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Rowing Machine vs. Elliptical Trainer

rowing machine vs. ellipticalWhile quite underrated, rowing machines have been known to provide full-body workouts with particular emphasis on the most common problem areas of the body including the hips, waist, thighs and upper arms. One of the main benefits of exercising on rowing machines is that they’re quite comfortable to use, which means that you’ll easily be able to put in more minutes with less discomfort. Designed to optimize fat-blasting, these machines are also renowned for their ease of use, making it perfect for beginners and veterans alike. Since most models do closely mimic the sensation of outdoors rowing, they can provide the perfect practice for winter months.

Rowing machines do resemble rowers in the sense that both machines take quite a deal of weight off your joints and knees, which can be quite an advantage for anyone who suffers from such issues. By this token, rowers and ellipticals can both be used by overweight and obese people. In fact, both machines have a similar engineering system, hence enabling you to burn roughly more or less the same amount of calories. However, the one advantage that rowers have over elliptical is that they’re much easier to use, especially for beginners. Indeed, ellipticals do require some hand to feet coordination at first, especially if you’re not really used to this machine.

Elliptical machines can, however, bring repetitive-stress injury in the long run. This is because both feet are off the ground and force your arms and legs in constant running motions, something that can be detrimental after a few years of continuous use. On the other hand, rowers allow you to sit while you use your legs and arm muscles to push yourself back and forth. Rowing machines usually have a higher user weight capacity, with models such as the popular Concept2 Model D with up to 500 pounds of maximum capacity, hence making them more suitable for overweight athletes. Unlike elliptical machines, most rowers also come with a full set of transport wheels, allowing you to move them to any desired room of the house. Similarly, some models, such as the Confidence Fitness Folding can be folded up for easy storage- an option which is not always available with bulkier pieces of fitness equipment.

In most cases, rowers do tend to be smoother and quieter. Ellipticals, on the other hand, tend to emit some rather squeaky noises after a few years. Also, since rowing machines give off very little- or no noise- you can easily watch a movie or listen to some relaxing music while you train. When it comes to maintenance, both of them are equally easy to care for: all you usually need to do is ensure that the pull chain, oars, seat frame and pedals are perfectly lubricated and dust-free. In fact, with solid maintenance, both machines can very easily last for several decades, if not for life.

Overall, rowers and ellipticals both have their individual pros and cons. It’s up to athletes to decide which one they want to go for based on a multitude of factors such as their fitness levels, budget and space. Bear in mind that rowing machines tend to be a little cheaper than ellipticals so if the price is an issue, you might want to go for the former.