How does the Biorower compare to the boat?
Precisely as natural and healthy for your body.
It compares very well. This is an overview of the S1pro versus the boat. The S1pro and the S1club have a similar geometry. It is important for your spline that the handles move in semi-circles.
At the start of the stroke, your hands will pull towards each other. This results in increased stability of your torso muscles, and in more mobility.
During the middle of the pull (rowers call it “drive phase”), the hands pull overlapping semi-circles – again, there is no linear pulling movement.
During the final part of the drive phase, the arms are still pulling small circles. The legs are now almost fully stretched and the entire torso uses weight and power to propell the boat even further.
At the last part of the stroke (the finish), your hands pull outwards / away from each other. This results in greater mobility and power of the muscles of the shoulders, trizeps, brest, and back, without overloading them. It is as natural and as healthy as the real rowing.
Why conventional ergs are not the best option for your back
A linear pull basically resembles the movement of lifting weights with a round back from the floor.
As the linear drive is a movement that naturally harms the body, unless carried out with positioning correction every stroke, the movement contradicts with most people’s natural self-protective mechanisms. It is the fact that linear drive ergs force athletes to work against their natural self-protection mechanisms which makes training on these machines so “difficult” and “counter intuitive”.
So what is the difference to the boat and the Biorower?
Pulling on two independently functioning and semi-circular moving oar handles results in the strengthening of the involved muscle chains, as well as in an increased mobility of the entire torso. There is no linear wear on the spline.
It is the combination of round back and linear pulling which causes the problems.
This is why the older generations of rowers, those who did not use ergometers for their practice, do not have back problems today.