Lower limb reaction force asymmetry in rowers with and without a history of back injury

Winko W. An, Vincy Wong, Tsz Hei Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Back injury is common in rowers. Asymmetrical lower limb reaction force on the foot stretchers during rowing may compromise trunk biomechanics and lead to back injury. However, such a mechanism remains putative. Therefore, this study examined lower limb reaction force in experienced rowers with and without a history of back injury. Six rowers who suffered from back injury for more than one week in the past year and another 19 rowers who were never injured performed maximal exertion rowing on a fixed-head rowing machine for 30 strokes. Peak force, average and peak loading rate of the lower limb reaction force during the middle 10-stroke were recorded using strain-gauge transducers placed at the foot stretchers. Asymmetries and intra-limb variability were quantified as asymmetry indices and coefficients of variation, respectively. No significant asymmetry was observed in all selected kinetic parameters between the injured and healthy rowers (p = 0.448–0.722, Hedges' g = 0.162–0.310). Subgroup analyses also did not reveal any significant kinetic differences between injured and healthy scullers or sweepers (p = 0.194–0.855, Hedges' g = 0.203–0.518). Rowers with a history of back injury, regardless of the rowing types, did not demonstrate greater lower limb reaction force asymmetry when compared with healthy rowers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-383
Number of pages9
JournalSports Biomechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015


  • Kinetics
  • low back pain
  • rowing
  • spine
  • symmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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