Running vs Rowing – What’s A Better Workout

Running vs RowingWhether you head to your local gym for a workout or exercise at home, you may have found yourself wondering what’s a better workout: running or rowing? While there isn’t a definitive answer to this question, there are a few key variables to consider when choosing the best workout for you.

Today, we will dive into the pros and cons of each type of workout so that you can make an informed decision that meets your overall fitness goals.

The Benefits of Regular Exercise

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that any type of workout you choose is excellent for boosting your overall health. Both running and rowing offer a few similar benefits that we will review first.

  • Lower leg strengthening. Both workouts provide excellent opportunities for strengthening the glutes, thighs, and other lower leg muscles.
  • Core strengthening. Adequate core strength is necessary for both workouts.
  • Heart health. Running and rowing are both cardio workouts that get your heart racing and sweat pouring. Getting your heart rate up a few times a week is essential for optimal heart health and overall good health.

The Benefits of Rowing

One of the top benefits of rowing is that its low impact. That means that this workout choice is great for all ages, regardless of issues like low back pain or arthritis in the joints in the legs.

Additionally, since you are seated on a machine, it is also a safe option for anyone with balance and vision concerns. Finally, the technique required for rowing provides a full-body workout that targets back muscles that are often neglected with other cardio choices. Thus, strengthening the muscles of the spine can help prevent and manage any back-related issues.

Whether you are a seasoned exercise professional or just getting started, rowing is a great workout option.

The Benefits of Running

Going for a run is one of the easiest ways to get started exercising since all you need is a good pair of running shoes. Whether you run on a treadmill or outside, you can reap the benefits of consistent running.

The higher impact associated with running is excellent for preserving and managing bone health. Additionally, the leg and core strength necessary for running are much more dynamic, making it a very functional form of exercise with excellent carry over to your other activities of daily living.

Running will always be a go-to choice for anyone looking to get in a good and straightforward workout.

Choosing the Right Workout for You

Determining what workout is best for you depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Now that you know the primary benefits of each let’s review some of the top reasons you may choose one over the other.

  • Cheapest. If you don’t want to invest in any equipment or buy a gym membership, running is the best choice. If you have a little chunk of money you’d like to invest, the most affordable option for a home workout is a basic treadmill.
  • Best for dynamic strengthening. Since you aren’t seated with running (like rowing), it offers a more dynamic core and leg workout. This can help you feel strong and balanced with other daily activities as well.
  • Back strength. Since most of us spend a lot of time hunched over desks and computers, rowing is an excellent way to strengthen the postural muscles in your back that can get weak, stretched, and sore with a primarily sedentary lifestyle.
  • Bone health. If you are concerned about osteoporosis, regularly engaging in walking or running is vital for maintaining bone strength.
  • Back or joint pain. If the onset of pain limits your ability to participate in an exercise, low impact exercise like rowing is a good choice.
  • Calorie burn. If you are strictly looking for the workout with the highest calorie burn, which can help with weight loss, running generally burns more calories than rowing will.
  • Time constraints. If you are short on time for getting in some exercise, choosing a high-intensity running or rowing workout can both help you get in a quick, effective workout.

The Bottom Line

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a workout. Primarily, you should choose an exercise mode that you enjoy. If you aren’t enjoying your activities, your motivation will wane at some point, and you will lose sight of your fitness goals. Typically, staying inspired means keeping some variety in your workouts.

Thus, you may find that incorporating both exercises into your weekly routine is the best option. Simply choose the training that fits your health needs and gets you closer to your goals!

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