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Tips to avoid Rowing Injuries

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

by Sally Aerts

  1. Keep your core and legs strong.

  2. Stay flexible. Hamstrings, mid and lower back, and shoulder girdle muscles are especially important.

  3. Warm up your muscles before arriving beginning to row. Some examples of exercises are: walking, light jogging, wall push-ups, side lunges.

  4. Lift and lower the boats properly. Bend your knees and use your legs as much as possible when lifting a boat from the stretchers or from the water.

  5. Warm up your body in the boat, for example: arms only, arms and back, legs only, legs and back, ½ slide with arms and back.

  6. Stretching has better results when performed after exercise.

Strengthening and Stretching Exercises for Rowing

Core muscle strength is important for rowing strong and decreasing chance of injury. Core muscles are the shoulder girdle, back, abdominal and hip muscles. The first link is a video of a set of 6 exercises.

The video demonstrates ways to alter the exercises to make the exercises easier or more difficult. 1 or 2 repetitions of each exercise for 30 seconds, rather than 1 minute, may be a good starting point for most of us.

For leg strengthening watch this video demonstrating proper technique for performing a squat.

Key muscles to keep flexible are hamstrings, spine and shoulder.

Some examples of hamstring stretching.

Some examples of spine and shoulder girdle stretching.


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