I got asked the other day,  “Why when running is in the workout people can substitute rowing but not vice versa?” Obviously this is not really true…ok sometimes I am a stickler but it’s usually because people are picking what they are better at.

Rowing is an invaluable tool for runners. When you learn how to do it right, it lights up weaknesses you didn’t know you had. It helps find power in muscles they hadn’t used before and can be a great replacement for running when injuries surface.

So which provides a better overall workout?

Both running and rowing provide a great cardio workout, but when performed properly, rowing works most of the muscles in your body – arms, core, legs, low back and develops flexibility in the hamstrings and calves.

The muscles worked out while running include mostly your leg muscles – hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quadriceps – which is great but can’t compete against a full body workout from a rower.

What about calories burned?

Head to head, running will burn more calories than rowing however when it comes to weight loss and building muscles, rowing takes the win.

Which is better for your body?

Rowing is a little kinder to your joints. It’s both low impact and non-weight bearing so it causes less wear and tear on your joints. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to be a better runner, your training should focus on running, but rowing is a great alternative to do some non-impact form of endurance training.

Which is the better bang for your buck?

Running is free, no machine needed. It helps builds strong bones, gets us in better cardiovascular shape and increases our calorie burn. Rowing provides an equivalent challenging cardio workout, builds muscle on your lower and upper body, and is non-weight bearing. At the end of the day, I think they are a great compliment to one another if done right.

It’s more than a flip of a coin of which endurance exercise is chosen for the workout each day. Our goal is to improve your ability across all areas of fitness — speed, strength, endurance, flexibility, power, coordination, and so forth. It’s about keeping workouts funs, adding variety and not wearing down your bodies or stressing any one area. So the next time you see rowing or running on the board, challenge yourself to complete the task at hand and you never know your weakness may become your new strength.



A: Hang Snatch

B. Max Reps in 12-min
1-min Doubles
1-min DB Snatch
2-min Doubles
2-min DB Snatch
3-min Doubles
3-min DB Snatch

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