Rowing requires strength, endurance, and often overlooked, flexibility. Stretching is therefore extremely important for rowers:
It prepares your muscles for exercise and prevents muscle strains when rowing.
It increases flexibility and range of motion around a joint leading to improved posture in rowing and everyday life.
It aids recovery.
This post looks at the best stretches you can use to help maximise your performance and reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries.
Rowing is a full-body movement, involving the majority of the muscles in the body. It is important to stretch both the big groups of muscles as well as the stabilising small muscles.
The most important areas to focus are the lower back, glutes (the bum muscles), and hamstrings (the muscles on the back of the upper leg) as these are the most common areas for injury.
For the best results pre-exercise, stretches should be held for 15 seconds for 3-5 sets. Static stretching should be done after 3-5mins of a dynamic warm up to ensure the muscles are warm before stretching. After exercise, the static stretches should be repeated but this time lasting 40 seconds to 1min for the best results, again 3-5 sets.