Hip Depth At The Catch – Moving and at a Pause

January 11, 2017

Athletic skill can be improved or advanced by getting better at controlling your trunk when you generate force through your extremities to create movements. Trunk control will be challenged by four factors or variables, that we can manipulate, which include intensity, range of motion, volume, and speed. The better you become at controlling your trunk when loading the arms and/or legs during desired movement the more athletic you become.

When we knowingly, or unknowingly, overload one or more of the variables mentioned above we can begin to lose stability of trunk or spine. This not only increases our risk of injury it also reduces the power and strength our extremities can generate.

Rowing offers a unique challenge in that our hips are blocked by the seat which makes controlling the trunk an even a bigger challenge as we approach the catch.  With proper training we can learn to keep the spine relatively stable and upright, close to an anatomical position, during the entire rowing stroke. Without this purposeful trunk control training the common default is to allow the spine to curl over into a “C” shape posture, which takes less effort to maintain, however this position reduces power and increases injury risk.  The most powerful position for the human spine is the anatomical position. You can find your current position by lying flat on the floor totally relaxed with your legs out straight and feet under the hips with your arms at your sides).

The video link here is a good way to better understand how you get reach at catch.  A trunk controlled catch get most of the reach by getting the hips in deep (hip dominated), while the moving or “C-shape” spine tends to be a more shoulder/spine reach dominated stroke.  While both movement patterns work the end results are different.

Watch this quick video to see how you move into the catch.

You hip depth should be the same whether you are using momentum to get your catch reach or when you pause at the catch. Your hip and handle depth should be exactly the same whether you are rowing or when you pause and hold your catch position.

If you are interested in learning how to develop this skill and get better at controlling your trunk please email me. I will be holding a number of classes (starting in February 2017) to help you start mastering this essential skill.


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