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Tired lower back plus leaning in turns?

Tired lower back plus leaning in turns?

 Hey Lee,

I've done a several "big" workouts on the RipRow™ now. They usual consist of 60-90 minutes of Trainer / Rip Row — swapping 5 minutes on trainer at Threshold, then 5 minutes on Rip Row, set to 3, wash, rince, repeat. Usually 10 minutes of warm up and cool down as well.  When I do these bigger sessions I find that my lower back is pretty tight and a little sore the next day. Not to the point that I can't function. Really just feels like I spent 4-5 hours moutainbiking the day before. I'm wondering if this is normal, or the result of bad form, or just my back trying to make up for a weak core?

The second question is with the cornering rows. I don't feel very coordinated when I do these, and they feel super awkward. I guess my biggest question is, are you leaning the RipRow™ with your upper body? I think part of my is wanting to try and weight my outside foot, which makes the machine rock in the opposite direction of the actual corner, which makes the balancing feel awkward. Curious to hear your thoughts on it.

Thanks for making an awesome machine! It's great to be able to do an indoor workout that makes me feel like I've had a big day on my mountain bike when mixed with the road bike trainer.

Really looking forward to having the trails dry out, so I can see how the bike feels after RipRowing. I haven't ridden on dirt since I got back from New Zealand! :(


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I'm glad you love your RipRow™. I love mine too. 

That is a serious workout! Killer. Keep it up.

Lower back getting tired

1. If 30-45 minutes of RipRowing feels like 4-5 hours of mountain biking, good. RipRowing is way harder, minute for minute, than real riding. That's because on the bike your momentum and the trail do a lot of the work. On the RIpRow™, you have to generate all the forces internally. It's great practice.

2. You're doing gnarly workout. Some fatigue is expected. That said:

3. If your lower back hurts, something it wrong. 

A. We can all have stronger cores.

B. A strong core is useless if you don't engage it. Whenever you RIpRow, focus on the best core engagement you can. 

C. I'll bet you a nickel you're coming out of your hinge. When you're in a perfect hinge with a horizontal torso, the forces travel along your spine, and there's no stress on your lower back. Then you drop your butt and/or raise your shoulders (everyone does this when tired), you increase the leverage against your lower back. So: when you RIpRow and ride downhill, keep the best hinge you can.

This requires mega hella core strength and engagement. See 3A and 3B.

Here's a perfect hinge. It's impossible to keep it perfect all the time, but do your best.

Leaning the RipRow™ in turns

When you corner a RipRow™, you're not only surviving the turn: You're pumping it to generate both traction and propulsion, like this: 


This type of cornering is done with level feet. When you corner on the RipRow™, lean the deck in the direction you're turning, with your weight driving through both feet.

The leaning force comes from your upper body rotating the bars to the side and your lower body allowing the lean to happen —while you rotate your hips and torso into the corner, and while your row and anti-row. It takes a ton of coordination. But it's rad, and it's a great workout, and it helps you SHRED your bike. 

I hope that helps,




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