The Force Curve graphically represents how you apply force (or power) during the rowing stroke, indicating how your total force varies as you use your legs, back and arms during the drive:
- The smoother the curve, the smoother the application of force.
- The larger the area under the curve, the greater the amount of force applied.
When all parts of your stroke are sequenced well, (the application of force is applied smoothly throughout the entire drive phase) you will be rewarded with the ideal force curve which is a smooth inverted parabola. Your screen might look something like this image:
- When initiating your drive, apply equal pressure to the foot plate and to the handle to achieve a sense of weightlessness or suspension over your seat. Drive hard with the feet and exert pressure on the handle. This connection between seat and hands will give you a powerful start to your stroke. You always want the seat to move simultaneously with the handle.
- Use your hips effectively in your stroke. Shoot for the back angle to swing from 11-1 o’clock. Continue the power application with the arms through the finish.
- Strive for length in the hip joint at the catch, but not by thoracic flexion (turtlebacking). You don’t want to collapse at the thoracic or lumbar spine, rather keep a good posture with a flat back. Think deadlift posture.
Watt do you mean by power? The average power applied during each stroke can be displayed in Watts. (Use the “change units” button on your display to get to watts.) In general, the more power applied, the faster your pace. However, this relationship between power and pace is non linear. There is no direct relationship between power and pace because of the variations in efficiency between strokes with different force profiles. You may have two force profiles with the same average power (watts), but the inefficient (spiky) force profile will produce a slower pace than an efficient (smooth) one. Dialing in that technique and working on that smooth force curve will pay dividends by making you a more efficient rower.