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On The Horizon...


A rowing machine, sometimes referred to as an erg, is an equipment that simulates the action of rowing on water. As seen in the image above, a rowing machine has a handle that the user pull to imitate the swing of the oar (minus the arc movement done on actual rowing). The seat and the body are pushed backwards by the legs to imitate the efforts used on water resistance. Cross-trainers on the other hand is a standup equipment that has two handles, which the user pushes and pulls, and pedals that you step on to imitate the act of climbing a set of stairs. From the arms down to the calves, both provide a full body workout. However, if you are torn between which equipment suits your needs best, here are some basic comparisons of the type of workout you can expect.

Ease of use

One of the biggest reasons why a lot of people have not dared enter a gym is because all the rows of equipment looks intimidating. No one likes to look clueless, much more stupid, in front of people who have been doing it for a long time. So ease of use is definitely something to consider when looking for your favourite equipment. While rowing seems intuitive enough, there are actually proper techniques on how to use it because there is the risk of misusing the erg which would prevent you from reaping its full benefits. The cross-trainers, on the other hand, are more user friendly. Its design immediately makes it obvious what needs to be done to make it work. There is almost no way to use it wrongly.


Endurance building is what most people go to the gym for. Athletes want to make sure that when they are on the field or court trying to beat the other team, their strength are unfaltering and their breaths are not cut short. Just take soccer players for example, they run 120 meters back and forth for a span of 90 minutes so they have to make sure that their endurance is top notch. People who have the need for endurance may want to pick the rowing machine. The rowing machine is generally considered to help you gain endurance more effectively because of the higher tension the machine provides, which makes sense because rowing is a speed and endurance sport so the machine counterpart is based on the same actions.

Low-impact high effectivity

Low-impact activities are as much needed as high-power trainings because not everyone is out there to become complete buffs. Some just want the benefit of an active lifestyle. For injured individuals, they do the workout to facilitate rehabilitation of the body. The rowing machine and the cross-trainer are both capable of low-impact cardio workouts by simply lowering the tension levels. While the erg does take pressure of the back, the cross-trainers’ more fluid motions make it less straining to the body.


People love toning muscles due to visual appeal but aside from that, toned muscles – which signify a higher muscle to fat ratio – is actually proven to be healthier because it helps the body burn more calories even during at rest. For this test, both these machines provide a good avenue for achieving toned muscles. Because they are both an all body workout, not one problem area is missed which also makes for an efficient machine. Depending on your usage, you may find a better workout from using a cross-trainer, I did in my experience anyway. If you are looking to buy some equipment then I wouldn't look past this site for cross-trainers as they have a great range of ellipticals. The reason I recommend the cross-trainer is because it is a little more cardio-intensive therefore a bit more of a reliable source of weight loss. However, if you are wanting to tone and build resistance then the rowing machine may be your thing.