Generic, low-grade, muscular pain in the low back is common in rowing. While low back pain can be indicative of an injury and should always be checked out by a qualified medical professional, especially if it is sharp, very painful, or very persistent, there is a lot of low-grade muscular pain that can be avoided if the athlete is willing to put in some extra work. Self-care is a necessary part of an athlete’s life. Just like you pay attention to your nutrition, sleep, and hydration, take 10-15 minutes a day to stretch and foam roll for dedicated muscular care to help minimize and prevent these little aches and low-grade pains.

9 times out of 10, when one of my rowers says, “coach, my back hurts,” a few sessions of this stretching sequence plus some general foam rolling of the lower body has them right before their next workout. Even with these stretches, it is crucial to address WHY you are experiencing low back pain, whether it’s a muscular weakness or a technical deficiency, but these stretches should get you up and moving in the meantime. This is also a great 10-minute mobility series during heavy training times and as general prevention of low back pain in rowing.

Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds. Breathe deeply and try to sink deeper into the stretch with each exhalation.

  1. Pigeon Stretch & Elevated Pigeon
  2. Half-kneeling lunge stretch, 3-way hip opener, lunge with band distraction
  3. Banded figure-4 (link here to orange band)
  4. QL stretch

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