A rowing machine can be an effective workout tool.
A rowing machine and jump rope are about as different as you can get in terms of exercise equipment. While they both can provide an effective cardio workout, each comes with its own unique benefits. Which piece of equipment is best depends entirely upon your personal needs, resources and fitness goals.
Rowing and jumping rope are two efficient ways to burn calories and get your blood pumping. However, they are quite different. Consider your fitness goals when choosing between these activities.
Consider Your Space
Expense and space requirements are a top concern when considering the benefits of a rowing machine versus a jump rope. While rowing machines are a very useful workout tool, they take up considerable space, even the folding models, and can cost several hundred to over one thousand dollars. Jump ropes, on the other hand, are relatively inexpensive and can be coiled up and stored in a small drawer.
Evaluate the Efficiency
If you're going to put the time in for a workout, you want to make sure you're spending your time wisely. Rowing machines and jump ropes both offer an effective means for improving your cardio. Rowing machines, however, go one step further and develop muscular strength and endurance in your arms, shoulders, back, hips and legs. The muscular benefits of jumping rope are primarily limited to the muscles of your lower body.
Shoot for Variety
Using a rowing machine consists of simply performing the rowing motion over and over again. The only variation you can add to your workout is to alter the resistance you're using or the speed at which you're pulling. Jumping rope may also seem like a mundane activity but there are a few different ways you can add a little variety to your workout. Working with a weighted jump rope will up the challenge for your upper body. Aside from the basic hop, there are several other ways to jump rope, including double unders, boxer step, jog step or any other way you can dream up to move your body while making it over the rope with each swing.
Avoid the Impact
One of the biggest benefits a rowing machine has over a jump rope is the no-impact environment it offers for your workout. Jumping rope is considered a high-impact activity and can result in sore joints after several workouts. A rowing machine, however, allows you to glide back and forth in a horizontal plane with no impact on your ankles, knees or hips. This makes it an ideal form of exercise if you are recovering from an injury, suffer from joint issues or are simply looking for a way to give your body a rest between training runs.