If you’re looking for a way to get in shape, two options can help you achieve this goal—rowing and running. Both of these activities require different types of equipment, but they also have their benefits.
Rowing is excellent if you want to build muscle mass while burning fat simultaneously; however, it doesn’t offer as much cardio benefit as running does.
On the other hand, running offers plenty of cardio benefits, but it isn’t nearly as efficient as rowing at helping you build muscle. Here we compare the pros and cons of each option so you can choose the most suitable method for yourself.
What Are Some Benefits Of Rowing vs Running?
There are several advantages associated with rowing exercises. Here are some of them:
Table of Contents
- It Is Easy To Do
- It Can Be Done Anywhere
- It Doesn’t Require Much Equipment.
- It Helps Build Strength And Endurance
- It Improves Cardiovascular Health
- It Promotes Weight Loss
- It Increases Flexibility
- It Reduces Stress Levels
- Limited Variety
- Not Suitable For Everyone
- Can Be Difficult To Maintain Over Time
- Requires A Lot Of Strength And Stamina
- May Require Repairs After Heavy Usage
- Must Be Kept Clean
- Harder Than Running
- Less Effective At Building Muscles
- More Complicated Than Running
- Takes Longer To Learn How To Do Properly
- Doesn’t Work Out Your Legs
- Needs Constant Maintenance
It Is Easy To Do
Unlike jogging, cycling, swimming etc., rowing requires very little space. You won’t need to invest in costly machines or hire personal trainers. Furthermore, all you will require is a flat surface where you can set your rower.
It Can Be Done Anywhere
Since rowing is done indoors, you don’t have to worry about inclement weather conditions. It is possible to perform this exercise anywhere, provided you have access to water.
It Doesn’t Require Much Equipment.
While running or biking may require expensive treadmills or bicycles respectively, rowing doesn’t need anything but a pair of oars.
It Helps Build Strength And Endurance
One of the best things about rowing is its ability to build strength and endurance. The constant movement involved during the workout stimulates muscle growth and boosts metabolism.
Furthermore, since rowing engages almost every major muscle group, it ensures that you get an overall well-rounded workout.
It Improves Cardiovascular Health
Rowing has been proven to improve heart rate variability, which reduces risk factors like hypertension and diabetes, among others.
It Promotes Weight Loss
According to studies carried out on obese individuals, rowing increased resting metabolic rate and decreased fat mass, among others.
It Increases Flexibility
If you want to stay fit and healthy, stretching is one of the first steps you must take. Since rowing works nearly every part of your body, it helps stretch out tight areas and promote flexibility.
It Reduces Stress Levels
Stress plays a huge role when it comes to weight gain. When we feel stressed, our bodies release cortisol which leads to increased appetite and decreased energy.
However, by engaging in regular rowing sessions, you’ll notice how much calorific intake decreases and how quickly you recover after each workout.
Compared to some other popular fitness tools, rowing machines cost relatively cheap.
Cons Of Rowing Machines
There are only so many exercises you can do using a rowing machine alone.
Not Suitable For Everyone
Some individuals might experience discomfort when working out due to injuries or existing medical conditions.
Can Be Difficult To Maintain Over Time
Since rowing requires constant maintenance (i.e. replacing worn parts), it won’t last long over time.
Requires A Lot Of Strength And Stamina
It takes strength and stamina to perform well in a rowing exercise program.
May Require Repairs After Heavy Usage
Like any machinery, rowing machines tend to wear down after heavy usage.
Must Be Kept Clean
Regular cleaning is required to ensure proper performance.
Harder Than Running
When compared to running, rowing provides fewer cardiovascular benefits.
Less Effective At Building Muscles
Though rowing works for all major muscle groups, it doesn’t provide as much resistance training as running.
More Complicated Than Running
Rowing requires a lot of coordination and skill to master.
Takes Longer To Learn How To Do Properly
Learning how to row properly isn’t easy.
Doesn’t Work Out Your Legs
Rowing primarily targets your arms and shoulders.
Needs Constant Maintenance
Even though they require minimal upkeep, rowing machines must be maintained regularly to perform at their best.
Can You Substitute Rowing For Running?
Yes, but only if you are looking at rowing as a substitute for cardio exercise. If you want to use rowing as part of a weight loss program, then yes, you may do so. However, there are better options than using rowing as a replacement for cardio.
If you have been thinking about getting fit by joining a gym, consider taking up rowing instead. It has similar benefits to running, except that it does not require any special equipment. This means that you don’t need to spend money buying expensive shoes or paying membership fees. Instead, you will need to purchase a pair of oars and get yourself ready to go!
If you already own a treadmill, then you could easily convert it into a rowing machine. All you would need to do is remove the belt and replace it with two wooden handles attached.
The handles should be placed parallel to each other and approximately 12 inches apart. Then, attach an adjustable pulley system to one end of the handlebar. Finally, put some weights on top of the pulleys to ensure that the handles stay still during the workout.
You can also buy a stationary bike that comes equipped with a rowing function. These bikes usually cost less than $100 and come with a wide range of features, including heart rate monitors. They allow users to adjust the intensity level according to their fitness goals.
Rowing is a great way to burn calories without having to worry about spending too much money. With just a few simple pieces of equipment, you can start burning fat today.
How Does Rowing Help Burn Fat?
The main reason people choose to take up rowing is that it helps burn more calories than most other workouts. According to research conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, rowing burns around 300-400 extra calories per hour compared to walking.
This number increases even further depending upon the type of boat used in the activity. A typical racing shell weighs between 50 – 100 pounds, while a lightweight model might weigh no more than 25 lbs. As such, these boats offer a significant amount of resistance against the user’s body movements.
When combined with the fact that rowing involves both upper and lower body muscles, it becomes easier to understand why it offers such high-calorie burn rates. In addition to being effective at burning calories, rowing is also considered a low-impact cardiovascular exercise.
As mentioned earlier, rowing doesn’t involve any heavy lifting or jumping motions. Therefore, it allows users to maintain good posture throughout the entire session. This makes it ideal for those who suffer from back problems.
In short, rowing provides many health benefits. Not only does it help reduce stress levels, but it also improves blood circulation and strengthens bones, among others.
However, if you are looking for something different, there are plenty of reasons as to why you should try out this unique form of cardio training.
Should You Get a Treadmill or a Rowing Machine for Your Home Fitness Needs?
The best way to get fit at home is with an exercise machine. But which one should you buy: a treadmill or a rower? The answer depends mainly on what kind of workout you want to do. If you’re looking for something low-impact, then a treadmill might be better than a rowing machine because it doesn’t put as much stress on your knees and ankles.
On the other hand, if you prefer high-intensity workouts, then a rowing machine would probably suit you better. So, before making any purchase, make sure you know exactly what type of workout you want to engage in.