This is the final installment of mobility for rowers, where we’ll cover the importance of ankle mobility for rowers and how you can improve flexibility and strength in the calf and shin muscles for better compression, cleaner catches, and stronger drives. In Part 1, we discussed what “tightness” really is (and what it isn’t), why mobility is so much more than just flexibility alone, and how to address mobility restrictions in the thoracic spine. In Part 2, we broke down the big bad hip flexor muscles. In Part 3, we went to the posterior hip and dug deep into the glute muscles. The goal of mobility training is to improve flexibility, strength, and stability in major muscle areas to improve rowing performance and reduce risk of common rowing injuries. Knee, hip, and low back pain often happens as a result of something going on at the start of the kinetic chain. Ankle mobility for rowers is crucial to set the rest of the body up for great performance and to minimize excess force on other structures.
Restriction: Calf muscles (gastrocnemius, soleus), shin (tibialis anterior), bottom of the foot
Location: Calf area, shin area, feet
Test: Power Rack Test
Rowing fault: Poor compression, splayed legs at the catch, poor leg drive at the catch from being in an unstable position