The Stroke Cycle – grip and hand placement

In our final instalment about the rowing and sculling stroke we will focus on holding the handle(s).


01:00 This Past Week – what we do to advocate for masters rowing.

Racing Starts Challenge May 23-25 with Mary Whipple, Adam Kreek and Cam Kiosoglous FREE tickets

05:00 And we launched a kit / gear store with JL Rowing Buy Faster Masters Gear through May 12.

Hand placement and grip

12:00 Hand placement and grip. In our final instalment about the rowing and sculling stroke we will focus on holding the handle(s).
Establish your hands correctly or end up under or over-rotated.
Find the right place – sit at 3/4 slide and place the blade in the water square. Put your hand on the handle and ensure your wrist and hand back are flat.
The top row of knuckles is on top of the handle – not in your palm, not in the tips of your fingers.
15:00 Learn to move the handle in your hand not your handle with your hand.
16:00 Open versus closed grip
19:00 You don’t need to grip the handle – you guide it.
Water supports the blade in the water.
Oarlock supports the blade on the recovery
How tight to hold the handle?

21:00 How much pressure to put on the handle?

The sweep grip.

23:00 The sweep grip. How wide to hold the handle.
Inside versus outside hand roles.
Avoid wrist tendonitis by taking the load with your back / shoulder not your wrist.
27:00 Cranking your wrist with pressure stresses the carpal tunnel – the “Harley Davidson Method”.
Use an elastic band as a guide for you hand if you move it around during the stroke or it drifts.
In sweep the grip effectiveness changes from outside hand to inside hand as you move from catch to finish.

Don’t let you hand come off the handle as you get to the placement.

Drills for grip

30:00 Drills for grip

  • Wide grip on the handle in sweep
  • Middle finger sculling

Posture in rowing

34:30 Posture in rowing
The extremes are the gymnast and the couch potato.
Pick a mid point.
Work on your posture all the time. Not just in the boat.
In the car – adjust the rear view mirror; use the head rest so you sit with your ears over your hips; neutral spine is more resistant to injury.
38:00 During the drive phase you don’t want pressure on your vertebrae you want it through your hips.
Keep low back supported
Make posture a habit in your daily life.

How to grip the handle in rowing and sculling
Grip and posture in rowing