Are 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows dangerous? Do they cause hernias? Most people assume they're harmless. Most lifters do them. Most strength coaches program them. But what if we ask a doctor of physiotherapy?
Jason Eure, DPT: “Umbilical hernias aren’t often caused by mechanical stresses like that. And if he meant a sports hernia, then…. still no. Injuries like that happen when there is excessive stress to the soft tissue structures that attach to the pelvis/pubis. You could make an argument about the stress on the area during these movements, but realistically this is not a way anyone is going to have a problem. Sure if someone is very deconditioned to tolerate anti-rotational stressors… and they also are adding a lot of body english to get the weight up… maybe? But for anyone with reasonable programming and building up to these movements. Not gonna happen."
What DOES cause (sports) hernias?
Jason: “You’re mostly looking at things that will significantly stress the adductor insertions and soft tissue around the pelvis/pubis. Think high-velocity or high-volume movements in the frontal plane. You see this often in the hockey population or other field sports with athletes who haven’t conditioned well to the stresses of the sport acutely."
Assuming we’re training reasonably well, can exercises that stress the groin (such as a dumbbell row) help condition us to those stresses, REDUCING our risk of injury?
Jason: “Yep! I’m always encouraging people to expose themselves to stress in an intelligent way to help improve general resiliency.”
So it seems that stressing the groin, in an intelligent way, during your workouts is actually a wise thing to do, ESPECIALLY if you're interested in sports, where there's a higher risk of running into issues.
Alright, I think that's everything.
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