We use plyometrics for rowers to improve general athleticism and increase rate of force production. Although rowing is not truly a plyometric sport, power and rate of force development is still important for strong early drive force with fast legs. General athleticism is harder to quantify, but helps rowers make technical changes and adjustments more easily. In this article, we’ll review some general plyometric exercise information, dig into some research on plyometrics for rowers, and provide practical recommendations for my favorite plyometrics and how I use them in my training programs with rowers of all ages, types, and levels.
Key Points: Plyometric exercise can be safe and effective for improving rowing performance with good planning, instruction, and programming with the rest of rowing and strength training. Rowing research indicates that plyometrics can improve peak power in a short-duration erg test, 500-meter time, and detailed power characteristics like drive speed. In order to use plyometrics for rowers, we must have a safe landing space (ie. not concrete), good landing technique to absorb impact safely, an understanding of why plyometrics exist to train power (not endurance), and ideas of what plyometric exercises we can use for rowers of different strengths, competitive levels, and ages.
Table of Contents
- Plyometric Goals and General Info
- Plyometrics in Rowing Research
- How NOT to Use Plyometrics for Rowers
- Plyometric Exercise Progression
- Programming and Progressing
- Plyometrics for Youth and Masters Rowers
- Wrap Up: Plyometrics for Rowers