Although injury rates are high, fortunately, there are only 3 ways to get injured in rowing (excluding a freak accident or a serious crab).
1) Over-use or Under-recovery (training error)
2) Technical error
3) Movement Limitations
Since rowing is a non-contact sport we have a lot of control over all 3 mechanisms listed above. Lucky for us, we don’t have to deal with contact injuries such as ACL tears and concussions that are so prominent in other sports. The only way you can truly keep a football player safe is by keeping him on the sideline. We, on the other hand, can reduce the chance of all injuries from ever even occurring in the first place. All we have to do is make injury reduction a priority.
Over-use or Under-recovery is a training error. We did too much too soon, or we didn’t do enough to recover in time. We have control over this. Technical errors are our responsibility. There’s no reason to repeat a technical error under-load. We have control over this. Movement Limitations can be identified and cleared. We have control over this.
Have you experienced a rowing injury? Does it fall into one of these categories?
Blake Gourley holds a Masters of Science in Sports Performance Training and has over 10 years of experience working with rowers. Read more