Rowing Machine versus Exercise Bike

All those who wish to have a good workout routine on a daily basis are often seem confused about which equipment they should choose as the variety is just overwhelming. When it comes to fitness, body building, losing weight or any other goal that you might have for staying fit; you will find some irresistible choices offering varied benefits. So which one to choose is really a tough question? This page will specifically tell you about two impressive low-impact exercising machines; rowing machine and exercise bike. Both the machines offer excellent scope for workout where you get to work on different group of muscles and for improvement of your cardiovascular health. Each of these machines can be used for a fully focused exercising routine however each one of them has something different to offer.

How Rowing Machine Works?

A rowing machine basically includes a flywheel connected to a handle. It involves the process where you would need to push your body with your lefts in a backward position while having your arms on a handle that you would pull inwards towards the center of your chest with your legs completely stretched and back slightly lean. This is called drive. The second step that completes a rowing drive is recovery that involves pushing your arms out in a completely stretched position and then lowering the knees to return back to your starting point. As you continue the drive and recovery process again and again, this workout works impressively well on your upper and lower body muscles contributing to your back, legs, abdomen and shoulders. The most important aspect of this workout from start to finish is maintaining a proper posture throughout rowing.
How Rowing Machine Works

How Exercise Bike Works?

Indoor exercise bikes works on a similar pattern as the outdoor bicycling. The difference is that you don’t have to worry about traffic outside and there is no risk. As you look for an exercising bike, you will find different types and styles of bikes with varied specifications. Most popular style is upright exercise bike that is really compact in size and are thus considered most suitable for home use. With an upright model you just need to pedal on a stationary bike just as a road bike. Other popular style is recumbent bike where user would need to lean backward slightly. So you will have your feet in front of your and pedaling them in this position would take off stress from your back. This type of bikes are most suitable for people who are overweight and would not be able to bear stress on their joints.
How Exercise Bike Works?

Rowing Machine
Exercise Bikes
WorkoutComplete Body WorkoutSpecific to Lower Body
ImpactLow impactLow impact
Ease of UseNeeds time and practiceSimple to use
Burning CaloriesTakes more time Quicker
Cardiovascular HealthYesYes
Consumption of SpaceMoreComparatively Less
NoiseCan be loud depending upon modelQuiet
BudgetReliable models are expensiveComparatively low cost

Workout Focus:

When we talk about exercising, we would definitely be concerned if a machine would give us a complete body workout or would work on some specific body parts and group of muscles. A rowing machine gives you a complete body workout focusing all the major parts and group of muscles of your upper and lower body. Whereas exercise bikes generally are focused on giving you a lower body workout only. Exercise bikes however that have moving handles can give workout to your upper body too.


Both rowing machine and exercise bikes give you low impact workout or at some instances you will also find them marked as no-impact machines. Even when you exercise at a higher intensity level with these machines, the impact would even then be low.

Ease of Use:

As discussed earlier, exercise bikes have a process similar to road bikes and thus you just need to climb up on this exercising machine, set the level and begin cycling. However operating rowing machine and its workout is a bit technical. You would need some time and practice to learn proper technique of rowing. Proper technique is important in order to reap most benefits out of this exercising machine. With time and practice, you will be able to gain familiarity with a rowing machine workout.

Burning Calories:

Exercising bikes can be vigorously operated when you have a stationary upright model and thus by increasing your speed, you will be able to burn more calories. A rowing machine on the other hand needs you to focus on proper technique and even if you increase intensity of your workout, you will take more time to burn same amount of calories that you can burn relatively quicker on an exercising bike. The reason behind it is the increased resistance that is required with a rowing machine.

Cardiovascular Health:

Both the machines offer a great workout for improvement of your cardiovascular (heart) health. If your focus is to stay fit with a healthier heart, you can opt for any of these two machines for a successful result.

Consumption of Space:

An indoor rowing machine would consume more space in comparison to a stationary exercise bike. So do consider the amount of space that you have for placing your rowing machine. If you have a little space only, you may not be able to adjust a rowing machine. A rower would need space to completely extend arms and stretch legs during the workout. Storage however can be easy with some models with folding design.


Both the machines are excellent options for workout in a home environment as they do not make much noise and are usually quiet machines that won’t both anyone living or working around you. But there may be some rowing machine models that can be really loud. So make sure you test noise before choosing a particular machine for your home setting.


Cost of rowing machine and exercising bikes typically depend upon the model you choose. If you are opting for a low cost rowing machine, it may have cost similar to a good exercise bike but may be unreliable. A good quality rowing machine however may be a little expensive in comparison to an exercising bike.


Whether to choose a rowing machine or an exercising bike? The answer to this question can be found by considering how and where you will be using this machine and what are your goals for using these equipment? By answering these questions, you will be able to make a better choice for an ideal equipment for a daily fitness routine.