Common Rowing Machine Injuries and Ways to Prevent Them

Nobody wants to get injured, but many suffer common rowing machine injuries and must cut on their training or stop altogether.

Using a rower for training is a relatively safe form of exercise compared to treadmills and stationary bikes, but once you start training at a more advanced level with more challenging workouts, you could be exposed to injury.

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Common Rowing Machine Injuries

Some of the common rowing injuries are the following:

A lower back pain rowing machine

Is rowing bad for your back?

Most people using rowing machines experience lower back pain caused by muscle fatigue from training too often, which is because of setting high resistance, and/or poor technique. Rowing is not intended to be an exclusive exercise program.

To avoid back injuries, it is important to add activities such as swimming, jogging, and weightlifting. Also, if you have back pain, the solution is to reduce the resistance, adjust the rowing technique, shorten the workouts, and/or hold the rowing for a few days.

Rib Stress Fractures

Competitive rowers may experience severe rib pain when rowing or when breathing heavily. They may discover they have a stress fracture.

The only treatment is to stop rowing immediately and wait for the stress fracture to heal.
When rowing resumes, add bench presses and pushups to build strength and prevent further rib stress fractures.

Joint Pain

Everyday rowing can cause inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints, muscles, and tendons (known as the bursa). This is most often felt in the hip or knee joints of rowers.

Symptoms include pain, swelling, and redness in the knee.

The best course of action is to apply ice to the painful and restful area. The best way to prevent bursitis is to stretch between exercises and add resistance training with weights to your workout.

Hand Blisters

A fairly straightforward one for beginners and one that is often overlooked. Blisters on your hands aren’t dangerous, but they can be irritating and keep you from rowing.

A good pair of anti-slip gloves can help prevent discomfort, but it is better if you have an ergonomically designed handle for your hands.

Believe it or not, not all the rowers available have the correct shaped handle.

It is also important to clean the grip after training to prevent bacteria from growing on the rubber after covering it with a layer of sweat.

You will soon strengthen your hands with regular rowing, so you won’t need gloves if you prefer not to use them.


Because of the repetitive arm movement, those who exercise on rowing machines or row as a competitive sport often experience an arm muscle strain or elbow tendinitis. A poor rowing technique will increase the chances of this injury.

So, a good preventative measure is to make sure your rowing technique is correct. Making strength training a part of your workout will build the muscle strength to handle the demands of rowing.

Ways to Prevent Common Rowing Machine Injuries

  • Make sure you are physically healthy and fit.
  • Make sure your overall health is good.
  • Correct any technical errors when rowing immediately to avoid injury when rowing
  • Warm-up well before you row.
  • Make stretching an important part of your relaxation routine.

Ways for Managing Common Rowing Machine Injuries

If you get any rowing machine injury while rowing, stop immediately to avoid any further damage. It is not smart to “keep rowing through the pain.” It will only make the injury worse. Find immediate treatment for your injury.

If you have just started the rowing exercise then must read this guide for the wowing Rowing Workout for Beginners it will help you a lot. Thinking that it will just go away is dangerous and can lead to chronic injuries. The sooner you treat a rowing injury, the faster you can grow again.

Soft tissue injuries such as ligament sprains, muscle strains, scrapes, bruises, and/or contusions should be treated with rest, ice, compression, and/or elevation. If you do not get quick relief from first aid treatment, seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

Do not start rowing again until you have fully recovered and/or your doctor gives you the green light to resume rowing. If you are away from rowing for a while, start slowly and go to where you were when you stop rowing.

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People Also Ask

Where should you be sore after rowing?

Your muscles will feel tired (not healed) and tender to the touch. After rowing, you can feel this on your back, glutes, or shoulders.

Which of the following conditions are likely the result of repetitive activity using a rowing machine?

lumbar back pain, iliotibial band friction syndrome, shoulder impingement, stress fractures of the ribs, and extensor tenosynovitis of the wrist are likely the result of repetitive activity using a rowing machine.

Is the rowing machine dangerous?

A rowing machine is dangerous only if you are not careful but if you carefully use it, it is great for your health.

Can rowing cause tendonitis?

Yes, Wrist tendonitis is the most common wrist injury in rowers

Are 20 minutes of rowing enough?

Rowing for 20 minutes each day can help you lose about 0.5 pounds per week or more depending on your current health status.