R. E. D. is an acronym I use to explain the setup of the dragon boat stroke. Rotate. Extend. Drop.
This video dissects the phase prior to the catch and explains why it is important to separate the rotation, extension and drop to deliver maximum power. In this drill we are training the back extensors to be comfortable in an uncomfortable positiion. The arms are being held up and the body is being asked to come back up while in an extended rotation!
To do this exercise I suggest sitting in a chair in front of a mirror if possible so you can self coach your form! I suggest 10 reps to start with and you can build up when they have more endurance.
Heres the steps:
1. Put hands into position as if holding the paddle. (You can add the paddle after but this drill is specifically for body mechanics training.)
2. Rotate from the lower body which means one knee is in front of the other. Shoulders are also rotated with the hips. Whole torso and core engagement.
3. Extend (referred to as the hinge) by taking the body forward without the shoulders hiking up or reaching out of their sockets. (I have a video called setting up the power position that shows how to get this alignment) Aim to keep head and eyes forward. Try to do this with both knees pointed forward and not leaning out to the sides.
4. Come back up in rotation (ouch) and follow with coming back to square.
This drill is very helpful for creating body awareness as well as developing strength in the body mechanics required for the dragon boat stroke.