowing since the mid-19th century. But in the late 60’s an engineer named Gjessing made a breakthrough. He made a machine that could accurately measure the work of the rower while also simulating the force curve and hand speed of the water and, in 1981, Concept2 adapted Gjessing’s idea and developed its first version of the indoor rower and they have been an integral part of rowing and training ever since.
The Erg and Rowers Adjustments
1. Adjust the Monitor so it is easy to view seated while on the ergometer . Your head should be horizontal, and you should be able to see the monitor without restricting your airway.
2. To set foot stretcher height, pull the toe piece toward you to release the foot piece from the pegs. Slide the toe piece up or down to the proper setting, and then press the toe pieces back down onto the pegs. Begin by setting the foot stretchers heel so that the strap crosses the ball of your foot. The best setting leaves the shin perpendicular to the floor at the catch. Lowering the heel permits more seat travel and raising it reduces seat travel.
3. A damper setting of 2 1/2 to 5 most closely mimics the feel of the blade through the water. Too high of a damper setting can be tough on the back.
For a great overview on erging form and a very helpful video, check out Concept 2′s Technique page.
Common Erging Mistakes:
Opening up too soon: This is where the arms and/or back engage to early.
Correction: Keep the body in the catch position so the legs are the muscles that engage and propel the boat. A good drill for this is a legs only or front-end drill.
Arms break too soon
Correction: Keep the arms long and pry back as the legs press down.
Shooting the slide (Seat moving without the handle)
Correction: Keep your body erect & avoid falling over as your legs extend.
Excessive layback: Leaning back to far at the finish.
Correction: Too much layback May feel like you are getting the most out of every stroke and may give you a few extra meters but it is not worth the energy required. Try only to lay back 5 to 10 degrees.
Chain Level: Don’t let the chain drift up & down during the stroke
Correction: Focus on moving the chain back and forth on a level plane. Any up & down motion is wasted energy and slows the boat down. Place a piece of tape on the erg where you are pulling in and focus on holding the chain level at that position. A piece of tape on the erg can help you maintain the proper level.
The ergometer is there to help your rowing; don’t do anything on the erg that you wouldn’t want to do in a boat!
BTW, I found this awesome motivational pic at the Flickr pool for the Concept 2 Rowtography Contest. Check it out, there are some awesome inspirational and offbeat pics.