The warm-up is VITAL. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to be properly prepared for a training session. You body and your muscles must be ready before they are pushed or worked hard, otherwise the risk of injury is hugely increased. The purpose of a warm up is to get the body to increase blood flow to the muscles, heating them up and making the more pliable as well as delivering more nutrients and oxygen in preparation for harder stresses. The warm up also gets your heart pumping faster but does this slowly, avoiding rapid increases in blood pressure which could lead to serious issues especially for older rowers.
There are other effects of a warm up which are also important, like preparing your mind and allowing to you test your body and find out potential minor injuries or prone muscles, joints or tendons prior to your work-out.
How do we warm up?
The warm up should be tailored to the session, therefore depending on what you are planning to do the warm up will differ considerably. For example, if your session involves UT2 rowing on the rowing machine a 5-10minute warm up of light rowing on the rowing machine followed by some stretching should be sufficient. If you intend an all out assault on your 2K PB then around 20 minutes of rowing would be more apt. I’d suggest 10 minutes are at light pressure, then increase intensity before some dynamic stretching and a final 3 minutes on the machine at medium intensity.
If you are not specifically instructed as to which warm up you should be doing by your coach, then use common sense to decide which of the following possibilities might be most appropriate.
UT2 Land based session (see intensity levels for more info)
5 minutes total warm-up followed by stretches.
Rough Guide: 5 mins light rowing, build to UT2 pace for the last minute, stretching
UT1 Land based session
8-9 minutes total warm-up followed by stretches.
Rough Guide: 5 mins light rowing, 3 mins rate build, 1 mins light rowing, stretching
AT/TR Land based session
20 minutes total warm-up – ergo, followed by stretches, then more ergo time.
Rough guide – 15mins light rowing at low-rate, 5 mins rate build, then 2 mins at low rate again, stretching.
It is strongly advised that you arrive 20 mins before your session is due to begin and warm up on the ergo then stretch. Additionally your coach will usually warm the crew up in the boat as well. I suggest using the UT1 warm-up before a boat session.