Rowing as a substitute while injured | 80/20 Endurance

Rowing as a substitute while injured

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    So I’ve injured my leg. I haven’t had it fully evaluated yet, but it feels like its going to be a lengthy healing and recovery period, particularly at my advanced age. I’ve decided to purchase a rower and row my current 80/20 plan to try to maintain some conditioning. Is this a recommended approach or is there a better way to “get it in” while injured? I also weight train 4 times a week.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    That’s a good approach. You would retain somewhat more of your running fitness if you cross-trained in a modality that’s more similar to running, such as cycling, but that assumes your injury doesn’t prevent you from doing so.


    One side benefit I have learned from Matt’s books is that cross-training an injury has both a short term and long term benefit. The short term is obvious: you’re continuing to be able to maintain some level of fitness while your injury heals.

    But the long term is that you’ve just added another arrow to your quiver, a new activity that can sub in the future for an injury, or just a way to add volume safely by cross training. I’ve never been able to catch the bug with regard to rowing myself, but I’ve learned to enjoy cycling, uphill treadmill walking, and the Elliptigo all through introducing them as cross training rehab for injuries from running.


    Thanks Matt. I’ll look into cycling also.


    Great points Brian. I’m not 100% sure I’ll take to rowing either. I’m going to give it a shot to see what the appeal is and will look into cycling also.

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