Rowing vs Running For Weight Loss

Are you looking for an effective way to lose weight? There are lots of popular exercises that promise amazing results, but which one is the best option for shedding extra pounds and toning up your physique? If you’re torn between running and rowing, fear not– in this blog post we go through a comprehensive comparison of rowing vs running for weight loss success. We discuss the advantages and drawbacks of each exercise so you can make an informed decision about what will work best for your fitness goals. Plus, learn why incorporating both into your routine will give you even more impressive results!

An Overview of Rowing and Running

Rowing and running are both incredibly effective forms of cardiovascular exercise, each offering unique benefits and challenges. While they may seem quite different at first glance – one being a water-based, full-body workout and the other a land-based, primarily lower-body activity – they share a common goal: to enhance your physical fitness and overall health. Both activities demand endurance, strength, and a high degree of coordination, making them excellent choices for those seeking a comprehensive workout regimen.

Rowing is a low-impact, full-body exercise that engages nearly all major muscle groups, including the legs, core, back, and arms. It’s an efficient way to boost cardiovascular fitness and build muscular strength, all while enjoying the tranquillity of the water (or the camaraderie of a rowing club, if you’re so inclined). Running, on the other hand, is a high-impact exercise that predominantly works the lower body. It’s accessible, versatile, and can be done virtually anywhere, from city streets to mountain trails. 

Running is also renowned for its mood-boosting properties, often referred to as the “runner’s high”, which come courtesy of the endorphins released during this vigorous activity. Both rowing and running can be tailored to suit individual fitness levels and goals, making them suitable for beginners and athletes alike.

Benefits of Rowing for Weight Loss

Rowing vs Running For Weight Loss
Photo by Kyle Kranz on Unsplash

Rowing, as a comprehensive, full-body workout, can be a powerful tool in your weight loss journey. One of the key advantages of rowing is its efficiency; it engages nearly 85% of your muscles with every stroke – including your legs, arms, back, and core. This not only helps to build lean muscle, which naturally boosts your metabolism but also leads to significant calorie burn. In fact, an hour of vigorous rowing can burn up to 600-800 calories, depending on your weight and exertion level. This makes rowing a more effective calorie burner than many other forms of exercise.

Beyond the raw numbers, rowing has several other benefits for weight loss. It’s a low-impact exercise, meaning it’s easier on your joints than high-impact activities like running. This makes it an excellent option for those with joint concerns, or for those just starting their fitness journey. Furthermore, as a cardiovascular exercise, rowing improves heart health and increases endurance, both of which are crucial for maintaining long-term weight loss. Lastly, rowing can be a fun and engaging activity, especially if you’re rowing on the water or using a machine with interactive features. Keeping your workouts enjoyable is key to staying motivated and consistent, which are perhaps the most important factors in successful weight loss.

Benefits of Running for Weight Loss

Rowing vs Running For Weight Loss

Running is renowned as one of the most effective exercises for weight loss, and for good reason. As a high-intensity cardio workout, it burns a significant number of calories – on average, a 155-pound person can burn around 500 calories in just 30 minutes of running at a 6 mph pace. This calorie-burning potential is further boosted by the afterburn effect, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This means that your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate even after you’ve finished your run, amplifying the total calorie burn and aiding in weight loss.

Aside from its calorie-burning prowess, running offers several other benefits that can support your weight loss journey. It helps build lean muscle, particularly in the lower body, which can increase your resting metabolic rate and help you burn more calories even while at rest. Running also improves cardiovascular health, boosting your heart’s efficiency and endurance. Perhaps most importantly, running can be a rewarding and enjoyable activity, providing a mental boost and helping to relieve stress. The sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a run, whether it’s your first mile or your tenth, can be a powerful motivator to stay consistent with your exercise routine – a key factor in achieving and maintaining weight loss.

How to Get Started with Rowing 

Venturing into the world of rowing is an exciting endeavour, and with the right approach, it can be a seamless transition. The first step is understanding the basics; rowing is a full-body exercise that requires synchronized movement of your legs, core, and arms. Familiarize yourself with terms like ‘catch’, ‘drive’, ‘finish’, and ‘recovery’, which describe the four phases of a rowing stroke. A rowing machine, or ergometer, is an excellent tool to get started with, as it allows you to practice and perfect your form in a controlled setting. Start with low resistance and focus on nailing down your technique before gradually increasing the intensity.

Once you’ve got the hang of the rowing motion, it’s time to build your endurance. Begin with short, manageable sessions – perhaps 10-15 minutes at a time – and gradually increase the duration as your fitness improves. Incorporate interval training into your routine for a more challenging workout; for instance, alternate between 2 minutes of high-intensity rowing and 1 minute of rest. And remember, consistency is key: aim for regular, frequent workouts to steadily build your strength and stamina. Don’t forget to celebrate your progress along the way – every stroke brings you one step closer to your fitness goals.

How to Get Started with Running 

If you’re ready to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement, then welcome to an exhilarating journey towards improved health and fitness. Running is a fantastic exercise that requires minimal equipment, can be done almost anywhere, and offers numerous benefits. To start with, invest in a good pair of running shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. This is crucial for comfort and injury prevention. Next, determine your baseline. Start by walking or jogging at a comfortable pace, and note how long and how far you can go without feeling overly winded. This will serve as your starting point.

Once you’ve established your baseline, it’s time to create a progressive running plan. If you’re a beginner, consider following a run/walk method. This could mean running for a minute, then walking for two, and repeating this cycle for the duration of your workout. Gradually, you’ll increase the running intervals and decrease the walking ones. Don’t rush the process; it’s important to listen to your body and progress at your own pace. Remember, consistency trumps intensity when starting out. Aim to get out there three times a week, even if it’s just for a short run. Over time, you’ll notice improvements in your endurance and speed. So, set your goals, follow your plan, and enjoy the journey!

Tips to Make the Most out of Your Workout with Either Activity 

When it comes to rowing, the key to maximizing your workout lies in mastering your technique. A smooth, controlled stroke is far more effective than a powerful, but sloppy one. Start with the catch position: sit tall with your shins vertical, shoulders in front of your hips, and handle held at chest height. Push through your legs first, then lean back and pull the handle to your chest to complete the stroke.

Remember, rowing is a full-body workout – 60% of your power should come from your legs, 30% from your core, and just 10% from your arms. Keep your strokes per minute (SPM) on the lower side, around 24-30, to maintain control and efficiency. It’s not about how fast you can move back and forth, but how effectively you can use each stroke.

Running, on the other hand, benefits from a focus on form and pacing. Strike the ground with your midfoot, not your heel, and aim for a stride rate of around 180 steps per minute. This promotes efficiency and reduces the risk of injury. Lean slightly forward from your ankles and keep your arms relaxed at your sides. Pacing is crucial; start out at a comfortable pace where you can hold a conversation.

As your fitness improves, you can gradually increase your speed or distance. Incorporate interval training, such as sprinting for 30 seconds followed by a slower recovery period, to improve endurance and calorie burn. Remember, running is a journey, not a sprint – consistency and gradual progress are the keys to success.

Embracing the world of rowing and running is an exciting journey that promises not only improved physical health but also mental resilience. As you embark on this path, remember to focus on mastering your technique, whether it’s the perfect stroke on the rowing machine or the ideal stride on the pavement. Pace yourself and remember that progress may be slow, but it is inevitable with consistency and determination. Harness the power of interval training and don’t shy away from challenging yourself as your fitness level improves.

Above all, enjoy the process, celebrate every milestone, and keep pushing forward. Your journey towards better health and fitness is a marathon, not a sprint, and every step you take is a victory in itself. So lace up those shoes, grab those oars, and let’s get moving!