When it comes to cardio, many people choose the treadmill and the rowing machine as their go-to exercise equipment. Their choice is understandable. Both the treadmill and the rowing machine help you challenge your cardiovascular fitness and burn solid amount of calories. Each of these cardio machines, however, can benefit your training in its own unique way depending on your goals.
The Treadmill Benefits
Better than the rowing machine, the treadmill can help you to:
Emphasize leg development: On the rowing machine, the only parts of your legs that you use are the quadriceps and the calves. And even then they participate in the rowing movement only partially. On the contrary, when you run or sprint on the treadmill you use all your leg muscles in synergy. Running and sprinting only the treadmill also engages your leg muscles fully allowing for their complete development.
Develop better overall stamina: When you row or sprint, you have to use your muscles heavily. This engages the anaerobic system which mostly develops your strength and strength endurance. On the treadmill, however, you can also simply run at varying intensities. As a result, you can develop aerobic fitness better.
Run and sprint better: The treadmill allows for the closest imitation of running and sprinting. As such, it helps with the realistic development of these sport skills. And it helps you do so from the comfort of your gym or your home, despite the weather.
The Rowing Machine Benefits
Better than the treadmill, the rowing machine allows you to:
Emphasize back development: When you exercise on the treadmill, you mostly exercise only your legs. On the rowing machine, however, you can effectively engage the musculature of your entire back. This helps you build your upper body and improve your posture as you burn calories and do your cardio.
Develop better strength endurance: Rowing requires the explosive effort of many various muscle groups across the entire body. This helps you develop strength endurance which is your ability to use strength for prolonged periods of time. Not only is strength endurance vital to your cardiovascular fitness, it is also a great physical quality to have.
Improve your pulling strength: The rowing motion on the rowing machine requires that you use the entire pulling musculature of your body. As a result, exercising on the rowing machine can improve your pulling strength over time. Pulling strength is essential to many sports, from rowing to martial arts. And the rowing machine prepares you nicely for such sports.
Which One to Choose? Treadmill or Rowing Machine
It is most optimal to combine the benefits of the treadmill and the rowing machine in your training. Each of these machines helps you emphasize the development of various parts of your body. At the same time, each of them helps you to challenge your cardiovascular fitness in a unique way. As a result, you can enjoy a greater variety in your training and achieve balance in your physique development.