recumbent bike vs rowing machine

Which exercise equipment a person should use is a tricky question for all. With a variety of exercising equipment out there, it’s easier to get confused. Nevertheless, the final selection depends on one’s fitness demands and goals. Today we are going for a comparison recumbent bike vs rowing machine, which will help you choose the right exercise machine.

As for the recumbent bikes and rowing machines are both decent pieces of exercise equipment to use at home. They both provide low-impact exercises. However, significant differences become apparent in the working and techniques of both types of equipment. A Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes With Arm Workout is surely more worthwhile and provides a smooth exercising experience.

Recumbent Bike: Recumbent exercise bikes come in various shapes and sizes with different features and systems. A basic recumbent bike without movable arms gives only a lower body workout, whereas moving arms allows the upper body to stretch. The recumbent bike is simpler because the user is supposed to do pedaling by adjusting a suitable resistance level.

Rowing Machine: Rowing machines provide a full-body workout. They allow the upper body to stretch as the arms move in the rowing position, whereas the sliding seat moves forward and backward, giving the lower body significant momentum. Rowing machines come with different resistance types. Therefore, finding a rowing machine with the correct resistance type matters a lot for getting the most out of a workout.

Features that Stand Out in a Recumbent Bike

The most prominent features that stand out in a recumbent bike are discussed below.

i) Adjustable Seat:

Modern recumbent exercise bikes come with adjustable seats so that people with different heights can easily adjust the seating according to their height and comfort, which makes pedaling more effective.

ii) Lumbar Support:

Lumbar support is a blessing for people who suffer from fatigue and backaches. The backrest is usually as comfortable and soft as the padded seat. The seat plus the backrest are fixed in one piece and mimic the shape and size of an office chair. However, it depends on the manufacturers as to how they craft the chair placed in the recumbent bikes to provide ultimate relief.

iii) Quiet Operation:

Most recumbent exercise bikes offer magnetic resistance, which creates the resistance through the magnets providing smooth functioning of the pedaling and quiet operation. Neither you nor your family members experience any disturbance or unnecessary noise during the workout.

iv) LCD Screen:

The LCD screen shows all the data and workout progress. It records the time, distance, speed, pulse, and calories, etc.

v) Resistance Adjustments:

The various resistance adjustments offered by the recumbent bikes create challenging and exciting workout options for fitness enthusiasts.

Noticeable Benefits of a Recumbent Bike

In actual there is not comparison of recumbent bike vs rowing machine because the recumbent bike offers a lot. The noticeable benefits of a recumbent bike are explained below.

i) Comfort:

When it comes to comfort, recumbent bikes are always ahead of other exercising machines. The trick lies in its ergonomic design of the bike frame. The bike frame is made spacious, making it easier to get on and off, especially for overweight and senior people.

The adjustable sizeable padded seat provides comfort to the buttocks, and the backrest offers support to the back. With the pedals situated in front of the body, the pedaling could never be so comfortable before.

ii) Great Potential of Burning Calories:

Exercising on a recumbent bike can greatly help burn calories because the convenient workouts enable the user to stay on the bike for long hours and work out a bit extra than usual, resulting in effective calorie burning and fat loss.

iii) Cardio Exercise:

The recumbent bikes offer low and high-impact cardiovascular exercises suitable for all age groups. Cardio exercise helps in stimulating blood circulation and boosting immunity. When it comes to cardio, it’s better than a spin bike; when you compare Recumbent Bike VS Spin Bike, we figure out many of the shortcomings in a spin bike.

Features that Stand Out in a Rowing Machine

recumbent bike vs rowing machine

Exercising on a rowing machine needs some practice, but the effects of the workout can be unique. The features that stand out in a rowing machine are discussed below.

i) Different Types of Resistances:

Rowing machines come with various types of resistances, including air, water, hydraulic-piston, magnetic, and a combination of both air and magnetic. Each resistance gives the user a different kind of experience. Therefore, resistance plays a significant role in the selection of a rowing machine. However, all rowing machines aim to provide a full-body workout engaging all core and other muscles.

ii) Large Seat:

The seat is usually built large and soft to provide comfort to the buttocks as the user will sit on the seat and slide through the rail forward and backward repeatedly.

iii) Straps to Fix the Feet:

The straps are always present in the basic features of the rowing machines. The straps are made durable to hold and fix the feet at a single position to provide support and balance to the user.

iv) Smooth-Gliding Slide Rail:

Smooth-gliding slide rail is an essential feature of rowing machines because the whole workout involves sliding as the user does rowing with the arms and pushes his/her body forward and then pulls it backward.

v) LCD Screen:

The LCD screen shows the elapsed time, distance, strides, revolutions per minute, number of burned calories, and pulse, etc.

Benefits of a Rowing Machine

The main benefits of a rowing machine are explained below.

i) Minimal Impact On the Joints:

Rowing machines also provide low-impact exercise, which means that it puts minimal impact on the joints keeping the user safe from joint injuries. People with arthritis can also use this equipment for rehabilitation.

ii) All Muscles Get Engaged:

The rowing machine demands all the body muscles engage in the workout. The workout targets the full body comprising the shoulders, arms, chest, abdominal muscles, upper back, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, and glutes.

iii) Weight Loss:

As rowing machine provides a full-body workout, that’s why it is pretty easy to lose weight by using it regularly. Studies show that a person with 125 pounds can burn at least 255 calories in just 30 minutes of an intense workout on a rowing machine.

A Comparison Recumbent Bike vs Rowing Machine

The comparison between a rowing machine and a recumbent bike might help fitness enthusiasts to analyze both types of equipment properly in terms of:

i) Safety:

A recumbent bike might prove safer than a rowing machine simply because of the backrest that secures the body within the bike frame. To feel more secure on a rowing machine, one might need to check out the seat, the sliding function of the machine, the handle-grip, and the foot straps that protect the feet from slipping.

ii) Weight Loss:

A recumbent bike and rowing machine both provide workouts beneficial for weight loss. However, a rowing machine can burn calories in half the time a recumbent bike would usually take. It all comes down to the user, though, as the speed, time, and effort invested in exercising counts a lot to lose weight properly.

iii) Cardio:

A recumbent bike and a rowing machine both offer intense and low-impact cardiovascular workouts. Still, a person should be careful in his/her workout technique during a high-impact exercise on a rowing machine as it can cause strain or straightaway injury in the lower back.

iv) Cost:

When it comes to the cost, fitness enthusiasts can find both pieces of equipment at affordable prices. Recumbent bikes and rowing machines are available at all sorts of prices ranging from super cheap to super expensive. The ones who don’t want to compromise on the quality and durability of the equipment might invest a handsome amount of money in the purchase.

v) Rehabilitation:

Recumbent bikes might be a better option for rehabilitation purposes, especially for spinal surgeries, than a rowing machine. A rowing machine also offers low-impact exercises that might be suitable for people with joint problems like arthritis. Still, as it demands comprehensive stretching of the upper body, which could strain the back, it is safe to say that a recumbent bike is a more appropriate option to opt for.

vi) Weight capacity:

A home rowing machine offers almost 250 to 300 lbs weight capacity, whereas the home recumbent bike offers 375 to 350 lbs weight capacity to the users. Recumbent Bikes Vs Exercise Bikes help you to know why recumbent bikes are capable to hold more weight than other exercise bikes.

Who Can Use a Recumbent Bike?

  • All age groups, especially senior people, can comfortably use a recumbent exercise bike.
  • Pregnant women can also use a recumbent bike at the lowest resistance level in the beginning months.
  • People recovering from surgeries, injuries, and arthritis can also use a recumbent bike to enhance the healing of joints and activation of muscles

Who Can Use a Rowing Machine?

  • People who want to recover from injuries can also use a rowing machine. However, they would have to keep their body posture in check.
  • Obese people who want to lose weight quickly and tone the muscles to bring the body in perfect shape should use a rowing machine.
  • Older adults can also use a rowing machine to remain active and fit.


The recumbent exercise bikes and rowing machines are good choices for working out at home with ease, but the few variations here and there in the features and benefits make the difference for the users. Read this comparison recumbent bike vs rowing machine in full to know the difference.

The workout enthusiasts can now decide on the most suitable exercise equipment for them by comparing the two while keeping in mind their requirements and exercise goals.

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