Accurate power output values with only few inertial sensors

In our recently published articles [1 and 2] we have shown that the commonly used method to calculate power output is flawed (see also this blog).  To determine accurate ‘true’ power output values we came up with an alternative method.  This new valid method differs from the commonly used method with an amount that is equal to the product of the mass of the rower, the rower’s acceleration of the centre of mass (CoM) and the boat velocity.  Thus power output can be accurately determined using the commonly used method (i.e. the product of the moment around the oar and the oar angular velocity) plus the product of rower’s mass, the CoM acceleration and the boat velocity.

To determine a rower’s CoM acceleration while rowing we have used 13 inertial sensors [2 and 3]; all placed at different body segments. However, using 13 sensors is bulky and impractical for daily training sessions. In collaboration with Miriam Loois and Youssef el Bouhassani (Applied University of Amsterdam), we have examined whether a rower’s CoM acceleration can still be determined accurately with a reduced number of inertial sensors. The data shows that 2 or 3 inertial sensors will already provide a very good estimation of the actual acceleration of a rower’s CoM. To find out where these 2 or 3 inertial sensors need to be placed and how the research has been conducted, please read this article (only available in Dutch).


  1. Hofmijster, M.J., et al., Mechanical power output in rowing should not be determined from oar forces and oar motion alone. J Sports Sci, 2018. 36(18): p. 2147-2153.
  2. Lintmeijer, L.L., et al., Improved determination of mechanical power output in rowing: Experimental results. J Sports Sci, 2018. 36(18): p. 2138-2146.
  3. Lintmeijer, L.L., et al., An accurate estimation of the horizontal acceleration of a rower’s centre of mass using inertial sensors: a validation. Eur J Sports Sci., 2018. 18(7): p. 940-946.


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