Rowing Machine or Exercise Bike?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Werewolf, Sep 26, 2009.

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  1. Knee injury came back with a vengance, so no more "running" around my usual route(while being overtaken by asmatic OAP's walking their dogs :oops: )

    For the next few weeks at least I'll be confined to the Gym. Obviously, any type of impact-based cardio is out, so I basically have to choose between the Exercise Bikes and the Rowing Machines.

    Any thoughts on which is better or is it too close to call?
  2. If you can, try 500m intervals on the rower and some burpees for time (set rest period or like me, using the HR to dictate).
    They're not much fun.

    Overal I would say spin bike for longer distance work and to get some resistance work intoyour legs and rower for intervals or short hard 20 minute sessions.

    Oh, rest the knee first obviously as rowing can aggreviate some things.
  3. What about a cross trainer? Otherwise it's rowing for me everytime when I can't run as my knees are beginning to scream now after years of abuse.
  4. Swimming is brilliant for cardiovascular fitness and upper body, at the same time as being nice to the knees (do front crawl).
  5. Tell me about it. 12 years in the infantry without any major injuries, less than a year after leaving I trip in a pot hole and f uck my ankle. I had to knock the running on the head last year,I can manage one 3 miler a week but it has to be on soft ground - running circuits round the park does get rather boring after a while.

    Why not combine the gym work? I always start on the rowing machnie,and I alternate with the cross trainer and the bike on different days before doing some weights, then always finishing off with a swim.
  6. To get properly fit, your best bet is to do long sessions of what rowers call Ut2 (hr 160-170). An hour on the ergo is worth about 2.5 hrs on the bike as the exercises are very different. That being said, I'd rather spend the time on the bike as it's much more pleasant.

    Also, if you do use the rowing machine then set the adjustable drag to about 4 or 5, don't dial it up to 10 like everyone else at the gym seems to.
  7. Thanks for the replies, lads. :)

    I am gutted that I won't be able to run for a while. I have the attention span of an American child who has been main-lining suger, so find Cardio machines very boring. :evil:
  8. As a rower myself, I warn you that an hour at UT2 is mind numbingly boring to do. Try breaking it up into 2x30 mins of 2x6/7km with 2 mins break in between. Still get the CV benefit, but slightly less dull. On slightly though.
  9. Circuit I do sometimes is 10mins rowing,10mins bike and 10mins cross trainer with 1min breaks in between,then 1 min or max reps on leg ext, same on leg curls,same on calf raises then 1 min crunches,same leg raises,same v-crunches,same leg pushes and same cross over crunches with no breaks.Decent wee circuit to get the heart pumping and keep the fitness up.Hope it helps.
  10. I've always rowed and enjoyed it, but unless you concentrate on proper form you can aggravate an existing injury or damage your lower back. My humble suggestion is to get cracking on the bike, and gradually include a period of warm-up/warm-down using the rower. Once you have good form start swapping them over.

    If you start using rowing as your primary exercise be careful you don't start damaging your wrists with the strain (interval work tends to put excess force on the wrist at first). Carpel tunnel can be a risk, especially if you haven't prepared properly.

  11. I agree, but only if the 2 mins is your absolute maximum. The break should be long enough for you to get up from the machine, fill a waterbottle, reset the monitor and crack on again. Any more and you are going to lose some of the benefit.

    Once you have done it a couple of times, it isn't all that bad as you get used to it.
  12. Try 90 min UT2 for some fun :D

    Rowing will excersize more muscles (upper body, back/core) than cycling will, so I'd say its better. But doing both won't hurt too much, just keep your heart rate fairly high for a decent period of time (30min + ),.
  13. For a straight answer to your original question, I would say that the bike gives less impact on your knees of the two machines you mention but, as has been said already, swimming is probably best of the lot (although I find swimming boring as fcuk!). If you go down the route of the bike, try a spin session but not on a strength session; go for endurance or interval. This will keep your cardio levels up/ improve them without impacting on your knee joint/s too much. Hope this helps :)
  14. If you think about the Ergo / rower, you need to fully bend your knees and then extend under strain. Not a good idea if you have crocked knees.

    I bet some other posters here went to Hampton...
  15. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Seconded - cross trainer everytime (good quality ones, like Life Fitness 95Xi Elliptical Cross-Trainer).