Control of the Power of Strokes and Muscle Activities in Cyclic Rowing Movements (a Research using Rowing Simulators)
We investigated the relationship between the power of rowing movements strokes and the rate of the latter in various testing modes and under different conditions of rowing performance; 25 elite sportsmen specialized in rowing on racing shells were involved in the tests. Two series of tests were carried out on rowing simulators of two types; mechanographic parameters (in particular, joint angles) and EMG activity of broad sets of the muscles involved in this type of locomotor activity were simultaneously recorded. Separate tasks included (i) evaluation of the maximum power of rowing movements, (ii) a controlled step-like increase in the power of the latter, (iii) passing a test “distance” with the maximum speed, (iv) performance of the rowing movements with the presence of visual feedback (with visual presentation of the parameters of motor activity on a monitor), and (v) “rowing” with variations of the external loading. It was found that increases in the power of rowing motions rather rigidly correlated with a nearly proportional increase in the rate of rowing cycles (at all performance modes); a subjectively comfortable rate of such cyclic movements increased with increase in the external loading. Under conditions where rowing movements were initiated with the presence of visual feedback that provided the subject with information on the characteristics of these movements, tested subjects were capable of controlling the power and rate of rowing movements separately. The intensities of EMG discharges of the muscles involved in realization of separate rowing movements correlated mostly with the velocity of these movements and not with the power of the latter. Thus, a strong interrelation between the power and rate of the movements in rowing is, to a great extent, a universal phenomenon; it can be disturbed only at the additional involvement of some external conditions. The value of this interrelation significantly varies between individuals and can be used for characterization of the functional productivity of the athletes and of their functional state.
Keywordssports rowing rowing simulators central motor program cyclic rowing motions active and passive phases of rowing EMG activity power rate loading
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