CARDIO COMBAT: Rowing vs. Cycling

Here we tell you which is the better choice for slashing calories.

rowing class and cycling class

Rowing Cycling
Muscles Used Whole body (except chest) Lower body
Range of Motion ★★★★★ ★★
Calories Burned/Hour 606 498
Pro Low impact Low impact
Con Access to rowing machine Access to bike

Winner: Rowing
The biggest differences between these cardio options are the amount of muscle mass involved and the range of motion through which it’s used. Specifically, the whole-body nature of rowing utilizes more oxygen and burns more calories. This allows you to work harder for longer periods, which yields a greater aerobic benefit. The only con we can find? The availability of stationary bikes vs. the availability of rowing machines.