Physiological and Biomechanical Characteristics of Olympic and World-Class Rowers—Case Study

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In this study, we quantified relevant biophysical characteristics of two elite rowers across a wide range of intensities. Two <40-year-old male and female Olympic and World Championship finalists performed a 7 × 3 min protocol plus 1 min maximal effort on a rowing ergometer. The intensity increase resulted in maximum values of 79.4 ± 2.4 and 69.7 ± 1.5 mL/min/kg for oxygen uptake, 179.3 ± 5.7 and 152.5 ± 2.9 L/min for ventilation, 170 ± 1 and 173 ± 0 bpm for heart rate, 10.6 and 15.8 mmol/L for blood lactate concentration, and 38.1 ± 0.03 and 38.8 ± 0.03 °C for core temperature for the male and female rowers. The percentage of power corresponding to a previously conducted maximum 2000 m rowing ergometer test and the work at each step increased from 49 to 127 and 42 to 103% and from 226.8 to 398.9 J and 174.0 to 250.0 J, from low to extreme intensities, for the male and female. Concurrently, there was a decrease in cycle length and propulsive time, followed by an increase in maximal handle drive velocity, with the rise in rowing intensity. These world-class rowers seem capable of maintaining physiological and technical profiles (and a remarkable capacity to generate substantial power) at this phase of their careers possibly due to long-term engagement in elite-level training. Biophysical data provide valuable referential information for guiding rowers to improve their performance.




Cardoso, R., Rios, M., Cardoso, F., Fonseca, P., Ferreira, F. A., Abraldes, J. A., … Fernandes, R. J. (2024). Physiological and Biomechanical Characteristics of Olympic and World-Class Rowers—Case Study. Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 14(10).

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