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Most of us will agree that Rowing machines are more advantageous than Treadmill. But what if you compare the benefits of Rowing Machine Vs Elliptical. They are similar in so many ways.

They will aid in your weight loss, they are low impact and so many similarities. Then what is the difference?

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Comparison of Elliptical and Rowing machine

Benefits of rowing machine Vs Elliptical

Before we understand the difference, let’s first understand, how both the machine works. This will help us understand the subtleties involved.

Also, if you are interested in comparing the benefits of rowing machine vs treadmill, be sure to check this post out.

Benefits of Rowing Machines

Using rowing machines like Concept 2 Model D or Stamina ATS Air Rower regularly can provide you with a lot of benefits. Here I’ve outlined some of the important ones.

Cardio Vascular Health

Rowing machines are a form of Aerobic exercise and get your heart pumping very easily. As a result, it improves your cardiovascular health and lung capacity.

Total Body Workout

When you are rowing, with a correct form you will be engaging all the major muscles of your body. Hence, it will give you a complete body workout.

Effective for weight loss

An hour of rowing can burn up to 800 calories. This is along with engaging all your muscles. Hence, this will give you an effective weight loss.

Builds endurance

The movement of rowing looks extremely simple. However, don’t confuse it with easy. The movements can tire you very easily. If you are working out for an hour regularly, you will be able to tremendously build your endurance.

Tones your body

Rowing is a whole body workout. Hence you can easily get a toned body with only some simple yet effective exercises. Also, you can use a rowing machine for HIIT workouts. This makes them very versatile.

Low impact exercise

A low-impact workout is less harsh on your joints and reduces the risk of injury. However, they still get your heart and muscles racing. This way rowing is one of the most effective low impact exercises, which will keep you in top shape.

Muscles engaged

Your rowing exercise can be broken down into 4 parts. Each part uses different muscles. Here is a brief description of each of the phases.

The Catch

This is your starting position. Here your legs are bent, your shins are perpendicular, your arms are stretched and your back is relaxed. This is how you will look The Catch

Image Courtesy: Concept2 Website

The Drive

The drive phase starts when you begin to push your body backward by engaging your legs. Your front portion of the body opens up and the back contracts. Hence, in this phase, you will be engaging all your back muscles to open up the chest and your gluts to open up the hip. You also, engage your biceps, by pulling the handle.The Dripve

Image Courtesy: Concept2 Website

The Finish

At the finish, your abs stabilize your body. Your gluts and quads contract along with the back muscles to keep you in the finish position. You are also engaging your biceps by folding your arms towards yourself. The Finish

Image Courtesy: Concept2 Website

The Recovery

In this phase, you are starting to move forward. You straighten up your arms by engaging your triceps. You abs start to contract to pull up your body. The hamstrings and calves contract as you gradually bend your knees to come up-to-the catch position. The Recovery

Image Courtesy: Concept2 Website

Now that we have a clear understanding of the workings of the rowing machine, let’s move onto elliptical.

Benefits of Elliptical

Benefits of Elliptical are somewhat similar to that of a rowing machine. Doing it regularly will give you these benefits

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Ellipticals or Cross-Trainers will get your heart pumping in no time. As you will be burning the oxygen at a faster rate, you would need to breathe in more and deeply. These increase the capacity of both your heart and lungs.

Total Body Workout

In this type of workout, you are engaging both your upper and lower parts of the body. Hence, you will get a tremendous amount of total body workout.

Weight loss

With an hour of Elliptical workout, you can burn up to 700 calories. Hence, if you are regular, you will be able to loss a lot of weight, fast.

Low Impact Exercise

In this kind of exercise, your arms and legs move in an elliptical motion. You will take some time to get adjusted to the motion. However, due to this, the impact of your joints is reduced and you are less prone to injury.

Weight-Bearing Exercise

Elliptical machines need to be operated by standing up. Hence, your entire body weight is on your legs. This makes these exercises weight-bearing.

Muscles Used

Elliptical machines like AFG Sport 5.9AE Elliptical will give you a full-body workout, hence, it will make every muscle of your bodywork. With every motion, you will be engaging your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves. In the upper part of the body, you will be engaging, biceps, triceps, chest muscles and back muscles. To understand it properly, here is a simple diagram for you. Muscles Engaged by Elliptical Machines

Image Courtesy: Vescape Fitness

Rowing Machines Vs Elliptical

Now comes the meaty part. What are the benefits of the Rowing machine Vs Elliptical? As you have seen above, both types of machines will give you similar kinds of work out. However, there are some subtle differences.

First of all, Ellipticals are weight-bearing workouts. So, they will put your body weight on the lower part of your body.

This makes you prone to injury and also, you cannot go back to this exercise after surgery.

However, in the case of a rowing machine, this is not the case. Your body is perpendicular to your legs.

This takes off all the weight from your legs. Hence, your chances of injury are reduced.

Also, due to this, it is perfectly safe after surgery as per doctors. Another thing is, rowing machines are versatile.

You can even utilize then for some of your HIIT workouts. Here is an example of this:


Both, Elliptical and Rowing machines provide you with similar kinds of workout. However, Rowing Machines has some added benefits. It is less harsh on your knees a versatile. Hence, if you compare, the benefits of Rowing Machine Vs Elliptical, the rowing machine definitely comes out as a winner.

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