How to Identify and Prevent Injuries from Rowing Machines?

Rowing is a fun way to do exercise. But at the same time, it is not one of those easy routines. Rowing requires good strength, stamina, technique, timing and balance. You can be a part of the rowing club or go for a ride on a rowboat down the river to enjoy this activity. Or you could just use rowing machines. However, rowing is prone to injuries. Let’s take a look at the common injuries related to rowing.


Common injuries when rowing

  • Lower back pain

This has to be the most common one. Your lower back can be vulnerable to injuries when you engage in rowing. You bend back and forth constantly and this can definitely have a negative impact on your lower back.

  • Knee pain

Many complain about it. You may feel the pain when you move the knee joint. Or it could be the pain below your kneecap.

  • Upper back pain

Tenderness and pain appear in muscles of areas like the upper back, neck and shoulder.

  • Rib stress fracture

This is not a common injury as usually professional athletes have to deal with such injuries. The muscles constantly pulling on the rib can result in this injury.

  • Blisters

We are talking about the ones on the hands.

  • Wrist tendonitis

Swelling and pain are common symptoms.

Risk factors to consider

What factors add to the risk of injury while using rowing machines? Let’s find out.

  • Time spent rowing

It can happen to both beginners as well as experienced individuals. As a beginner, this injury can happen to you since your body is not used to it. As an experienced individual, overuse of the machine can result in it.


  • Poor fitness

Yeah, a person with poor fitness can always be at the risk of injuries. If you have poor posture, inflexible muscles etc. then you are at risk.

  • Previous injuries

Yeah, since it is a strenuous exercise routine, you need to watch out for the prior injuries as this machine can make things worse.

  • Improper technique

When you follow a bad technique, chances have high for you inflicted an injury on you.

General health tips

These are the general health tips while using this machine.

  • Cool down process is very important. Make sure that you find time for this after working with the machine.
  • You have to hydrate yourself with plenty of water. Make it a habit to drink plenty of water during and after the exercise.
  • If it is a hot day, avoid doing it. It is better to avoid doing this during summer months.
  • Warm up routine is really important. Understand the importance of it and do a proper warm up routine before you get started. Do plenty of sustained stretch as they are going to be really helpful during the exercise.
  • Always try to maintain good health and fitness. Since it is a strenuous exercise routine, only those with good fitness and health can manage to do it on a regular basis. Otherwise, you will fall prey to injuries more often.

Suggestions to prevent injuries

Here are the suggestions to prevent common injuries while using rowing machines.

  • You don’t need to overdo it. You should take a slow and steady approach. You can increase your stamina and strength over a period of time.
  • Try to use the machine in the right manner. Most of the injuries happen because you use it incorrectly. If you have doubts, check out the manual or ask for help from the gym staff.
  • Remember that it can be really strenuous to work with this machine. So, there is no need to add extra pressure on oneself. Understand your limitations.
  • It is important to work on the abdominal muscles as it will be helpful in supporting your lower back.
  • Maintain good fitness. It would be helpful to do aerobic activity on a regular activity. Walking, jogging, etc. are recommended as they improve your muscle strength, endurance and flexibility.

Doing regular flexibility exercises for your back is highly recommended as it is going to be really helpful.

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