Rowing Machine vs Elliptical Machine – ( Which One Is Better Option?)

Rowing Machine vs Elliptical Machine

Most people already know the amazing benefits of a cardio workout, like losing weight, toning muscles, and raising your aerobic capacity which makes your heart and lungs healthier, leading to a better body and health.

There are many cardio exercises and machines that you can choose from and while exercising, in general, is always good, some machines/exercises are harder on your joints and not a good fit for everyone.

However, there are some great cardio machines like rowing machines and ellipticals that are fantastic for pretty much anyone to use, being that they are easy to use, effective and not hard on your body. So which one is better ” Rowing Machine Vs Elliptical Machine“? We’ll discuss the benefits of both pieces of equipment and compare the pros and cons to see which is best.

Rowing Machine vs Elliptical Trainers

Rowing Machine


First, let’s start with Rowing Machines. Using your entire body by pushing with your legs, pulling with your arms, and activating your core muscles not only helps with cardio but toning your muscles as well. Performing a rowing motion at different speeds and intensity, you can burn 600-700 calories in a 1-hour workout.

Rowing Machine vs Elliptical Machine

Rowing Machine Benefits

-Extremely Effective-

You can burn more calories on a rowing machine, than treadmills, bikes, and other cardio machines.

-Tones Muscles-

Being that you are constantly pushing and pulling using your arms and legs, you are also activating your core muscles which means, building strength in those muscle groups.

-Low Impact Workout-

If you have issues with pain in your joints, rowing machines are a low impact workout that doesn’t put the stress on your body as running/jogging can.


-Large Machine-

Most rowers can take up a lot of space being that they are bigger pieces of equipment and can be harder to store. There are smaller options available but might be limited in their functions.

-Needs Proper Technique-

Unlike ellipticals or treadmills, you can’t just get on and go if you do not know what you are doing. Proper technique and timing are important to avoid injuries.


Rowing machines can be noisy when performing harder or faster rows, so they may not be suitable for some situations.

Elliptical Trainers

Now, let’s talk about elliptical trainers. A very popular cardio workout machine that is extremely low impact and easy to use. So popular in fact, sometimes hard to get to in your gym due to all machines being occupied. Burning around 500-600 calories in a 1-hour session, these machines will certainly give you a nice workout.

Rowing Machine vs Elliptical Machine

Elliptical Trainers Benefits

-Low Impact-

Being that it is extremely low impact, anyone at any age can use this machine. It is super easy on your joints and easy to use.

-Tones Muscles-

Working your arm, leg and back muscles, you can expect toner muscles while burning calories.

-Control Intensity/Resistance-

Most elliptical machines are electronic so you can set your intensity and resistance to whatever you like. If you want a slow pace with high resistance or a fast pace low resistance, you can set it to whatever you need.

Disadvantages of Elliptical Trainers

-Too Easy-

Being that it is so low impact, some people complain that it is too easy, and not enough of a full cardio workout. Being that you control your own pace, you may tend to slack off unlike being on a treadmill that controls your speed.

-Large and Expensive-

If you do not belong to a gym, these machines can be large for home gyms and although they range in price, high-end machines can be expensive.

Final Word

So all in all, both machines are great and effective for a cardio workout. Rowing machines burn more calories but ellipticals are easier to use, so it might have a slight edge between the two. Whichever you choose to use, you are taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle, which is always a good thing.


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