He grew up in Witten, where in 1975 he graduated from high school. Since 1989 he is a research associate at the Institute of Sport and Sport Science at the Technical University of Dortmund. He is also involved in the training science supporting the German rowing team.
Volker Grabow gained 13 German league titles in two, four and eight. His greatest successes represent two world titles: 1983 and 1985 in the coxless four along with Norbert Kesslau, Jörg Guido Puttlitz and Grabow; in the same occupation they were in 1984 and fourth at the World Cup 1986 second at the Olympic Games. At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul / South Korea, he won a bronze medal in the quad.