Rowing and stationary bikes are two popular forms of cardiovascular exercise that can be done at home or in the gym. Both provide a great workout and are low-impact, making them good options for individuals with joint issues. In this article, we will explore the benefits of rowing and whether or not it is better than stationary biking.

Benefits of Rowing

Rowing is a full-body workout that targets multiple muscle groups, including the legs, core, arms, and back. According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound person can burn up to 590 calories in an hour of moderate rowing. Furthermore, rowing is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints, making it a good option for individuals with knee, hip, or ankle issues.

Benefits of Stationary Biking

Stationary biking is also a great form of cardiovascular exercise that provides a low-impact workout. Biking primarily targets the lower body, including the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. According to the American Council on Exercise, a 155-pound person can burn up to 420 calories in an hour of moderate indoor cycling.


When it comes to a comparison between rowing and stationary biking, it ultimately depends on your personal preference and fitness goals. However, there are some differences to consider.

Firstly, rowing engages more muscle groups than stationary biking. According to a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, rowing recruits 86% of the body’s musculature, while cycling recruits only 44%. This means that rowing is a more efficient exercise for building total-body strength and endurance.

Secondly, rowing is a weight-bearing exercise, which can help to improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. On the other hand, stationary biking is not weight-bearing and does not provide the same benefits.

Expert Opinion

Dr. Cameron Nicol, a sports medicine physician, suggests that rowing is a better workout than stationary biking. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, he states that “rowing is a great way to work your upper and lower body, and can help improve your posture.” He also notes that rowing can be modified for different fitness levels, making it a good option for beginners and advanced athletes alike.


Both rowing and stationary biking provide a great workout and offer numerous health benefits. Ultimately, the decision between which exercise to do comes down to personal preference and fitness goals. However, if you are looking for an efficient workout that engages multiple muscle groups and helps to improve posture and bone density, rowing may be the better option.