Been checking out the RipRow and am very interested. Almost ready to pull the trigger and buy one. I have one major concern and I’d really like your honest input.
I’ve had a history of low back issues (herniated L4/L5 and L5/S1 discs). I even had a bout of sciatica early this year. I’m 46, am quite fit, avid MTB’r. Live in Louisville, KY, so dealing with winter conditions, freeze/thaw, riding is very limited. I get workouts in 3-4 times a week consisting of spin bike and weight training.
Before my recent sciatic flareup, I was doing a lot of kettlebell swings, good form, and I guess my back finally gave. Not doing them any longer. My concern is how extreme the RipRow is with a history of low back issues?
Can it be used conservatively to still get a great workout that translates to the trail and be safe on the low back? Sorry for the long winded message, just trying to make an informed decision. Thanks for your time.
PS: really enjoy all your material you put out, videos, books (own a copy of Mastering MTB Skills), emails, etc
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I'm glad you reached out.
We see a lot of people with back issues feeling way better after consistent RipRowing.
- You can focus on form. In your case, that means bracing your core and treating your entire torso like a lever. You're not going to do 100-500 reps of kettlebell swings, but you can easily get that many reps in a RipRow workout.
- The practice translates directly to your riding. You'll want to alternate spinning (it's like climbing) with RipRowing (it's like descending).
- The resistance can be very easy or very hard, depending on how you adjust the damper and how fast you move. A lot of RipRowers do mobility work at very light resistance every day.
- The movements (especially the shred lift), open up your hips and hamstrings, which reduces stress on your lower back.
Start very easy. If you have pain or questions, seek qualified medical help. (I need to say that.)
You know I have a reason to sell you a RipRow, but I brought it to market because it really works. After experiencing some troubles, my lower back feels perfect, and my shoulders are better than they've been in years. As a bonus, I'm carrying more muscle and riding better than ever — and my wife thinks I'm hotter. (That last part might be made up.)
Let's get you on a machine while it's still winter!