Muscle Care: Rowing Stretches for Before and After Your Workout
Are you looking for a fun and exciting workout that targets your entire body? Do you need to switch it up soon before boredom wins and you opt for Netflix and snacks before working your muscles? Do you need a workout that can be done in a short amount of time? Rowing is the answer to your quest!
No matter your age, rowing is a full-body workout that is beneficial to both your mind and body. Did you know that you can burn up to 600 calories per hour while rowing? You can use it to enjoy some cardio or work on high intensity interval training.
The essential thing to remember as a rower is to stretch your muscles. Keep reading to learn rowing stretches that you should be doing before and after your workout.
What Are the Benefits of Rowing?
Before we focus on the stretches, what are some more of the many benefits of rowing?
- It enhances your respiratory system
- It promotes a healthy body composition
- It promotes weight loss
- It helps your heart
- It promotes muscle and joint mobility
- It reduces stress
Convinced yet? Now let’s read about the many stretches you should be doing before and after you row.
The warm-up is an essential part of any and every workout. It’s important to get your heart pumping and oxygen flowing. Warming up lowers your risk of an injury during an exercise and helps to reduce muscle soreness.
A dynamic warm-up will loosen your body to its full range of motion. For rowing, the sequence of actions that make up your warmup should allow you to perform the full movement of a rowing stroke.
You could use your actual rowing machine to warm up by doing a full slide for 2-4 minutes at low intensity or even breaking down each part of the stroke at 30 second intervals using the same low intensity for 4 minutes. Either way, the goal is to do 3-5 minutes of light aerobic activity to get your temperature up and increase your oxygen flow.
If you want to focus on your mental self while doing your warm up, try to allow yourself to let everything from the day go and to enjoy your workout so that you get the most out of it. Jogging, jumping jacks, and jumping rope are all alternatives you could opt for in your warm up.
The Pre Workout Stretches
After a quick cardio warmup, it’s important to give those pre-workout mobility exercises a few minutes of your time. Try to do 10-12 reps for each mobility or pre-workout stretch.
Do a 3-way ankle stretch to prevent against a common source of knee pain and injury. This exercise will also help with compression around both the ankles and the knees.
Squat and try to touch your heels to the ground while doing so. This exercise will work your glutes, legs, and lower back. It will also help with joint compression around your hips. You can do deep squats as well and work your hamstrings, groin, and mid back.
Full tension planks are an amazing exercise all on their own, but they are also a fantastic way to warm up your body. They’ll help with core strengthening and further solidify the bracing pattern that exists in rowing.
Do you want to make sure you don’t revert to a hunched back position while rowing?
Bad posture can put unwanted pressure on the spinal discs. One way to help yourself avoid the hunchback position while rowing is by doing band pull-aparts. These reps will balance the internal muscles of your rotating shoulders.
In addition to the squat, a calf stretch should be a part of your leg stretching routine. One stretch you could do starts off by standing a few feet from a wall while your hands rest on it.
Take turns with each foot, placing it as far back as you can while keeping the heel to the ground. Don’t force anything or bounce your step but instead make it a gentle stretch.
Begin Your Workout
Once you’ve warmed up and stretched your muscles, you can start your rowing work out!
Feel free to switch it up and incorporate different rowing routines throughout your schedule or switch it up on a whim to keep things exciting.
Some days you might be in the mood for 30 minutes of cardio. Or you might have an injury that calls for light rowing every day.
If you can, and you enjoy other workouts, try using it for interval training. You might do 20 full strokes of rowing, and then 20 burpees, and then 20 V-ups, and then repeat!
Or you could do a HIIT routine on just the rower. Do 30 seconds of sprints, and then 10 seconds of rest, and then repeat!
Post Workout Stretches
Just because we’ve named pre-workout stretches and are about to list a few post-workout stretches, doesn’t mean that they aren’t interchangeable. In fact, they are. Many of the stretches that go hand in hand with rowing are beneficial to your body both before and after your rowing workout.
Stretch your hip-flexors after you row. Many rowers suffer from tight hips which can lead to injury and bad posture. Lay on your back and take turns with your legs, bringing one knee at a time up to your chest and holding it for 30 seconds. OR, you could do the piriformis stretch which can do wonders for your back and your hips.
Do a seated straight leg hamstring stretch to loosen up your hamstrings and allow them to heal after rowing.
Another awesome post-workout stretch is a finger and wrist flexor stretch by extending your arm out and pulling back on your wrist and fingers for 20 seconds on each side.
In addition to making sure you stretch before and after, make sure you avoid these simple mistakes while using your rowing machine.
Make Sure You Don’t Skip Your Rowing Stretches
If you’ve decided to begin or continue with the wonderful sport and full-body workout of rowing, don’t skimp on your rowing stretches.
It will allow your body to become more flexible, stronger, and more successful in getting the most out of rowing.
Rowing is a great way to keep your mind and body in check. It can be an inexpensive way to work out your entire body, without having to spend hours at the gym. Want to learn some more tips and tricks about rowing? Check out our blog to learn more.