Slide seat rowing is the most magnificent sport there is, according to Fritz Hagerman, Ph.D., a professor in the Biological Science Department at Ohio University. Hagerman, who studies exercise physiology such as aerobic and anaerobic capacities, metabolic response, and the effects of blood lactate levels on athletes, found that competitive rowers expended almost twice the number of calories on a 2,000-meter course as a runner in a 3,000-meter steeplechase. He says the latter is considered one of the toughest events.
Doctors say there are now 1,000,000 joint replacement surgeries performed each year due to high impact sporting related activities. In 1999, 440,000 people had joint replacement surgery in the United States, with the hip and knee making up 98 percent of those procedures. For hip surgeries, the average age was 66 and for knees, the average age was 68.
Both competitive and recreational rowing are unique in comparison to most sports in that they exercise all of your major muscle groups. Everything from your legs, back, and arms are engaged while rowing. In addition, rowing is a low-impact sport. When executed properly, the rowing stroke is a fairly safe motion, providing little room for the serious injury often found in contact and high-impact sports.
The motion of each stroke is made up of four parts that flow into one another. These are the catch, the drive, the finish, and the recovery. The following is a description of the bio-mechanics of rowing.
The catch is the start of each stroke and it is the moment when you place your oar into water. The legs, hips and shoulders in use during the catch involve the following muscle groups: quadriceps, gastrocenius, soleus, gluteus maximus, and biceps brachii.
As you begin to push with your legs, you are entering the drive of the stroke. During the drive your l egs, back and arms are working with the trapezlus, posterio deltoid, quadriceps, pectorals major and biceps brachii muscle groups.