“Catch, drive, finish and recover, better known as rowing. Functional fitness athletes know all too well the pain that accompanies this mono structural movement — row sprints can fatigue muscles quickly and tax the cardiovascular system, while rowing for distance (like 13.1 miles) can wreck your low back and legs during and after the workout is complete. This continuous fluid movement — which doesn’t allow for much rest — often leads to repetitive stress injuries and tightness.
Low back pain is one of the most common injuries seen in collegiate rowers. If these athletes who work so hard to become a specialist in this particular movement and constantly train to improve their performance have issues, it stands to reason that functional fitness athletes will as well. And with the athletes I work with, this is very much the case. Along with low back pain, IT band inflammation due to the repetitive motion of the catch (when the knees bend before the beginning of the next pull) is relatively common. Inflammation can be caused by tightness, which doesn’t always originate at the IT band but in the attached muscles like glutes or quads. Stretching and mobilizing immediately after and in the days following this movement is crucial for fast recovery.
When looking at the muscle groups targeted during the four phases of the rowing movement, we begin to see this is a full body movement with certain muscle groups doing most of the work. The posterior chain, quads, rhomboids, abdominals and calves work hard in a particular order and rhythm to produce this powerful movement. The yoga postures listed below stretch, release and relax the major movers of this repetitive movement.
Tips and Tricks:
- As this is WOD Recover Yoga, it is always best to do these postures after working out. When the muscles are warm, stretching is easier.
- Stay in the pose — breathing in and out through the nose — for up to two minutes, depending on how you feel. Allow the body some time to relax in the posture so that as the muscles relax, you deepen the stretch.” Continued…