5 Best Rowing Machine Reviews – Rowing Machines Buyer’s Guide 2021
Looking for Best Rowing Machines? In order to answer all those questions of you, we have done an extensive research on all of the rowing machines available in the market and recommended these rowing machine models for you.
- 1 Rowing Machine Reviews 2021 – Our Top Recommendations!
- 1.1 #1 Concept 2 Indoor Rowing Machine ‘Model D’
- 1.2 #2 Stamina Air Rower
- 1.3 #3 Kettler 7978-900 Favorit Rowing Machine
- 1.4 #4 Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
- 1.5 #5 Pro Rower H20 RX-740 Home Series Rowing Machine
- 1.6 #6 Stamina Avari Magnetic Power
- 1.7 #7 Velocity Fitness Magnetic Power CHR-2001
- 1.8 #8 WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine
- 2 What are the types of rowing machines?
- 3 Advantages of Using Rowing Machines
- 4 Factors to Consider for the Rowing Machine
- 5 Conclusion
So if you are planning to get a rowing machine at home, go through these recommended rowing machines reviews. Rowing machines are not just about cardio, rowing is a full body workout and the right piece of equipment will let you engage 70-85% of your total muscle mass.
There are hundreds of rowing machines available in the market from various fitness brands. If you choose any random rowing machine from the market, there are chances that you’ll face injuries such as lower back pain, knee pain etc.
That’s why we’ve spent our 7 months, testing all these rowing machines and for the matter of fact, most of them sucked. But still, we have found some of the best rowing machines, which are suitable for any beginner or expert out there.
Rowing Machine Reviews 2021 – Our Top Recommendations!
#1 Concept 2 Indoor Rowing Machine ‘Model D’
Model D, manufactured by one of the industry leading fitness Equipment Company is a premium high-end rowing machine made for indoor training with its body made of aluminum and steel. This 96” long and 24” wide rowing machine is sturdy and very durable.
A feature unique to Concept 2 Model D is, the display monitor gets its power from spinning the flywheel while working out making it a truly portable rowing machine. The monitor named PM5 has a high display quality, is user-friendly and works under the sunlight as well due to its backlit display.
You can also store your performance data using a USB slot and can also be connected with the heart rate sensor wirelessly. This rowing machine engages all your muscle groups making it a high-calorie-burning trainer.
The super-durable machine weighs just 56lbs and can handle weight up to 500lbs. The installation is very easy and can be done without paying anyone else. “This machine may save my life”, said one former marathon runner. Go for it!
#2 Stamina Air Rower
After Model D being the premium rowing machine, we found Stamina Air Rower to be the best rowing machine under a budget. This highly effective yet affordable rowing machine comes with a comfortable and low impact full body workout.
Stamina Air Rower comes with a smooth gliding seat for ease of movement. The padding is comfortable and the textured rowing handle provides a better grip for you to work out with full momentum. This rowing machine has a Dynamic Air Resistance feature which helps keep up with your pace.
The nylon foot strap is adjustable and consists of large footplates. The rower is 77” long and 18” wide making it sturdier and comes with a 3-month parts warranty. The rowing machine weighs 54lbs and can take up to 250lbs. This value for money rowing machine can be used by people with height up to 6’4”.
Kettler makes one of the toughest, sturdy and affordable rowing machine in the world. This rowing machine is designed to be used by both professionals and beginners hence it is one of the most popular seller out there.
The Kettler 7978-900 Favorit Rowing Machine has padding made up of Foam, has a smooth sliding seat and comfortable footplates. The adjustable straps and high-grade aluminum frame makes it a durable rowing cord. It has a multi-function LCD monitor which shows your speed, distance, time and calories burnt while working out; however, it may not be very easy to read outdoors.
Being an air rower, it is harder to pull thus giving you more resistance and higher workout performance. It weighs 76lbs and can take up to 250lbs comfortably.
#4 Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine, manufactured by LifeCore Fitness is one of the few rowing machines having a unique Electronic Brake System Technology which provides air and magnetic resistance. This type of high-tech machines are used by athletes which provides smooth performance for both commercial and personal use.
The design of this rowing machine is ergonomic which provides stronger grip and footrest can fit all shoe sizes. The rower comes with 15 preset challenging workout programs which can be customized for 4 users with the help of a large backlit LCD display.
The magnetic resistance has 16 levels to tune with along with 4 heart rate control functionality. Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine comes with a chest strap that interacts with the monitor for Heart Rate calculation.
The machine weighs about 96lbs and can take up to 600 lbs, which is quite impressive making it very sturdy. The frame has a lifetime warranty with 5 years on parts and labor. However, the frame is so durable and strong that you would never have to look at the maintenance part. All in all, it is a gym quality equipment which can be used at home.
#5 Pro Rower H20 RX-740 Home Series Rowing Machine
Made by H20 Fitness, Pro Rower H20 RX-740 Home Series is a mid-tier premium rowing machine which is designed to give you a high-end and effective workout session. This machine uses a state-of-the-art Hydro-Power Drive system that imitates rowing of a boat.
The machine works with the help of water resistance. It is made up of tough and durable frame weighing 65lbs and taking up to 350lbs of weight. The machine does not make any noise apart from the subtle sound of water swooshing around, it shouldn’t bother anyone if you’re training at 5 am in the morning.
This commercial grade rowing machine has a lifetime warranty on frame and three years on mechanical parts. There is no need of any settings to increase or decrease the rowing speed. Being a water resistance system, you control the speed as you want while the big display tracks your time, speed, distance, calories burned and heart rate.
This machine is so comfortable that even a 60-year-old can do a work out session without any hassle to discomfort to her knees. The machine has dual caster wheels and being compact in size, it can be stored with ease.
#6 Stamina Avari Magnetic Power
Unlike the water resistance system, Stamina Avari Magnetic Power system has a magnetic resistance system that uses smooth braking with controlled levels of resistance for an electrically controlled work out. This type of rowing machines are quiet and do not make any noises during its operation.
The machine has 12 preset programs which can be customized into your preferred programs. The magnetic tension can be programmed using the bright LCD display for increased cardiovascular activity.
Unlike the rugged seats on other rowers, Stamina Avari is made up of soft cushion like seat along with Velcro strap for the footrests which makes the exercise more comfortable and energetic. Although it is a low impact work out machine, the training session feels vigorous due to its programmable magnetic resistance.
This machine even works for people with longer height as it has got plenty of travel space. The puller is made up of nylon and it is a super heavy duty material for durability. If you want a noiseless rowing machine, this is the one for you.
#7 Velocity Fitness Magnetic Power CHR-2001
Velocity Fitness magnetic Power CHR-2001 is one of those versatile rowing machines which is based on the Drum Magnetic Control technology for resistance. The machine has an electronic tension control which helps in giving efficient friction for enhanced endurance and strong muscle strength.
The seat has an ergonomic design which will help you keep your low-back muscles from soaring. The textured foot pedals and rough handle make the overall workout sturdy and slip-free. The machine weighs 89lbs and can take up to 275lbs.
The monitor offers you with manual as well as 6 preset programs and can be customized as per your workout needs. It also comes with a heart rate chest strap for accurate HR monitoring.
#8 WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine is a patented WaterFlyWheel design which gives you a feeling of rowing an actual boar through the water. This rowing machine was designed keeping the working of the real boat in mind. Made up of solid Ash Wood finished with smooth Danish oil, the body of this machine makes it durable and efficient to workout. Since it is made up of wood, the sound and vibrations are absorbed easily.
A feature unique to this rower, it can be used outdoors as well as indoors since it does not require electricity of a battery to operate due to the high resistance created by the flywheel and water itself. The high-end display monitor consists of quick selection buttons and three navigation buttons which are programmable according to your workout and exercise objectives.
In case of durability and sturdiness, this rower machine beats all the others. It weights a mere 24lbs and can take up to 1000lbs, which makes it well worth the money. Comfortable seat, high endurance workout, bright and customizable display, HR monitor and water resistance system makes it a near perfect rowing machine for indoor and outdoor use.
What are the types of rowing machines?
When you think of rowing, you think of water. Naturally, water-based rowers are often the best kinds. The resistance is progressive and suitable for advanced users. They also tend to last for ages if properly cared for.
On the flip side, water rowers can be heavy since they have a tank onboard. Apart from being heavy, it’s very likely that they’ll take up more space than most (some can be stored upright, however). They also often have to use some sort of water filtration/purification method to ensure the mechanical integrity of the parts that come into contact with the wet stuff. WaterRower, for example, supplies users with their own purification tablets; we recommend you stick to your rower’s manufacturer’s advice on this.
Arguably the biggest thing water rowers have going for them is that they mimic the feel of rowing in a real boat and offer the best user experience overall.
Air resistance is also progressive but generally louder than water. Good air rowers can sometimes mitigate this drawback. A well-made air rower can be very competent and not at all a bad option for a commercial space such as a gym or studio.
Overall, air rowers are the simplest with the least number of things that can go wrong. So long as you’ve checked the noise levels, they’re a good option.
Rowers that use magnetic resistance are popular for good reason. First, they offer a linear resistance with many levels of adjustment. This is great for people who need a predictable and constant resistance throughout their workout.
The use of magnets also enables quieter operation and reduced part maintenance. These units can also be somewhat heavy.
In terms of feel, magnetic rowers offer a smooth experience.
Hydraulic rowers are often the lightest and cheapest models available. They’re usually sufficient for beginners but some may find the maximum resistance a bit on the softer side. They’re also unlikely to offer variable resistance.
That being said, they’re still among the most affordable rowers available and will usually fit into a very small footprint.
Advantages of Using Rowing Machines
With all the resources and selection of products we have gathered above, you will be able to choose the best rowing machine for your purpose. However, some of you may still be wondering about the real advantages of using a rowing machine for exercises. If we are going to create a complete list, it’s going to be really huge. So, for the time being, let’s have a look at the most notable advantages of using rowing machines for a full-body workout experience.
Effective and Equal Emphasis on Upper Body and Lower Body Workouts
The level of hardness might be your choice, but rowing machines are supposed to give you an equally superb experience of upper-body and lower-body workout. This is something you cannot find in most of other types of exercises. As far as the upper body is concerned, a continuous rowing machine usage will give you benefits of the stronger back while dealing with the issues of back pain. If you ask those who have survived serious issues of back pain, rowing would have been an integral part of their exercise.
Nevertheless, it needs to be noted that its impacts aren’t limited to back but extends to the areas like biceps, hands, wrists, and abs. In fact, given that you are using one of the best rowing machines from the market, your body strength is going to be enhanced like never before. Coming to the lower body parts, the impact of rowing machines is something diverse. It is enhancing the strength and flexibility of your body, especially your leg muscles and thighs.
Convenience and Affordability
Obviously, we are comparing the rowing-machine experience with that of actual rowing. If you are someone who loves the presence of water and enjoys the feel of it, you may not really get this point. However, if you are looking for the benefits of exercise, Rowing Machines are going to be the epitome of convenience and affordability. To use a machine, you don’t have to go to a store, get a boat or start rowing. Everything will be happening in a calm side of your home — probably some place that gives you relief and a calm mind.
Coming to the aspect of affordability, you can find a rowing machine under almost every budget. It has just been noted that the best, customizable and effective machines cost a bit more — which can still be reasoned by most of the buyers. Even in the above list, you can find machines that belong to the different categories of personal and professional budgets. If this does not make sense, just think of the expenses of having a kind of rowing place and the required equipment. We’re sure that you’ll find the resort in rowing machines.
Easy to Use and Low Impact
In the world of fitness, you can find a wide variety of fitness machines, including the tough ones. As a matter of fact, not many of those machines are completely easy to use. In most cases, you need the help of a well-trained professional to get started with the devices. The case of rowing machines is a bit different because they are perhaps the easiest to use fitness machines you’d find right now. The best part is that no matter which kind of exercise you are doing, these machines offer the best level of safety too.
Another point of concern is the impact a rowing machine has on your body. We already mentioned that the rowing exercises are best as far as effectiveness is concerned. It needs to be noted, however, that they don’t affect your joints. If you are looking for some rehabilitation purposes, rowing machine would be the superb companion, given the minimal impact. You can also get rid of back pain, it can be fixed by following a proper and healthy posture while rowing.
In addition to these common advantages, there are some specific too. For instance, some studies do show that the use of rowing machines causes the release of endorphins, which are hormones that make you so good. It’s pretty great, right? You are spending a lot of calories while making yourself feel less stressed.
Factors to Consider for the Rowing Machine
The concept of the ‘best rowing machine’ varies according to the person and requirements. Still, given that you need a machine that you can depend upon, there is something you need to understand. So, here are a few things you should take into account before purchasing or shortlisting rowing machines for you.
Quality of Build
To put things simply, the rowing machine should be powerful enough to support your body. Also, almost all the areas of the machine should be flexible and powerful to deal with the diverse exercises you may try out in the long run. As for the build, you can pick anything like solid steel, wooden materials and obviously aluminum.
The best option is to talk to people who can relate to your weight and have been using rowing machines for a long while. Another important advice is to keep yourself away from all sorts of plastic-made machines. In this section, you should give importance to the minimal sets of accessories as well.
Of course, you will be having a particular budget for purchasing a rowing machine for your home. As we said earlier, these machines are noted for the affordable pricing tags. Even if you have a look at the products we have mentioned above, you can find machines that suit the extreme budgets of yours.
If you ask us, however, there’s another aspect of the budget as far as rowing machines are concerned. Even in a worst case, you are going to use the machine for a reasonably-well amount of time. So, it wouldn’t be a bad decision to invest some money on a high-quality machine instead of purchasing the products again and again.
Storage and Maintenance
One of the major benefits of having a rowing machine was its convenience of use and easy storage. So, just before you check out the product, make sure that it would fit in your bedroom — or wherever you are going to use for exercise. It’s best to keep the machine as small as possible, unless, of course, it interferes with the actual exercise acts.
You should also take into account the aspect of maintenance, which is surely something important. Indeed, you have many ways to keep the machine intact and powerful in the course of time. That having said, it’s an extra layer of safety if the machine comes with a notable warranty. All these are somewhat unnecessary if you are purchasing a rowing machine from a renowned brand.
Noise Level, Comfort, and Resistance
Are you looking for a super-silent environment for your rowing experience? In that case, you should consider how much sound the machine is producing on average. It basically depends upon many things, including the type of resistance and building material. The easiest option is to consult experienced users.
Comfort should not be ignored no matter how much you are spending on the machine. First of all, make sure that the device comes with the well-padded sitting space and handles. Otherwise, even when the rowing is not doing any harm, you may face issues regarding handling and all.
Last but not least, you should consider the available options of resistance. The idea is to make sure that your machine can grow with your varying levels of requirements. If you are someone who sets fitness goals in life, you need to pick a rowing machine that has an extensive range of resistance levels.
We hope these factors will help you choose the best machine for you. There are a few additional set of factors to be considered, such as the control monitor. Basically, you get to know what’s happening to your body through these workouts. Isn’t that great, folks?
You’ve reached the end of our list of the absolute best rowing machines on the market today. Even though there’s a recommendation to cover every level and price-point, all the machines can handle a user weight of at least 250 pounds (and some can take many times that). In other words, we’re confident that they are up to the task.
Best Rowing Machines 2021 - Top Picks at a Glance
- Concept2 Model D
- WaterRower Club
- Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515
- Stamina Air Rower
- Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050
Rowing machines are perfect gym equipments which will allow you to do full body workout with ease. But most of the times people ask “Which is the best rowing machine for me?”, “What are the types of rowing machines?”and similar questions.
In order to answer all those questions of you, we have done an extensive research on all of the rowing machines available in the market and recommended these rowing machine models for you. So if you are planning to get a rowing machine at home, go through these recommended rowing machines reviews.