Int J Sports Med
DOI: 10.1055/a-1231-5268

Rowing Biomechanics, Physiology and Hydrodynamic: A Systematic Review

1  Faculty of Mechanical engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Cawangan Johor, Masai, Malaysia
Muhamad Noor Harun
2  School of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia
3  Sport Innovation and Technology Center (SITC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia
Fakhrizal Azmi Nasruddin
4  School of Biomedical and Health Science, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia
Ardiyansyah Syahrom
2  School of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia
5  Medical Device Technology Center (MEDiTEC), Institute Human Centred Engineering (iHumEn), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia
› Author Affiliations
Funding: This project was sponsored by the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia under the Research University Grant (Q.J130000.2424.04G14).


According to numerous studies, rowing performance is influenced by several factors including rower’s biomechanics, rower’s physiology, the force generated and stroke style. However, there is a missing gap linking such factors with rowing performance in the available literature. This paper aims to investigate the rowing mechanism in terms of rower anthropometry and physiology, which can impact its biomechanics and performance. The corresponding hydrodynamic force generated by the oar blade to accelerate the boat is also considered in the current study. To test the objectives, systematical online searching was conducted in search of the inclusion literature criteria. All included studies used Preferred Reporting item for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines to obtain the final collection of articles for this review. In order to rate the quality of the articles, risk bias assessment was performed. A total of 35 studies were included in the assessment. The studies discussed the aspects of anthropometry and physiological of the rower, the biomechanics of the rower, corresponding hydrodynamic force on the oar blade and the rowing mechanism concerning boat performance. Based on the information obtained, an understanding of the important aspects of the rowing mechanism was achieved to provide an update for comprehensive improvement.

Publication History

Received: 20 February 2020

Accepted: 22 July 2020

Publication Date:
25 August 2020 (online)

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