Better Breathing Blog

Achieving Peak Performance in Rowing

Posted by Carolyn Morse

Jul 21, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Achieving_Peak_Performance_in_Rowing_PowerLungOne of the most important aspects of rowing is the strength of your breath when moving through the next stroke. You can tire before fatiguing your external muscles because the respiratory muscles have fatigued first. The body rushes to their defense; preventing a dangerous level of fatigue.

Scientific evidence suggests respiratory muscle fatigue is a limiting factor in endurance sports performance. In an abstract of the study, Effect of respiratory muscle training on exercise performance in healthy individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis (Illi SK, Held U, Frank I, Spengler CM, Sports Med. 2012), the conclusion was that “RMST [Respiratory Muscle Strength Training] improves endurance exercise performance in healthy individuals with greater improvements in less fit individuals and sports of longer durations.”

Symphony of Muscle Movements

Rowing is a coordinated muscle action that involves every large muscle group in the body, including the respiratory muscles. At the catch, the legs are compressed, shins vertical. The triceps work to extend the arms, and the flexor muscles of the fingers and thumbs grip the handle. The back muscles are relaxed, and abdominals are flexing the torso forward.

A deep inhale and exhale can provide added strength. As you pull through from the catch into the drive, a strong exhale gives you the power to improve the force of the action and provide extra distance. This also changes your stroke count if you are using an erg rowing machine.

The powerful muscles of the leg initiate the drive with all shoulder muscles contracting. In the drive sequence, the biceps engage, and the back muscles work more. The glutes and hamstrings contract to extend the hip. As the drive finishes, most of the muscles in the upper body engage.

In the finish, the abdominals stabilize the body, the glutes and quads contracting.

Strengthen Your Strokes

All these muscles need oxygen and blood to keep flowing to perform correctly. RMST can help strengthen the muscles that supply oxygen to your blood flow and provide added strength to your strokes.

PowerLung is the original and only respiratory strength training device with integrated exhale and inhale progressive resistance for rowers. It is an easy to use hand-held device proven by independent studies to increase lung capacity and improve breathing; enabling you to perform longer, exercise easier, and overall breathe better. PowerLung has been available since 1999 and is based on 80 years of research. Its inventor, Barry Jarvis, was a competitive rower with various rowing clubs, including Walton, Weybridge, and a founding member of Tideway Scullers.

A PowerLung training regimen can increase speed and endurance, strengthen respiratory and core body muscles, increase oxygen flow, raise anaerobic threshold, and lower respiratory and cardiac rates.

Weight Training for Your Lungs®

Rowing teams train to be at the same fitness level, working in rhythm with each other to move the boat forward. Similarly, training the respiratory muscles assures those muscles have a comparable level of fitness and ability as other muscles in your body: allowing you to perform your best during practice.

Barry Jarvis, a former competitive rower in the Henley Royal Regatta in England, and one of PowerLung’s inventors, said it best: “Rowing is just like weight lifting, and PowerLung works the same as Weight Training for Your Lungs®. You need stronger breathing with rowing to have the power with every stroke.”

Train hard. Compete to win. If you are giving your very best to your training but need a little assistance to reach your peak, consider a PowerLung regimen. In just a few weeks you’ll see a difference. Take a look at our website, and if you have any questions please contact us. We’ll be more than happy to speak with you.

PowerLung could be the difference between winning and losing.

Give your performance an edge with PowerLung. You’re competing to win. You want to be at your peak when you grip the oar. Respiratory strength is proven to improve performance and endurance. Try PowerLung and give it your best!

Learn How to Improve Endurance and Athletic Performance

Topics: Rowing