PAN AM Rowing Footwork

pan am rowing         To spectators, rowing looks like an ‘all arms and oars’ sport.  But these are just two components in a whole body effort to propel a boat through water.  The power in a rower’s stroke originates with a push-off from his feet, driven by his legs. Then, as his upper body uncoils, his arms draw the oar blades through the water. The rower’s efficient use of strength is critical in the sequential ‘Catch, Drive, Finish and Recovery’ phases of the rowing stroke. Fractions of a second count at the finish line.

Out of sight, the rower’s feet begin the acceleration of the racing shell on its ‘foot stretcher’. This push-off plate is a stationary surface. The only other point of contact for the rower in his boat is his sliding seat. The foot stretcher remains fixed to the boat even when force is applied. The rower is the mechanical link to powering the oars, generating and transferring force from the foot stretcher.

Foot Force

During an effective rowing stroke, different parts of the foot apply pressure on the foot stretcher. At the Catch phase, the toes push, engaging thigh muscles and helping extend the knees over the rest of the stroke. During the second half of the Drive, downward pressure quickly and smoothly shifts from the toes to the heels.  This movement helps the boat accelerate. The rower relaxes during the Recovery phase for as long as possible. The heels will rise naturally as the shin rises and the Achilles tendon pulls the heel upwards.  Toes are primed to re-ignite the Catch phase. (1)

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Resources: (1)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)



Walk a Mile in Her (High-Heeled) Shoes

charity walk a mile in her shoes

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is an international men’s march which brings awareness and support to the goals of stopping rape, sexual assault and gender violence.

So, how do men walk in high heels?  Here are the “official tips”:

  • Now that you’ve got altitude, it’s important to accessorize your heels with some attitude! Stand tall and poised, shoulders back, chest out, back straight, butt tucked under. Think Marilyn. Monroe, not Manson.
  • While standing still, place weight on heels using toes for balance. Don’t wobble. If you start to fall, fall gracefully and roll, shoes in the air. Do not break a heel. Do not take anyone down with you.
  • Walk with feet positioned straight, toes pointed forward. Heels should be vertical to the ground, not horizontal.
  • Walk placing one foot in front of the other with a smooth, even stepping motion beginning at the heel and rolling to the toe. Primarily walk on the balls of your feet, using the heel for balance. Think runway model, not truck driver. Suck in your cheeks. Face cheeks, not butt cheeks.
  • Keep legs parallel and close together. It’s more stylish and when one leg starts to slide one way and the other the opposite way, you’ll have time to recover or get help before having to return to Tip #2 above.
  • Move your hips and swing your arms for balance. Swing your arms. Do not flap them. You cannot fly, though with shoes like these you’ll feel like you can soar.
  • Walk with confidence, stay focused, and be mindful of your steps without watching your feet.
  • When climbing stairs, make sure both sole and heel land together firmly and simultaneously on each step. When descending stairs, only the sole of the shoe needs to be planted on each step. Avoid walking up or down any stairs.
  • Avoid walking on ice, slush, mud, grass, sand, gravel and grated surfaces. When in doubt, take off your heels and carry them, crossing such treacherous surfaces in your bare feet. Dangle both shoes in one hand, hooked to your index and middle finger. Do not clutch them. They are not a football.
  • Stick together. Use a friend as a crutch. Make sure you leave the proper distance between you and your friend in proper bro hug fashion. Once stabilized, use the bro hug double back tap combo to disengage.

Copyright © 2001 – 2011 Frank Baird . All Rights Reserved.