Rowing vs Cycling: Which is best?

exercise bike vs rowing machine

We all know that if we want to feel better, have more energy, Just exercise.

Aerobic exercise has been proven to benefit heart health and ward off chronic diseases.

If you don't know how to start your training, have you thought that starting with home aerobic exercise, home gyms are a trend, If you’re looking to grow or create a home gym, purchasing a cardiovascular training tool is a great investment.

Here are two of the most popular and accessible at-home workout options: rowing and cycling.

So which is better for you?

Quick Guide

Here is the Quick answer to the question:



l Total-body workout

l Good for people of all fitness levels to try

l Low impact

l It can be meditative when you rowing

l Great for your heart and lungs

l Builds power and endurance

l Efficient

l Home workout-friendly

l Supports heart health.

l Gain muscles and strengthen your legs

l It’s gentle on joints.

l It lifts your mood.

l It’s easy to use

l Improves Balance

l Increases Endurance

l Efficien

When you not sitting correctly in the boat, or using an uncoordinated rowing motion

l lower back, upper back, and knee pain

l wrist tendonitis

l blisters on the hands

When you not sitting correctly in the bike or using an uncoordinated riding motion

l Hip pain

l Cause soreness and muscle fatigue.

l Risk of injuring their knees


Absolutely, there’s no answer to the question of rowing vs. cycling.

Both have many visible pros, Pretty clear that cycling and rowing are excellent workouts.

The fact which one is better for you that is it depends on your fitness goals as well as your current athletic abilities, keep reading, We’ve put together the comparison between the workouts.

1. Home Cycling vs. Home Rowing for Weight Loss

The 2 fitness equipment, the exercise bike, and the rower offer an efficient cardio workout to burn calories.

At the NutriStrategy website, for a more detailed breakdown of both workouts.

Activity, Exercise or Sport (1 hour)

130 lb

155 lb

180 lb

205 lb

Stationary cycling, very light





Stationary cycling, light





Stationary cycling, moderate





Stationary cycling, vigorous





Stationary cycling, very vigorous





Rowing machine, light





Rowing machine, moderate





Rowing machine, vigorous





Rowing machine, very vigorous





A rowing machine and an exercise bike will generally allow you to burn the same amount of calories.

Which is better for weight loss?

We recommend that you select an exercise bike, Here is why.

Between Rowing and Cycling, the same resistance,

Your calorie burn depends on the duration of your exercise

Rowing is considered a full-body workout, Most rowing workouts last around 20 minutes, this is due to the extra work you need to do, and cycling can easily be 30 minutes or more HIIT workouts, during which time you would accumulate a higher calorie burn.

2.Which one hits more muscle groups?

We recommend that you select a rower,

Cycling is done nearly 100% by your legs, and the upper body is mostly passive.

Rowing uses 86% of the muscles in your body that uses all of the major muscle groups including chest, back, shoulders, arms, and most importantly, your legs and glutes.

If you are looking to group your full muscle at home, the rowing machine is the winner.

3.Which one has less impact on your back or knees

We recommend that you select an exercise bike,

Knee and back problems are incredibly common, and the rowing machine is very demanding on the back, for people who already have back or knee pain or not a good posture, the intensive use of the rowing machine may increase the back pain, In addition, the rowing machine forces you to bend the knees completely, which can be a challenge for those with limited knee mobility and range of motion.

In order for a rowing workout to be effective, you must use the correct form so that you are targeting the right muscles and avoiding injury.

Cycling tends to be less aggressive on the back and knees. As long as you have enough mobility in your knees to turn them over while pedaling, then the impact on the knees is very minimal, and can even be therapeutic for those with stiff or “bad” knees.

So, the exercise bike is more suitable for the elderly and people with back or knee problems than the rowing machine

4.Which is more space efficient

If space is an issue, We recommend that you select the rower.

Both types of equipment often come with transport wheels so you can move them if needed. Overall though, they both require a bit of room to use.

The rowing machine is more flat, The rower is the most space efficient due to the ability to stand it up vertically and/or hang it on the wall, you can use the height of the space to store the rowing machine

However, Exercise bikes can’t be stored upright and are stored in the same position that they are used.


Final Tally: Rowing vs. Cycling – Which is Better?

To sum up the list above:

Cycling is:

  • Bicycles are easier to training, burning calories at high intensities
  • Gentler on your lower back and upper body joints

Rowing is:

  • Better for developing full-body muscular
  • Better space saving

To sum up, both exercises have a few advantages and disadvantages but overall, you can fully enjoy the benefits and positive effects of exercise on your body and your health! They are great options for improving cardiovascular fitness!

Hurry up, let's train!

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