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Lars Janshen, Klaus Mattes and Günter Tidow

In sweep-oar rowers, asymmetrical force production of the legs is a known phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to investigate the muscular activity of the legs that may cause this asymmetry even when oarsmen perform a symmetrical endurance task. Seven male young elite oarsmen performed an all-out 2000-m test on a rowing ergometer. During stroke kinematics, myoelectric activity of six muscles of each leg and pressure distribution under both feet were measured. Data were collected over two 30-s time windows starting 1 and 5 min after the test started. No significant differences were observed between legs and time windows for the range of motion of the hip, knee, and ankle joint as well as for the onset/offset timing of muscles. However, in the drive phase, the knee and hip muscles of the leg on the oar side (inside leg) showed 20–45% (both p < .05) higher activation intensities compared with the leg opposite the oar (outside leg). Corresponding to this, 56–91% (both p < .05) higher mean pressure values under the ball of the inside foot compared with the outside foot indicated an asymmetrical force production of the legs even under kinematically symmetrical working conditions.

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Tiago Turnes, Rogério S.O. Cruz, Fabrizio Caputo and Rafael A. De Aguiar

Purpose: The 2000-m rowing-ergometer test is the most common measure of rowing performance. Because athletes use different intervention strategies for enhancing performance, investigating the effect of preconditioning strategies on the 2000-m test is of great relevance. This study evaluated the effects of different preconditioning strategies on 2000-m rowing-ergometer performance in trained rowers. Methods: A search of electronic databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science) identified 27 effects of different preconditioning strategies from 17 studies. Outcomes were calculated as percentage differences between control and experimental interventions, and data were presented as mean ± 90% confidence interval. Performance data were converted to the same metrics, that is, mean power. Meta-regression analyses were conducted to assess whether performance level or caffeine dose could affect the percentage change. Results: The overall beneficial effect on 2000-m mean power was 2.1% (90% confidence limit [CL] ±0.6%). Training status affected the percentage change with interventions, with a −1.1% (90% CL ±1.2%) possible small decrease for 1.0-W·kg−1 increment in performance baseline. Caffeine consumption most likely improves performance, with superior effect in higher doses (≥6 mg·kg−1). Sodium bicarbonate and beta-alanine consumption resulted in likely (2.6% [90% CL ±1.5%]) and very likely (1.4% [90% CL ±1.2%]) performance improvements, respectively. However, some preconditioning strategies such as heat acclimation, rehydration, and creatine resulted in small to moderate enhancements in 2000-m performance. Conclusions: Supplementation of caffeine and beta-alanine is a popular and effective strategy to improve 2000-m ergometer performance in trained rowers. Additional research is warranted to confirm the benefit of other strategies to 2000-m rowing-ergometer performance.

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Gary J. Slater, Anthony J. Rice, David Jenkins, Jason Gulbin and Allan G. Hahn

To strengthen the depth of lightweight rowing talent, we sought to identify experienced heavyweight rowers who possessed physique traits that predisposed them to excellence as a lightweight. Identified athletes (n = 3) were monitored over 16 wk. Variables measured included performance, anthropometric indices, and selected biochemical and metabolic parameters. All athletes decreased their body mass (range 2.0 to 8.0 kg), with muscle mass accounting for a large proportion of this (31.7 to 84.6%). Two athletes were able to maintain their performance despite reductions in body mass. However, performance was compromised for the athlete who experienced the greatest weight loss. In summary, smaller heavyweight rowers can successfully make the transition into the lightweight category, being nationally competitive in their first season as a lightweight.

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Peter D. Kupcis, Gary J. Slater, Cathryn L. Pruscino and Justin G. Kemp

Purpose:

The effect of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) ingestion on prerace hydration status and on 2000 m ergometer performance in elite lightweight rowers was examined using a randomized, cross-over, double-blinded design.

Methods:

To simulate body mass (BM) management strategies common to lightweight rowing, oarsmen reduced BM by approx. 4% in the 24 h preceding the trials, and, in the 2 h before performance, undertook nutritional recovery consisting of mean 43.2 kJ/kg, 2.2 g of CHO per kilogram, 31.8 mg of Na+ per kilogram, 24.3 mL of H2O per kilogram, and NaHCO3 (0.3 g of NaHCO3 per kilogram BM) or placebo (PL; 0.15 g of corn flour per kilogram BM) at 70 to 90 min before racing.

Results:

At 25 min before performance, NaHCO3 had increased blood pH (7.48 ± 0.02 vs PL: 7.41 ± 0.03, P = .005) and bicarbonate concentrations (29.1 ± 1.8 vs PL: 23.9 ± 1.6 mmol/L, P < .001), whereas BM, urine specific gravity, and plasma volume changes were similar between trials. Rowing ergometer times were similar between trials (NaHCO3: 397.8 ± 12.6; PL: 398.6 ± 13.8 s, P = .417), whereas posttest bicarbonate (11.6 ± 2.3 vs 9.4 ± 1.8 mmol/L, P = .003) and lactate concentration increases (13.4 ± 1.7 vs 11.9 ± 1.9 mmol/L, P = .001) were greater with NaHCO3.

Conclusion:

Sodium bicarbonate did not further enhance rehydration or performance in lightweight rowers when undertaking recommended post-weigh-in nutritional recovery strategies.

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Thomas Haugen, Gøran Paulsen, Stephen Seiler and Øyvind Sandbakk

that 6 L·min −1 encroached on limits for pulmonary diffusion capacity and cardiac output. However, already in 1979, Hagerman et al 11 reported absolute V ˙ O 2 max nearing 7 L·min −1 in 2 elite oarsmen, and in 1987, Bergh 12 reported data from a 96-kg XC skier with a V ˙ O 2 max of 7.2 L·min −1

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Colleen English

, 1928, 14; Alan J. Gould, “Yank Oarsmen Win as Trackmen Have a Bad Day,” Philadelphia Inquirer , August 3, 1928, 16; “Successor to Nurmi,” The New York Times , August 3, 1928, 11. 71. Williams, “American’s Beaten,” 11. 72. Shirer, “5 Women Track Stars,” 21. 73. Rockne, “Yankees Have Another Dull Day