Adaptive 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.
Postural support seats can be used by anyone who needs additional support when sliding or in a fixed position. Top tips: Put a cushion insert behind your back to more sit upright.
Monorail clamps with a velcro strap across the legs can be used to hold a standard seat into a fixed position, its an alternative to a flat based seat if a fixed flat seat is unavailable. Top tips: Make sure the clamps are tight so there is no movement.
Software Tools for those with a Visual ImpairmentErgChatter – PC software for the Concept2 rowing machine to announce performance data at regular intervals.  
ErgBuddy – App for the Concept2 rowing machine to allow information to be conveyed onto a larger screen such as an iPad.
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 :
Postural support seats can be used by anyone who needs additional support when sliding or in a fixed position.
Top tips: Put a cushion insert behind your back to more sit upright.
Adaptive indoor rowing equipment :
Monorail clamps with a velcro strap across the legs can be used to hold a standard seat into a fixed position, its an alternative to a flat based seat if a fixed flat seat is unavailable.
Top tips: Make sure the clamps are tight so there is no movement.
Adaptive indoor rowing equipment :
Software Tools for those with a Visual Impairment
ErgChatter – PC software for the Concept2 rowing machine to announce performance data at regular intervals.  
ErgBuddy – App for the Concept2 rowing machine to allow information to be conveyed onto a larger screen such as an iPad.

Do you want to know more about adaptive rowing equipment?

Take a look at the adaptive rowing equipment page and guidance document. If you want advice on how to set up an indoor rowing machine using adaptive equipment get in touch adaptive@britishrowing.org.

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.

Want to take your rowing to the next level?

Find out how to apply for Classification, which enables you to race at both indoor and on the water competitions, through the Applying for Classification document.

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 events. To compete in adaptive events you will need to be classified by British Rowing. Further information on this process is available 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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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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