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Article Title

PREDICTION OF ROWING PERFORMANCE IN COLLEGIATE CREW MEMBERS

Abstract

Omid Nabavizadeh1, Yong Seok Koh1, and Ashley A. Herda1 1University of Kansas-Edwards Campus, Overland Park, KS

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine predictors of performance in college-aged rowers. METHODS: Ten men and women(mean ± SD: age: 22.1 ± 4.0 years; ht:180.5 ± 8.3 cm; wt: 79.0 ± 13.5 kg) volunteered to participate in this study. Participants were asked to visit the laboratory fasted, hydrated, and rested for testing measurements. After assessment of body mass and stature using a platform scale and stadiometer, respectively, participants rested supine on a padded table for at least 10 minutes. Ultrasound images were collected in a transverse plane at50% of the length of the femur for the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis. The sum cross-sectional area (CSA) of these muscles were used in subsequent analyses. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) was conducted following manufacturer guidelines to predict fat-free mass (FFM) and appendicular lean mass using an equation defined by Kaysen et al., 2005.Contact electrodes were placed on the wrist, hand, ankle, and foot. One-repetition maximum (1-RM)leg press (LPMAX) was measured using a plate-loaded 45° hip sled. After 2-3 warm up sets at progressive intensities, an initial 1-RM was attempted. Three to 5 minutes rest were provided between 1-RM trials until failure. Vertical jump height was also assessed. Participants were asked to jump using a countermovement arm-swing and jump with their highest jump height (VJHT; cm)of 3 trials recorded for subsequent analysis. Lastly, participants completed 2,000m and 6,000m time trials on the rowing ergometer, where the 500m average split was used in analyses. Backwards stepwise linear regression was completed using VJHT, LPMAX, FFM, and CSA as possible predictors of 500m performance. RESULTS: The regression analysis indicated VJHT was a significant predictor of500m time trial performance (R2=0.903; p<0.05), with the second strongest predictor being LPMAX(r= -0.906,p<0.05)however, it did not add significantly to the prediction. CONCLUSION: Although rowing may often be considered an endurance sport, the single best predictor of time trial performance is vertical jump height as an index of power. Plyometric training may serve as one of the most important aspects of athlete development beyond rowing form and mechanics, more so than strength or hypertrophy in collegiate rowers.

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