If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve experienced rowing back pain at some point, whether you rowed competitively or not. As with any sport that involves physical activity, back pain isn’t uncommon—but there are things you can do to alleviate it and avoid it entirely in the future.
Rowing is a fantastic form of exercise that makes you stronger, fitter, and leaner. For most people, it’s an enjoyable activity, but for some, rowing can be tricky on your back.
It’s true that if you row incorrectly or try to lift too much weight in a single session you may get pain in your lower back – and believe us, we know all about it! What’s worse is when your back goes out while playing sports or sitting at a desk all day.
What is Rowing Back Pain?
Rowing back pain is a common problem in rowers. The underlying cause of rowing back pain can be due to one or more of these problems:
- Weakness in gluteal muscles
- Pelvic imbalance
- Poor thoracic mobility
- and/or Muscle imbalances (upper body dominant athletes).
- Poor technique is also often a major contributing factor and addressing it can help solve many issues related to rowing back pain.
- In addition, an injury such as a rib stress fracture could be causing your pain.
Check out these tips below for how you can effectively deal with back pain and ultimately overcome it!
Here are five tips to help you say goodbye to rowing back pain once and for all.
5 Tips to Say Goodbye to Rowing Back Pain
1) Warming up
If you have rowing back pain, exercise can be tricky. But a proper warm-up could make all of the difference.
Warming up helps your muscles prepare for vigorous exercise and makes sure they’re loose and ready to go before you start your workout.
Make sure you engage in a proper warm-up before each rowing session or any other athletic activity that involves full-body motions like running, jogging, aerobics or even weightlifting—and stretch regularly after exercising too.
You want to loosen tight muscles and minimize inflammation before engaging in strenuous physical activity; stretching will also help prevent injury so it’s important not to skip it even if you feel that you are prepared!
2) Maintain proper posture
Most rowers will have some level of back pain throughout their rowing career. It’s not a matter of if but when it happens. Maintaining proper posture is one way to say goodbye to rowing back pain forever.
Poor posture puts additional strain on your lower back, which can lead to chronic muscle tightness and discomfort over time.
To keep your body in alignment as you row, focus on rolling your shoulders back, keeping your head up, and keeping the proper form as you row.
Stretching after workouts and being sure to warm up before rowing is also important in maintaining good posture while rowing.
3) Use rowing accessories
Using accessories is a great way to alleviate Rowing Back Pain, but it takes more than just popping on a pair of rowing gloves and calling it a day. Using your own body weight while rowing can help tone your muscles, but accessories are designed with specific exercise regimes in mind.
Attaching weights or resistance bands around your feet and arms will enhance your workout—as long as you use them correctly. If you’re suffering from back pain, take time off rowing and read more before you injure yourself seriously!
4) Practice your strokes correctly
The best way to get rid of Rowing Back Pain is by practicing your strokes correctly. The major motion faults causing Rowing Back Pain are caused by rowing with your back too vertical and putting undue stress on your lower back.
Correcting these motions will help you prevent Rowing Back Pain before it starts.
5) Correct Your Form
The easiest way to say goodbye to rowing back pain is by correcting your form. Though rowing is a low-impact exercise, a majority of rowers—particularly novices—rely too much on their lower backs.
This happens because they engage their legs and arms before their core, or have weak abs that can’t brace against the excess movement in these areas. If you’re experiencing back pain while rowing, try engaging your abdominal muscles first and then moving up through your arms and legs.
You’ll probably feel better right away! And if not, here are five more tips that will help you row correctly:
- Keep your back in a slight forward lean—but not over-exaggerated.
- Keep your chest up, as it should be during each stroke.
- Place your feet properly, don’t tiptoe!
- Avoid rounding your back during recovery.
- Maintain a good hand position throughout your stroke. Keep your hands close together, so that they are almost touching, and try to keep them in front of you at all times. Your elbows should be slightly bent and tucked into your sides. If you have trouble keeping your hands in the proper position, consider using rowing gloves or tape on your fingers.
Also, if you’re still experiencing pain after making these adjustments, talk with an expert—your local coach can help!
Rowing Back Pain is one of those common pains that come from seemingly nowhere and can occur at any time. Since it doesn’t always have an obvious cause or trigger, it’s hard to treat.
But as any rower knows (or will soon find out), back pain while rowing is one of life’s minor nuisances—and it can lead to more serious problems if left untreated.
Please go through the tips we’ve given and at least try to correct your form at first!
If you want to read more on back pain, check the articles below:
Thank you for reading.