Ideal Traits for Great Rowers

If you have ever watched a rowing competition, you know that rowing looks easy and effortless. After all, the boats and crews seem to glide so effortlessly through the water. However, don’t be deceived: rowing is actually a very physically and mentally challenging sport that exercises practically every muscle in the body.


Not everyone can be an excellent rower. Certain characteristics, both physical and mental, are important in determining how success a person might have as a rower. One of the most important physical characteristics of successful rowers is height. Tall people make better rowers. This is because tall people have long arms and legs. The arms and legs act as levers allowing the person to make long strokes through the water. Male Olympic team rowers tend to be between 6 feet 3 inches and 6 feet 5 inches in height while female Olympic team rowers tend to be between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 1 inch in height.

Olympic Silver Medallist Vicky Thornley Height – 193 cm


The gold medallist oarsman

Muscle development is essential, and good rowers are very muscular people who tend to weigh more than the average person. Great male rowers weigh between 198 and 210 pounds and female rowers weight between 165 and 176 pounds. Although these weights are high, it is almost all muscle. There is a lightweight division for rowers that weigh less than these numbers, so for men this would be less than 159 pounds and women who weigh less than 130 pounds.

While the people doing the rowing tend to weigh quite a lot, the cox weighs less since that way the weight on the boat is kept to an absolute minimum. The cox is the person who motivates and gives the crew instruction. Their weight is 121 pounds for men and 110 pounds for women. Rowers work to stay lean to ensure they are in great shape and have big strong muscles. Rowing requires great endurance and stamina which, of course, requires strong muscles and high levels of fitness.


Aside from physical characteristics, there are some mental characteristics that elite rowers tend to possess. Successful rowers show great perseverance, they are stubborn people who do not give up. They are optimistic people but also realistic about what is required to be successful. In fact, they would not persevere if they were not optimistic. Rowers are obsessed with rowing, focusing a great deal of time and energy on their sport, even when not rowing they may be thinking about rowing and what they need to do in order to perform better. They dream big, visualizing themselves attaining the success that they want. They are honest and committed people who know that they will have to endure hours and days of hard training in sometimes uncomfortable weather and conditions in order to reach their goal. They also must have good judgment and insight in order to understand what needs to be done while in the boat. Rowers also have to be trustworthy people as other team members are relying on them.

These are the physical and mental traits that ideal rowers tend to have.