Strengthening the core ...

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
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maurisimo
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Strengthening the core ...

Post by maurisimo » April 27th, 2020, 6:08 pm

I have a Concept II Model E, and used to row competitively in Nottingham, about 40 years ago. I am 64 years of age.
About 25 years ago I had serious sudden onset asthma, and since then have had no alternative but to take high doses of corticosteroids. These have considerably weakened my back, and last year after a long drive, have suffered from very painful sciatica.

What I would like to know, is if by using the Concept II, with a good back position, would that alone, be good enough to build up the core muscles sufficiently ?

I also have an elliptical cross trainer, and an exercise bike.
I am doing the traditional core exercises such as the plank, but would much prefer to be on the Concept II !!

Thanks for any advice.

Rich Simpson

Dangerscouse
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Re: Strengthening the core ...

Post by Dangerscouse » April 28th, 2020, 2:05 am

Welcome to the forum, and the answer is no.

It will to some small extent help your core muscles IF you have really good technique but it could also possibly damage your back if you have bad technique and a weak core / glutes. Are you doing squats and lunges etc as well? Weak glutes will be a big issue for a bad back.

If you set your drag low (I'd suggest circa 100) and keep the pace slow your technique should be easy enough to maintain but just take it slowly and see how you feel.
46 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:25; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

jamesg
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Re: Strengthening the core ...

Post by jamesg » April 28th, 2020, 4:17 am

In brief, the back can't be cured of anything, but rowing gets us fit and reasonably strong, which in turn helps keep back symptoms under control.

I recently found out that I've lost 5cm height (188 to 183cm) in the last 60 years, due to crushed discs in the spine. Doc said I have a "severe" condition and should be suffering from extreme pain of sciatic nerve origin, day and night. But I'm not, despite the occasional twinge promptly cured by coffee and a twist or two, looking over my shoulders. So he said, keep going.

Which I do: 5-6k most days, 120W, rate 20, drag 86. But we all differ to some extent, so have to play it by ear, always starting even slower.

So my suggestion is, keep fit. Being unfit won't help, and we've lots of bits and pieces that are best kept operative. The C2 erg is ideal, since we sit down while exercising, so effectively take a rest at the same time.
08-1940, 183cm, 87kg. Last seen MHR 162, in 2k (2020-05-16) 8.47.5@24

maurisimo
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Re: Strengthening the core ...

Post by maurisimo » April 29th, 2020, 8:06 am

Hi, and many thanks ...

Unfortunately after 25 yrs of high steroids, the muscles are very much shrunk and weakened. The glutes are almost not existent, and I have zero padding to be able to cycle, sit on hard surfaces etc ..

I think I do have good technique, and whereas once upon a time used to row with a slightly curved back, following a style at the time, I now use a much more upright technique, keeping the back straight and shoulders back ...

A couple of months ago I was put on a 4 week rehab course in northern Brittany, which involved indoor cycling, walking, and the use of their multi- gyms machines. It was on these that I really discovered my leg and upper body weakness. I ended the course the week before full lockdown, but nevertheless managed to pick up a barely used Weider PRO 2000 multi gym. This is now setup, and I use it 3-4 a week for leg extensions, shoulder pulls, flies and chest press etc. Many other possibilities also such as overhead twist pulls using the bar, which works the core ... As a result of this machine I am at last finding the muscles improving.

Squats and lunges are almost impossible. Leg muscles are too week to do more than a couple, and I have poor balance with leg & foot neuropathy, and my breathing is often not strong enough.

So getting the glutes & core bigger & stronger is a priority, that's for sure ...
I'm setting the C2 on about 3-4 and can manage up to about 30 mins without any problems, and the sciatica doesn't feel too bad with painkillers.

Cheers
Rich



Dangerscouse wrote:
April 28th, 2020, 2:05 am
Welcome to the forum, and the answer is no.

It will to some small extent help your core muscles IF you have really good technique but it could also possibly damage your back if you have bad technique and a weak core / glutes. Are you doing squats and lunges etc as well? Weak glutes will be a big issue for a bad back.

If you set your drag low (I'd suggest circa 100) and keep the pace slow your technique should be easy enough to maintain but just take it slowly and see how you feel.

Dangerscouse
Marathon Poster
Posts: 4540
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Strengthening the core ...

Post by Dangerscouse » April 29th, 2020, 10:02 am

maurisimo wrote:
April 29th, 2020, 8:06 am

Squats and lunges are almost impossible. Leg muscles are too week to do more than a couple, and I have poor balance with leg & foot neuropathy, and my breathing is often not strong enough.

So getting the glutes & core bigger & stronger is a priority, that's for sure ...
Ok mate, what you can do to start with, is to do assisted squats ie sitting down into a sofa or chair and then standing up without using your arms. If that's too hard, try lowering yourself down for a count of three and using your arms to stand up, so it's just the lowering phase to start with.

I'd also recommend doing bridges as these will work your glutes without as much weight to worry about. As they are just static holds you can lengthen the time of the reps as you improve.

If you can, try and get some good quality resistance bands as these will also help with hamstrings as you can do resisted one legged deadlifts.
46 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:25; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

maurisimo
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Joined: October 26th, 2015, 3:57 am
Location: Pont Aven, France

Re: Strengthening the core ...

Post by maurisimo » April 29th, 2020, 7:14 pm

OK thanks, I'll give those a go ...
As one of the tests at the end of the rehab course, I was asked to stand up from a chair as many times I could ..
I managed 12, then the legs were totally gone. Took a week for the pain to go ...

By balancing with a chair I found I could do the lunge & squats without too much of a problem, so I'll press on with those too ..
Bridge is very useful too ...


Ok mate, what you can do to start with, is to do assisted squats ie sitting down into a sofa or chair and then standing up without using your arms. If that's too hard, try lowering yourself down for a count of three and using your arms to stand up, so it's just the lowering phase to start with.

I'd also recommend doing bridges as these will work your glutes without as much weight to worry about. As they are just static holds you can lengthen the time of the reps as you improve.

If you can, try and get some good quality resistance bands as these will also help with hamstrings as you can do resisted one legged deadlifts.
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