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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-12-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
Brendan McNamar
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C2 Rowing & shin/lower leg pain?

I was wondering if anyone has experience with this. I have a client who dreads rowing because her shins hurt when she does it.

While I have experienced much discomfort during hard rows, it never has anything to do with my shins.

Any light that you could shed on this issue would be very helpful. I'm at a lose as to what to recommend.

The client is a strong CrossFitter who has had a lot of success CrossFitting.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
Lee A Koboroff
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Re: C2 Rowing & shin/lower leg pain?

You'll need to identify the exact region where the pain is.

Going from you have said so far - it sounds a bit like when I used to get pain in the shins while running. I had developed a pretty bad case of compartment syndrome in my tibialis (the muscle on the front/outer part of the lower leg. Basically, each time I ran - the muscle would swell inside the sheath and I would experience a burning pain followed by numbness in the lower leg. For your client - it is probably the part of the row, when she pulls herself forward using her legs.

If this sounds similar - I pretty much fixed it with heat/stretching and extremely deep tissue massage... It did take a bit of time though.

Hope this helps
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:12 PM   #3
Jason Peacock
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Re: C2 Rowing & shin/lower leg pain?

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when she pulls herself forward using her legs.
This is a good insight. Have the client practice rowing w/her feet out of the straps. Not only will this reinforce good technique anyway, it'll prevent her from pulling herself back up the slide with her toes, which would definitely be causing extra work/stress on her shin muscles.

It should be your heels that are attached, and it's less of "pulling yourself forward" and more of "folding yourself up" to get back to the catch.

It'd be interesting to hear if there's a difference from trying this.
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:05 PM   #4
Brendan McNamar
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Re: C2 Rowing & shin/lower leg pain?

Interesting. That would also imply changing foot position in the straps might help as well. Going to a lower number foot setting would reduce the pull with the toes and front of the foot.

We will experiment some with this.

To the best of my knowledge she doesn't have any issues running. She is pretty fast. So I suspect it is not inflammation of shin muscles. Seems to be discomfort while rowing that doesn't last past the rowing effort.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:45 AM   #5
Lee A Koboroff
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Re: C2 Rowing & shin/lower leg pain?

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
Interesting. That would also imply changing foot position in the straps might help as well. Going to a lower number foot setting would reduce the pull with the toes and front of the foot.
Thanks for jogging my memory - I do this automatically now to reduce pulling with the toes, I should have mentioned it before....
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:26 PM   #6
Damon Stewart
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Re: C2 Rowing & shin/lower leg pain?

I had some posterior tibialis inflammation when I first started hitting the Airdyne hard. First and foremost I'd have her row with her feet out of the straps and see if that helps. Most good rowers can pull a decent pace (I can pull sub 1:40) with feet out due to good technique. If that fixes it then you know the problem is dorsiflexion on the catch and can coach accordingly.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
Andrew Milligan
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Re: C2 Rowing & shin/lower leg pain?

It could also be a flexibility issue. I rowed through high school and college, and I was always sore the first few weeks after the summer off. I found that after a few weeks I would gain that flexibility back.

Having her row with her feet not strapped in is a good suggestion too.
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