‘Height Right’ is a simple and inexpensive fixture that returns the chain guide to its rightful position. No drilling or other modification is required – it quickly affixes with existing nuts and bolts. The pin and plastic bushing can be quickly and easily set at one of three heights, depending on the stature of the rower. The athlete will receive visual and auditory prompts, if they carry their hands too low. We’ve endeavored to make the auditory prompts annoying. ‘Row Right’ and you’ll never know it’s there.
On the erg, many athletes carry their hands too low during the recovery. The reasons vary. Fatigue may be the issue — but typically, rowers who do this, do it from their first stroke on the erg. Low handle height leads to poor rowing form. When you dip your hands at the catch, you develop the bad habit of opening with your back, missing water and putting check into the boat.
The disciplined rower sets his or her handle height early (as the hands come away) and attains full body angle before starting up the slide. The erg, however, does not penalize the undisciplined rower who carries his or her hands too low on the recovery.
For the undisciplined rower, carrying the hands low might give the sense of ‘winding up’ to throw oneself into the catch. Oftentimes, this “winding up” draws down the shoulders leading to poor catch posture. This, in turn, induces over-compression and over reaching, followed by flying open too early with the shoulders and “dumping” at the finish. This behavior shows up on the water as “skying” and “rowing it in”. Similar bad habits can lead you to “rushing the slide” and “checking” the boat. If your rowers take the majority of their strokes on the erg like this, how can you possibly expect them to go against that ingrained habit and get it right with their limited number of strokes on the water?
Row right and you won’t know the Height Right is even there.