You get on the treadmill to set your regular speed, and the tread gives you back the sound of the wear and tear of your knees and joints. However, this doesn't need to be the way you get in your cardio hours. Try rowing, where you strap your feet in, and continue getting that Full Body Workout.
Not many stationary exercise machines like the elliptical and treadmill provide you with a real upper-body workout. That is unless you want to be lifting weights as you run. However, when you sit down at the rowing machine, the predominant muscles getting worked are your back, shoulders, and the pulling muscles in your arms, along with your glutes, thighs, and even a bit of help from your calves as you push away from the foot platform.
The fact that your feet never leave that platform is a bonus too. Because you're not bouncing or jumping, rowing is considered a low-impact workout, which means it may still be tolerated by people whose joint, bone, or muscular health keep them from doing high-impact jumping workouts.
Because rowing gets your body's large muscle groups moving repetitively for an extended period, it qualifies as a cardiovascular workout. This type of exercise packs several proven health benefits such as boosting your immune system to improving your cholesterol and reducing your risk of many chronic health conditions.
If you're a cardio fiend, rowing is the perfect alternative or addition to running or biking. If you want to substitute your regular treadmill routine, rowing helps change up the scenery—with less stress on your joints!
Most people rowing faster and faster produces a better result. However, that's not necessarily the case. What's crucial is the power that each stroke generates. When you focus your energy on the quickness of the row, you end up tiring out without getting any productive work done. To get a sense of the power you're generating, focus on lowering your splits, and increasing your wattage. Most rowing machines track these metrics automatically.
Rowing isn't anything like running where you have to match the treadmill's speed. The rowing machine gives back what you put in, so this means if you feel as if the workout is too easy, turn up the resistance to increase the difficulty. It will add a little something to your workout.