Air Bike vs. Rower: A Detailed Comparison

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When it comes to home gym equipment which is low-impact and won’t hurt your joints, air bike and rower machine are two well-known fitness gears that offer excellent cardio workout. If you can’t decide between an air bike and rower, scroll down to choose the right workout machine depending on your workout and fitness needs.

Air Bikes

A stationary exercise bike that offers a safe, low-impact, and full-body workout

Air bike features two handles that are not fixed, so they move to and from following the paddling action. Very simple and linear to use, you push and pull the flat pedals with legs. What’s excellent about the air bike is that it offers you infinite intensity, which means that you control the intensity via paddling with no preset programs needed. The stronger you push, the higher will be intensity. The same is the case with resistance, as the air bike features a large fan for wind resistance; the harder you work, the more resistance you will be working against. Furthermore, an air bike is an excellent alternative for people who are unable to run, use a treadmill or an elliptical due to some injury.

Assault Bike is one of the top-selling and best-in-class air bikes. This award-winning air bike is designed not only to burn calories but also for a total-body cardio workout. Its forged chro-moly crank design with wind resistance fan optimizes your workout’s intensity by automatically granting resistance as you push, pull, and pedal with great force and speed. It is an excellent machine for a home gym, strength gyms, and commercial health clubs. That’s why even famous fitness experts, athletes, gym trainers, and physical therapists recommend it. Airdyne bike is another high-performance air bike.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Great for interval training and cardio
  • Suitable for all age groups even elderly
  • No stain on joints; low-impact
  • Targets muscles of legs, thighs, and arms
  • Unlimited resistance

Cons

  • Maintenance required
  • Doesn’t all body muscles

Rowers

An indoor machine that mimics the watercraft rowing action for fitness and training purposes.

An indoor rower features one handlebar that pulls against the resistance. A single-pole rowing machine has a chain, cable, belt, strap, or elastic spring rope connected to handle, which is attached to energy damper. Footrests are also attached to the same mounting where flywheel and handle are mounted. When you move its handle back and forth, the seat slides upon the horizontal rail. Different models use different types of resistance: air, magnetic, or fluid/water, while some use hydraulic resistance to mimic natural rowing motion. A rowing machine is used for cardio, full-body toning and strengthening while targeting your glutes, quads, calves, hips, back, shoulders, deltoids, abs, triceps, and biceps.

Concept 2 rower uses air resistance technology (similar to air bikes) to provide a great full-body workout. With the performance monitor LCD, it is easy to track your fitness progress repeatable, reliable workout data while offering wireless connectivity. This high-performance equipment engages all your major upper and lower-body muscle groups with smooth, low-impact workout motion.

Pros

  • Engages all major body muscles
  • Intense cardio workout
  • Low-impact
  • Great for athletes and professional rowers

Cons

  • Requires skill and technique to use
  • You have to oil the chain but only occasionally

Difference Summary

To sum up, the main differences between an Air Bike & a Rower are the following:

  • A rower machine is much more demanding as it includes significant knee bending position and body movements to turn the flywheel. In contrast, movements are constant, linear, and comfortable on air-bike.
  • Although both offer full-body workout, there’s an option of using only legs or upper body on air bike while rower doesn’t have any hands-free action. This means that rower uses more upper body muscles, including shoulders, arms, back, and abdomen, while air bike primarily targets the legs muscles.
  • Even though both offer low-impact workout that less jarring to knees and joints, air bike is much more gentle on back and knees, which makes it ideal for rehabilitation or people with joint pain and mobility issues.
  • When taking size in consideration, air bike being upright in structure has a smaller footprint than horizontal rower machine.

Our Top Air Bike Picks

Assault AirBike Classic

OUR TOP CHOICE

An expensive but top class magnetic resistance bike. Incredibly smooth & quiet.

Marcy Fan Bike AIR-1

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY

It features a premium steel frame that combines design and performance.

Our Top Rower Picks

Concept2 Model D

OUR TOP CHOICE

The best-selling rowing machine in the world for over 40 years.
Used by elite athletes for competitive training.

Fitness Reality 1000

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY

The patent pending front stabilizer foot pads allows for additional exercises such as curls & upright rows.

Which one should I buy?

air-bikes-vs-rowers-featured

It depends on your fitness objectives and personal preference.

  • If you prefer running or cycling motion during exercise, then go for an air bike. While those who like to experience water shaft rowing or want to improve sports performance, buy a rower.
  • If you plan to buy fitness equipment for body conditioning, then we advise going for a rower machine as it offers aerobic exercise, tones and strengthens muscles with great flexibility. However, for those who are looking fora high-intensity, interval training workout machine, air bike is the right choice for them.
  • Plus, if you suffer from knee, back, or joint pain, Air bike allows you to perform various training exercises with ease. When limited gym area is a concern, remember that Assault and Airdyne bikes take less space in the home gym than Concept 2 rower.

Both the machines offer cardio workouts and help to burn calories, so you stay fit and healthy.

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