Adaptive Indoor Rowing

Adaptive Rowing is for anyone who has a physical, sensory or learning impairment, or other movement challenges, temporary or long-term.

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Adaptive indoor rowing is possible using specially designed equipment, an adapted rowing stroke or different methods of communication.

When it comes to equipment, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, however there are a range of seating systems, additional tools and technologies available to suit different requirements.

Adaptive indoor rowing equipment
A fixed flat seat can be used for those who have full trunk and arm function but are unable to use a sliding seat. Top tip for using a fixed flat seat: If you have the ability to use your legs then keep a bend in the knee to reduce tension in the hamstrings.
An upright fixed seat can be used for those who have no or limited trunk control. Top tips for using an upright fixed seat: Ensure the chest strap is secure and not too tight or too lose, to allow movement when breathing. Adjust the backrest to an angle that suits you.
A rotating exercise handle could be used by someone who only has use of one arm but can row with the legs or without legs. Top tips: Try not to rotate too early in the drive to keep a linear movement.
A general purpose gripping aid can be used by anyone with poor grip or using a rotating exercise handle. Top tips: Make sure that the gripping aid is secure enough to not allow your grip to change.
Software Tools for those with a Visual ImpairmentErgData – provides additional performance statistics and offers enhanced visibility of a backlit display.  
Boatcoach – an equivalent app for android users.
Adaptive indoor rowing equipment :
A fixed flat seat can be used for those who have full trunk and arm function but are unable to use a sliding seat.
Top tip for using a fixed flat seat: If you have the ability to use your legs then keep a bend in the knee to reduce tension in the hamstrings.
Adaptive indoor rowing equipment :
An upright fixed seat can be used for those who have no or limited trunk control.
Top tips for using an upright fixed seat: Ensure the chest strap is secure and not too tight or too lose, to allow movement when breathing. Adjust the backrest to an angle that suits you.
Adaptive indoor rowing equipment :
A rotating exercise handle could be used by someone who only has use of one arm but can row with the legs or without legs.
Top tips: Try not to rotate too early in the drive to keep a linear movement.
Adaptive indoor rowing equipment :
A general purpose gripping aid can be used by anyone with poor grip or using a rotating exercise handle.
Top tips: Make sure that the gripping aid is secure enough to not allow your grip to change.
Adaptive indoor rowing equipment :
Software Tools for those with a Visual Impairment
ErgData – provides additional performance statistics and offers enhanced visibility of a backlit display.  
Boatcoach – an equivalent app for android users.

How to start indoor rowing?

If you’re new to indoor rowing or are returning to rowing, follow this eight week training plan. Then checkout our 20 minute Go Row Indoor workout videos on the British Rowing YouTube channel, exercise adaptations can be found in the video description. If you want advice on how to set up an indoor rowing machine using adaptive equipment email [email protected].

Want to take your rowing to the next level?

If you would like to progress from indoor to on-water rowing, take a look at this adaptive rowing equipment page and guidance document detailing other adaptive equipment available, and find out more information here.

Adaptive Rowing Competitions

Indoor rowing competitions take place across the country every year, culminating in the British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC) in December. These events are open to all, with many having specific adaptive races, and some requiring classification either in advance or on the day.

To compete in on-water adaptive events you will need to be classified by British Rowing. Further information on this process can be found here.

Why Go Row Indoor?

There are many great reasons to Go Row Indoor

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Anyone can do it, it is great for core strength, efficient for fat burning and easy to learn and access.

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Ready to race?

There are lots of opportunities to compete.

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From app challenges, to our annual British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC) and much more.

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