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Are Rowing Workouts Better than Running? – Welcome to Treadmill vs Rower research

What would be better for your workouts – using a treadmill or a rower?

Lots of people keep asking this question in order to get a clear idea of what machine shows better results. Although this is a difficult question, a simple comparison of a rower and a treadmill involving several tests will let you understand that only one of them can win.

I’m very interested in this subject as I used to be a passionate runner myself, both outdoors and indoors. Regrettably, I got several injuries, and this did not allow me to keep running long distances. After getting those leg injuries, I found out that rowing on an indoor rower has many splendid merits. Thus, choosing between a rower and a treadmill will be hard as I got to love both of them very much!

Before comparing the rower and treadmill and answering which one’s better, there is a need to first define the word “better.”

The way of how you define this word heavily relies on who you are asking the question. Someone would say that the machine is better if it can let you burn the greatest amount of calories. Other people would say that the device is better if it shows better results in building muscle mass.

That is to say, the definition of “better” varies from person to person.

For the purpose of writing this article, I will answer the next three questions objectively, and I’ll choose either a rower or treadmill depending on my viewpoint about:

  • Which device ensures better workout as a whole?
  • Which device is more efficient for your body?
  • Which device is a better value?

Treadmills usually give you a chance to control the speed at which you are running and adjust the levels to ensure a more productive workout.

Along with providing perfect cardio training, the muscles involved when running on a treadmill largely include leg muscles like hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, and glutes.

Rowers usually have controllable resistance to regulate the user’s level of strength, and you can also move as fast as it is possible for you.

Apart from offering good cardio training, the muscles that are involved when you row include the majority of your body’s muscles. I even get a breakdown of each muscle involved while using a rower.

You’ll get a splendid leg workout while pushing off, and the upper part of your body will be involved while you are doing “pull” motions. Rowing is a really multifunctional exercise that forces not just your legs but your entire body to work as much as it can.

Verdict: Rowing Machine – WINNER

Both devices offer superb cardio training but the rowing workout involves both upper and lower body parts. A treadmill largely involves only your lower body, and this is also great but it does not allow you to enjoy full-body training as opposed to rowing.

As for burning calories, if you run on a treadmill that is steeply inclined, you’ll burn more calories than when using a rower.

Nonetheless, to lose more weight, rowers are a much better option as they not just provide an equally good cardio workout but also allow building the muscle mass.

Rowers are also known to improve the metabolism more efficiently, and the effect lasts hours after exercising so don’t be concerned about only the amount of calories you burn when you compare these two machines.

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