Does Rowing Machines Burn More Calories Than Running?

Does Rowing Machines Burn More Calories Than Running?

If you recentlystarted with a rowing machine, then you must know how to lose weight with it.When you compare rowing with running, it may seem a bit unclear. But if you’relooking for ways to add variety to your exercises, then it’s vital to know eachworkout method.

Rowing is also gaining much attention in the fitness world. Recently Dr. Cameron Nichol, a former Olympic rower, enumerated the benefits of rowing versus treadmill running exercises on Chanel 4 TV. From the show, Nichol clearly shows that rowing activates many muscle groups and has exercises that target both lower and upper body. He also mentioned the benefits of rowing to the two vital body organs, that is, the heart and lungs.

Also, when you comparea treadmill with a rowing machine, both are useful methods of losing weight.However, the question of which is “better” lingers in our minds. While thetreadmill is helpful in lower body exercises, the rowing machine exercises’focuses on both the lower and upper body. Rowing works out all your body whichmakes it easier to build muscle.

Research from expertsalso considers running indoors and outdoors as unhealthy for your health. Asthe research shows, athletes exert 4-8 times their body weight on each jointwhich can severely damage them. It is the reason most athletes in the industryexperience joint-related injuries and is responsible for the resurfacing ofsome medical industries.

More so, the jointproblem is common when people who have weak muscles exert much pressure ontheir joints. Considering the vast force that one applies to the ankles, knees,and hips, running harder is detrimental to a person’s health. It is the reasonmost fitness experts recommend rowing as it is less damaging than running.

Rowing exerts minimumpressure on your joints which ensures your health remains well. The indoorrowing machine is perfect for use as it has no weight-bearing. Therefore, youdon’t have to worry about joint-related injuries which are common inweight-bearing fitness equipment.

Also, rowing is lessdisruptive than most forms of exercising. The older people who have weak andfragile bones resort to rowing as the best form of exercise. The main reasonis, rowing provides them with versatility as they can choose to train intenselyor moderately. Rowing is also suitable for people who are recovering frominjuries or surgery. They can work out their bodies slowly, which helps them tokeep their bodies in shape as they recover.

Rowing machines 

With a good rowingmachine, you can exercise on multiple muscles at once. It usually starts withthe back and arms muscles such as biceps, triceps, deltoids, pecs, and upperback. You will also exercise your core when pulling the rails.

When it comes tofull-body workouts, no fitness equipment on the market can compare to a rowingmachine.


In 99% of the time,running exercises usually target the lower body. Whether you are runningoutdoors or running indoors on a treadmill, running can be useful for getting abetter lower body physique. This is because running emphasizes on the calvesand hamstrings, which helps to strengthen your body.

The sole way ofgetting both lower and upper in a training motion when running is by using handweights in a particular movement. However, in the process, you’ll get tiredsince your hands are vital in providing the energy for running.


In dietetics, acalorie refers to the amount of energy which food provides. The more food wetake, the more the calories out body takes. This is because eating food thatcontains more energy than our bodies require, then our bodies will keep theremaining as food reserves in the form of fats. 

The second definitionof a calorie is the amount of energy that 1 gram of water requires to raiseitself through 1 degree Celsius.

What determines thenumber of calories each body needs? 

On average, the amountand type of food we eat daily determine the number of calories in our body. Themethod of earing and the time also plays a vital role as our bodies usedifferent forms of energy each day. Depending on our activeness, our bodieswill use different amounts of energy. Our age also plays a role as we requiremore power when we are growing as compared to when we become old.

The American DietaryGuidelines of 2015-020 states that women usually require 1600-2400 calorieseach day while men need 2000-3000 calories every day. The reports suggest thatthe variation is a result of differences in age, height, size, activities,lifestyle, and general health.

The association alsorecommends people to take a substantial breakfast every morning to help inweight management. The fruits and vegetables with calories are also better-offthan garbs food with the same amount.

Why should you losemore calories?

Most times, you maytry to shed fat to have a healthier and better-looking body. Caloriesnecessarily are the amount of energy which comes from the food you eat. Whenyou eat food that produces more power than your body requires, then the bodyconverts the reserve food into body fat. It is the reason the majority ofpeople are overweight.

More so, 70% of thecalories in your body are burned through natural body processes such asbreathing and respiration. The other 30% should come from the physical exercisesthat you partake. These workouts burn the excess garbs in your body, whichpromotes the health of your body organs such as heart and lungs. This reducesthe possibility of contracting cardiovascular diseases such as heart andlung-related problems

Why am I not sheddingweight?

Also, at times, youmay decide to join the weight-loss training programs. Working out your way tolosing weight in the first week will be easier for you. Then the harsh realitystarts setting in the second week where you find it hard to lose weight. It isbecause when you lose more weight from your body, the body fights back torestrict you from losing more weight. The result is a loss of small weight evenwhen under straining exercises.

Losing small weightcan be discouraging to those who recently started working out for weight loss.But while the process of losing weight reduces gradually, sturdy trainers suchas athletes and gym trainers know the art of perseverance. It involves puttingall efforts into your training to ensure you improve on core areas.

Combining differentworkout methods also works for most training. Before joining these programs,ensure you are familiar with the Basal Metabolic Rate (BSM) to know how manycalories you can burn. It will set you to reality to avoid higher expectationsof losing “much” calories.

Activities thatenhance calorie burning

With rowing aside,there are home techniques which you can use to improve your calorie burning.Also understand that the calorie-burning rate depends on factors such as weight,length, and intensity of training.

Aerobic exercises arethe best ways of burning body calories. High-intensity interval training (HIT)increase your heart rates which increases the calorie-burning rat. The best HITmethod involves alternates of 30 seconds and 1 minute of high-intensityexercise.

Also, when at home youcan do some exercises to boost the calories burning rate. Such exercisesinclude walking and push-ups at your convenience and comfort.

Factors that determinethe calories one burns 

Though, we may workout at the same intensity and time, the rate at which each injuries calorie isdifferent. Calorie burning is not consistent among individuals and depends onthe factors below:

i. Age 

Young people requiremuch energy as they have higher muscle mass. As one age, the muscle mass in hisbody reduces, and the fat masses take over. The result is one gets fatter. Youmay not notice it, but when you are in your earlier 20s you have more muscle,but as you reach your 30s, you start getting more overweight. Also, as one age,body metabolism rates slow down, which reduces the rate of calorie burns.

ii. Sex

A man of the same ageas a woman requires more energy for their daily activities. Biologically, thebody of a man and woman vary in many ways. First, women have more fat mass,while men have more muscle mass. Muscles require more energy; hence, men needmore energy to keep their bodies running. With a higher metabolism, men find iteasier to lose weight than women when resting or working out.

Also, people withhigher muscle mass burns more calories than those with fatter masses. Theirbodies require more energy for different muscle activities in the body.

iii. Weight 

The weight of a personplays a vital role in the number of calories he burns. For example, a personwho weighs 125 pounds will burn 420 calories when they participate in an hourhigh-intensity aerobic exercise. On the other hand, a 200-pounds person willburn 672 calories if they take the same activity.

The impact of exerciseon the total body weight is visible among many. The higher a weight a personhas the more calories they burn. This is because the higher-weighing bodyrequires more energy to function. The same applies when the person is restingor workout. A person with a lower weight requires less energy to run the normalbody activities hence lesser weight.

iv. Height 

The height of a personalso plays a vital role in the amount of weight they will lose. Taller peopleburn many calories as opposed to shorter people. The taller people support aheavier weight mass against gravity which requires more energy to achieve thedesired balance and flexibility. Shorter people, on the other hand, encountersless resistance while supporting their bodies hence need less energy.

v. Body composition

The body compositiondetermines the number of calories a person burns when resting or working out. Aperson with high-fat mass requires less energy to run the body. One with ahigher muscle mass in the body needs more power to run hence burns more caloriesto release energy for use.

How to calculate yourdaily calorie burn

To lose weight fasterin your body, you have to burn more calories than the one you take. For that tohappen, you should know the number of calories you burn each day. Also, eachtype of food contains different amounts of calories. Carbohydrates and proteinscontain 4g each per every gram. Fats contain nine calories per gram and are thereason people using more fats get overweight quickly.

Also, you should knowthe factor that influences your calorie burning to get the most of theworkouts. While it is hard to calculate the actual calories burned daily, somemethods provide you with estimates of the calories burned.

One of the acceptedmethods of calculating the daily calorie burns is a formula by Harris-Benedict.The Harris-Benedict formula was developed in the 20th century, modified in 1984and enhanced in 1990 to improve its precision.

The formula uses BasalMetabolic Rate (BMR) to calculate the level of a person’s physical activity. Aperson then multiplies the BMR with their daily activity level to find thenumber of calories they burn daily.

To calculate BMR, usethe formulas below:

Men: 66+ (6.2*weight) + (12.7*height)- (6.76*age)

Women: 655.1 +(4.35* weight) +(4.7*height)- (4.7*age)

Activity levels pointsare listed down below:

  1. 1.2- a person who does not exercise or exercises a little
  2. 1.37- a person who at least exercises 1-3 days each week
  3. 1.55- a moderate exercise which exercises at least 3-5 days every week
  4. 1.725- a person who exercises at 6-7 days every week
  5. 1.9- for the extra-active individual who has a physically challenging routine or tasks.

When you calculate theBMR with your regular daily activity, you’ll get the number of calories you’llburn daily.

Rowing vs Running: Whichis best for burning calories?

If you are unsurewhether to row or run for better calories burning, then you’ll find our guideinsightful. Basing on top reviews from fitness experts we have come up with aguide on the effectiveness of running and rowing in burning more calories. Youshould also know that the rates at which we burn calories depend on severalfactors of our bodies.

  Burning Calories Rowing Running 1. Upper Body Workout Rowing involves a wide range of varying muscle movements that target both the lower and upper body. The result is better body physique, balance, and flexibility. For an upper workout, rowing strengthens the abs, pecs, and biceps for a stronger core. Running is less effective in the upper body workouts. Running focuses on the lower body and builds the muscles, especially those in the upper legs and buttocks. It helps to burn calories in these parts and results in a better body physique in the lower body parts.             2. Lower Body Workout   Rowing is a useful exercise which also targets the lower body. In the lower body, rowing helps to strengthen your calves, quads, and glutes. Overall, it improves the strength of your muscles. Running is a lower-body exercise which gives your body an effective workout. It strengthens your lower body bones density. It also improves the hamstrings, quads, and glutes strength which result in a better lower body physique. 3. Burning Fat Rowing is best for burning more calories as it is more of a muscular exercise. It’s a wide range of lower and upper body movements result in the burning of most body calories. Running is one of the easiest and cheapest ways of burning calories in your body. However, It only targets the lower body, unlike rowing which focuses both lower and upper body. It is, therefore, less effective in burning calories than rowing.             4 Cardiovascular fitness Rowing is an aerobic exercise that maximizes your heart rate and improves your cardiovascular fitness Running is an aerobic exercise that increases oxygen consumption and increases pulse rate in the body. The result is the improvement of the cardiovascular system. 5. Impact Rowing is a less impactful exercise which suits it for older people or those with joint injuries Running is a more impactful exercise hence not suitable for many as they can get injuries.             6. Convenience Rowing is more convenient as you can grow indoors. The rowing machines are also cheaper to maintain than most workout machines. Running is less convenient than rowing. For example, when running outside, you can experience bad weather or traffic, which can hinder your ability to work out well. 7. Affordability For rowing, you can row indoors or in the gym. Though not very cheap, you will easily find a rowing machine that fits your budget. Running is easier to set up and operate. You only need running shoes, motivation, and a place to run.

Rowingvs Running: Final Say

Rowingand running are both effective methods of burning calories. While runningfocuses on the lower body, rowing focuses on the upper and lower body. Rowingis, therefore, the best method for burning calories as it comes with additionalbenefits to the body when you compare it with running.