aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

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new2bogle
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aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by new2bogle » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:21 pm

Last year about this time I posted about wanting a rower in addition to my treadmill and elliptical. Advice was to get the Concept 2, but at that time it was out of my budget.

Now, that rower is in my budget but in the mean time my home gym now has a bench as well, so there is no room left for a 4th machine. So I need to get rid of either the treadmill or elliptical.. or both? The question is: is a rower good enough for aerobic exercise so that I will not need the treadmill and the elliptical?

hicabob
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by hicabob » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:29 pm

Try before you buy if possible (free trial at local gym?) . Some people like rowers, some not so much.

nick evets
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by nick evets » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:44 pm

I've had all but an elliptical in my house: a 9500 commercial treadmill, commercial spin bikes, a Concept II rower....

I like a treadmill the best, especially in the winter when standard time (grrr) and weather makes it dangerous and inconvenient to run outside. And setting speed and incline: you can't cheat. However, the treadmill started to destroy our house (stupid to put it upstairs), and after the wax sprayer thing screwed up again, got rid of it.

Concept rower is nice, but it's definitely a challenge to make yourself work, if that makes sense. You can set goals/time/etc. in the computer, but hard rowing is painful, no doubt, and requires attention. I'd probably go "rower & treadmill" if I had a choice, assuming your treadmill will do what you want.

robertmcd
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by robertmcd » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:47 pm

A rower can be an excellent workout, but requires you to not "zone out" and focus on form and speed much more than the other 2 in order to get its full benefits.

head gamez
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by head gamez » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:54 pm

I have the Concept 2 Model D Rower, a treadmill, and the Concept 2 SkiErg. To make room for the SkiErg, we had to get rid of an elliptical. I wouldn't replace the treadmill with the Rower (my wife would kill me), but I would certainly get rid of an Elliptical to make room for the rower.

Now I just need to get consistent again.... doh!

AMG79
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by AMG79 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:19 pm

I've been a personal trainer for over 20 years with a degree in Exercise Science. One thing to consider is that a rower is non-weight bearing, whereas a treadmill and elliptical are weight bearing. They are also more functional and have better benefits to your activities of daily living - unless, of course, you actually row outdoors. So if bone density is a concern at all (not sure your age), you would want to keep the elliptical or treadmill. I also love variety so if you can manage to keep two cardio machines and alternate between the two, that would be ideal.

bloom2708
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:24 pm

I like rowing but we only have room for a treadmill and spin bike.

The commercial Precor treadmill is a beast, but it is awesome. The spin bike is compact and a perfect compliment for change of pace workouts.

If one had to go, it would be the elliptical for me. I would run/walk, bike or row over elliptical.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

DCChak
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by DCChak » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:29 pm

The weight bearing distinction is important.

I always felt like I got a better workout when I spent 30 minutes on a Concept2 or similar rower vs what I did on the treadmill and elliptical, so I was a bit puzzled when I read that the calorie burn is higher on treadmills, then ellipticals, then rowers. The reason, I believe, is that your calorie burn is directly related to how much of your weight you are bearing.

I think what I was feeling was that I was working my back, abs, arms (a little) and legs on the rower versus basically my legs alone on the treadmill/running. So I liked the variety of muscles exerted, but that is unrelated to the calorie burn.

I'll also note that it is harder to exercise longer (45, 60+ minutes) on the rower, simply because it's a less natural position, and that's a long time to be sitting on that small seat.

GetRichQuick
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by GetRichQuick » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:58 pm

I bought a Concept2 rower a year ago and put my elliptical machine and upright bike in storage. I could never bring myself to get a treadmill as my dogs give me looks making me feel guilty for not taking them for a walk/run.

For me, the Concept2 fits the perfect niche for my home gym - I use it to quickly warmup and to stay loose in between sets of weightlifting. If you are into tracking your workouts, the Concept2 works great - you can use RowPro software to setup and track rows and also virtually row with others.

I second the comment that it is hard to row for 45-60 minutes plus, so if you are looking to do that, I probably wouldn't bother with the Concept2. If you can, make sure you try one out a gym or something before you buy. If you buy a Concept2, they hold their value remarkably well (not necessarily true for other rowers and definitely not true for treadmills, bikes or ellipticals), so you could always sell it via Craigslist if you don't take to it.

If you have high ceilings, you can store the Concept 2 vertically on a wall - it doesn't take up that much space when stored that way.

Good luck!

randomguy
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by randomguy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:24 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:24 pm
I like rowing but we only have room for a treadmill and spin bike.

The commercial Precor treadmill is a beast, but it is awesome. The spin bike is compact and a perfect compliment for change of pace workouts.

If one had to go, it would be the elliptical for me. I would run/walk, bike or row over elliptical.
I would keep the elliptical. Here is why
1) I can run outside. There is like a day every 2 or 3 years where weather is an issue when it is snowing all day long or there are too many thunderstorms. Not enough incentive to get a dedicated piece of equipment for.

2) I want an alternative exercise that is lower impact from running. I am old. I can't recover from running 60+ mins/day like I used to:) A lot of the fatigue from running is impact related so that doing 60 mins on the elipitcal works the heart and muscle but I recover a lot faster. Probably not as good for the bones as running but probably better than swimming/biking/or rowing.

3) I can't do 30+ min aerobic rows. I enjoy do the hard interval stuff fine but just sitting and rowing at a steady pace is too hard. On the treadmill or elliptical I can watch monday night football but I find doing that when rowing to be a lot harder. I assume it is the added movement back and forth versus the more up and down of ellipitical and running. YMMV

4) I don't like biking (and some extent rowing) in that I sit at a computer for hours/day. Don't really need more hours in that position.

Hence I ended up with an Elliptical for the house. Your preferences might be different. In theory any of these pieces of equipment works fine for developing aerobic endurance. You just need to decide which one you are likely to use.

FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:30 pm

My experience is that rowing was not as good a work out as the elliptical or treadmill. I tried a Concept 2 at my gym for several workouts and never quite got my heart rate to where it would get on the other machines. Maybe there is a technique to get a workout but I never really looked into it that much and just moved on to different equipment.

ResearchMed
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:36 pm

Interesting that so many would toss the elliptical first.

We've got a treadmill and an ellipical. We got rather expensive equipment, in part because of necessary specifications (rather low ceiling in lower level media/exercise room; needed adjustable stride - for shorter stride - on elliptical, etc.), and surprisingly, about 15 years later, they are both still going strong. Nice.

But the elliptical is the one that doesn't put as much strain on joints or on the foot itself, in terms of "pounding".
That has turned out to be critical for one of us (me), due to an unrelated injury.
And for some reason, it turns out that when we aren't exercising together, DH now prefers the elliptical as well. It also exercises his arms, for one thing, but I'm not sure if that's the reason.

If upper body is important, the treadmill is probably the least useful, and also if knee/hip joints are a concern, or if there are foot problems where "impact" causes difficulty.

RM
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:40 pm

Seems like everyone agrees that the rower doesn’t have the same aerobic benefits as the treadmill or the elliptical, but do its anaerobic benefits make it a worthwhile form of exercise? I’m thinking of upper body muscle development.

randomguy
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by randomguy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:44 pm

FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:30 pm
My experience is that rowing was not as good a work out as the elliptical or treadmill. I tried a Concept 2 at my gym for several workouts and never quite got my heart rate to where it would get on the other machines. Maybe there is a technique to get a workout but I never really looked into it that much and just moved on to different equipment.
Your doing it wrong:). Do a 2000m time trial on a rower after training for a month and you will hit a level of fatigue you just can't get running or ellipticalling. Running for 7 mins hard is tough but you just don't get the same I can't stand up effect and just need to flop around level of fatigue when things are over:). Both will give you pretty close to 100% HRM. Rowing is definitely more technique based than running so it takes a little bit of practice so that it isn't your limiting effort. And if you are in decent shape, your first couple weeks will be limited by needing to condition movement specific muscles more than the circulatory system.

randomguy
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by randomguy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:48 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:40 pm
Seems like everyone agrees that the rower doesn’t have the same aerobic benefits as the treadmill or the elliptical, but do its anaerobic benefits make it a worthwhile form of exercise? I’m thinking of upper body muscle development.
I will disagree with that. The rower aerobic benefit is the same or better. You may or may not find it easier or harder to row for 45 mins than to do the alternative exercises but that has nothing to do with the aerobic benefit.

Rowing definitely uses the core and upper body more. I hesitate to say you are going to develop much in the way of muscles though by rowing. Maybe a couple lbs when you get started but if you want upper body mass, start lifting.

stoptothink
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by stoptothink » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:04 pm

randomguy wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:44 pm
FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:30 pm
My experience is that rowing was not as good a work out as the elliptical or treadmill. I tried a Concept 2 at my gym for several workouts and never quite got my heart rate to where it would get on the other machines. Maybe there is a technique to get a workout but I never really looked into it that much and just moved on to different equipment.
Your doing it wrong:). Do a 2000m time trial on a rower after training for a month and you will hit a level of fatigue you just can't get running or ellipticalling. Running for 7 mins hard is tough but you just don't get the same I can't stand up effect and just need to flop around level of fatigue when things are over:). Both will give you pretty close to 100% HRM. Rowing is definitely more technique based than running so it takes a little bit of practice so that it isn't your limiting effort. And if you are in decent shape, your first couple weeks will be limited by needing to condition movement specific muscles more than the circulatory system.
+1. Getting "a good work out" has everything to do with intensity, zilch to do with modality. If you aren't fatigued after a training session, that's on you, not the movement/equipment. As you state, because of the full body muscular activation, rowing can be brutal in a way that running/cycling simply isn't.

And the aerobic benefit...how could it possibly be any less/different than that gained from other movements? That's not how the human body works; the cardiovascular health benefits, again, are totally dependent on you, not the movement.

new2bogle
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by new2bogle » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:22 pm

Interesting comments to think about. The treadmill for me is my preferred aerobic exercise - I love running. It is just getting harder as I am getting older. I don't find the elliptical to be as good (in terms of I how fatigued I am afterwards).

I am not worried about using a rower for non-aerobic conditioning (arms/back/upper chest, etc). I have a weight bench for that and strength train 2-3 times per week now.

ResearchMed
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:26 pm

new2bogle wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:22 pm
Interesting comments to think about. The treadmill for me is my preferred aerobic exercise - I love running. It is just getting harder as I am getting older. I don't find the elliptical to be as good (in terms of I how fatigued I am afterwards).

I am not worried about using a rower for non-aerobic conditioning (arms/back/upper chest, etc). I have a weight bench for that and strength train 2-3 times per week now.
You can't get "as fatigued" on the elliptical?

Have you tried increasing the resistance as well as going "faster"? Or trying some programmed exercises?

You might prefer the treadmill, but I'm not sure about your not being able to get fatigued "enough"...

RM
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4nwestsaylng
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:51 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:04 pm
randomguy wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:44 pm
FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:30 pm
My experience is that rowing was not as good a work out as the elliptical or treadmill. I tried a Concept 2 at my gym for several workouts and never quite got my heart rate to where it would get on the other machines. Maybe there is a technique to get a workout but I never really looked into it that much and just moved on to different equipment.
Your doing it wrong:). Do a 2000m time trial on a rower after training for a month and you will hit a level of fatigue you just can't get running or ellipticalling. Running for 7 mins hard is tough but you just don't get the same I can't stand up effect and just need to flop around level of fatigue when things are over:). Both will give you pretty close to 100% HRM. Rowing is definitely more technique based than running so it takes a little bit of practice so that it isn't your limiting effort. And if you are in decent shape, your first couple weeks will be limited by needing to condition movement specific muscles more than the circulatory system.
+1. Getting "a good work out" has everything to do with intensity, zilch to do with modality. If you aren't fatigued after a training session, that's on you, not the movement/equipment. As you state, because of the full body muscular activation, rowing can be brutal in a way that running/cycling simply isn't.

And the aerobic benefit...how could it possibly be any less/different than that gained from other movements? That's not how the human body works; the cardiovascular health benefits, again, are totally dependent on you, not the movement.
Absolutely correct. It is related to effort. I have done sweep rowing in the "8" boats at a rowing club, all the aerobic training is done with the Concept 2, and they also add some upper body weight training for the junior kids. The greatest calorie burner is the leg muscles, which are used in all the above machines, but the rower does add some core and shoulders. It is not really an arm pulling exercise.My Concept 2 sits nicely in a sloped ceiling part of a bedroom, so while it is long, it is using space where you can't stand up. It does have multiple programs and internet connectivity to the Concept 2 website,but most of the time I use the "just row" setting. For me, the key is to have great music coming off Pandora. I do "five or six songs" and that is about 25 iminutes of intense work, and the time flies. Also I deliberately do not look at the time clock on the digital screen.

My brother in law bought a huge treadmill, used it one year, now it is in the garage with stuff all around it, on the way at some point to Goodwill.

So I will say the Concept 2 is a great workout, but you have to learn good technique and then do a workout. You should be able to get an intense workout in thirty minutes or less after you build up time, starting with ten or fifteen minutes. I wish I had a Concept Ski tracker for variety. I do jog a mile a day, but that is the most stress I want to put on my knees!

4nwestsaylng
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:07 pm

Actually one of the most overlooked machines is the old NordicTrack Achiever ski tracker. The best were made of wood and made in USA. In the 90s they of course did the usual outsource to China and the quality dropped.

I bought a fully restored 80s model on Ebay. There are a couple of sellers on Ebay,who buy the old ones, completely rehab the mechanism and restore the machine,and sell on Ebay.That's all they do, Nordictracks.

I bought mine, it was like new, for about $325 on Ebay plus shipping. You can get a great stand up workout, and the Achiever, unlike the Pro model, has a knob to change resistance on the fly.Also it has pulleys to do the arms along with the legs. There is a bit of coordination learning, but it is a great prep for cross country skiing season. I would only buy one that has been fully stripped down and restored, since sometimes the flywheel bearing or the belt need replacing, so better to pay up for the restored models, which will last years.Needless to say these models did not have a smartphone holder or a bluetooth interface :happy
Last edited by 4nwestsaylng on Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

helloeveryone
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by helloeveryone » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:07 pm

hicabob wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:29 pm
Try before you buy if possible (free trial at local gym?) . Some people like rowers, some not so much.
+1. this is a nice rec. Get free 7 day pass and use at will

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legio XX
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by legio XX » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:54 am

I have bum knees so the treadmill is strictly a fast-walk warmup. A lot of people swear by ellipticals, but between the two I prefer the rower. My PT got me started on that and it's very easy to get your training rate even if it's a lot higher than mine.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by TheOscarGuy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:02 am

new2bogle wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:21 pm
Last year about this time I posted about wanting a rower in addition to my treadmill and elliptical. Advice was to get the Concept 2, but at that time it was out of my budget.

Now, that rower is in my budget but in the mean time my home gym now has a bench as well, so there is no room left for a 4th machine. So I need to get rid of either the treadmill or elliptical.. or both? The question is: is a rower good enough for aerobic exercise so that I will not need the treadmill and the elliptical?
Concept 2 is excellent machine. However, having used it for past 5 years here are my observations:
1. It is boring. There is no way around it. Part of it has to do with the fact that I find it hard to properly keep my iPad while exercising on it, and the loud sound it makes drowns out iPad sound.
2. I have to personally take breaks in rowing. It is not something I do intensely for say 50-60 minutes. It is part of my intense workout that does not last as long as elliptical. For me personally, Its a combination of 70-30% of time on elliptical, rower respectively.

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SquawkIdent
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by SquawkIdent » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:15 am

Concept 2 rower. Use it with good technique and increase slowly the intensity and time used. It will bring you punishment like you never imagined.

I've never experienced the boredom factor many others have suggested. I listen to music via earbuds and zone out. Time goes by quickly and I feel the real pain of the workout when I attempt to get up after the workout. That's when it hits you just how hard you were working. Good luck.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:31 am

SquawkIdent wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:15 am
Concept 2 rower. Use it with good technique and increase slowly the intensity and time used. It will bring you punishment like you never imagined.

I've never experienced the boredom factor many others have suggested. I listen to music via earbuds and zone out. Time goes by quickly and I feel the real pain of the workout when I attempt to get up after the workout. That's when it hits you just how hard you were working. Good luck.
There are good videos online for proper use.

athan
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by athan » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:22 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:31 am
SquawkIdent wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:15 am
Concept 2 rower. Use it with good technique and increase slowly the intensity and time used. It will bring you punishment like you never imagined.

I've never experienced the boredom factor many others have suggested. I listen to music via earbuds and zone out. Time goes by quickly and I feel the real pain of the workout when I attempt to get up after the workout. That's when it hits you just how hard you were working. Good luck.
There are good videos online for proper use.
I have been meaning to buy a Concept 2 for the past year. Last year I thought it was too expensive. I just pulled the trigger today after reading this thread. I guess Bogleheads is contributing to my lifestyle creep :moneybag

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by SquawkIdent » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:50 pm

athan wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:22 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:31 am
SquawkIdent wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:15 am
Concept 2 rower. Use it with good technique and increase slowly the intensity and time used. It will bring you punishment like you never imagined.

I've never experienced the boredom factor many others have suggested. I listen to music via earbuds and zone out. Time goes by quickly and I feel the real pain of the workout when I attempt to get up after the workout. That's when it hits you just how hard you were working. Good luck.
There are good videos online for proper use.
I have been meaning to buy a Concept 2 for the past year. Last year I thought it was too expensive. I just pulled the trigger today after reading this thread. I guess Bogleheads is contributing to my lifestyle creep :moneybag
Awesome decision. Start slow and yes, there are many videos online to help you with technique, training plans, etc. Mine gets daily use and I've been doing that for many, many years. Good luck.

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dm200
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:52 pm

SquawkIdent wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:50 pm
athan wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:22 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:31 am
SquawkIdent wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:15 am
Concept 2 rower. Use it with good technique and increase slowly the intensity and time used. It will bring you punishment like you never imagined.

I've never experienced the boredom factor many others have suggested. I listen to music via earbuds and zone out. Time goes by quickly and I feel the real pain of the workout when I attempt to get up after the workout. That's when it hits you just how hard you were working. Good luck.
There are good videos online for proper use.
I have been meaning to buy a Concept 2 for the past year. Last year I thought it was too expensive. I just pulled the trigger today after reading this thread. I guess Bogleheads is contributing to my lifestyle creep :moneybag
Awesome decision. Start slow and yes, there are many videos online to help you with technique, training plans, etc. Mine gets daily use and I've been doing that for many, many years. Good luck.
One very common mistake I see folks make at my gym is setting the resistance too high. You should start low and row at the right pace. Then, over time, increase the resistance to match your fitness and desires.

From what I read, for most folks - the rowing machine is good for your back -- BUT if you have certain back problems - it can be harmful.

4nwestsaylng
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:13 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:52 pm

One very common mistake I see folks make at my gym is setting the resistance too high. You should start low and row at the right pace. Then, over time, increase the resistance to match your fitness and desires.

From what I read, for most folks - the rowing machine is good for your back -- BUT if you have certain back problems - it can be harmful.
At the rowing club I once belonged to, they had about 15 Concept 2 machines. Instructors advised to start at 3 or 4, and go to 5 after a week or so, and then just leave it at 5. Even the college rowers stayed at 5 most of the time and worked more on technique and reducing their times. So even though you can go up to 10 on the resistance, more is not always better with rowing. It may not be best machine for people with back problems, and if your back is fine, you still have to use good technique or you can get a problem.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by goodlifer » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:30 pm

GetRichQuick wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:58 pm
I bought a Concept2 rower a year ago and put my elliptical machine and upright bike in storage. I could never bring myself to get a treadmill as my dogs give me looks making me feel guilty for not taking them for a walk/run.
Put your dogs on the treadmill. That's the main reason why I chose a treadmill over the elliptical at first. My dog and my kid can use it right after me and I don't worry about adjusting anything. Plus, I can turn it on and walk while reading a magazine. I did wind up buying an pretty nice Precor elliptical. I feel that it gives a better workout but my legs became alarmingly muscular, which is not a good look for a short woman. I use the treadmill a lot more than the elliptical.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by mongoola » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:10 pm

Go with the concept 2 and treadmill. Ditch the elliptical. If you want results you need intensity, and that is not possible with an elliptical. Or if you want two elliptical machines, you can come pick up mine - haven’t touched it since I got the rower.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by randomguy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:34 pm

mongoola wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:10 pm
Go with the concept 2 and treadmill. Ditch the elliptical. If you want results you need intensity, and that is not possible with an elliptical. Or if you want two elliptical machines, you can come pick up mine - haven’t touched it since I got the rower.
Why couldn't you get intensity on the elliptical? I never had a problem cranking my heart rate up over 95% when doing workouts. And pretty much every study I have seen backs that up with calorie burn and heart rates being similar (elliptical is higher if it is one with the arms). Or maybe this is just thing were certain people struggle on certain machines. I mean someone earlier said they couldn't get as hard of workout on a rowing machine?

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:08 am

Whatever you choose do something sustainable, ie something you can do everyday. For me that is biking 6-7 days a week and jogging a couple days.

I didn't buy a house with room for exercise equipment, but I imagine if I had such equipment I wouldn't use it much, since outdoors is nice.

The appropriate use of outerwear makes the worst weather not a big deal. On my bike ride home today I saw a jogging commuter about 3 mile from downtown and it was about 20F and snowing today.

Calli114
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by Calli114 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:18 am

head gamez wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:54 pm
I have the Concept 2 Model D Rower, a treadmill, and the Concept 2 SkiErg. To make room for the SkiErg, we had to get rid of an elliptical. I wouldn't replace the treadmill with the Rower (my wife would kill me), but I would certainly get rid of an Elliptical to make room for the rower.

Now I just need to get consistent again.... doh!

There is a Model D and E rower - is the only difference the frame height, and is that important? I have a broken, ancient Nordic Track rower which I did feel provided a good workout back when it was functional. Its frame is not very high.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by Shallowpockets » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:46 am

All of those machines are dependent on what you put into them. Personally a treadmill can easily and probably more effectively be replaced by outside walking or running.
An elliptical is good for those with knee problems.
A Concept 2 will eat you alive. However if you just get on it and pull on it slowly at number 10, you can do it easily enough. Those that say they cannot get their heart rate up on a rower are not doing it like a rower should.
You need to go on Concept 2 site and look up your age group and some times for the 500/1000/2000 meter rows. Then try those times. It will eat your lunch. Set the resistance at number 5, which will more emulate rowing a shell.
Go on YouTube and watch the rowers at the CRASH B sprints. Then tell me you cannot get your heart rate up. It will be because you are not going at it. You will be slacking compared to what your potential heart rate could be.

Most people I see at my gym are on these various machines without much effort. I see little heavy breathing or sweating. It is all about the effort. Otherwise it is time wasted and you are fooling yourself.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by furikake » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:48 am

I love my C2 rower! I row for about an hour each time, 3x/week in between my strength training days, at level 10. I have an elliptical and a stationary bike. Used to alternate between the rower and the elliptical and occasionally bike. Even though the elliptical is showing a higher calorie count, I feel like I get a better workout with the rower. So now for my cardio, I use the rower, not the elliptical or the bike anymore. Definitely get the seat cushion when you get your Concept 2 rower otherwise your butt won't last long on that hard seat. D is lower, E is higher so you don't have to bend that much to get on it, otherwise they're the same.

fasteddie911
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by fasteddie911 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:58 am

Not quite what you're asking for, but I'd get ride of both (treadmill and elliptical) and get a stationary bike. I've never found the treadmill or elliptical to be "strenuous" enough, despite the ability to increase resistance or incline. I find myself getting better workouts on a simple, resistance-adjustable stationary bike. The bike may work your legs a little harder, which may actually work well in conjunction with the rower.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by Blues » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:31 am

My opinion is that you make room for the C2 Model D erg. It's a fantastic machine and will kick your butt to any degree desired. (Or not. It's totally your choice how hard you want to make your session.)

I use the rower to provide cardio benefits I don't get otherwise from my weight training. So, in my case, I had to move a piece of lifting equipment into the garage to make space for the rower. I wouldn't change a thing.

Rowing is a very complete and balanced workout and complements weight training to a tee, imho. Even if one did it as their only exercise regimen, I'd recommend it over virtually any other piece of equipment for working and training most of the body, and providing very strong cardio benefits.

(No degree in exercise science, but I read on the subject voraciously and have trained for more than four decades.)
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by randomguy » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:36 am

fasteddie911 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:58 am
Not quite what you're asking for, but I'd get ride of both (treadmill and elliptical) and get a stationary bike. I've never found the treadmill or elliptical to be "strenuous" enough, despite the ability to increase resistance or incline. I find myself getting better workouts on a simple, resistance-adjustable stationary bike. The bike may work your legs a little harder, which may actually work well in conjunction with the rower.
You must have bought a low end treadmill. Not many people can run at 10+MPH for 30+ mins and not consider it a strenuous workout.:)

RobLyons
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by RobLyons » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:55 am

It's personal preference of course but I would stay with the elliptical. Over the past 20 years I have preferred to vary my choice of machines. Here's a personal pro/con breakdown for me

Treadmill - Running can be hard on joints and walking isn't much of a workout for me (even quickly uphill)
Rower - a good workout but difficult to sit and row for more than 10 or 15 minutes due to discomfort
elliptical - I once wrote it off at a silly machine but its one of the best workouts with lowest impact there is



And in the end what matters is not what's the "best" exercise but what you can stick to on a regular basis for many years to come. Just like diet, the best exercise is the one you can adhere to, and enjoy, in the long term.
Last edited by RobLyons on Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by carguyny » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:04 am

There are plenty of options and what matters more is what you'll use more. You mention a budget as well, there are some great cardio budget options.

Some of my favorites are sledge hammer and tire, bulgarian bag, heavy boxing bag and mits. I have a rower, do sprint training, bike etc. But I would go a hammer and tier, heavy bag and mits before a rower. I used to rower, which is why I have a rower.

Find what you enjoy the most, e.g. I love going and punching my Bob Torso trainer for a good mental and physical workout. Cheaper than all the options you're looking at.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by stoptothink » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:48 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:46 am
Most people I see at my gym are on these various machines without much effort. I see little heavy breathing or sweating. It is all about the effort. Otherwise it is time wasted and you are fooling yourself.
Of all the things people do wrong when exercising, this is probably #1. If you aren't seeing positive adaptations, I'd say 90% of the time is because you are not pushing the intensity level enough to induce them.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:52 am

randomguy wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:36 am
fasteddie911 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:58 am
Not quite what you're asking for, but I'd get ride of both (treadmill and elliptical) and get a stationary bike. I've never found the treadmill or elliptical to be "strenuous" enough, despite the ability to increase resistance or incline. I find myself getting better workouts on a simple, resistance-adjustable stationary bike. The bike may work your legs a little harder, which may actually work well in conjunction with the rower.
You must have bought a low end treadmill. Not many people can run at 10+MPH for 30+ mins and not consider it a strenuous workout.:)
Biking has the major disadvantage of not providing weight bearing resistance, which is important to bone density as we age. It's a fine cardio workout but not a good choice as a single whole body fitness regimen.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by Alexa9 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:05 pm

It's good to mix it up. Very personal decision if you're limited in space. The elliptical, treadmill, rower, bike, and swimming are all great endurance exercises. Even jumping rope and calisthenics if you don't have a machine to use. I wouldn't say that any of them are significantly better than the others so do whatever you like. There is an argument that the elliptical is good for cross training since you can run most of the year. The bike and swimming are low impact so that can be good or bad. I find the rowing machine my least favorite since it is monotonous.

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Re: aerobic exercise: rower vs. treadmill and elliptical

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:38 pm

The stepmill is unparalleled for low impact cardio plus lower body and can be weight bearing with a weighted backpack. Hardest cardio in the gym. But still no upper body.

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