Cardio equipment comes in all shapes and sizes, with some of the most popular being exercise bikes, rowers, cross trainers and treadmills. But which is best? We're taking a look at the treadmill vs rowing machine and which is the right piece of equipment for you.


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Treadmill

Woman running on a treadmill at the gym

The treadmill is one of the most popular of cardio equipment. Few exercises are as natural as running. Treadmills can be used for a range of goals, with weight loss, mental health benefits and stamina improvement often being the driving forces.

Running on a treadmill is centred around your legs. Running means that you’re making explosive muscle contractions to drive you forward at speed. Because of how hard your legs are working to generate this force, you’re building up a lot of muscle in your lower body.

Most treadmills also come with an incline feature. That means that not only can you focus on your speed or technique, but you can focus on power, too. Whether you’re walking on an incline to burn serious calories, or sprinting to build those legs, you’re doing serious work.

A treadmill is a way for enjoying both LISS and HIIT workouts, and that’s great for keeping your training varied.

Rowing Machine

man training on a rowing machine at the gym

Rowers are just as incredible in their own right. One of the biggest selling points of a rowing machine is that it is a full body workout, muscle building and calorie burning at the same time.

You can use a rower as a part of your cardio training or as a great way to diversify your back workout. If you are going down the route of a harder workout, the rowing machine has you covered there, too. Rowing machines have variable resistance, which means that they can be as tough as you need them to be. That is going to seriously push the bigger muscles such as your lats, rear delts and your biceps to their limit.

You can go for an all-out sprint HIIT workout or a long-distance row and see the different effects that they will have on your body. Fitness and muscle can really build together if you can use your rower in the right way.

Which is Best?

When you weigh up a treadmill vs rowing machine, you'll realise that they offer their own unique advantages. No matter your fitness level, goals or budget, both pieces of equipment can benefit. It’s all about personal preference at the end of the day.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.