Over the last few weeks we’ve tuned into Zoom talks set up by Coach Alex, we’ve had a Nutritionist and Osteopath go over information relating to rowing and then fielding questions from the group. Here are some tips on getting back to training from Osteopath Yasmin;
1. Remember that the transitional period between dry land and on water training generally results in higher rates of injuries. Don’t expect what you can do on an erg to immediately translate to what you can do on the water. If you haven’t been rowing on-water for a while then start with low mileage and don’t push yourself too much too quickly.
2. Ensure that you have good hip range of movement – the catch puts a lot of compression through you lower back and having flexible hip muscles will reduce that compression. This is particularly important if you have history of low back pain. You need to stretch.
3. Consider your ankle and foot biomechanics – conditions in these areas (e.g. knocked knees/bow legs/forefoot varus) may make you venerable to knee/hip/lower back issues. If you notice an imbalance in these areas or you have knee pain when rowing then a podiatry appointment is likely to benefit you.
4. Lumbar extensor muscle endurance is really important for preventing lower back injuries as these muscles dominate the stroke.
5. Try and break a sweat before getting in the boat (cycling to the rowing grounds is a great way to do this, as is dynamic stretching). If your muscles are stiff when you start rowing then you’re far more likely to incur an injury.
6. Cool down slowly. Continue rowing for 10 minutes at a reduced intensity, then put warm clothes on to keep your muscles warm for static stretching. Cooling down properly reduces lactic acid build up and thus helps to prevent muscle soreness and stiffness.
7. If you have pain, do something about it sooner rather than later.