Rowing is an endurance sport with an important skill component. This study evaluated the effects of carbohydrate (CHO) solution ingestion on rowing technique before and after 60 min of ergometer rowing. On two occasions, eight male rowers (age 22±2 years, height 182±4 cm, weight 72.9±2.1 kg, VO2max 4.9±0.2 litre/min) rowed as a group in an indoor rowing tank for 6 min at 18 strokes per minute before and after 60 min of ergometer rowing at 60% of VO2max. Participants ingested either a 6% CHO solution or a flavoured placebo (PLA) in a randomised, counterbalanced fashion. Physiological and technical measures were analysed using a repeated measures analysis of variance. Oar handle curves were analysed using Geometric Morphometrics (principal component analysis). There were no differences in heart rate or rating of perceived exertion between the treatments, indicating similar physiological strain. There were no changes in stroke length over the 60-min period with either treatment. Oar handle velocity decreased from 49.7±3.6 to 47.4±2.8°/s (p<0.05) over the 60-min period in PLA but did not change in CHO (48.9±2.2-48.2±1.9°/s). Oar handle curves did not differ between CHO and PLA (procrustes distance=0.645). Maximum blade depth declined similarly by 20±16% in both CHO and PLA (p<0.01). This change is likely to decrease the resistance of the water upon the oar blade during the drive phase of the rowing stroke. In conclusion, selected measures of rowing tank technique deteriorated in response to 60 min of ergometer rowing in both PLA and CHO. Ingestion of CHO may help to maintain velocity of movement as rowers fatigue. Future research should investigate technique during on-water rowing to evaluate the effects of fatigue and CHO ingestion on rowing technique in the natural competitive environment.
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