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A rowing machine simulates the motion of rowing a boat. This aerobic exercise involves the major muscle groups like your legs, arms, back, abdominals, thighs, and buttocks. Rowing is also great for the cardiovascular system. This is recommended for those who intend to lose weight because it tones muscles. And when muscles are toned, the body increases its metabolism allowing you to burn more fats. Rowing machines, compared to treadmill machines, are also cheaper.
On the other hand, treadmill machines are run by electric motors that require users to run or walk in place through the moving platform. These machines are ideal for the heart and lungs because they simulate the natural way of running. A treadmill machine can also be used for an hour because it has low impact on the ankles and lower back, giving you more time to burn fats.
A treadmill works out your lower body muscles, focusing on your calves, hamstrings, and glutes on an elevated incline. If you want to work on your quadriceps (thighs) more, then use a negative incline. Meanwhile, a rowing machine works your entire body, allowing you to work your legs more by decreasing arm use, or work your arms more and decrease legs more. The latter allows you to build more muscle by increasing the resistance level while the former provides limited muscle-building benefits.
When it comes to impact, a treadmill provides a low-impact workout at low speeds and a high-impact workout when you run. It’s easier on your joints than running on streets because the deck is cushioned. A rowing machine creates zero impact because your feet will never leave contact with the machine. The back-and-forth motion it creates also uses your muscles to push and pull against resistance, causing stress on your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back.
If you want a more straightforward comparison, check out the table below.
|Upper Body Workout||Great|
|Lower Body Workout||Great||Great|
|Core Muscles Workout||Great||Fair|
|Full Range of Motion||Great||Good|
|Advantage||Works on about 85% of your muscles||Easy to use|
|Burn Rate||11 calories per minute||17 calories per minute|
|Disadvantages||You need to know the proper technique to get optimum results||It is not a resistance kind of workout that tones your muscles well|
|Machine can be noisy and distracting||Less effective for overall fat burning compared to rowing machines since they do not require much effort from big muscle groups|
|Recommended use||3-4 times a week to allow muscles to rest especially because rowing causes stress on leg muscles||5-6 times a week for it doesn’t stress the muscles much|
Both machines are perfect for burning calories. They allow you to exercise at your own pace and create different levels of exertion. They differ, however, on levels of impact, muscular use, and joint stress. If you want to lose weight fast, the best thing to do is to include the use of both machines in your exercise routine. You can read more about rowing machines here.