A challenge: Whether you use a rowing machine at home (like the hydrow, Rowing Where Ergatta), the gym, or a studio dedicated to rowing workouts, it’s common to experience wrist pain at some point, especially when you’re still mastering your stroke.
“If people are experiencing wrist pain, it’s probably a technique issue – grabbing the handle too hard, starting the shot with an arm ‘pull’ first rather than a leg thrust, or finish with the handle too high and flexing through the wrist,” says Michelle Parolini, CPT, a senior master trainer for Townhouse. It is therefore essential to work on your form.
“Step one: check your grip,” says Parolini. “The handle should always hang from your fingertips with your arms hanging like cables.” By this she means that they should be long, but with a bit of tension in them.
“Step two: check the sequence of moves,” she says. “Push with the legs, open the hips, then finally pull with the arms – the arms should only be about 10% of the stroke.”
“Step Three: Make sure you’re holding onto your core and engaging the lats throughout the finish. Your wrist should be in line with the forearm, elbows back, and the grip stops at the sternum level, without pulling too high, which causes the wrists to bend.Parolini says to consider balancing a water bottle on your wrist on the finish.
Besides form, Parolini has two other tips for dealing with wrist pain from rowing.
1. Strengthen your abdominal and back muscles
Part of rowing with good form involves making sure you’re engaging the right muscle groups and not letting your wrists bear the brunt of all that force as you pull. “Reinforcement through the core, including the lats, will help engage the core on the drive,” says Parolini. “The reinforcement through the core will allow someone to hang from the handle rather than muscle it.”
All core and back workouts will help build strength in these areas, but Parolini especially recommends separation strip to strengthen the backbones. “They also help strengthen the shoulder joint,” she adds. “And forearm planks will help train torso stabilization, which is essential for a power workout.”
Here’s how to make a forearm plank with the proper shape:
2. Stretch before and after workouts
Stretching is one of the best ways to make sure your wrist joints, and the muscles and tendons around them, maintain their proper length-tension relationships, which means they’re all in their optimal positions. and no part of the group is working. harder than it should. There are three sections that Parolini particularly likes for rowers.
- Wrist extensor stretch: Join the palms of the hands in prayer position. Slowly raise your elbows while lowering your hands toward your waist to stretch the underside of your wrist.
- Figure Eight: Interlace your fingers. Keeping your elbows bent at your sides, move your hands in a figure 8 pattern back and forth.
- Finger stretch: Make a fist with both hands and squeeze as hard as you can, then open and spread your fingers as far apart as possible.
Aim to do at least 30 seconds of each stretch as part of a dynamic warm-up before jumping on your rowing machine, and consider making time for regularly stretching your wrists.
This wrist workout is a great place to start: