Indoor rowing can help strengthen the body around injuries and prevent them, especially for people over 50.

Injuries, Aging, and Indoor Rowing

Did Indoor Rowing Cause Your Injuries?

Indoor rowing did not cause my injuries or the deterioration of my joints. Genetics, aging, accidents, and improper heavy lifting when I was younger, are the cause of my aches and pains. Through indoor rowing, I have been able to strengthen and lengthen everything around the old and damaged parts of my body, which has allowed me to be a competitive athlete at over 50, and even 60, years old.

What Did Happen?

I grew up lifting weights in the gym and in high school when bigger and stronger was the only goal. There was very little guidance from coaches, or anyone else, to make sure that form was correct and that health and fitness was also a consideration. By the time I was 21 years old my combined total weight for benchpress, squat and deadlift was well over 1200lbs (545kg), which was great at the time, but I now regret.

A disk in my back was the first to go from bad form while squatting. The L5/S1 disk was partially removed in 1984, and has caused more issues in my lumbar spine since then. Both of my shoulders have had major surgeries due to rotator cuff tears. Heavy bench pressing can do that. The arthritis in my joints is probably something I inherited along with a drive to be the best at whatever I do. That may not be an optimal combination. And, in December of last year, a slip on the ice left me with two completely new full tissue tears in my shoulder.

So Indoor Rowing is Good for You? Yeah, Really Good.

Doctors telling me that I could no longer do anything that involved impact or lifting above my shoulders was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Given an option to swim or row, and considering I swim like a rock, I chose to row. Rowing has given me a new lease on life.

Without indoor rowing, I would most likely weight at least 40lbs (18kg) heavier, have had another major back surgery, a knee replacement, probably hip replacement, and would definitely have a more difficult time moving around. After reviewing recent MRI’s, my doctors were fascinated at how well everything around my knee and shoulder injuries have developed. They told me not to stop whatever it is that I’m doing. So, I guess I’ll keep rowing.

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