Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Is your body built for rowing?
Dr Kevin Thompson, physiologist at the English Institute for Sport, explains the physical characteristics that make up the ultimate rower.

ROWERS ARE TALL

World-class rowers have long "levers" (their arms and legs) so that they can make long strokes.

Male Olympians tend to be between 1.90m and 1.95m (6'3"-6'5") and females 1.80m-1.85m (5'11"-6'1").

ROWERS ARE MUSCULAR

Sir Steve Redgrave
Sir Steve Redgrave maintained his muscle mass through his career

They need to be strong so that they can apply a lot of force to the water on each of their strokes. The extra muscle power makes them heavy.

The average weight for a male world-class rower is 90-95kg (14st 2lb-15st). The women weigh in at 75-80kg (11st 11lb-12st 8lb).

And that's almost pure muscle - because they don't want to carry any extra weight, rowers tend to be very lean.

LIGHTWEIGHT ROWING

There is also a lightweight category for men who weigh less than 72.5kg and women who weigh less than 59kg.

These athletes are still pretty tall - men about 1.80m and women 1.70m.

COXES

Coxes steer the "eights" boats and often also give their crews instructions and motivation during the race.

They must weigh a minimum of 55kg for men and 50kg for women.

Rowers don't want to carry any more weight than they have to, so coxes generally weigh exactly the minimum.



RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other Sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us