avoiding post workout neck and shoulder tension

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
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kayakr
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avoiding post workout neck and shoulder tension

Post by kayakr » January 25th, 2013, 8:55 am

Sometimes 6-24 hours after longer steady state rows (30 min plus) my neck and shoulders will flare up with some heavy tension. I suspect this is due to the recovery, holding arms out level. I have a tech/desk job which probably contributes due to laptoping stresses. And a travel schedule which probably contributes due to training interruptions. Intervals with periodic rest periods where you can walk around and look around side to side seem to be less of a problem. I have been working on form such as looking side to side, up/down, relaxing my shoulders down and avoid slouching. Vitamin-I seems to help when I'm hit by this. I'm wondering if anyone has had success with other specific tactics such as stretching, technique or strengthening to prevent this? Shrugs only make things worse if I'm not careful.

Bisballej
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Re: avoiding post workout neck and shoulder tension

Post by Bisballej » January 25th, 2013, 11:16 am

After the Olympics challenge 2012 on concept2, I ramped up my meters quite a bit. My experience in dealing with the added muscle stress may be person specific. However, let me give input on it:

Yoga type exercises has helped me build up to about 120k/week - some weeks 150+. You can find all kinds of exercises online. I would recommend a few, but not in an open fora. Email for more input, as it should not be construed as an advertising fora here.
JB

jamesg
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Re: avoiding post workout neck and shoulder tension

Post by jamesg » January 25th, 2013, 12:42 pm

A few things come to mind immediately, and no doubt others' experience can add plenty more:

On the erg, keep the rating low so that the inertial forces in your neck (needed to move your head fore and aft) are small. The only time the erg gave me neck-ache was a 500m done at rating 36+, full length.
Relax arms and shoulders completely during the recovery, the erg, like a boat, is rigged (chain tension) to keep our hands above our legs with no force at all, on condition that we get hands away and swing forward before lifting the knees.
Back straight and head up, i.e no slouch, especially at the finish.

At the desk, the standard notes are: have a close look at all details of your posture, keyboard position, seat angles and heights, distance apart of feet and so on. The mouse is a killer in particular; I've never and don't want to use touch screens, but my guess is they bite even worse than mice. Move around at least once an hour.
08-1940, 183cm, 84kg. Last seen MHR 155, in 2k (2020-12-03) 8.47.6@23

Bob S.
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Re: avoiding post workout neck and shoulder tension

Post by Bob S. » January 25th, 2013, 1:00 pm

jamesg wrote:The mouse is a killer in particular.
My experience exactly. When I read the first post, my first thought was that it sounded like the problem that I have had with playing solitaire for too long a time on my desktop. It is all done with a mouse and there was no question that the problem was due to anything else.

Bob S.

kennyhassman
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Re: avoiding post workout neck and shoulder tension

Post by kennyhassman » January 25th, 2013, 5:11 pm

kayakr wrote:Sometimes 6-24 hours after longer steady state rows (30 min plus) my neck and shoulders will flare up with some heavy tension. I suspect this is due to the recovery, holding arms out level. I have a tech/desk job which probably contributes due to laptoping stresses. And a travel schedule which probably contributes due to training interruptions. Intervals with periodic rest periods where you can walk around and look around side to side seem to be less of a problem. I have been working on form such as looking side to side, up/down, relaxing my shoulders down and avoid slouching. Vitamin-I seems to help when I'm hit by this. I'm wondering if anyone has had success with other specific tactics such as stretching, technique or strengthening to prevent this? Shrugs only make things worse if I'm not careful.

Wow, thanks for bringing this up! I'm a new C2 rower, about a month, and sometimes my neck is really stiff much later in the day after rowing, and I have had no idea what it was from-I did not associate it with rowing!

Ken

Bob S.
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Re: avoiding post workout neck and shoulder tension

Post by Bob S. » January 25th, 2013, 6:54 pm

Beginning rowers often have their neck and shoulder muscles tensed up (like doing shrugs) while rowing and this would certainly contribute to that sort of problem. I have seen this on the water and have no doubt but that it happens on the erg as well. Think about relaxing, especially during the recovery. I don't believe that it is due to holding the arms up on the recovery. I think that it is the unnecessary tensing of muscles that are not really used for the rowing stroke. This is just my own speculation. It is just that I remember quite vividly seeing the tension in the necks and shoulders of rowers in front of me and thinking at the time that it was going to cause pain later. I did warn a couple of beginners about seeing that, but I didn't get any later feedback on the matter.

Bob S.

kayakr
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Re: avoiding post workout neck and shoulder tension

Post by kayakr » January 26th, 2013, 7:11 am

Thanks for the tips and inputs. I'm familiar with yoga but currently not practicing. I can see how that would help. I am not using the "rigging" of the chain tension to support my arms, since that does imply some drop in the hand level. e.g. catenary curve versus pure horizontal. I have been using a pure horizontal recovery. I will try dropping the hands a bit after extension and running them in a slighty drooping path over my legs. I see this technique in the C2 videos. The SPM comment is interesting, as I am currently running higher SPM (25) than normal since I went a bit too low (16) with some slightly poor form (reaching) and pulled some muscles/ribs. I'm not shrugging much as I'm aware of how rapidly that can cause a problem.

Yes mousing is a killer. I'm constantly massaging my wife's back because she mouses herself into real trouble all the time.

kayakr
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Re: avoiding post workout neck and shoulder tension

Post by kayakr » January 28th, 2013, 8:13 am

Using more chain tension on the recovery does seem to help. See demo


I've also been working on the neck/shoulder stretches shown here.
http://www.sportsphysicaltherapy.com/me ... %20fx3.pdf

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