After spending time around numerous athletes at two prestigious regattas, we’ve learned a few critical things. First and foremost, team erging on the Stroke Master is going to allow athletes to take their performance to the next level. We’ve also learned that it’s necessary for us to put together a quick recommendation guide for preventing injury (all the while, increasing execution).

While it’s not our job to instruct an athlete on his or her form when using the Stroke Master, we do have a short guide to assist coaches and athletes alike. That said, form is critical. End of story. In essence, the quality of your form is just as critical as the quantity of strokes you’re achieving. After all, with the proper form you can optimize your athletic performance.

So, how do you put those two elements together? Short answer: STRENGTH TRAINING. Below is a list of five exercises when executed correctly, will assist in optimizing form on the erg, therefore making athletes more proficient.

1. Single Leg Squat
Single leg squat strength has great implications for function in most lifestyle movements, thus reducing the risk of knee injury. This exercise works on balance, foot strength, and stability — not to mention, hip stability. For a demo click here.

2. Single Leg Hip Extension Bent Leg
Unilateral training allows athletes have equal balance in right and left side muscles. This exercise in particular allows the athlete to train the posterior chain muscles of the gluteus max and adductors. These two groups are typically underdeveloped and play a large roll in leg and hip power for acceleration, max speed, and deceleration patterns. Underdeveloped glute muscles can also cause injury stemming from overcompensation (as well as injure other muscles). For a demo of exercise, click here.

3. Push Up – Bear Crawl
This is a full body movement that works on core stability as well as shoulder and hip flexibility. For a full demo of this exercise, click here.

4. Single Arm Row
Surprisingly enough, this movement — as a rower — benefits grip strength. As a unilateral movement, it also focuses on balance. For a demo of this exercise, click here.

5. Med Ball Slams
This is a simple whole body explosive movement that allows an athlete to engage deeply from the core, yet pull in all frontal muscles for the slam. A great exercise for the explosive stroke of crew. For a demo of this exercise, click here.

Again, keep in mind that  we are not professional trainers. However, we have developed a product to increase the strength, balance, and agility of teams on the water (one dryland training season is over). These are simply an accumulation of tips that known to be successful for athletes who focus on crew. If you’re interested in the Stroke Master and would like to schedule a demo, or purchase a run for your athletes, contact us here.