Elliptical vs Rower – Which One Should You Go For?

Unsure about elliptical vs rower for your home workouts? While most people choose home workout equipment in order to look fit and trying to lose some weight, the truth is that even healthy people would require cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis to stay healthy.

Both elliptical and rowing machine provide similar benefits, yet making a final decision implies considering a few factors.

1. Dealing with Weight

Most workouts imply dealing with some weight, hence the necessity of a comparison between elliptical and rowing machine in terms of health.

An elliptical trainer involved pedalling and weight bearing workouts. Those who suffer from osteoporosis will find it more useful because it keeps the mineral loss under control, whether it comes to your hips, spine or legs.

On another note, rowers may not slow mineral loss, but it will strengthen the back, which is another common issue in osteoporosis. Moreover, back strengthening is ideal if you are trying to prevent this affection.

2. Ease of Use

At first glance, elliptical looks more advanced and complicated. However, they are quite easy to use.

You just need to fit your feet onto the pedals and simulate a walking or running movement. You can learn how to do it within seconds. If handles are mobile, you will also work on the upper torso, which in turn helps to boost your cardiovascular system.

Rowing machines allow more variety of exercises, so they are not as intuitive. You might need to check a few tutorials online or the instructions that you can do with the machine. If you use your intuition only, there is a decent chance you will do it wrong.

3. Working on Muscles

elliptical vs rower

Both elliptical and rowers work on the lower and upper body at the same time. Rowing machines are a bit more diversified though and strengthen more muscles in the core, especially as you can perform more exercises. Keeping the torso straight is a must in rowers – not really in elliptical.

The main disadvantage of a rower is the fact that you overlook the triceps and chest. Elliptical, on the other side, do provide some involvement, yet they should never be taken for strength workout machines.

4. Repetitive Stress

It is said that no pain means no gain, but it does not mean you should exhaust yourself trying to reach your goals. Most cardio workouts imply leaving the ground with your feet on. Such exercises put pressure on multiple joints and may lead to injuries.

Elliptical transfers most of the body weight to the feet. But then, your feet are on the pedals, so such exercises are considered to be non-impact. With all these, repetitive stress may still affect you. Some people may experience hip, knee or shin pain.

Rowing machines follow some similar principles. The stress depends on the resistance level, which is usually adjustable. You will also need to make an effort to pull and push the body, so they may also create repetitive stress for knees, hips and ankles.

5. General Benefits

It is vital to know what to expect when comparing elliptical vs rower for home uses. Apart from burning calories, both machines target other aspects of your lifestyle too.

According to most studies, you will benefit from a strong immune system, extra stamina and a good mood. Obviously, your cardiovascular system will improve in the long run as well.

6. Pricing

Just like for everything else in life, pricing is a serious consideration when thinking about home workout equipment. Prices range widely based on design, materials and features, not to mention random bells and whistles.

As a general rule of thumb, a rowing machine is much simpler from a mechanical point of view. Therefore, you are more likely to find them cheaper than elliptical. However, it is well worth comparing the market, especially if you are not into some fancy features.

Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Low end machines (regardless of their type) might come with a flimsy construction, loud operation mechanisms and rugged motion.

Final Thought

In the nutshell, comparing elliptical vs rower will certainly give you some hints about what is more appropriate for your current conditions and future goals.

Clearly what works for some people will not work for everyone else, so make this choice with your personal needs in mind.

Check out what are the popular brands of elliptical machines for home use here.

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