Pain in the Butt

Jan 27, 2015

It's All About the Bass!

Concept2’s current seat design is the result of extensive testing and feedback. While this seat works for the majority of our customers, Concept2 recognizes that some of our customers may still have questions on seat fit.

My butt hurts on the indoor rower. Why is the seat uncomfortable?

While rowing, your butt bears a good part of your body weight, while also serving as a pivot point for the rowing stroke. Moreover, the muscles of the butt (gluteus maximus) have to work during the stroke, while also being sat upon. It's a tough situation!

The seat on the Concept2 Indoor Rower is designed both to support the rower’s weight and to allow healthy circulation. It is also designed to accommodate the diversity of our customers – from Olympic athlete to cardiac rehab patient, and every caliber of athlete in between. It works well for the majority of customers, but there will be some customers who find that the seat does not fit them as comfortably as they would like.

What about padding?

Concept2 does not offer a standard padded seat because too much padding can result in cramping and numbness due to a generalized broad distribution of pressure, which can cut off circulation. Concept2 created the current seat so that users can add padding options as needed.

With slight modifications, we believe the current design can work for all users. We sell a 3/8" foam seat pad for $3.50 which we recommend for rowers who find that the current seat focuses too much pressure on their bones.

What can I do to make the seat more comfortable?

  • Stretch! Make sure to warm up properly. For longer duration rows where you are not racing, it may help to get off the indoor rower and stretch every 20 minutes or so.
  • Check out our rowing technique videos. If you are leaning too far back at the finish of the stroke, you may be increasing pressure on your tailbone. Try sliding an inch or two forward or backward on the seat. Adjusting your position slightly during your workout can alleviate pressure on any one area.
  • Test rowing in different shorts. Rowing shorts vary in weights and styles; some shorts have double layers, chamois or padding for extra comfort.
  • Try adding or removing one or more seat pads. If the seat pad has removable holes for the butt bones, experiment with leaving or removing the holes in the pad to see which configuration works best for you. We offer a seat pad with removable holes in our online shop.
  • Adjust your Flexfoot. You should set the Flexfoot so that the strap crosses the ball of your foot. If your feet are too low, the backs of your thighs may rest harder against the front edge of the seat, which may cut off circulation to the seat area. If you are less flexible or a larger rower, you may need your feet a bit lower for comfort. If you row in socks, the Flexfoot should be set a bit higher than if you are wearing shoes. Visit our blog post on Shoe Choice for more additional information.
  • Here in the Concept2 workout room we will often use a sheet or two of bubble wrap (the packing material with small, air-filled bubbles) for our long marathon rows. Yes, they do tend to pop a bit as you row, but it takes a while for them to totally lose their air! This is an inexpensive solution that many of our customers find works.

We have other suggestions for Getting Comfortable on the Indoor Rower. We’re hoping these ideas keep you focused on your workout, not on unnecessary discomforts.

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