Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 05, 52 - 59

Research article
A Comparison of Kinematics and Performance Measures of Two Rowing Ergometers
Rebecca R. Steer1, Alison H. McGregor1, Anthony M.J. Bull,2 
Author Information
1 Department of Musculoskeletal Surgery, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Campus, UK
2 Bioengineering, Imperial College London, UK

Anthony M.J. Bull
✉ Department of Bioengineering, Bagrit Centre, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom
Publish Date
Received: 22-06-2005
Accepted: 17-12-2005
Published (online): 01-03-2006
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Rowing injuries have been attributed to poor technique, suggesting a need to understand the mechanics of rowing and the influence on technique of different training regimes and ergometers. The aims of this study were to investigate the repeatability of the kinematics of the lumbopelvic region during rowing and to compare these kinematics between rowing on two different ergometers. An electromagnetic motion measuring device in conjunction with a load cell was used to determine the ergometer rowing kinematics of 12 rowers. Subjects were tested on three occasions at two different stroke rates, with an interval of one week between testing. Two datasets were obtained for the Concept II, to establish the repeatability of the kinematics, and one for the WaterRower. Bland and Altman’s mean difference technique was used to test for consistency of technique, and the difference between ergometers was assessed using Students’ paired T-tests. The kinematic measures of the lumbo pelvic region during rowing demonstrated high repeatability. The two ergometers showed a similarity in force profiles but some significant differences in rowing kinematics. There was greater rotation of the thigh segment in the sagittal plane throughout the stroke on the WaterRower (p < 0.01). There were also trends indicating that rotation of the pelvis in the sagittal plane was different between the two ergometers, for example on the Concept the mean angle of the pelvis at the catch was 5.4° and on the WaterRower it was 2.4° (p < 0.05). Measurement of lumbopelvic kinematics during rowing on a Concept II ergometer is repeatable. However, rowing kinematics varies between ergometers. Because a full analysis comparing rowing kinematics on water with rowing ergometers has not been made in this study, no conclusions regarding which ergometer simulates rowing on water can be made. The implications of the effect of these differences in technique requires further investigation.

Key words: Lumbo-pelvic rhythm, spinal biomechanics

           Key Points
  • Measurement of lumbopelvic kinematics during rowing on a Concept II ergometer is repeatable.
  • Rowing kinematics varies between the WaterRower and Concept II
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