Buyer's Guides Rowing Machines

The Best Rowing Machines For Your Home Gym – 2020 Buyer’s Guide!

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Two people training

Rowing is one of the rarer outdoor activities that require quite a few boxes to be checked in order to be performed. It is also a full-body exercise that also connects you to nature. But what if we take all of the exercising benefits of rowing and move them to the comfort of your home? Well, some of the best rowing machines do exactly that and, in this guide, we will go through all of the top models for this year. We will also compare their strongest advantages and features to one another and see how the different types of rowing machines stack up against each other when it comes to home-use.

Comparison Chart

ModelTypeResistance LevelsFoldableWeight CapacityOur Rating
Concept2 Model D
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FlywheelSelf-regulatingYes500 lbs
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
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Magnetic8 LevelsYes250 lbs
WaterRower Classic
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WaterSelf-regulatingNo1000 lbs
Echanfit Foldable Indoor Rower
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Magnetic16 LevelsYes265 lbs
Hydrow Live Outdoor Reality Rower
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MagneticComputer-ControlledNoN/A
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205
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Hydraulic12 LevelsNo220 lbs
Fitness Reality 1000
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Magnetic14 LevelsYes250 lbs
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1410
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Hydraulic12 LevelsNo220 lbs

Best Overall – Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Our Rating: (5/5)

Without a doubt, one of the top rowing machines out there is the Concept2 model D. It is a flywheel rower that uses the air resistance to control the resistance levels, meaning the faster you row the harder it gets. It is a great indoor rowing machine that is fairly bulky when fully assembled but can be easily disassembled and stored.

The overall dimensions of this rowing machine are 8 by 2 feet when assembled. When you add into that the clearance around it that you will need to comfortably row, it goes up to 9 by 4 feet. In terms of material quality, everything here is top-notch and nicely put together. The chain that connects the rowing mechanism with the flywheel is also fairly durable and doesn’t require a ton of maintenance. According to the manufacturer, it should be lubricated once per every 40 hours of training. All the surfaces are powder-coated which adds to the longevity of the rower. While the machine weighs 57 lbs it has wheels that allow it to be easily transported. It has a weight capacity of 500 lbs which is quite a lot more than most other models in this price class. The footrests are also adjustable and the seat height is around 14 inches which can accommodate most people.

The PM5 (performance monitor 5) by Concept2 is one of the best features of this rower. It is extremely easy to use and has a large LCD display which helps yo usee the information even from afar. It has a “simple mode” which just gives you the basic stats for your workout, a workout mode where you can various exercises, a memory function, and even games you can play. The main things this computer measures are calories burned, meters, pace, and Watts. It works with Bluetooth and ANT+ to connect to your mobile devices or other sensors like a chest-strapped HR sensor. The display is also backlit allowing you to use it in the dark. The memory feature can also export your workout data to a USB flash drive. There are online rankings and different challenges that you get from the Concept2 email subscription list. You also get a free ErgData app that works with your smartphone to record and store all of your workouts wirelessly. The PM5 monitor itself can pivot to different angles to help you see it better from all positions. It is also height adjustable.

As a whole, there are few models out there that check all the boxes as good as this rower does. The main disadvantage here is that it is way noisier than hydraulic, magnetic, and water resistance models. People with an inseam of more than 38-40 inches will also need to get an extra-long monorail when ordering the rower. Still, it is also packed full of features that more than make up for that.

Pros

  • Well built
  • 500 lbs weight capacity
  • Good onboard computer
  • Fairly compact when stored
  • Very comfortable
  • Relatively good value for your money
  • Doesn’t require much maintenance

Cons

  • People with longer inseam than 38 inches will need a longer monorail
  • Can be quite noisy if you’re pushing it
  • Will require a very long strip of empty space

Best For Beginners – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Rower

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Sunny Health & Fitness is a brand that specializes in making budget-friendly workout machines that are meant primarily for home-use. Their SF-RW5515 magnetic rowing machine is the definition of a beginner-friendly rower. It is extremely easy to set up and use and is also compact and quiet enough to be a perfect fit for someone living in an apartment.

Of course, the best part of this rower is that it is magnetically operated. That means that you can adjust its resistance levels with the turn of a knob that is located right below the screen. You can choose from 8 different resistance levels. Being magnetic it is also extremely quiet, especially when compared to some flywheel models.

When unfolded, the rower is 82 inches long and 19 inches wide. When folded, however, it can be quite compact being just 37 inches in length and 53 inches high. It also has transportation wheels that help you move it around once you fold it. The slide rail is 48 inches here which allows taller people to use this rower without an issue. The inseam limit here is around 45 inches. The rower can also support people of up to 250 lbs which may seem like a lot but is actually not that much, especially if someone is above 200 lbs and wants to use this on a daily basis. I’ve always recommended the capacity to be at least 1.5x your own weight.

In terms of comfort, the SF-RW5515 does provide all the normal features such as a wider cushioned seat that has plenty of support. You also get non-slip pedals that have a soft adjustable strap. Thanks to how soft they are, they can easily be used barefoot. Another thing that adds to the comfort ar ethe foam grip handlebars which prevent the formation of calluses. The digital monitor you’re getting here is quite basic but it gives you all the essential information such as row count, time, calories burned, total rowing count, and a few more items. It also has a scan feature that shows you the progress you’re making.

As a whole, if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly magnetic rower, it doesn’t get much better than this one here. It is cheap, very easy to use, and fairly practical in terms of dimensions and foldability. You have all the basic comfort features that will allow you to properly develop your rowing form and progress into a more advanced model further down the road.

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Fairly durable
  • Easy to fold and store
  • Relatively comfortable
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Has 8 resistance levels

Cons

  • Only has a 250 lbs weight capacity
  • Not suitable for advanced rowers

Best Water Resistance Model – WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Water-resistance rowing machines have been gaining more and more popularity ever since they started appearing in the last decade. Nowadays, they are considered one of the most authentic ways to have a rowing workout indoors without sacrificing much of the real rowing feeling. The WaterRower Classic is one of the best-selling water rowers on the market right now thanks to its sophisticated mechanism, proven durability, and stunning looks. All that will cost you quite a lot, though, making this one of the most expensive rowers on this list.

The main feature of this rower is, without a doubt, its resistance mechanism. Much like flywheel models, this rower doesn’t need you to adjust its resistance levels as they are self-adjusted. Just like it is with the real thing, the faster you paddle, the more resistance will the water apply on your paddles, hence it will be harder to keep rowing. The horizontally submerged flywheel here is specifically designed to simulate exactly those real-life dynamics.

Dimensions-wise, this machine measures 84 inches in length and 22 inches in width making it surprisingly compact compared to some other magnetic models. With the water inside it weighs up to 120 pounds which makes it a pretty stationary machine and is also one of its few disadvantages. In terms of durability, this rower definitely takes a top spot in the rowing machine market. The beautiful solid American Black Walnut wood is not only good-looking but it is also extremely durable. It has a weight capacity of up to 1000 lbs which is the highest number on this list by quite the margin. Apart from its stability, this black walnut is also known for its dimensional stability and extreme longevity.

The last important thing here is the Series 4 performance monitor. That monitor is shared across almost all other WaterRower models and is quite practical and easy to use. It gives you detailed technical data such as intensity, heart rate, stroke rate, zone bar, distance traveled, duration, and more. It also has six QuickSelection buttons and three more buttons to make navigation easier. The display is quite large and easily visible. The computer can also work with outside chest-strapped heart rate monitors.

If you’re willing to swallow the huge weight and the even bigger price tag, then this rower is pretty-much everything that you will ever need in your apartment. It has a maintenance-free mechanism, a long-lasting durable wooden frame and it will look good no matter where you place it.

Pros

  • 1000 lbs weight capacity
  • Self-regulating resistance
  • Unique design
  • Gorgeous aesthetics
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Very comfortable

Cons

  • Extremely expensive
  • Weighs up to 120 pounds with water inside

Best Indoor Rowing Machine – Echanfit Foldable Indoor Rower

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Most people that are looking for an indoor rowing machine are typically only interested in a few factors – what are the machine’s dimensions, can it fold, and is if quiet? On top of that, if the machine doesn’t cost an arm and a leg it is even better! All that made me look for the best indoor rowing machine and, after a fair amount of research, I picked the Echanfit Rowing Machine. It ticks all these boxes that we just mentioned and has a few more tricks up its sleeve that will make you absolutely adore it.

The rower measures only 75 inches in length and 19 inches in width which is smaller than most other rowing machines on this list. It has a 46-inch sliding rail that can accommodate people of various heights. When folded, that rail goes upwards and has a height of 46 inches, with the length of the whole rower becoming just around 30 inches. While that small footprint is nice to have for someone who lives in a small apartment, it brings one unfortunate disadvantage – the weight capacity here is low at 265 lbs. While that is more than enough to handle most weights, it won’t convey a lot of stability.

The other feature that this rower really excels at is how quiet it is. The slide rail, pedals, and handles are all extremely quiet when used. There is little to no squeaking coming out of those parts and, on top of that, the magnetic resistance mechanism is also very quiet when used. Speaking of that mechanism, it can adjust its tension in 16 different levels which is great to have if you’re a beginner and want to explore your abilities better.

In terms of comforts, you get a molded ergonomic seat which is well-cushioned and supports your prolonged workouts well. You also have quick-adjust pedals that are a bit oversized to house most people’s feet. These pedals have quick-release straps. You also get a water bottle holder that is built into the frame of the rower right below the tension control knob. Lastly, the computer here shows you basic data such as rowing speed, distance traveled, time, stroke count, RPMs, and more.

All in all, if you are on a tight budget but don’t want to sactifice most of the functionality of a good compact rowing machine, this is one of your best options.

Pros

  • A great bang for your buck
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Easy to assemble and store
  • 16 different resistance settings
  • Very quiet
  • Comfortable seat and handles

Cons

  • Only 265 lbs weight limit
  • Can feel flimsy on higher-paced workouts
  • Build quality isn’t stellar

Most High-end – Hydrow Live Outdoor Reality Rower

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you’re on the market for something that makes all other rowing machines feel outdated, then you need to consider the Hydrow Live Outdoor Reality Rower. This is the company’s only model and, to be fair, there is neither need nor demand for a second Hydrow rower since this one is practically all you need. That is, of course, if you can swallow the huge price tag.

The whole premises behind the Hydrow is to be enough technologically advanced to provide you with the most immersible rowing experience. The team behind this machine actually consists of professional rowers that have engineered this machine to be able to dynamically enhance your rowing abilities with a touch of 21st-century technology embedded into the process. The resistance levels here are controlled by the computer software behind the whole rowing workout. How hard your workout is going to be, depends on the program you’ve chosen as well as the rowing speed you’re going with.

The Hydrow comes with a mandatory paid membership that costs 38 dollars a month. It provides you with 24-hour access to all of their classes. These classes are suitable for all experience levels and there are also live broadcasts that let you row along. Additionally, you get full access to more than 1000 studio and river rowing sessions. You can also toggle between different locations to row in, allowing you to get fully immersed into the river, water noises, and the rhythm of your strokes. The monitor that delivers all that to you is a 22 inch full HD dust- and sweat-resistant touch screen. It also has dual front-facing HQ speakers with rich highs and surprisingly smooth lows for in-monitor speakers.

In terms of its dimensions, it is important to mention that the whole rower weighs 145 pounds when fully assembled, meaning pick the spot careful as you won’t be able to move it a lot after that. It is also quite long at 96 inches and relatively wide at 25 inches in width. The seat height is around 16 inches and is non-adjustable. The seat is well-cushioned and the handles are ergonomically fit for long rowing sessions.

One thing that rarely gets mentioned about the Hydrow rower is that it is extremely quiet. Everything from the seat to the resistance mechanism is practically noise-free, making this the ideal home-workout rowing machine. So, in summary, this rower really is at the cutting edge of rower advancements and it has a price tag to match all that. If you’re a sucker for aesthetics and want something that will last you quite a while, this has got to be it.

Pros

  • Packed full of technologies
  • 22 inch full HD monitor
  • Immersive workouts
  • Very comfortable pedals and seat
  • Computer-controlled resistance
  • Industrial-grade materials

Cons

  • Extremely expensive
  • A bit bulky
  • Not very beginner-friendly
  • Cannot fold

Best Budget Option – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rower

Our Rating: (4/5)

If you are on an extremely tight budget but also want to enjoy all of the benefits that rowing machines give you, then the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 is something you should be putting on your shortlist. It is extremely cheap and has quite a unique approach to traditional home rowing machine technologies.

The first thing that you will notice about the SF-RW1205 is that it doesn’t have a main resistance chamber like all other rowers. This is because it is a hydraulic machine that uses a piston to generate its tension. That piston tension creates pulling resistance which is at the core of your rowing efforts. The resistance levels here are 12 and are ranging from few that are very beginner-friendly to the ones which will make even a pro work for his money. Unfortunately, this hydraulic mechanism sacrifices some of the rowing motion that makes other machines feel much more authentic. Still, for an entry-level machine that will teach you the fundamentals of rowing, this is more than enough.

In terms of its dimensions, this is also a very practical and compact rower. It measures 54 inches in length and 20 inches in width. The seat is also fairly big providing a lot of cushioned support. What isn’t so great is the slide rail inseam which is 37 inches in length, making this machine harder to use by taller people. Still, even without a folding mechanism, this rower is quite practical and can be stored both horizontally and vertically. Thanks to the relatively small construction, however, this machine can only withstand weights of up to 220 pounds, clearly gearing it more towards women that are looking for a way to exercise their whole bodies.

On the handlebar, between your hands, you get a digital monitor that is going to give you most of your basic workout stats such as time, calories burned, distance, and a few others. These non-slip handlebars are actually a great addition to the overall comfort of the rower.

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Good value for your money
  • Works with a hydraulic cylinder
  • 12 resistance levels
  • Digital monitor
  • Very compact
  • Comfortable seat and handlebars

Cons

  • The movements you will be doing aren’t very authentic
  • Only supports up to 220 lbs of weight
  • Not foldable
  • The construction quality isn’t great

Best Magnetic Resistance Model – Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Magnetic Rower

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Most of the rowing machines nowadays are using a magnetic resistance mechanism which allows you to choose the precise amount of tension that you want in your rowing workout. On top of that, magnetic rowers are also dead-quiet and beginner-friendly. They are also quite affordable, making them the ideal choice for people that are looking for a full-body workout machine for their apartments. The Fitness Reality 1000 is one of the best magnetic rowers out there and is packed full of amazing features that are quite unique for the market.

In terms of its size, this rower isn’t very big. It is ideal for people between 5 and 6.5 feet. You can also adjust the seat height from 9.5 to 12 inches. The rower is also foldable, making it easier to store since it is quite long in its assembled form. One thing that I do not like is the low weight capacity here which is 250 lbs.

The comfort here is on-par with the rest of the budget-priced rowing machines with a large contoured seat, fairly comfortable footpads, and extra-wide handles. Those handles are that wide because they are also worked for a bunch of other exercises that the Fitness Reality 1000 allows you to perform. Some of those exercises are tricep extensions, front raises, side raises, and reverse grip curl. For those workouts, you can use the stabilizer footpads which are the second set of pads located at the opposite side of the machine, made to be stepped on when pulling the handlebar in other directions apart from rowing. The 14 resistance settings work both for rowing and for the other type of exercises you might perform.

In terms of progress-tracking, you can use the Large LCD display here. It is a 3.5-inch one and it displays all the vital information such as time, calories burned, strokes per minute, and a few others.  Another feature that will help you track your workouts is the Bluetooth connectivity which isn’t very common for this price range. it allows you to connect your rower to any smart device and track your workouts from the workout app there. The app that works best with this rower is MyCloudFitness which, despite being paid, is more than worth it since it is full of training videos, trainer-led workouts, and other tips that will help you progress faster. Right above the tension adjusting knob, you also have a phone and tablet holder.

In conclusion, there are few other models with the same amount of functionality and practicality that are also that cheap. If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly magnetic rower that can easily be stored away, this is as good as it gets.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Allows you to perform other exercises
  • Fairly comfortable seat, pedals, and handlebar
  • LCD display
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 14 resistance settings
  • Very cheap

Cons

  • 250 lbs weight capacity only
  • The MyCloudFitness app has a monthly subscription
  • Not ideal for intermediate rowers

Best Hydraulic Resistance Model – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1410 Rower

Our Rating: (4/5)

Last on this list is yet another Sunny Health & Fitness model in the face of the SF-RW1410. It is a hydraulic rowing machine just like the SF-RW1205 but has different engineering behind it. While the SF-RW1205 has its cylinder at the front between your legs, this model has it below the seat. That is connected to two different handlebars which slightly improves the biggest issue of these models – the lack of authentic feel. There, at least you feel like you’re holding two separate paddles, even if the motion itself is still a bit artificial.

As a hydraulic model, this rower allows you to control the resistance levels and has 12 different levels of adjustment making it suitable for all types of workouts ranging from slow aerobic ones to more intense anaerobic ones. It is also relatively compact and quiet which is always an advantage. This model also has the lowest weight capacity on this list at only 220 lbs. This clearly shows that it is meant for women only and I wouldn’t risk testing its limits since low weight capacities are often associated with a poor build quality, which obviously isn’t the case here but stability might be an issue.

Comfort here is on par with other models from the brand with a wide cushioned seat and wide non-slip pedals that have soft adjustable straps. The handlebars, although not very sort, are covered in a non-slip material which is helpful when you’re in the middle of a sweaty workout. There is a display that is located above your pedals. It gives you all the basic information you need for your rowing workout.

As a whole, from all hydraulic models out there, this one really stands out a bit more and is also an extremely good value for your money. If you’re on a tight budget and still want something compact and fairly durable, the SF-RW1410 is a solid option.

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Hydraulic mechanism
  • 12 adjustable resistances
  • Fairly large cushioned seat
  • Non-slip dual handles
  • Easy-to-read display

Cons

  • Very low weight capacity (220 lbs)
  • Not very sturdy if you’re a larger person
  • Cannot fold
  • Rowing feels a bit artificial

Rowing Machines Buyer’s Guide

Rowing machines have been something carried into the 21st century and have been modernized time after time with new types coming out constantly. The improvement of technologies allowed some companies to really push the boundaries of how high-tech their model is. With each year, the realism behind some of the top models has allowed professional athletes to enjoy a home workout without having to go to the rowing base. But what if you want to experience all the benefits from rowing from the comfort of your home too? Well, luckily, there are numerous affordable options on the market currently that comes at a great price and bring a great level of functionality to the table. Before we jump into the various types of rowing machines and their features, let’s first out discuss what rowing machines are and how exactly do they work…

What is a Rowing Machine?

Rowing machines, or rowers/ergometers (ergs), are built to mimic the feel of rowing in water without the need to go to a nearby rowing base. They have adjustable resistance levels that can simulate all sorts of rowing workouts and are good for your whole body’s muscle system. They are also one of the best aerobic home exercising machines out there by having an emphasized focus on your cardiovascular system. Even though it appears that these machines primarily focus on your upper body, they also put quite a lot of strain on your glutes and the rest of your legs. All in all, this is the perfect home-workout machine for all the people that don’t like training outdoors and want something that will be easier on their joints while exercising their body as a whole.

While rowing machines are meant mostly for aerobic training, that doesn’t mean that they cannot help you with some high-intensity anaerobic workouts. In fact, based on the resistance level, you can program them to your desire and workout in any heart rate zone you wish, depending on the intensity of the rower.

Types of Rowing Machines

Rowing machines can be categorized in a lot of different ways but the best way to set them apart from one another is by using their resistance mechanism. According to that, there are four main types:

  • Flywheel rowing machines
  • Hydraulic resistance machines
  • Magnetic resistance machines
  • Water rowers

Flywheel rowing machines

Flywheel rowing machines get their resistance from the pulling motion that you do which, in turn, spins a wheel with fans on it. That flywheel creates air drag which is one of the main mechanisms for its resistance. In other words, the resistance levels here are passive since the air drag increases the harder you row, meaning the harder you row – the harder it will get. The air that flywheel rowing machines create also helps replicate an outdoor environment and keeps your room ventilated during your workout. The rowing stroke here is quite natural, especially compared to hydraulic models.

Hydraulic resistance machines

Rowing machines that work through hydraulic resistance are your best option if you’re looking for something compact that will have comparable functionality to a normal rowing machine. They are also cheap and are ideal for small apartments. Their resistance comes from oil-filled pistons which can also work with air inside.

The main difference between these and other rowing machines is that the hydraulic mechanism doesn’t allow you to pull in a straight line which is a major disadvantage for some people since it changes the nature of the whole exercise. This strips you from the natural rowing motion of other rowing machines.

Magnetic resistance machines

Just like magnetic recumbent bikes, these rowing machines get their resistance levels from a special magnetic braking system on the inside. The best benefit of having such a rowing machine at your home is that it is extremely quiet. Not only that, but it allows you to control the resistance through a wide range of difficulties. This particular type of rower comes in all sorts of price ranges and there are even some two-in-one models that use both magnetic and flywheel resistance methods.

Water rowers

Man working out

For those of you out there that are into professional rowing or rowing in general, there is a certain type of rowing machine that mimics that water-rowing feeling the best. Those are called water rowers and are patented by one company called exactly as you’d expect them to be called – “WaterRower“. While they are the pioneers in this direction and their rowers are both gorgeous to look at and highly functional at the same time, there are still some other brands which have cheaper water rowing machines such as Marnur, Generies, and others. All that comes at a heavy price, though, with them being quite a lot more expensive than the average home-use rowing machine. These machines use a flywheel which is submerged into a water tank and gets its resistance from having to turn inside a body full of water. This brings a great authentic feel but also makes the operation dead silent. The wooden frame not only adds to the looks but also dampens most of the vibrations that are typical to the average rowing machine.

Features To Look For

The process of choosing the exact rowing machine for your needs and budget can be fairly complicated, especially if you don’t know what exactly you’re looking for. Still, here are a few pointers on what to look for in any model that pops onto your radar in order to determine whether it is the right fit for you or not:

  • Type
  • Resistance settings
  • Dimensions
  • Weight capacity
  • Durability & Build quality
  • Comfort
  • Monitor and screens
  • Additional Features
  • Price and Warranty

Type

When choosing between the various types, you should also take into account your floor type and interior size. Wooden floors will require a mat of sorts to be put beneath the rowing machine. That will reduce the vibrations it will transfer to the floor and will substantially reduce the machine’s noise when you’re using it.

When it comes to space, hydraulic rowing machines are the best since they are the shortest and don’t require too much room to work you out. Still, these often develop various squeaks that people in apartments might find annoying. For the quietest experience opt for magnetic or water rowers and never air/flywheel ones.

Resistance settings

The resistance settings of each rowing machine will vary a lot from model to model. Some models like the ones using a flywheel will have a passive resistance mechanism, meaning that the faster you row the harder it becomes to row as air drag and resistance increase. Still, all magnetic models have quite a lot of modes and settings that allow you to replicate a diverse workout. Hydraulic rowers also have a way to adjust the pressure in their pistons ultimately making it easier or harder for you to row. While initially water rowers didn’t have a ton of adjustment options and simply relied on the resistance caused by the water in the tank, there have been some advanced models that offer various difficulty settings.

Dimensions

The size of your rowing machine will primarily depend on how much room you have. While some models will be foldable, most rowers are typically quite long but narrow, so you will need a long narrow strip of your room to use them. The size you have around the rower should be enough for you to fully stretch your legs when using it.

Weight capacity

Woman working out

The weight capacity is one feature that gets overlooked far too often. Even if you’re slightly under the weight limit of a certain rower, always look for models that cover your weight by at least 1.5x times. That will ensure that the machine is durable enough to take continuous use. That also makes it more compatible with other people that you might be sharing it with.

In general, look for machines with a weight capacity of more than 250 pounds.

Durability & Build quality

Durability is one of the biggest selling points of some rowing machines mainly because there are quite a few moving parts with some models. Flywheel models tend to suffer the most from build quality issues and require a bit of maintenance in the long run. Everything from the paddle, pedals, resistance mechanisms, and slide rail has to be built quite well for it to be able to last constant workouts.

While some brands use wood in their models, aluminum and plastics are the materials that you will find the most often. While Wood looks nice, it will make the rower quite heavier than some other aluminum ones which is important if you ever plan on moving it around.

Comfort

In terms of comfort, there are two important things that you have to check – the pedals and the seat. A well-padded seat that is modeled with comfort and support in min dis going to make a huge difference in your workouts. Non-slip food pedals make rowing much easier for beginners. Some models even have padded pedal straps which can even allow you to use the rower barefoot.

Monitor and screens

Different price tags will bring you a different option to view your rowing progress. Some high-end expensive rowers will have large monitors that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the workout by having live-workouts or rowing animations on them.

Cheaper models, on the other hand, will most likely have smaller LCD screens which will give you the basic stats for your workout.

Additional Features

If you’re living in a small apartment, one of the most important things that you need to look for is the foldability of the rower. Rowers that fold are extremely practical for small rooms and can be put in a corner when not in use.

There are some other high-tech features which are quite nice to have but they also bulk up the price by a lot. Some of those are VR compatibility, video lessons, large colored screens, smart device compatibility, stereo speakers, HR sensors, and more.

Price and Warranty

As with all other home workout machines, you should always have the price in mind, as it can quickly go way above your initial budget. With rowing machines, this is even more apparent since some high-end models can easily cost you a few thousand dollars. The water rower models are a good example of something that works flawlessly and looks gorgeous in your apartment but also costs more than two-thousand dollars. The best advice I can give to you is to set a budget and stick to it when choosing from all the models that you’ve liked.

Warranty-wise, different models are covered by different warranty periods according to how complex they are and most importantly – how much they cost. Some brads like to cover most of their rowers with a lifetime warranty, while some electronics will be covered by a 2-year limited warranty. Still, for something that you will every day, look for a longer warranty.

Rowing Machine Benefits

Fitness young

While you are probably already familiar that rowing machines are quite good for you, here is a summed up look at all of the benefits that you will be enjoying when buying one:

  • Rowers give your body a full-body workout that not many other gym machines can. These machines require both your upper and lower bodies to work together in sync which leads to better coordination along with improvements in strength and flexibility.
  • These machines provide your cardiovascular with the perfect aerobic exercise. They can even help with High-intensity interval training if you have harder resistance levels on your model.
  • Rowing machines help with weight loss. A typical workout on these machines will make your body lose up to 1000 calories per hour!
  • Rowing is a low-impact exercise meaning it isn’t as hard on your joints as running and other outdoor aerobic activities. It is ideal for older people or people with joint issues.
  • Unlike other indoor fitness machines, rowers aren’t that space-requiring and can be quite compact depending on the model you choose.

If you want to learn how to warm up for different exercises, make sure you click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

Rowing is quite the intense exercise and it really helps you shed some calories. It is also a good workout for all of your muscles, even your core ones, allowing you to strengthen your belly while burning far from all over your body.

Is a rowing machine worth it?

From a home-workout perspective, rowing machines are one of the best investments you can do. They are an excellent workout for your body and allow you to both lose weight and gain muscle form the comfort of your home.

Are rowing machines bad for your back?

Using a rowing machine is, in fact, good for your overall posture and it helps strengthen your back. It also prevents back strain and pain. However, having poor posture can lead to potential injuries and constant discomfort. That is why you should learn how to use one before getting into it.

How often should I use my rowing machine?

Rowing is primarily an aerobic exercise. As such, you should perform it a maximum of 4 times per week in the beginning. As you progress and become better equipped to handle harder workouts, you can either increase the number of rowings you do per week or increase their intensity.

Is rowing better than running?

Running is one of the simplest cardio workouts. While it will help you lose some calories, it definitely won’t help you build as much muscle as a rowing machine would. Rowing machines are one step higher than running on the cardio/strength workout ladder and are a far better alternative for people who don’t like to exercise outdoors.

Final Words

Finding the best rowing machine for your own personal needs isn’t going to be easy in a market that is saturated with different model options. Still, if you set your mind on a specific type and choose the features that you’d want from your rower, then it will be much easier to narrow down your options!