Rowing is a great way to stay fit and healthy. It is an excellent cardio workout that helps to increase strength, endurance, and overall fitness. But what about if you have arthritis? Does rowing still offer benefits or could it be harmful? In this article, we take a closer look at the question “Is rowing good for arthritis?”

The Benefits of Rowing

Before we address the question of whether rowing is good for arthritis or not, it’s important to recognize the benefits of rowing for overall health. Rowing is a full-body workout that can help build strength and increase endurance. It is also low-impact, which means it is less jarring on the joints than other forms of exercise, such as running.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a joint disorder that causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints. There are different types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

How Does Rowing Affect Arthritis?

One of the concerns of people with arthritis is that exercise might exacerbate their symptoms. However, studies have shown that exercise can actually help relieve the symptoms of arthritis. This is because exercise can help improve joint mobility and flexibility, reduce pain and inflammation, and increase muscle strength, which in turn reduces the stress on the joints.

Research on Rowing and Arthritis

A study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh found that rowing can be a beneficial exercise for people with arthritis. The study involved 24 women with knee osteoarthritis who participated in a 12-week rowing program. The results showed that the women experienced a significant decrease in pain and an increase in joint function and muscle strength.

Precautions for Rowing with Arthritis

While rowing can be a beneficial exercise for people with arthritis, there are some precautions to take to avoid exacerbating symptoms. Firstly, it’s essential to warm up before beginning any exercise. This can include stretching, light cardio, or even rowing at a slower pace for a few minutes. It’s also important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workout as your body adapts.


So, is rowing good for arthritis? The answer is yes, as long as it’s done correctly and with the necessary precautions. Rowing can offer many benefits for people with arthritis, including improved joint mobility, reduced pain and inflammation, and increased muscle strength. As always, it’s crucial to consult with a medical professional before beginning any exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.


Reference Link
University of Pittsburgh study