The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Prevent Knee Pain When Rowing

Rowing can be fun, and good functional exercise.

To prevent knee pain when rowing any craft or machine that uses foot bracing, foot wells, or other foot counter-force, do not push off the ball of the foot, pictured above.

Keep your heels down. Push off the whole foot, feeling the push-off through the heel. You will feel the more muscular strong push in the thigh and hip muscles, and the effort will shift off the knees. You will also get better stretch for the bottom of the foot, called the fascia.

Prevent knees from sagging or rotating inward.

Keep knees parallel and over the ankles.



The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower
kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Read and contribute your own success stories of these methods. Before asking questions, see if your answers are already here - click labels under posts, links in posts, archives at right, and the Fitness Fixer Index. For answers to personal medical questions - Replies to Medical Questions.
Subscribe to The Fitness Fixer, free. Click "updates via e-mail" (under trumpet) upper right.
See Dr. Bookspan's Books, take a Class, get certified
Drawing of heel-up rowing Backman!™ © copyright Dr. Jolie Bookspan
Photo of bad rowing knees by rileyroxx
Photo of good rowing knees by rileyroxx
  • 1
Was this article helpful? Yes No

About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.