Erging vs Rowing

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Erging vs Rowing

Erging vs Rowing: Understanding the Differences and Benefits

Erging vs Rowing? Regarding indoor fitness, erging and rowing are often mentioned in the same breath. But what exactly are they, and how do they differ? This article will delve into emerging and rowing, exploring their origins, differences, and the unique benefits each offers.

What is Erging?

Erging, short for ergometer training, is an indoor workout that simulates the action of water rowing. The term “ergometer” comes from the Greek words “ergon” (work) and “metron” (measure), indicating a device that measures work. Erging is performed on a rowing machine designed to mimic the resistance and motion of rowing a boat on the water.

William B. Curtis patented the first ergometer in 1872, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the Concept2 model revolutionized the design with a flywheel system. Today, ergometers are sophisticated machines that can track performance metrics like distance, speed, and calories burned, providing a comprehensive workout.

The Evolution of Rowing

Conversely, rowing is an outdoor activity that involves propelling a boat through water using oars. It’s a sport with a rich history, dating back to ancient civilizations, where it was used for transportation, trade, and warfare. Modern competitive rowing is a popular sport, with various events held at the Olympic Games.

Critical Differences between Erging and Rowing

While emerging and rowing share similar motions and engage many of the same muscle groups, there are several key differences:

  • Location: Erging is done indoors on a stationary machine, while rowing requires a body of water and a boat.
  • Equipment: An ergometer measures your workout, whereas the boat and oars are the primary equipment in rowing.
  • Resistance: In erging, resistance is generated by the machine’s flywheel. In rowing, resistance comes from the water.
  • Technique: The rowing technique can be affected by environmental factors like wind and water currents, which are absent in erging.

Benefits of Erging

Erging offers several benefits:

  • Accessibility: It allows individuals to train regardless of weather conditions or access to water.
  • Performance Tracking: Modern ergometers provide detailed feedback on performance, helping users improve their technique and endurance.
  • Full-Body Workout: Erging engages the legs, core, arms, and back, offering a comprehensive workout.

Benefits of Rowing

Rowing also has its advantages:

  • Outdoor Experience: It provides the opportunity to be outdoors, which can be refreshing and invigorating.
  • Teamwork: Rowing often involves teamwork and coordination, which can build camaraderie and communication skills.
  • Variable Resistance: The natural resistance of water can provide a dynamic workout that changes with conditions.


Both erging and rowing offer unique challenges and rewards. Whether you’re looking for a convenient indoor workout or the thrill of navigating a boat on open water, these activities can provide a robust cardiovascular workout that builds strength and endurance. By understanding the differences and benefits of each, you can choose the one that best fits your fitness goals and lifestyle.

In summary, erging is an excellent way to get a rowing-like workout indoors, while rowing offers an authentic experience on the water. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to reap the physical and mental benefits of these engaging activities.

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