Does a Modified Foot-stretcher Improve 500-m On-water and Ergometer Rowing Performance Time and Comfort?
Foot-stretcher force contributes to rowing performance. A New Zealand designed modified rowing foot-stretcher has a rigid clog shoe with heel and toe wedges to allow contact of the whole surface of the foot to the foot-plate throughout the entire rowing stroke. This study examined the effect of modified and standard foot-stretchers for eight competitive rowers during on-water double scull and static Concept2 ergometer 500-m rowing. Race time and comfort were recorded. Comfort measures indicated that the modified foot-stretcher was preferred both on-water and ergometer. Performance time measures indicated a potential performance enhancement with the modified foot-stretcher on-water (2.0%), however due to large confidence intervals, the results were unclear. This modified foot-stretcher assisted athletes rowing comfort and showed potential for performance enhancement.