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Indoor Rowing Challenge

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Before we set an indoor rowing challenge, let’s start with how far can you row in 60 seconds?

One of the things I love about my job, is learning about the
diversity of sporting interests amongst my patients. Australia is well
known for it’s success in sports like cricket, swimming, footy codes and
surfing, but working with a range of sports people has also introduced
me to others like dragon boat racing, Brazilian jujitsu and rally

Recently, I was talking with one of my regular patients about rowing
machines, specifically the Concept II indoor rowing machine, and how we
would both use them in our individual fitness training programs. As it
turned out, this particular patient, used to be on the Australian Junior
Kayaking Team.

He put forward a challenge, “Tom, next time you”re in the gym, set the rower to a one minute count down, and see how many meters you can pull out.” As I understand, he holds the current record in his gym, 367m in one minute! So I gave it a shot the other day and I was pretty happy with my first try of 323m.

Naturally, our discussion led to chatting about rowing technique.
With his experience in kayaking and my experience in spinal care, we had
both independently observed many abusive rowing sessions in our
respective gyms. Anybody with rowing experience or knowledge in
biomechanics would know that the majority of gym goers, clearly have no
idea how to use indoor rowing machines correctly.

There is plenty of information available throughout the internet
about correct rowing technique. From what I understand, poor rowing
technique can be summarised, very simply, into two main flaw areas.
Rowing too much with the back and/or arms, and not rowing enough with
the legs.

Before you attempt this challenge, ensure you are confident in
knowing how to row without causing injury to yourself. This challenge
requires a somewhat complex movement pattern of pushing with the legs
closely followed by pulling with the arms and torso. As you’ll only have
one minute, you need to perform this repetitive motion very powerfully
from the start.

Prior to my attempt, I did a very basic whole body stretch routine,
followed by three minutes of gentle rowing. Towards the end of the three
minutes, I started to row a little harder to prepare myself for the
intense rowing that would follow. I then had a short break to psyche
myself up a little, about 30-60 seconds.

You can watch the video below for an idea as to how you should look when you row as hard as you can for one minute. Good rowing technique

I recall some of my experiences treating at the regatta events of the
2009 World Masters Games. Many of the patients I saw, through years of
rowing, had developed muscle asymmetries throughout their bodies. In
addition to this, you could see beneath this musculature, how their
spines had developed scolioses in response to the repetitive forces
placed on the body whilst rowing.

The combination of muscle imbalances and the joint restrictions that
come about as a result of scoliosis, makes chiropractic treatment highly
suited to helping this sporting group. Furthermore, rowers can benefit
from adhering to an exercise program that strengthens both sides of the
body – not just the side you might use for rowing.

I’d like to extend this rowing challenge to all who read this blog post, please feel free to contact me with your results so that I can create a results chart. Best of luck!

*DISCLAIMER: This discussion does not provide medical advice. The
information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and
other material contained in this discussion are for informational
purposes only. The purpose of this discussion is to promote broad
consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not
intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis
or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other
qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding
a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health
care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay
in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.

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