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Slow rowing is the best medicine for your knees

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Neither bicycling nor running give your knees the sort of full range-of-motion they need to warm up and lubricate. Only rowing—either indoor erging or rowing on the water—offers a combination of the aerobic load of the a bike and the therapeutic strengthening offered by leg presses, leg extensions, and squats.
Slow rowing is the best medicine for your knees

Knee Medicine

When it comes to rowing-as-medicine, it's essential to follow Dr. Phillip Maffetone's advice on warming up and cooling down: don't be chintzy. Put off power-tens for for at least twenty-minutes, allowing your body—especially you knees!—a goodly amount of time to warm up, including the your knee's synovial joint and all the supporting tendons and muscles.

And then, you can either keep on doing that slow warmup page or you can put a little oomph into it. For me, even the power sets are optional. When it comes to row medicine, it's all about frequency and duration and not intensity. Only start pulling hard when the spirit moves you.

I don't know why but my knees are not always my best friend. I have a standing desk and after a day of it, my knees can start barking. And, as reported in Current state of my health and fitness as of September, I jumped back into spin class too quickly and with both feet and suffered some sharp inner-knee pain after three weeks of sprints and hill climbs over at CYCLEBAR Columbia Pike.

So, my knees needed some love. Some TLC. And the only thing I know that can solve it is some sliding seat time in the saddle on my old reliable Model C. It worked! And it works!  So, I am going to do that some more. Maybe I should really do it every day. And so should you.

Slow rowing is something I learned from Concept2. Concept2 has these things called virtual challenges. Traditionally, there are two types of challenges: individual challenges and team challenges. Both team and individual challenges have only one goal: as many meters as possible rowed during the challenge. For example, the Fall Team Challenge is a team challenge that is taking place right now.

I am virtually rowing on my old Model C Concept2 Indoor Rower from now until October 15. And even though I am committed to slow rowing and keeping my heartrate within my Maffetone range, I plan to actually push myself a little some time between Sep 19, 2020 and Sep 27, 2020, for the Virtual Charlie Butt Scullers’ Head of the Potomac Regatta. 

Concept2 Model C Indoor Rowing Ergometer. Ignore the empty ice cream container on the floor!