Rowing Machine vs Elliptical vs Treadmill

By Chuck | Elliptical Trainers

rower vs elliptical vs treadmill is difficult to choose

What is the best option out of a rowing machine vs elliptical vs treadmill? This is a question we have been getting a lot in recent times.

Before we start giving an answer, we’d like to say congratulations on the quest to seek information about the smartest exercise machine for your fitness needs.

In fact, this is the first step towards achieving your dream body and health.

While most people seek to compare only two machines at a time, you are interested in comparing 3 of the best options out there.

This essentially means that you have done tremendous research and looking to put any lingering doubts to bed once and for all.

Hopefully, your most burning questions will be answered to satisfaction within the next few minutes so you can go ahead to order your dream fitness equipment.

It’s no secret that rowing machines, elliptical trainers, and treadmills are some of the most important pieces of equipment for fitness enthusiasts. Therefore, a deep analysis of what each has to offer is the only way to choose smartly.

Let’s dive right into them.

Rowing Machine vs Elliptical vs Treadmill : Cardio

woman on an indoor rower

Each of the 3 machines under consideration can be the perfect partner for boosting your stamina and total cardiovascular health.

The treadmill offers significant benefits for your lower body areas, which is great for your heart health. However, workouts can be one-sided, resulting in boredom over a long period of time.

Elliptical machines can take your cardio threshold to the next level. While commercial style models are quite expensive, you can find decent options for under $200.

You should find a decent model that gives extremely challenging workouts.

Each model comes with multiple built-in levels of resistance, ensuring that you can improve your stamina over time.

Indoor rowers also allow you to vary the resistance levels of workouts, ensuring improved stamina levels for a 5-star cardiovascular health. At the same level of intensity, indoor rowing workouts seem more difficult than treadmills and elliptical trainers.

Winner: Rowing Machines

Calories: Rowing Machine vs Elliptical vs Treadmill

treadmill vs elliptical

This is probably one of the main areas you are interested in as weight loss is usually one of the main goals that fuel many of us to jump onto the fitness bandwagon.

Elliptical trainers are a great way to burn calories, which is the first step towards getting rid of excess body fat. In fact, these machines can help you burn hundreds of calories per session and this is why they have become so popular.

Rowing workouts at home or in the gym can also empower your body to burn excess calories with each stroke. They workout your lower and upper bodies at the same time, helping you to stay lean and fit.

Treadmill sessions typically focus on the lower body areas and can be powerful in helping you burn calories. In fact, if you are only interested in the calorie figures, research has shown that running on a treadmill at steep incline is the best option.

However, if you want overall weight loss, an indoor rower just can’t be beat. It doesn’t just improve your cardio, you get to build more muscle to replace fat.

Even multiple hours after a rowing workout has ended, research has shown that your metabolism rate remains extremely high, ensuring that your body burns more fat and stays healthier.

Winner: Treadmills for Calories Only and Rowers for Overall Weight Loss

Overall Body Workout: Rowing Machine vs Elliptical vs Treadmill

Treadmills are great pieces of equipment for giving your body some much needed physical action. They give you the freedom to run as quick as you can with a natural motion that mimics running on a trail or track.

Exercising on a treadmill is one of the best ways to tone leg muscles such as quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Elliptical trainers on the other hand can be relied upon to effectively pedal your lower body muscles to impressive levels of fitness. Most machines also require you to hold the handle bars and make simultaneous movements as you continue to pedal.

This gives a great impact on not just the lower body muscles but the upper areas as well. From the arms to shoulders and back, elliptical machines allow you to generate the required level of power needed to keep them strong and healthy.

However, rowing machines have redefined the definition of full body workouts. Every rowing session works on majority of the core muscles available in the body, as long as the right technique and posture is adapted.

The pushing off empowers the leg muscles to stay strong while the “pulling” involved in each stroke puts your abs, back, arms, and shoulders to the test.

If you’re serious about working on every area of your body at once, it doesn’t come better than a rower.

Winner: Rowing Machine

Stress on the Body

lady setting up the Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine

Which of these 3 machines are less harmful to your body? Well, fitness equipment manufacturers are continuously refining their technologies to minimize the impact of each machine on the body.

However, more success has been attained in some types of fitness equipment than the others.

Treadmills allow users to run at a pre-set pace in order to burn calories and shed some body fat. While most people achieve great results, the truth is running always bears weight on the body whether it is indoors or outdoors.

Every step achieved during running requires the individual to pull 5-8 times their body weight. This ends up being just too much for the joints, knees, ankles, and hips, leading to considerable levels of soreness.

If you have always been a couch potato, your muscles have probably been weakened from the years of lack of exercise. Jumping straight into running on treadmill can increase your risk of serious injuries.

Fortunately, indoor rowers require users to be seated, which effectively eliminate the need to work against gravity.

Each stroke is therefore less stressful on the joints and you can work out multiple times per week without serious aggravation of the knees, ankles, hips, and thighs.

However, rowing can still lead to some pain in the joints and other areas, especially if you are suffering from chronic arthritis.

Finally, Elliptical machines require pedaling your legs while holding the handlebars to make simultaneous upper and lower body movements. They usually come with footstraps that protect your feet during the most intense sessions.

The built-in handlebars are usually padded to keep your hands comfortable even during long exercise regimens.

Elliptical machines offer the least impact on your joints and are therefore recommended for senior citizens and those with chronic joint pain.

Winner: Elliptical

Conclusion

The rowing machine vs elliptical vs treadmill debate has finally been answered and rowers seem to be the best by a mile.

However, keep in mind that owning a rowing machine won’t automatically get you fit. You will actually have to use it consistently and with good intensity in order to gain all of the stated benefits.

If you find rowers too difficult to use, it will be better to opt for an elliptical or even a treadmill than to splash out one of the best indoor rower models only for it to gather dust and remain unused in your home gym.


About the Author

Chuck is a lazy fitness enthusiast committed to sharing the latest tips and comprehensive gear reviews to help you work out smart instead of hard.

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