This weekend, I was at a rowing regatta, but you knew that. I spent a lot of time, just walking around and people watching. I have noticed the more I learn about functional physiology the more I start dissecting athlete's physiques. Rowers as a rule don't fall into the scapular retraction pitfalls like most gym goers (read: those who only bench and do curls) mostly because their sport is one of pulling. So most of them are pretty well squared off at the shoulders, but I noticed this weekend a regatta is like a damn flat butt convention. Most have absolutely no gluteal development. Big quads and over developed hip flexors, and stringy hamstrings and no glutes. It's very apparent. They're really missing the boat (so to speak), there is so much speed to be gained from those muscles, not to mention the hip and back problems that come from these imbalances. So rowers, loosen up those quads and hips! Use a foam roller! Do some damn deadlifts! Be an athlete, your back will thank you!
The cure for what ails you:
10 reps 50-60% 1rm deadlift (if you're guessing, guess low. Focus on technique and activating your posterior chain)
250m all out on the erg.
This workout will activate your glutes while you're rowing, and should 'teach' you how to use those muscles for starts and sprints. So get your @ss in gear!
Don't just take my word for it...