Rowing Machine vs Treadmill – Which Fits Your Lifestyle?

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Last updated: August 10, 2023
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If you are looking forward to losing that fat tummy or toning your body, there are several physical exercise equipment that can help you get your desired body. Among the popular options that people consider when they wish to shed those extra calories received during the day include treadmills and rowing machines.

Many people find themselves haggling for an answer to whether they should invest in a rowing machine or a treadmill. This is one of the reasons why we took our time to review the pros and cons of both machines. We have also taken an intrinsic look into the best uses of both rowers and a treadmill.

We wholly acknowledge that it can be quite difficult to choose between a rower and a treadmill as you seek to improve your body goals. However, we have to point out that the best treadmill helps you work out your lower body.  And while a rower will burn fewer calories than a treadmill but it works best if you seek a full-body workout.

Benefits of treadmill using

Rowing Machine vs Treadmill - Which Fits Your Lifestyle?As you know, a treadmill is a popular gym equipment today. It affords you a straightforward and efficient aerobic workout opportunity. It is popular for several reasons, with the main one being the ability to burn calories. People also like it because it fits every other person’s lifestyle and physical fitness needs. It has been around for many years and is great for those looking to reduce weight and keep fit. Below are some of the ways you can benefit when you opt for a top-quality treadmill such as Nautilus T618

  • Ideal for cardio exercises

A treadmill is an ideal cardiovascular fitness machine that you should not miss at home or at the gym. When you use a treadmill regularly, your heart fitness, together with blood flow drastically improves. With more vigorous movements, your muscles get extra oxygen which goes further to make your body stronger and agile. Improved use of a treadmill gets you to enjoy better body endurance.

We know how lazing can lead to a buildup of cholesterol. However, using a treadmill reduces the level of good cholesterol in your body. A treadmill further ensures that coronary ailments stay away.

  • Your privacy

It might sound silly when some people say they like to do physical exercise in private. Indeed, most people with weight issues seem to prefer to work some magic in private and come out in public when they have achieved their dream physique. A treadmill can easily be installed in your garage, and there won’t be any need to visit the gym or to go for those long morning runs. Of course, you also reduce the chances of getting hit by a car or kidnap; if you reside in those cities. Indeed, a treadmill is the perfect running companion when you don’t want to venture out of the house.

  • Total control

Rowing Machine vs Treadmill - Which Fits Your Lifestyle?Depending on your fitness, a treadmill allows you full control when you are using it. Do you wish to kick start your morning with a leisurely walk? You no longer have to brave the outside cold. All you will do is to press a button, and the treadmill responds appropriately. Can you handle a dash across the field? A treadmill will give you exactly that. Unlike other gym equipment, you can get vital health and other fitness information when you are on a treadmill. With a treadmill, you can choose the speed, warm-up period, and incline. It is also worth noting that a treadmill is easy to use and operate.

  • A predictable surface

If you have been out running in the morning or evening then you know that the ground will never be even. More often than not, you have to mind where you step, else you risk spraining your ankle and jolts. A treadmill removes this risk. It won’t take time to notice that running is better on your treadmill because its surface is smoother and easier than a concrete surface. And you can change the surface settings. What’s more? Treadmills do not have surprise bumps and gradients.

  • Takes small space

A treadmill doesn’t take up a lot of space. You can place it in your garage, living room, or bedroom and remain confident that you will get the ideal physical exercise results you desire. The other benefit that goes hand in hand with saving space is that it can be used by different people without the need of adjusting the structure or shape of the equipment. We have foldable treadmills that can be slid under the bed when you are done. There are also not heavy which further makes them the ideal exercise tools for everyone.

  • Shed more calories

It may not be common knowledge but a treadmill sheds more calories than other physical exercises such as biking. This means that you can rest easy knowing that this machine will ensure you get that well-toned body. It also works perfectly when you want to break a sweat or blow some steam. Besides losing calories, some people consider it a good place to go when they want to calm down.

Health impact

Using a treadmill will have a positive impact on your health. Some of the things you stand to enjoy from using it include;


  • Losing weight – Treadmills are popular among those who wish to lose some kilos. It is preferred because of its efficiency and fast working. Higher running speeds further enhance your achieving the weight loss goal.
  • Rowing Machine vs Treadmill - Which Fits Your Lifestyle?Heart health improves – You can get exceptional cardio exercises with a treadmill, which improves your cardiovascular health. You can also achieve a steady heart rate throughout the exercising session. This makes a treadmill run the perfect warm-up exercise before you can jump into other physically involving exercises.
  • Bone density improves – Exercising your body improves the density of minerals in the bones. More minerals in the bones mean they become stronger and durable. With a  higher bone density Trusted Source Exercise can help you keep your bones strong - Harvard Health An exercise program should aim to improve not only cardiovascular health, but also bone health. , your body can combat painful bone-related diseases like osteoporosis.


  • Its requires a professional for repair and maintenance
  • Using a treadmill can get monotonous
  • They are not cheap

Benefits of rowing machines

Rowing Machine vs Treadmill - Which Fits Your Lifestyle?A gym enthusiast can easily point out a great indoor rowing machine. In earlier years, treadmills were the go-to fitness running machines because people associated running with fitness more than any other exercise. As the years progressed, rowers became popular.

rowing machine Trusted Source Indoor rower - Wikipedia An indoor rower, or rowing machine, is a machine used to simulate the action of watercraft rowing for the purpose of exercise or training for rowing. is a machine that replicates the act of watercraft rowing. It comprises a braking system that is connected to a chain and handle. It also comes with footrests that are connected to the braking system.

Rowing machines are low-impact or effort machines unlike treadmills. The latter can be low-impact when you are using it for walking but will be high-impact when you use it to jog or run. It is worth noting that you will burn fewer calories with this low-impact equipment. However, you are set to achieve overall body fitness with a rower than with a treadmill. With the leading rowers such as Nordic Track RW Rower, you are guaranteed to enjoy the following benefits among others;

  1. Builds a stronger torso

One of the main benefits of owning a rowing machine is its ability to exercise both the upper and lower body. Once you start using your rower, you notice that you are exercising your arms, shoulders and even your back. At the same time, your ribcage is also exercised to give you a more toned physique.

According to AFPA, using a rowing machine helps exercise your torso between 25% and 35% of the total workout. That said, you will no longer have to lift heavy weights at the gym or do soul-crushing push-ups. The rowing machine will help you get your desired upper body shape and physique.

  1. Build a stronger core

A stronger core is one of the evident advantages of rowing to using a treadmill. Even though running will help tone the abdomen and your core, rowing helps your body similar results as a person doing sit-ups. Remember the core is the center of this forward and back motion.

  1. Your heart benefits

Rowing is a cardio-based workout. This means the heart muscles and heart rate improve with every forward and back move that you make on the rower. Cardiologists strongly suggest that you engage in physical exercise such as rowing every day.

  1. A rowing machine is low-impact

For a person experiencing joint problems, rowing is the ideal workout machine for them. Persons suffering from arthritis will find it easy working with a rower because it is an all-out low-impact machine that helps one recover and become physically fit. With a rowing machine, chances of spraining your ankle or wrist are very low compared to when you are running.

  1. Ideal for people with bad sight

Rowing Machine vs Treadmill - Which Fits Your Lifestyle?Just because your vision is compromised doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise. A rower is safer than running. Unlike a treadmill, it is easier to find your rhythm than in a rowing machine.  A rower is also a good alternative to running outdoors as you get to reduce the chances of tripping or being knocked down by a car. It also captures the privacy feature just like the treadmills. You can install this machine in your bedroom or garage and get a chance to sweat all the excessive kilos without having to worry about people looking at you.

  1. Your back gets stronger and healthier

If your day job involves hunching over a computer for long hours, then a rowing machine can help make your back feel better. You will notice that a rowing machine pushes your shoulders back rather than scrunching them forward. With this machine, you may also find your sitting and walking posture improve thereby reducing and eliminating lower back pains.

Health impact

When you choose to use a rowing machine, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages you should expect;


  • Good in combining muscle building and cardio – Rowing is more balanced workout equipment because it allows you to burn calories from all parts of the body hence helping you achieve a well-toned body.
  • It is a well-balanced workout tool. It helps you work on your back, shoulders, arms, legs, core, and other parts of the body. A treadmill only concentrates on your part of the body.
  • It is a fabulous physical exercise machine for people suffering from pain in the joints.


  • With a rowing machine, you will need some professional help to properly learn how to use it. This is unlike a treadmill where you can simply hop on and start running.
  • You will burn fewer calories than if you were using a treadmill.

You can ask your friends or family to help you control your back and hands at first rower using days and then pay attention to them while excersising:

Rower vs treadmill – exercises

Rowing machines as we know them have been around since the 1800s. Their design and technique of working follow that of ordinary rowing stroke on the water. But rather than doing the ‘tap down’ when rowing, it is necessary with a rower machine.

If you are looking for an excellent way to exercise then look no further. Rowing can help you exercise up to 86 percent of your body muscles if you do it in the proper manner. Rowing has become especially popular because cardiologists have pointed out the immense benefits that your cardio systems get to reap when you use one. Rowing for about 30 minutes will certainly boost your  endurance strength Trusted Source Indoor rower - Wikipedia Rowing on an ergometer requires four basic phases to complete one stroke; the catch, the drive, the finish and the recovery. . To get the best results and also be able to comfortably workout, interval training is applied when rowing.

You will find rowing to be a highly engaging sport whereby two minutes are enough to help you cover a distance of 500 meters. Being such an engaging exercise, and capturing the use of 86% of your body muscles, a rower is guaranteed to help you become a well-balanced fit person. According to AFPA Trusted Source Indoor Rowing Machines: A Quick & Easy Guide | AFPA Fitness Did you know that rowing is one of the best exercises for developing aerobic fitness? Check out our guide to the 4 types of indoor rowing machines. , an indoor rower involves 70% legwork and 30% upper bodywork.

Rowing exercising techniques

  • Rowing Machine vs Treadmill - Which Fits Your Lifestyle?Drive – This exercise starts with you extending your legs and the body remaining in the catch position. This technique helps the rower engage their core so as to start the motion of levering the body backward.
  • Catch – This requires you to bend the knees while keeping the shins in an upright position. Your back should be parallel to the thigh without leaning forward a lot. Arms and shoulders should be relaxed and extended forward.

On the other hand, treadmills are workout machines whose history can be traced back to punishment alternatives for prisoners in earlier days. Today, treadmills are found in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and sports clubs. Because of the physical health benefits that these machines boast of, every other gym has these machines. Persons with an interest to become fit or lose weight also invest in these machines for home use.

A treadmill is a high-impact machine that will make your break a sweat every time. Because of its challenging way of making your bodywork, it is ideal for losing weight. It helps burn more calories, increase heart rate, and get your body in the fat zone, which is an ideal state to make your body lose weight.

Treadmill exercising techniques

  • Rowing Machine vs Treadmill - Which Fits Your Lifestyle?Depending on how flexible you are and how fast you can run, a treadmill can move from a slow walk to a full sprint. Given that treadmills work best on the lower part of the body, your legs shouldn’t be suffering from injuries as exercising can worsen your condition. The good thing with modern treadmills is that you can adjust the speeds to run.
  • You can add weights to your treadmill. This will make the workouts more intense. It also means that every step requires a lot of energy. This can bring up issues with the joints. Because of the resulting intensity, adding weights doesn’t work for most people.
  • Treadmills can be used for so much more than running, and here are some exercises to show you how to use

Which machine is better at burning calories and building muscles?

Rowing machine vs treadmill calories are not very easy to compare because each one has some advantages over the other. But to get the right answer, we have to recognize that a rowing machine is a low-impact exercising piece of equipment and a treadmill is mainly a high-impact one.

Being a high-impact exercise machine means that you get to lose a lot of calories. On the other hand, low-impact exercise means you don’t lose as many calories. It, therefore, means that a treadmill will help you burn a whole load of unwanted calories. For persons wishing to lose weight, this is the right machine to invest in.

A rowing machine comes with its own unique advantages, though. With this machine, your body improves overall. Your arms, shoulders, back, and legs lose weight or get toned evenly. One thing to note about rowing machines is that they are highly engaging, and this makes them ideal for persons looking to gain muscles or make their bodies well balanced and all-rounded.

Treadmill vs rower – home use

When it comes to picking the best treadmill or rowing machine, there are a few factors that you must consider. Top among those reasons is the goal you want to achieve. For home use, you will find people buying either of the machines. Treadmills are quite popular but so are the rowing machines. A treadmill helps you burn more calories, but a rowing machine will give you holistic and balanced weight loss and physical health. Depending on your end game, both of them are good.

The space available for installing and storing your exercising machine is something to consider. If you are keen on the amount of space a machine should occupy, you should consider investing in a foldable rowing machine or compact treadmill. Whether you live in a manor, a bungalow, or a condominium, you are sure to find the right treadmill or rower to fit in your home.

Rowing Machine vs Treadmill - Which Fits Your Lifestyle?Weight is another factor to consider. In general, rowers tend to be weightier than treadmills. You will find rowers weighing as much as 250 pounds. But you can also find one weighing as little as 60 pounds. In the case of treadmills, weight doesn’t seem to be an issue as a majority of them are less than 50 pounds. Weight becomes a major factor if you want to move the unit by yourself, especially if it is foldable, and you regularly require to slide it under the bed or store it in the garage.

Question of price

Physical fitness machines and tools are not the cheapest, admittedly. However, after doing proper research, you will find that every person can land the right treadmill or rowing machine which will help them achieve their health goals.

The price of a treadmill will vary widely mainly based on the different types available and the extra features it’s equipped with. Elliptical treadmills tend to be cheaper than manual or motorized ones. You will find premium treadmills going for upwards of $500 while the cheap ones hover around $100.

When it comes to rowing machines’ price tags, there are those that command upwards of $1,500. In fact, the NordicTrack RW 900 rower will set you back a whopping $2,400. If you are on a budget, you will find rowers going for as low as $200. Whether it is a treadmill or a rower you are thinking of buying, you must first consider the intended use of the machine, the space available, and also your budget. For home use, a not too expensive machine will do. But if you are thinking of starting a gym business, high-quality and durable machines are necessary.

Final thoughts

A treadmill is a great investment to have in your home. It presents you with a plethora of health benefits. On the other side of the coin, there are rowing machines that are backed by an army of enthusiasts and lovers. But after carefully going through all the features and the benefits that each of the machines boasts of, it boils down to what the user wants.

Rowing machine vs treadmill should not be a ‘winner takes all, and nobody remembers the loser’ scenario. Rather, you should look at the one that makes you enjoy exercising more. You can also go for both because a treadmill is great when it comes to burning down those calories and losing the kilos. But a rower gives you the opportunity to steadily but surely burn down calories from all parts of the body.


Exercise can help you keep your bones strong - Harvard Health
An exercise program should aim to improve not only cardiovascular health, but also bone health.
Indoor rower - Wikipedia
An indoor rower, or rowing machine, is a machine used to simulate the action of watercraft rowing for the purpose of exercise or training for rowing.
Indoor rower - Wikipedia
Rowing on an ergometer requires four basic phases to complete one stroke; the catch, the drive, the finish and the recovery.
Indoor Rowing Machines: A Quick & Easy Guide | AFPA Fitness
Did you know that rowing is one of the best exercises for developing aerobic fitness? Check out our guide to the 4 types of indoor rowing machines.

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