In a Rower’s Shoes…

​Or should we say foot stretchers… Rowing is one of those sports… you know, one of those sports that makes you feel like you’re going to die at the end of it. Recently rowing has become increasingly popular among the general fitness population. Crossfit, Orange Theory, and so many other fitness institutions are teaching clients to row on machines as part of a fantastic total body cardiovascular work out. 

Rowing mechanics are king! As with any sport, using your body mechanics can make or break you on the erg and on the water. Injuries like shoulder impingement syndrome, herniated discs and more can result from improper form. So what does proper form look like, you ask? Well… we could spend a few hours going over body mechanics of rowing but here are some of the basic principals to keep in mind: 1. Don’t reach so far forward at the beginning of your stroke that you are pinching your hips or rounding your back. 2. Keep your core engaged and your down and back, to avoid unhealthy positions of the shoulders and spine. 3. Keep a light grip on the handle or oar to avoid tennis or golfer’s elbow (and blisters!).

​So whether you’re rowing for fitness on a machine, or hauling down the Head of the Charles race course, rowing is an excellent total body (and non-impact) activity. The actual footwear depends on the setting. In a boat rowers use shoes attached to the boat by way of foot stretchers, which allows the feet to remain stationary while the body is able to slide from front to back on a gliding seat (similar to the machine). Most rowers wear water-friendly booties inside these shoes as an additional barrier. On the erg, or rowing machine, you’re afforded a more customizable experience. Because these machines have straps designed to look you in over your shoes, any good, supportive athletic shoe is appropriate. Dr. Larry recommends a good running shoe, fit by a knowledgeable vendor. However, there is some flexibility here since the activity is non-impact and the feet remain stationary. 
​If you’re having pain with rowing, or for more instruction on the rowing machine or on the water, come on in and see us for a consultation!

Whatever it is you like to do to get your sweat on, stay moving, and be well!

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