Can indoor rowing machines actually help to fix or prevent back pain? After I used an ergonomic rower, I realized that it was not just a strength-building machine but also a way that I could prevent my back pain.
How I Started Rowing for Back Pain
I participate in lots of different sports. As I age, I appreciate activities that enable me to build strength while preventing injuries at the same time.
Over the years, I have done many high-impact sports. Therefore, my body has endured significant wear and tear, not to mention injuries.
During periods of rehab, I learned that keeping my body strong took equal importance to rest and stretching. In other words, it could help me prevent future injuries when I returned to regular physical activity.
Indoor Rowers Provide Flexibility + Strength and Thus, Prevent Pain
Of course, our core is involved in most movements we do throughout the day. Therefore, keeping our abdominal and lower back muscles strong is important.
Sometimes people overlook the fact that other muscles, tendons and ligaments (that attach to or are adjacent to our core) also can have an effect on lower back pain.
We also want to practice good posture to prevent additional strain on our back that can sometimes result from long periods of sitting, standing or driving. Relieving tension and tightness in our hips and gluts can surprisingly bring significant relief to many back pain sufferers.
This video below shows some simple yoga poses you can do at home to gently ease tightness and tension that can sometimes cause pain.
Note: To keep it simple, if we can release tension, stay flexible and build strength in all areas of our body, we’ll be better off. And what better way to do this than with a low-impact ergonomic rowing machine!
Why Get an Ergonomic Rower for Back Pain?
If you are familiar with rowing machines, you already know that they can help you strengthen your entire core. Not to mention, your legs and arms all at the same. Plus, this type of exercise equipment has minimal impact on the body. Therefore, you deal with less strain on bones and joints and less chance of injury.
What About Exercises for Lower Back Pain?
As we age, many of use experience lower back pain. This can be due to a number of reasons. However, some people can get relief through basic physical therapy. Massage, stretching and sometimes inversion also can work. Gentle stretching movements can help achieve relief. That said, increasing back and core strength can be just as critical, as I mentioned above.
Many people start with physical therapy, massage and other treatments to relieve pain. Then, they begin to add light back strengthening exercises into their routine. This is where a rowing machine can help strengthen the back, abs, legs and arms in a gentle fluid movement. (Consult with your doctor first.)
Note: Without a strong core, people typically have poor posture, which can strain the back. In addition, they generally injure themselves less when lifting heavy items or reaching for things.
The Benefits of a Short Rowing Workout:
You can find ergonomic rowers in many gyms, but you can also purchase them for home use. The advantage to having one of these workout machines in your home is that you can exercise in short bursts, like 10 or 20 minutes. Forget the time it takes to drive, park, wait, schedule, etc…
You can use it while watching the news or listening to a radio show, so you don’t necessarily need to find extra time in your day to workout. For some people, a 5-minute row in the morning when they wake up is an invigorating way to get the day started (or check out this 7-minute sprint test). This is a quick and easy way to incorporate exercise to strengthen your lower back muscles during the day.
This becomes even easier with an ERG (ergometer) rowing machine which includes a digital device that generally can measure calories burned, distance traveled, speed and pace. You can track your weekly progress and pace improvements. Plus, you can even set up different workouts like interval training to make your exercise more fun.
Injury prevention beats rehabilitation hands down. And, doing strength-building lower back exercises consistently on a regular basis can really help. In addition, ergonomic exercises can also assist.
You can often do these exercises at your desk while at work. In fact, you can do some of them while talking on the phone or working on your computer. They can also help you stay more aware of your posture. Take a look at the cheat sheet or ergonomics exercises below.
An ergonomic rower has adjustable foot holders and straps and a comfortable handle that is easy to grip. Plus, they have a well-shaped seat and a digital reader that is easy to see. Your posture is important as well. Sit upright with your back straight and use the proper rowing technique.