Although an authoritative panel recommended the use of ergometer rowing as a non-weight-bearing form of exercise for obese adults, the biomechanical characterization of ergometer rowing is strikingly absent. We examined the interaction between body mass index (BMI) relative to the lower extremity biomechanics during rowing in 10 normal weight (BMI 18–25), 10 overweight (BMI 25–30 kg·m−2), and 10 obese (BMI > 30 kg·m−2) participants. The results showed that BMI affects joint kinematics and primarily knee joint kinetics. The data revealed that high BMI leads to unfavorable knee joint torques, implying increased loads of the medial compartment in the knee joint that could be avoided by allowing more variable foot positioning on future designs of rowing ergometers.
Karen Roemer (Corresponding Author) is with the Department of Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA. Tibor Hortobagyi is with the Center for Human Movement Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands. Chris Richter is with CLARITY: Centre for Sensor Web Technologies, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. Yolanda Munoz-Maldonado is with the Research Institute, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI. Stephanie Hamilton is with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI.