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Do Rowing Machines Cause Knee Pain?

Rowing machines are probably best known for providing a low-impact, full-body workout. They work muscles from the lower legs to the tops of the shoulders and almost everywhere in between. They create a challenging cardiovascular workout to increase endurance while also improving muscle strength. However, because of the repetitious bending of the knees, some people are worried about the possibility of knee damage. Do rowing machines cause knee pain? If used properly, they shouldn’t. If you have knee pain it’s important to consult a doctor before using a rowing machine or pursuing any type of exercise. To dig a little more deeply into this issue we’ve put together this article.

Rowing Machines for Strengthening Knees

A rowing machine can be used to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knees. It provides a major workout for the quadriceps above the knee as well as the hamstrings behind the knee. The fact that a rowing machine provides low-impact exercise should also work in strengthening the muscles around the knees without overly affecting healthy joints.

The Importance of Proper Form

Although infrequent, knee injuries that do occur while using a rowing machine are often due to improper form. When the knees are fully bent it’s important to keep both the back and the shins vertically oriented. When the knees are being extended, preventing hyperextension, also known as bending the knee backward, is necessary to prevent injury. Try not to extend the knees so far that they lock when fully extended. Try to keep a very slight bend in the knees during full extension. This will reduce the chances of a hyperextension injury. You can prevent any twisting of the knees by making sure the feet are properly strapped in.

Rowing for Knee Rehab

The healing of certain types of knee surgery can be improved by the use of a rowing machine. Autologous chondrocyte implantation or ACI surgery is used to repair damaged knee cartilage. It’s found that rowing machines can provide a method of exercising the knee without doing damage that might be caused by exercises such as cycling. Make sure to speak to your doctor about proper rehabilitation techniques if you’ve had this kind of surgery.

Rowing for Weight Loss

Being overweight can add extra stress to your knees and other joints. If you have joint issues with your knees and can stand to lose a few pounds, you might want to look into a rowing machine for help. As mentioned, rowing machines create a good, low-impact, cardiovascular workout which can be very helpful in a weight loss program.

What Muscles Does A Rowing Machine Work?

Rowing machines are one of the most popular exercise machines to provide an overall body workout. They work muscle groups in the lower body, the core, and the upper body. Engaging all those muscle groups doesn’t happen on every exercise machine that you might find at home or in the gym. Lower body muscles that are worked when using a rowing machine include the calf muscles, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Muscles in the core that are affected by the rowing machine are the abs, lats, and obliques. The upper body muscles engaged include the biceps, triceps, pecs, deltoids, and other muscles in the back and chest. From this list, it’s evident that a rowing machine engages an incredible number of muscles.

Should You Use A Rowing Machine If You Have Bad Knees?

Really, this is a question you should ask a doctor. The phrase “bad knees” can mean many different things. And while rowing may be a good exercise for certain kinds of knee problems, it’s not recommended for every type of knee problem. If you have bad knees, speak to a medical professional before hopping on a rowing machine.

Now that you’ve learned how rowing machines can affect knee pain, download the latest promotions for discounts on rowing machines and other exercise equipment.

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