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J Sports Sci. 2014;32(12):1127-38. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2014.886128. Epub 2014 Feb 28.

A comparison of electromyography and stroke kinematics during ergometer and on-water rowing.

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a Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport , Indiana State University , Terre Haute , USA.


This study assessed muscle recruitment patterns and stroke kinematics during ergometer and on-water rowing to validate the accuracy of rowing ergometry. Male rowers (n = 10; age 21 ± 2 years, height 1.90 ± 0.05 m and body mass 83.3 ± 4.8 kg) performed 3 × 3 min exercise bouts, at heart and stroke rates equivalent to 75, 85 and 95% VO2peak, on both dynamic and stationary rowing ergometers, and on water. During exercise, synchronised data for surface electromyography (EMG) and 2D kinematics were recorded. Overall muscle activity was quantified by the integration of rmsEMG and averaged for each 10% interval of the stroke cycle. Muscle activity significantly increased in rectus femoris (RF) and vastus medialis (VM) (P <0.01), as exercise intensity increased. Comparing EMG data across conditions revealed significantly (P <0.05) greater RF and VM activity during on-water rowing at discrete 10% intervals of stroke cycle. In addition, the drive/recovery ratio was significantly lower during dynamic ergometry compared to on-water (40 ± 1 vs. 44 ± 1% at 95%, P <0.01). Results suggest that significant differences exist while comparing recruitment and kinematic patterns between on-water and ergometer rowing. These differences may be due to altered acceleration and deceleration of moving masses on-ergometer not perfectly simulating the on-water scenario.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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