Is doing the rowing machine as good as running on treadmill?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
    I got pushed too hard by my personal trainer today and I had the most excruciating cramp on my right leg, I was rolling on the floor in pain.

    I was advised not jump nor run in the next few days until I have totally recovered from my injury. Hell I couldn't even walk properly (I guess limping is the word for it) so I surely couldn't run even if I have to.

    That being said, I still want to do cardio exercise in hopes of trimming my belly as the holidays are fast approaching (which is beach time for me). I definitely cannot do exercises that will require major use of my legs such as running and spinning.

    So is doing the rowing machine just as good? I just have the impression that it looks too easy compared to running. I was thinking of doing interval training with this.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Dec 15, 2011 4:38 PM GMT
    Rowing machines makes heavy use of your legs as well - most of the thrust comes from your quadriceps and glutes. If you can't jump, then I would stay away from the rowing machine.

    Would you be able to do a stationary bike instead?
  • asana

    Posts: 53

    Dec 15, 2011 4:49 PM GMT
    Swim pulls! Then you aren't using your legs at all. Or hand bike, if you're more terranean.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 4:52 PM GMT
    Swimming is the first thing that comes to mind.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 4:55 PM GMT
    i agree......on an erg you drive through with your legs and only finish the movement with your arms. it's very leg intensive. if you want to do non-leg cardio, swimming with a pull buoy is probably best.

    you said you just have a cramp though. have you tried stretching it out? a cramp shouldn't be a long term injury....

    oh, and as for it being a good workout, using an erg is a great workout when done correctly; however, a lot of people use terrible form and tweak their backs. before you jump on and start pulling, get someone to give you a quick rundown of the movement.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 5:24 PM GMT
    imasrxd saidi agree......on an erg you drive through with your legs and only finish the movement with your arms. it's very leg intensive. if you want to do non-leg cardio, swimming with a pull buoy is probably best.

    you said you just have a cramp though. have you tried stretching it out? a cramp shouldn't be a long term injury....

    oh, and as for it being a good workout, using an erg is a great workout when done correctly; however, a lot of people use terrible form and tweak their backs. before you jump on and start pulling, get someone to give you a quick rundown of the movement.



    Pardon my English but I think the correct word is strain and not cramp.

    And by erg, do you mean rowing machine?

    I haven't realized it is also leg intensive. I thought it was more like a pulling motion with minimal 'kicking' involved.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 5:34 PM GMT
    The erg machine, and rowing in general is 90% legs, probably 8% back/shoulders, and about 2% arms.

    the reason people think otherwise is because most people, even trainers, don't use it properly. They do this modified arm-intensive motion which is TERRIBLE for you.

    FITP_RowmcTechnique2.jpg


    *starting position*
    1) Drive with the legs

    2) At about 95% extension (almost flat legs) swing the back from the hips like a pendulum

    3) just as you're coming to the back of the swing, bring the arms in, elbow close to your body, not flapping out, with a quick circular motion. Pulling towards, quickly rounding downward, then "pushing away" as you rock forward again, then legs.

    Legs > Body > Arms > Body > Legs.

    It's quite rhythmic once you get the proper technique down. Very leg intensive, but not intense on your joints like Running. Keep a split (time/100 M) of around 1:40 for 20 minutes... you'll be sweating like a ho in church.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 5:39 PM GMT
    andymackenzie saidI got pushed too hard by my personal trainer today and I had the most excruciating cramp on my right leg, I was rolling on the floor in pain.

    I was advised not jump nor run in the next few days until I have totally recovered from my injury. Hell I couldn't even walk properly (I guess limping is the word for it) so I surely couldn't run even if I have to.

    That being said, I still want to do cardio exercise in hopes of trimming my belly as the holidays are fast approaching (which is beach time for me). I definitely cannot do exercises that will require major use of my legs such as running and spinning.

    So is doing the rowing machine just as good? I just have the impression that it looks too easy compared to running. I was thinking of doing interval training with this.


    If your goal is to "trim your belly", then do the thing that counts. Cut out all bread, dairy, cheese, pop/soda, chips, junk food, and just eat good clean meat, veggies, and some fruit. Belly fat is 90% diet, 10% exercise or "cardio".

    I'd also ask what the injury was and whether somebody who knows what they're talking about advised you correctly. Often with cramps, inactivity is not a good answer. Often movement is helpful to the healing process as long as it's not heavy lifts and 1 rep maxes and things like that. Who told you not to "jump or run"??
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 6:10 PM GMT
    outdoorathlete said
    If your goal is to "trim your belly", then do the thing that counts. Cut out all bread, dairy, cheese, pop/soda, chips, junk food, and just eat good clean meat, veggies, and some fruit. Belly fat is 90% diet, 10% exercise or "cardio".

    I'd also ask what the injury was and whether somebody who knows what they're talking about advised you correctly. Often with cramps, inactivity is not a good answer. Often movement is helpful to the healing process as long as it's not heavy lifts and 1 rep maxes and things like that. Who told you not to "jump or run"??


    Trimming my belly is one goal but I equally want to be fit as well.

    It was my trainer who told me not to jump nor run. To be honest I cannot do it anyway. It feels like I will hurt myself again if I try. I tried to tiptoe just now and my heel hasn't even gotten raised to an inch and it feels like my leg muscles are gonna snap.

    He advised me not to massage it as it will make it worse. Told me I have to regularly stretch it.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Dec 15, 2011 6:35 PM GMT
    Do abs.
    (And remember, getting fit is a marathon, not a sprint. If you're injured, respect the injury so that it'll be short lived. Do what you can, but don't force what you can't.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 7:26 PM GMT
    First, I was told that VitaminD is fat soluable, not water soluable, so you can take too much and that is dangerous.

    My lab test for VitaminD levels cost $85 before insurance.

    After the blood draw, they found that my level was 20 and should be 50. Doc gave me a recommended daily suppliment. Started taking D3 gel tabs and now I get cramping if I miss a day.

    I was trying electrolyte drinks and stretching like crazy and still had problems for years.

    For the record, I'm part irish and I minimize my sun exposure.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 7:31 PM GMT
    andymackenzie said...That being said, I still want to do cardio exercise in hopes of trimming my belly as the holidays are fast approaching (which is beach time for me). I definitely cannot do exercises that will require major use of my legs such as running and spinning.

    I think I've tried every cardio there is. After spinning and eliptical, finally had the courage to try the treadmill....flat incline and 5mph worked for a while, then I plateaued until my trainer helped me figure out the Incline.

    My goal for years was to run a 5K in half an hour(run the race, get a Tshirt to show off to my sedate cubicle-mates.)

    I didn't start seriously losing weight until I cranked the incline from flat to the full 15%. The calorie guess-o-meter on the panel responded likewise.

    It takes me an hour. Definitely good for a sweat.

    For me, 3mph is adequate. You will want to work on leg and glute development to build your endurance.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Dec 15, 2011 7:36 PM GMT
    neosyllogy said(And remember, getting fit is a marathon, not a sprint. If you're injured, respect the injury so that it'll be short lived. Do what you can, but don't force what you can't.)


    Can we frame this and put it up in every gym on the planet by January 1? Pretty-please?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 15, 2011 7:41 PM GMT
    Jeandeau saidThe erg machine, and rowing in general is 90% legs, probably 8% back/shoulders, and about 2% arms.

    the reason people think otherwise is because most people, even trainers, don't use it properly. They do this modified arm-intensive motion which is TERRIBLE for you.

    FITP_RowmcTechnique2.jpg


    *starting position*
    1) Drive with the legs

    2) At about 95% extension (almost flat legs) swing the back from the hips like a pendulum

    3) just as you're coming to the back of the swing, bring the arms in, elbow close to your body, not flapping out, with a quick circular motion. Pulling towards, quickly rounding downward, then "pushing away" as you rock forward again, then legs.

    Legs > Body > Arms > Body > Legs.

    It's quite rhythmic once you get the proper technique down. Very leg intensive, but not intense on your joints like Running. Keep a split (time/100 M) of around 1:40 for 20 minutes... you'll be sweating like a ho in church.
    Thank you.........
    20 minutes doing it correctly will bust anyone's ass!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 18, 2011 12:03 AM GMT
    Jeandeau saidThe erg machine, and rowing in general is 90% legs, probably 8% back/shoulders, and about 2% arms.

    the reason people think otherwise is because most people, even trainers, don't use it properly. They do this modified arm-intensive motion which is TERRIBLE for you.

    Agree with everything you said. The newest Concept2 model is the Dynamic Indoor Rower. The same principles apply to what is a sound motion, but there are differences in that the feet are not fixed into position. Both the feet and the seat move. Not as forgiving if technique is not good.