Many gym-goers are seeking to drop fat and lose weight through the best ways available. Being in a calorie deficit is one part of the mix and physical activity level is another. What if you are looking for something lower impact but with full cardio benefits? Your rowing machine might be a great option but is it hurting your knees? Here we will take a look at how the rowing machine shakes out as an option if you are concerned about joint paint. Some key options that you will appreciate:
- Cycling for the health of your knees vs rowing
- What “low impact” means when we talk about rowing
- The place that long-duration rowing has in your training
- Does rowing build strength?
Should You Row With Bad Knees?
Being able to get an awesome cardio workout again without experiencing a new injury or exacerbating an old one is essential. A rowing machine is an excellent choice to get the job done for weight loss while considering your past knee issues. If you are a user who has already experienced knee problems or even arthritis, then a rowing machine is something that can allow you to adjust the intensity beneficially. You can choose your handle attachment to make the perfect exercise that spares a load on your knees and allows your muscles to keep working. One of the vital pieces will be choosing the frequency and intensity of your training to support your goals and condition.
What Does “Low Impact” Mean When Talking about Rowing?
While you stand in the checkout line of the grocery store, your knees are at work against gravity just to keep you standing. Rowing provides a log impact benefit that means it can position your body to carry less of your weight. This means less impact on your joints than if you were to go for a run. Jogging and running is a good workout though with consideration to their impact, they can create multiples of your full body weight that have to be supported by your joints.
What Additional Equipment Will Protect my Knees While I Row?
It is certainly no requirement but a pair of neoprene sleeves is easy to find at your local sporting goods store or online retailer. The sleeves can provide more warmth, comfort, and additional support while using your rowing machine. A knee sleeve like those from Rehband are easy to find online or even in local stores. In addition to support, wearers often experience more warmth and comfort when using knee sleeves. You can also improve the support and comfort you feel by finding the best position for your feet straps. This will also result in safer training. There are already adjustment options for resistance on the rowing machine and each user remains in control of the time of their training session. This can result in less strain.
Is Cycling Better for Your Knees than Rowing?
Cycling carries an impact that depends largely on intensity. If a bicycle is not already customized for your body type, then it may become even more high-impact. A rowing machine can be a better choice in this case. Running, however, has its advantages and challenges. Running is a high-impact activity, in that your body carries a great deal more stress while you do it. Being seated while you row does not present the same degree of stress from gravity. You will experience an effective workout without as much knee strain while you are rowing versus running.
Rowing Long Distances With a History of Knee Pain
Not all body types are the same and dealing with higher exercise volume can vary from one athlete to another. The time spent on a rowing machine without having knee issues relates closely to the experience you have on the equipment. It also ties into the intensity of your rowing session, and how frequently you train the movement. Evaluate a training plan with fewer days per week at first and at a lower intensity. Increasing the intensity and reassessing with each session.
Rowing can strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. While it will not fortify the actual knee joint, it can provide more stability, balance, and support due to the strength it recruits. Remember to use the appropriate protective equipment such as the knee sleeves mentioned here and choose warm-ups that get your body ready to move for the intended duration.
Dealing With Knee Pain After Rowing
Overuse can sometimes contribute to the pain felt. A professional review from a care provider can help determine if there is a specific medical concern that requires advanced pain relief strategies. Rowing machines are not bad for your knees. The health of your joints is multifaceted and the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments play a role in how you feel after the activity. Managing your discomfort is essential to a healthy and safe experience with rowing. Protecting your knees is vital to longevity and effective workouts.
Maintenance will be an ongoing part of health for any part of the body. The use of a rowing machine will allow you to get in the habit of listening to your body. Rowing can help identify the kinds of resistance that will help you grow stronger versus the resistance that can aggravate an injury.
Having to take time off due to persistent injuries can also have a resulting shift in emotional or overall health. Losing out on activities that can provide relief from daily stress is something to account for. A rowing machine will get you back to action sooner than if you were training without one.
There are not many safe, low-impact, and outright fun exercises that you can do while still indoors comparable to rowing machine. Rain or shine you can hop on and rack up the meters rowed or calories burned. Modifying intensity can bring results without bringing unnecessary stress and strain. Keep the level of fun high and continue to torch calories without sacrificing the health of your knees. Health is an essential investment that no one can afford to neglect. Your habits with proper training are a reflection of that investment and will bring positive returns.