Rowing Machine vs. Exercise Bike: Which is Better? (2023)

We've all probably at some point performed an exercise routine that involved a rowing machine or stationary bike. If you're looking to purchase one of these machines to incorporate into your exercise program, it's good to know what each piece of equipment has to offer.

Let's learn more about which piece of equipment better suits your fitness goals and routine.

rowing machine

Rowing machines, designed to simulate a similar feel to being on open water in a canoe, have gained popularity in recent years largely for their uniqueness over traditional cardio methods. They're relatively easy to use, but it's important to learn proper form before embarking on a heavy rowing exercise set.

How do rowing machines work?

Begin by strapping your feet into the foot placers and holding the rudder (handle) with your knees fully bent and your arms extended. Be sure to keep the weight on the balls of your feet and not on your heels or toes. One of the most important pieces for what you wantrowing machineForm includes the back posture.

Engage your core muscles and push off the foot placeholders with your lower body first, then use your upper body to bring the rower to your chest - preferably just below your pecs. When you reach the peak of the exercise, return to base by releasing your arms and bending your knees back to the starting position.

This is a general guide to performing the rowing exercise, but people tend to make a few common mistakes along the way. Arching your back is one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make when using a rowing machine, and it can lead to side pain and a heavy reliance on your shoulders for the workout.

People also tend to bring the oar too high against their chest at times. It just has to go a little below your pecs - anything beyond that will only force your body to expend more energy than it needs to.

(Video) Which Is The Best Exercise: Cycling vs. Rowing

Finally, make sure your knees stay straight even when bent, and buckle your feet properly. The strap should overlap your big toe joint, which should make it less maneuverable during exercise.

Advantages of a rowing machine

Theaerobic exerciseMachine has many advantages that will have a positive effect on your body. For one thing, rowing machines require the use of the entire body – also known as full-body training. This means your core, legs, and arms must be in place for this machine to function properly.

This feature makes slacking off when exercising with arowing machineincredibly difficult to do. It's almost impossible to jump on one of these and not give 100 percent of your effort, no matter how long you train.

In contrast to running on treadmills or outdoors, rowing machines do not put much strain on the body and at the same time train very intensively. This, in turn, means there's less room for injury, and those of you who are already doing heavy cardio can incorporate this into your workout without the risk of adding extra strain.

Not only does this device greatly improve your workout routine, but rowers can even improve their posture. Assuming you're using proper form when rowing, this movement requires people to stand upright as they pull the bar backwards. This can also strengthen the glutes and core — both important areas fitness-goers want to focus on.

This goes back to the full body workout aspect that rowing machines possess. From the outside it might appear that this type of exercise only engages the upper body muscles. However, 60 percent of the movement requires your legs, while 20 percent is arm-based and the other 20 percent is felt in the rest of the body.

(Video) Is Exercise Bike or Rowing Machine Better?

exercise bike

exercise bikeare a fun alternative when you're at the gym, but there are ways to incorporate cycling into your daily life away from just one location.

Many people bike to work instead of driving - it's a time-efficient way to both get to work and complete a fitness regimen each day that you can't really excuse to skip (esp unless you live near the office and are not late on a specific day).

Cycling is a full body workout that engages all major muscle groups. Cycling equipment can be set to lower parameters that can lead to sloppy workouts.

With that in mind, those of you who constantly challenge yourself in the gym don't necessarily need to consider the potentially easy factor of the bike in this case.

For the majority of the population, cycling is seen as a very common skill that children around the world learn as a means of transportation in their youth and as a necessary skill.

Because of the less complex learning requirements that go into the form, it can be seen as a more convenient choice for gym beginners. Riding a bike and riding a bike at the gym or at home are essentially the same thing - there isn't a huge learning curve.

(Video) Rower or Bike: Which is Better For Your Home Gym?

Despite the ease of cycling training, it can also be increased more intensively if desired. This creates opportunities for exercise bikes that can be used by a variety of people depending on the physical fitness situation they are in.

Benefits of Cycling

Like rowing machines, exercise bikes can offer similar health benefits, including a reduced risk of developing health problems. Exercise bikes are low-impact, which means they don't put as much stress on your joints to produce results similar to other high-intensity forms of cardio (eg, running).

Studies have shown that cycling reduces the potential incidence of breast and colon cancer, limits obesity and also leads to positive mental health. Cycling has also been shown to have benefits similar to rowingSelf-esteemand reduce body fat levels while managing obesity and weight.

Along with many other cardio options, cycling gets your heart up to a metabolic rate. The faster your heart pumps blood, the more efficiently your body burns calories and fat while also building muscle.

High-intensity interval training

Now that you've learned the individual benefits of each of these cardio methods, there's another route you can take instead. Try combining the two!

A relatively new form of exercise known asHIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training)has taken the fitness population by storm due to its ability to burn fat and calories well past the exercise time frame.

(Video) FACEOFF: Exercise Bike vs Treadmill vs Rowing Machine

Interval training is fairly easy and time-efficient, but it can yield results quickly if you give it your full attention. The difference between these workouts as opposed to a more traditional cardio workout is the rest time.

When we typically train cardio, it usually looks like a moderate set of reps or distance/time followed by a rest or cool-down period that concludes the workout.

HIIT workouts are completely different. They combine short bursts of high-intensity cardio exercise, immediately followed by low-intensity "rest periods" where you never fully rest. This keeps your heart rate at an optimal level, which is desirable when doing cardio in general. The best thing about HIIT workouts is that they can be very creative and non-repetitive.

For example, you could hop on the rowing machine and row 5000 meters for yourself for two minutes at a very intense speed. After that, immediately hop on a treadmill or bike and either walk more slowly or cycle at a leisurely pace for five minutes before getting back on the rower and repeating steps one and two as many times as you like.

By skipping traditional rest periods, your heart keeps pumping blood at optimal rates even after your workouts, allowing your body to burn fat and calories when you're not even exercising!

Try the Ski-Row AirEnergieFit, you can row at home in your free time. This dual function HIIT exercise machine works as both aRowing and ski trainer- two cardio exercises that you can incorporate into your routine.

(Video) Rowing Machine vs Spin Bike


Cycling - Health Benefits | better health

Physical activity and self-esteem: testing direct and indirect relationships related to psychological and physical mechanisms | NCBI

Aerobic exercise health: what is it, benefits and examples | Cleveland Clinic


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