The debate between rowing machine vs treadmill is one that has been around for years.

Rowing machines provide a full-body workout, while treadmills are primarily for lower-body exercise. Rowing machines are also low-impact, meaning they are easier on the joints than treadmills. However, treadmills are more versatile, as they can be used for walking, running, or even stair-climbing.

Both have their pros and cons, but which one is better for you? Let’s dive into our post for more information.

Rowing Machine

Rowing Machine

An ergometer/ rowing machine is one of the most effective machines for full-body exercises. It mimics rowers as they move their boats through the water. During the training, you will be sitting, but you will be drawing energy from all your major muscles.

This machine can be used for training:

  • Relax on the sliding seat to stretch your legs.
  • For pulling actions, use your core and arms.
  • Turn your body back to the front by inverting this movement.

These movements can be repeated until you finish the exercise.

The rowing machine is suitable for your stomach. It engages your core, shoulders and back. It’s also a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints. It’s a great workout for seniors, overweight people, and those recovering from injuries.

How Does A Rowing Machine Work You Out?

Rowing machines mimic the motions of propelling a boat across the water. You will need to sit on a sliding chair and grip a bar (the oar). When rowing, there are two movements you need to do.

  • First, your legs push back against the front of the machine.
  • Next, extend your arms and pull the bar before your stomach until it touches your belly.

These movements are then reversed to get back to your original position.

Treadmills are easier to use than rowing machines, but getting the correct form can be more difficult. This is the main difference between a rowing machine and a treadmill. There’s no need to have any previous training in order to walk.

You can adjust the damper to alter the intensity of your rowing machine workout. To make it easier, a higher damper will increase resistance. This will allow for a heavier and slower boat to perform the exercise.

Rowing is a great way to work out your whole body, unlike running on a treadmill. If you keep your form correct, a rowing machine’s sliding seat and hand-held bars allow for total body conditioning. Like a treadmill, a rowing machine demands your calves, hamstrings, abs, quads and glutes.

The upper body muscles, including the obliques and pecs, triceps, deltoids, upper back, and lats, are heavily engaged. Rowing activates far more powers than running. Rowing machines can also strengthen your wrists and hands by allowing you to grip the bar.

A rowing machine can also be used to strengthen your muscles. It’s great for cardio, fat burning, and overall fitness.

This is not the only thing you should consider. Let’s look at the differences between exercising on a treadmill and a rowing machine.


  • Rowing has many incredible benefits, as it stimulates the whole body. Take this example:
  • This is a great way to burn calories.
  • Rowing is a full-body exercise that emphasizes cardio and strength.
  • Rowing is a safe sport with low chances of inflicting injury.
  • It is excellent for building and toning muscles.
  • These shoes are suitable for both elite athletes and beginners.
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  • Rowing isn’t dangerous, but it can be tedious.
  • Rowers at the top end can be very expensive.
  • Rowing machines can make a lot of noise.



A treadmill is convenient fitness equipment that allows you to run, walk, or jog indoors. It will enable you to run, walk, or jog at the belt’s speed. This will help you improve your stamina and speed and promote proper posture.

How Does A Treadmill Work You Out?

A treadmill is a classic piece in the gym equipment collection. Although both can be good forms of exercise, running on a treadmill is a different experience than jogging around the block.

Running outside can be difficult because of the weather, other runners, and obstacles. However, running on a treadmill removes all distractions and allows you to tailor your workout.

You can adjust the speed and incline of your treadmill to give you the proper resistance. You can either walk slowly or speed up for a challenging run. A treadmill’s primary drawback is its limited effect on the lower body. A treadmill can activate your cardiovascular system and stimulate your lower extremities.

In a treadmill workout, the primary muscles are the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. The abdominal muscles will be activated if you run faster.

Lower body activation is lighter with less strain on the back, shoulders and arms. To increase your arm workout, you can run with weights. However, running is primarily a lower-body workout. To improve your sprinting technique, learn about the proper form.

Treadmills are accessible machines that can be used for any workout. Many treadmills come with handrails so you can take care of your workout. Start slowly and stabilize yourself with your arms.

This is an advantage for beginners in fitness as it allows them to work out regardless of their ability. A slow walk on a treadmill with a slight incline can provide excellent cardio for those just starting in fitness.


  • There are many benefits to running or walking on a treadmill. These include:
  • Ideal for strengthening and building leg muscles
  • It is excellent for weight loss and calorie burning.
  • Walking on the sidewalk is more difficult for your joints than treadmill running.
  • Treadmills can be very durable.
  • It lets you run, walk and jog.
  • Modern treadmills come with LCDs that display metrics.


  • Treadmill training has its downsides:
  • Running can cause various types of pain, such as knee pain and joint pain.
  • Treadmills are a weight-bearing and high-impact training tool.

Rowing Machine Vs Treadmill

rowing machine vs treadmill for weight loss

Muscle Building

Both machines can build muscle, but let’s look at which one is more effective if you’re looking for it. The treadmill mainly affects the lower muscles and supporting hip flexors.

However, to make your muscles work harder, you don’t have many options. You can increase the speed or incline of the treadmill to get a better cardio workout. However, this will not significantly increase your muscle-building potential.

The rowing machines are great for building muscle. Rowing builds muscles in the upper and lower bodies. It’s possible to increase the intensity of the exercise by turning up the damper.

A rowing machine is a great way to build your abs, core, arm, and back muscles. Rowing machines are an excellent choice for maximizing your deltoids or biceps.

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Calorie Burning Potential

Burning calories is one of the top reasons people exercise. It is a matter of building muscle, losing weight, and burning calories.

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Running is one of our most efficient ways to burn calories, whether outside or on a treadmill. Although few exercises can match the energy-expending potential of the treadmill and rowing machines, they offer a good alternative.

Because of many factors, it is difficult to determine how many calories are burned during a workout. How intense you exercise, your metabolism, and your health significantly impact how many calories you can burn.

It might interest you to know that exercising outside burns more calories than running on the treadmill and that rowing in actual water can burn even more calories. Rowing machines are much more popular as most people don’t have this option.

A treadmill is more effective for calorie burning. A treadmill will likely be more effective in activating your heart to burn calories if you work out at the same intensity. A rowing machine may be more effective for weight loss, as it builds muscle and increases the number of calories burned.

Impact Considerations

It is essential to note the differences in impact between treadmills and rowing machines. The strain on your joints that comes from gravity and movement is called the impact of exercise.

High-impact exercise can put too much strain on your joints, leading to injury and pain. A low-impact exercise is just as effective, but it’s a better option for those new to the sport, people with joint pain or those who want to avoid it.

Running on a treadmill is a high-impact activity. You can use a treadmill to make it less impactful. Or you could walk. Walking isn’t as effective as running or jogging because it doesn’t activate the same muscles or increase cardio as running.

Running at a speed that raises your heart rate is dangerous for your knees, feet and back. Running at high speeds can cause joint pain.

On the other hand, a rowing machine is very low-impact and provides excellent cardio. A rowing machine is a great way to get your cardio in a low-impact workout that doesn’t rely on gravity.

Running is most effective when you take a step, hit the ground hard and then run. This sends a shockwave through your entire body. Although rowing machines activate muscles, they are less intense.

Proper form is the most important thing to remember when rowing. Rowing incorrectly can lead to injury due to the high impact of treadmill exercise. Keep your back straight while pushing with your entire foot. This will reduce the likelihood of lower back or joint pain.

You don’t have to worry about injury if you maintain perfect form during your rowing machine workout.


Both rowing and treadmill machines offer an intense cardio workout. Both would be great additions to your HIIT regimen, but which one is best for cardio?

Running is technically the best cardio, but treadmills are more beneficial for cardio. Rowing machines can keep your heart rate up for longer if you don’t stop at the end of an exercise.

The intensity of your exercise will determine its cardio potential. Both machines can be made more resistant to increase your heart rate and get you into the cardio zone.

While a rower may take longer to get to your cardio level, a treadmill can be jumped on immediately, and you can start running directly. Although treadmills have a better cardio output than rowing machines, they are still superior to both.

Rowing Machine Vs Treadmill Weight Loss

It is a significant reason people exercise, and it is crucial to discuss which machine is best in this area. While weight loss is often reduced to calories burned, many other factors can affect your weight loss journey.

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Running on a treadmill is a popular way to lose weight. As we’ve already mentioned, a treadmill burns more calories an hour than a rower.

Fat loss is an entirely different matter. A rowing machine can build more muscle than a treadmill and will allow you to burn more calories every day. You might notice a smaller difference in weight if you have muscle than fat.

The increased muscle mass will make your fitness much better. Both rowing and treadmills are great options for weight loss. We’ve already discussed how they can be used as cardio exercises.

Many believe that a treadmill is better than a rowing machine for weight loss. This is true because you are more likely to lose weight. We believe that a rowing device is a better option as it will allow for more steady weight loss over time.

Cardio and building muscle is an excellent way of ensuring that you don’t lose any fat. A treadmill is better if you are looking to lose weight. Rowing machines are better if you want to burn fat, build muscle, and improve your overall fitness.

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Rowing Machine Vs Treadmill: Which Is Best?

Which exercise equipment is best? Both rowing machines and treadmills are great ways to increase heart rate and help you lose fat. A treadmill is better if you are primarily interested in weight loss.

We prefer to promote all-round fitness, and the rowing machine is an excellent choice. This exercise is low-impact and high-intensity, so anyone can do it without worrying about straining the joints or pain.

You can build a variety of muscle groups using a rower. This includes the back, arms, and core. The treadmill is more balanced because it focuses on the lower body muscles.

To make your run more intense, you can add weights to your hands. However, this will not increase the intensity of each step. This intense workout can cause joint problems and is not recommended for most people.

The rowing machine is a great way to combine cardio and muscle building. This will maximize your calorie-burning potential as you’ll be able to burn fat throughout the day and during workouts. This is a balanced workout for the whole body that can help you lose weight more efficiently.

Rowing machines can help you build muscle, making it more likely that you will lose weight. This low-impact workout is excellent for strengthening your legs and overall body.

This piece of equipment has a learning curve that can be frustrating. Although most people can use a treadmill with no training, it is crucial to learn how to row appropriately on a rower.

Because you must focus on your form, rowing machines may help you burn fewer calories and fat. You can increase the intensity of the exercise and unlock its true cardio potential with practice.

You should be able fully to reap the benefits of rowing after a few sessions with a coach.

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