A best rowing machine is the only thing you can depend on, in this busy world. This is because you can place it anywhere indoor and build your physical health just by using it for half an hour or so.
A row machine has a lot of benefits, this is why many people like to have a best rowing machine for home. Some of the main benefits of rowing machine are healthy heart and lungs because of cardio, an overall body workout, it vanishes the need of going to a gym and it is very easy to use.
But, here comes a very important debate, what is the best rowing machine? and then how to use it? So we have prepared a nice guide at the end of this page which will let you know what type of rowing machine is best for you and how to use a rowing machine.
Now before going towards the best rowing machine reviews, you must know there are several types of rowing machines based on the resistance you will face. The three main types of row machines are air, magnetic and water.
Air Rowing Machines basically have a flywheel which produces air resistance when pulled. The harder you pull it the stronger is the resistance. The good thing here is that people who want real serious resistance can use this type, it produces very strong resistance compared to other types. But on the other side, it produces a lot of noise. So you can only use it indoor if you live alone or set your timings so no one is disturbed by the noise.
Magnetic Rowing Machines incorporates strong magnets besides a flywheel. Unlike air rowing machine, here the resistance does not change with force. Resistance can be adjusted by adjusting sliders or sometimes digitally. Advantage of magnetic rower is that it is almost silent and requires less space. But the downside is that you will have to adjust the resistance level depending on your mood everyday. Because, resistance does not change while you pull harder or slower.
Water Rowing Machines are the best rowing machines for workout. This type of row machine has a water tank which has a flywheel in it. The flywheel rotates inside the water whenever pulled. The resistance here depends on the mass of water inside the container and the force you apply. The benefit of this type is that it is smooth and less noisy. Whereas, the thing one may not like is that most water rowing machines are costly. But the fact is that most people still opt for this type.
Best Rowing Machines
|Best Rowing Machines||Best Feature|
|WaterRower Club||Home Use|
|Concept2 Model D||Intense Training|
|WaterRower Natural||Indoor Use|
|Stamina Avari Magnetic||Programmable|
|Velocity Magnetic Rower||Budget Friendly|
|Stamina BodyTrac 1050||Compact Design|
|ProForm 440R||Multiple Exercises|
|Stamina Orbital Rower||Price|
|Sunny Obsidian Surge Water Rower||Fitness Monitor|
1. WaterRower Club Rowing Machine
- Wooden Design
- S4 Performance Monitor
- Low Noise
- Comfortable Use
This wooden structure absorbs all the noise and vibration produced during rowing, this makes the process smooth and it becomes one of the best water rowing machine. Additionally, the water tank, seat and everything else is nicely adjusted for the best possible exercise and its cause.
Talking about the design of this best row machine, first and foremost it is best for indoor use. The reason for it being a best indoor rowing machine is both its design and the way it operates.
Design wise, it looks like an addition to your current furniture in the home. It bears a classical look because of its wood and elongated design. Next is its operation, it operates very smoothly making no unwanted noise which makes it perfect for indoor use.
Now let’s jump into the technical details, dimension wise it is 82.25 inches (length), 22.25 inches (width), 20 inches (height). It weighs a total of 103.5 lb which is 47 kg when filled with water. And not to forget, a total of 17 liters of water is needed to fill the tank.
The maximum weight limit for this row machine is 1000 lbs which is 454 kg, this means anyone using this rowing machine must not exceed the above mentioned weight. Moreover, the seat and footrests are very comfortable which makes all the process more fun. Also, the water tank of this row machine is made of polycarbonate which is very stiff.
WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is very popular among rowing enthusiasts. This is because of its ergonomics and easy operation. It can very easily be assembled within half an hour and filling or emptying the tank easy too.
Talking about the performance, the seat and footrests are nicely aligned so that there is no issue with your back or legs after the exercise. The handle also is nicely covered which gives a nice grip.
Now lets jump to S4 Performance Monitor which comes integrated in this best home rowing machine. This performance monitor is very advanced and you can do a number of things with it. The main things that it records and previews is Stroke Rate, Hear Rate, Duration and Distance. Besides these main things, you can do a lot more. Like you can store you previous 9 measurements and then view them later.
Then there is an option called zone and zonebar, using which you can set the intensity for your workout. It will later track you while working out and will tell you if you are inside or outside your zone. This is a very nice feature because you can keep up the track and change your zone on daily or weekly basis based on your strength.
Moreover, the monitor is very easy to use. It follows QuickSelect methodology, which means you can start tracking just by a single touch of the button.
Talking about the benefits, of course it helps you build your physical strength. But there are other benefits as well. Like it is very durable and build quiality is just amazing, so you will be using it for years and it won’t degrade. Also the performance monitor which comes integrated is just great, it saves you a lot of time and lets you easily track your record.
2. Concept2 Model D PM5
- Minimal Design
- PM5 Performance Monitor
- Wireless Connectivity
So it will be most suitable for exercise without any worries about going the wrong way. It is an air rowing machine which means it will be making noise but will automatically adjust to the power you apply while pulling.
Concept2 Model D has a very minimal design, it occupies very less space and is low profile. You don’t need to do a lot while assembling it or using it in routine. One can very easily get started after adjusting the footrests and airflow etc.
Here are the dimensional details, 96 inches (length), 24 inches (width), 14 inches (height). These details might look like its a big rowing machine which will occupy too much space but that’s not true. Actually, this row machine is very minimal in design and occupies as less space as it can. The reality is that on the ground it takes no space at all, only some parts of it are long and stick out from the actual area in the air. But this is not going to be a problem at all, as suggested by the users.
It can bear a total of 500 lbs (227 kg) weight, so anyone using it must not exceed this number. Moreover, the seat and footrests are nicely designed for maximum comfort, plus the cord is made of steel which makes it strong. Additionally this row machine has special frame lock / unlock mechanism using which it can very easily get into two pieces, in case you need to store it or change its position.
Everything from assembling till the physical results, this best rowing machine does wonders. Since it’s an air rowing machine, therefore you must know it will be a bit noisy. Although Concept2 claims that the flywheel is designed in a way which minimizes the noise and makes the process smooth.
But there is something more better which this flywheel does. You can very easily adjust the airflow towards the flywheel. Basically air rowing machines always respond to the force you apply, the harder you pull the more the airflow. But you still get an option to adjust the airflow in advance which gives you a bit of customization in advance.
It’s a widely used rowing machine because its a durable one. You would easily come across this model in many places like gyms and hotels etc. Another good thing here is that the footrests are adjustable too which indicates all your family can use it very easily in case you buy it for your home use.
Now coming towards the PM5 monitor which rests exactly at the center top of this machine, pointing directly at your face. It’s the performance monitor 5 which can be called one the most advanced monitor in rowing machines. The reason it is a good performance monitor is that it gives you good connectivity options alongside good tracking features. It can track your pace, stroke rate and calories burned etc and then store in the internal memory or you can choose to store the data in a USB. You can also choose to switch between a “just row” mode or set many other workouts and targets.
The interesting thing about this PM5 is that it has connectivity options like Bluetooth and ANT+. Using Bluetooth you can easily connect to different apps via your phone and get your data on the device you want. Plus, you can also use the ANT+ wireless technology which allows monitoring devices from different brands to connect. This means you can easily connect this performance monitor to any of your fitness belt or other monitoring devices.
3. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine
- Dynamic Resistance
- S4 Performance Monitor
- Intense Strength Building
Most of the the rowing machines made by WaterRower are similar in design and features. They just have small differences and a difference in price as well.
As always it is hand crafted, made from Ash wood having light brown color because of the honey oat stain finish. The wooden structure makes it further smooth and absorbs all the vibrations which results in reducing the noise.
The seat, footrests and handle is nicely designed for a better grip and comfort. A look at the dimensions tells that it almost suits any body type and exercise. The dimensions are 82.25 inches (length), 22.25 inches (width), 20 inches (height). And it can handle a maximum weight of 350 kg on it.
The weight of this rowing machine with the tank filled is 103.5 lbs which equals around 47 kg. This makes it a heavy one but when the tank has no water in it then it weighs 66 lbs which makes it very easy to move around and store when needed.
Moreover, the material of the water tank is good which makes it a durable rowing machine and the overall ergonomics are good.
There are no doubts about how this row machine operates and builds your strength. It can become a nice partner for your strength building sessions.
The seat and footrests are well-balanced which adds up to the overall performance. Besides, as you know it is a water rowing machine which means the resistance created depends on the force you apply. And this rowing machine further enhances this process because of the best quality and technical design of the flywheel within the water tank.
Most of the best row machines always comes with an integrated performance monitor and same is the case here. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine comes equipped with an S4 performance Monitor which brings a lot of things with it. This performance monitor does not let you do a lot with the data inside it but shows you quite a good number of accurate metrics.
You get to see the intensity, distance, stroke rate, heart rate, the duration of your workout and the calories burned. Looking at all these metrics makes it pretty clear that this is the best rowing machine for workout.
4. Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower
- 12 Built-in Programs
- Automatic Resistance Control
- Budget Friendly
- Not for High Intensity
What makes it even more better is that despite all the benefits and advanced tech, it’s a best rowing machine on a budget. It is not one of those rowing machines which are sold at a higher price only because of elegant looks. It really manages to give you the best body workout.
Design wise, it is minimal. It does not require big space at all and up on the top, it can be folded to a very small size for storing or moving around. The total length when unfolded for use is 81 inches and the width is 20 inches. The seat height is 24.5 inches which is above average. Normally, other row machines have an average 20 inches seat height. And the total weight of this best row machine is 74 lbs (34 kg).
The handle is padded with foam which makes a firm grip and is easy to pull. However, the foam may tear up with time but it can be easily replaced. Below the handle you will see the footrests area. Here the foot plates can move a little providing you with more natural movement and the straps keep your feet still.
The seat of this best rowing machine is a molded one. Such seats give you maximum comfort while working out but you will have to make sure to be seated in exact right manner. Otherwise you may face falling off.
Finally, the best thing here is that it has built-in wheels at the bottom which makes it super easy to move. You can literally move it around easily like a tricycle.
Since it is a magnetic rowing machine, it gets pretty clear that it must be a nice performer. And yes it is, it is dead silent while rowing and performs as best as it can.
You can very easily adjust the duration and resistance using arrow keys below the main LCD. The performance monitor here tells you a lot about your exercise but there is something more to it. Here, you can have 12 different workout programs out of which 8 are default and 4 can be set by the user. The Staming Avari A350-700 is one of the LCD here is backlit so you can even see all the data in low light.
The default modes are Manual, Valley, Fat Burn, Rolling Hills, Ramp, Mountain, Interval and Heart Rate Mode. For the heart rate mode you get a special chest strap heart rate monitor which measure your heart rate and the machine acts accordingly.
Besides, the performance monitor also tells you things like distance, duration, stroke rate, calories burned and pulse etc. And you can do almost all the best rowing machine workouts.
5. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower CHR-2001
- Best for Beginners
- Electronic Resistance Control
- Not for High Intensity
It is budget friendly but still manages to give you the best resistance along with many other customization features.
It’s a type of row machine which is easily fold-able and can be moved around. While unfolded, it still occupies very little space. It can be a best rowing machine for beginners.
It can be placed anywhere inside your home for a quick training period. Most of the system machinery lies within the front area of this rower, and on the other side is the beam which is strong enough to support any sort of normal strength building intensity.
Dimensions wise, it has a length of 80.3 inches, the width is 20.1 inches and the height is 25.2 inches. All these measurements makes it clear that the machine is suitable for any kind of normal human. Besides, it also clarifies that this best rowing machine would not be occupying too much space.
The maximum weight which this row machine can handle is 275 lbs which is around 124 kg. And you can get this rower in any of the two available colors, grey and black.
Magnetic rowers are always good at performing good. You always get to do a ton of things with your rower, if it is magnetic. The first and good thing you get here is electronic resistance control which means you can change the resistance at your will by the touch of buttons. And not to forget, this row machine is as silent as it can get. You won’t hear any unnecessary sound other than your seat going back and forth on the beam.
The footrests are nicely stiff, giving you maximum control over your movement. And the seat is comfortable too, you won’t be feeling any unnecessary touches from below.
Now the performance monitor also lets you do a lot. You get 12 different programs inside it, each of which is different and you may choose at your will. You also get a chest strap which tracks your heart rate. The monitor here can track duration, strokes, distance, the calories your burned and pulse rate.
6. Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050
- Hydraulic Resistance Control
- Built-in Fitness Monitor
- Large Diameter of Rowing Arms
It is different than normal rowers which have a cord to be pulled. It comes with its own rowing arms which has an overall good effect on your physical health. It may need more space while you are using it because the arms move around in almost circular way but when not in use, it occupies very less space and you can even fold it for storing.
This rowing machine is nicely designed for best health results and usage. Starting from the arms till the seat and everything is great.
It’s compact and easily portable. You can easily fold it and make it stand upright for storing it anywhere. The movement of rowing arms is smooth and the machine itself is very silent. It’s a hydraulic rower, you will see the pump below the seat, this pump makes it smooth and silent.
A look at the dimensions, 46 inches (length), 21 inches (width) and 23.5 inches (height). This says very clearly that the machine won’t be occupying too much space. You can easily place it anywhere indoor, even in your room. This makes it a best rowing machine for home. And, the maximum weight it can bear is 250 lbs (113 kg).
If you are really looking for something within budget and best performance together, then this rowing machine is the best choice for you. The price is almost half as that of other rowing machines.
Talking about the performance, it’s a hydraulic rowing machine which means it is dead silent. Also you can change the resistance level below the seat. This mechanism makes sure you only feel the resistance of your choice and nothing other than that.
On the rowing arms and the seat you will come across padded foam which further adds to the comfort. Also, the footrests are textured which makes sure your feet don’t slip and you also get to tie your feet to the plates using straps.
Most importantly, you also get a multifunction fitness monitor which lets you see a lot. Here, you can check your calories burned, speed, duration of workout, strokes per minute and distance covered. This monitor works accurately and all the metrics you see are very precise.
7. ProForm 440R Rower
- 8 Resistance Levels
- Bicep/Tricep Training
- Thin Handle
It is cheap compared to other rowing machines and comes with almost all the options and comfort as that of other row machines. It is a perfect fit for cardio and strength building. Additionally, it has a good overall effect on all your muscles which are trained while rowing.
Among the types, it’s a magnetic one which means you’ll have to set resistance as per your needs and you get to choose from a total of 8 resistance levels.
ProForm 440R Rower is very compact, it occupies very little space while in use whether standing or lying flat. Yes, you heard it right, you can also use it for biceps / triceps exercise while it stands upright. It can be very easily folded to make it stand upright and then you can do your biceps / triceps or store it anywhere easily.
A look at the dimensions tells a lot about its compact nature. The length is 76.6 inches, width 38.3 inches and the seat height from the ground is 20.5 inches. And it weighs 68 lbs which is 30 kg. Since it has wheels for moving it around and the weight also is not too much, this makes it clear that changing the position of this row machine is easier. Besides, the maximum weight which this rower can handle is 250 lbs (113 kg).
The footrests are easily adjustable and have a pivoting pedal which makes the movement natural. The handle as well has a nice grip on it which adds up to the overall results of this best rowing machine 2019.
Performance wise, this rower is no less than other expensive rowing machines. It’s a magnetic rower and comes with 8 different resistance levels. Additionally you get a big LCD screen which records and tells you a lot.
On the big LCD which is a fitness monitor, you can check strokes per minute, distance, calories burned and the duration as well. You can also switch between multiple training modes. Just below the screen you will come across a big red knob using which you can change the magnetic resistance level. You can choose between 8 different resistance levels.
The handle here has a good grip over it as mentioned earlier, but you may face some problem with it. This is because the handle is short and thin compared to other rowers.
8. Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower
- Simple Performance Monitor
Overall, this row machine is minimal in design. It’s just a few inches above the ground while in use, which makes the process easier. Besides, the grip of rowing arms and seat etc. everything is comfortable.
As mentioned, it’s a minimal rowing machine. The seat is just just 10 inches above the ground. Length is 48 inches and the width is 45.5 inches. Dimensions tell us that it is almost square in shape, so it has more width compared to usual row machines and its length is less than what normal rowing machines have.
The footrests are nicely placed and have straps on them for a stiff hold of your feet. Rowing arms also have padded grips on the top to make sure your hands do not slip while working out. This grip is very important for a balanced workout.
The beam upon which the seat slides can be adjusted too. The inclined position of this seat can be adjusted which results in change of the intensity and the force you will be applying. The seat of this best rowing machine is padded with foam and the maximum weight it can handle is 250 lbs (113 kg). Additionally, the rowing arms could be easily folded for storing it and thus making it a best compact rowing machine.
For indoor workout purposes, it is a best affordable rowing machine and it’s a good performer as well. Since it’s a hydraulic rower, it is silent and does not produce any extra noise. And the resistance could be controlled too, using a knob.
The foot plates are movable and have pivoting motion, this ensure a natural movement of your feet.
Now the performance monitor, it’s a simple screen which can record and show multiple things like strokes, calories burned, time and your rowing speed. Besides, it can also record the metrics and display them every 6 seconds when the scan mode is turned ON. And operating it is easy as well, it works on single button mechanism.
The downside to this performance monitor is that you can’t do a lot with it, it just simply displays the metrics.
9. Sunny Obsidian Surge Water Rower
- Best for the Money
- R2 Fitness Monitor
It’s not a bad design for workout, but in terms of being compact, it is not because it occupies more space and is tall. Other than the design, it is a nice overall performer in terms of comfort, best results and recording the metrics smartly.
As mentioned earlier, in terms of occupying space it is not even near to be called compact. It stands tall at 33.43 inches which is almost near to 3 feet. Its width is good range at 22.05 inches but its way more lengthy than normal rowers at 78 inches. There are wheels at the bottom for moving around the rowers, and these can prove to be helpful because the machine is lightweight at 81 lbs (36 kg).
These dimensions make it a bit awkward, but the overall looks and comfort of this best rowing machine are at a next level of quality. It comes in full black and has red touches at different places like its flywheel inside the water tank.
The seat and handle is nicely padded and have good grips for a firm hold. Also, the fitness monitor is placed at good position in the top center, just in front of your head. You could easily note all your rowing metric while doing the workout.
Normally, water rowers produce sound and this one does too. But it is a little lower on noise compared to what other rowers produce. Moreover, the foot pads have nice grip for overall better results.
Performance wise, this row machine is a beast. It’s a water rower so clearly the resistance level depends on the force you apply. The faster you pull, the higher is the resistance.
As mentioned, the seat, handles and footrests are nicely gripped and comfortable. Which results in a balanced effect on the whole workout process.
The fitness monitor you get integrated with this rower is R2 fitness monitor. It’s a good performance monitor and tells you a good number of things about your exercise. You get to see your speed, exercise duration, calories burned, strokes per minute and the room temperature as well. You can also track your heart rate, but for that you need to buy a separate heart rate chest strap and connect that to the R2 fitness monitor using ANT+ technology.
This monitor can be used in two different ways. One is the simple way using which you can simply see your metrics. Or you can pre-select a value and then see when you achieve your target. The downside to this monitor is that it is not backlit, so you may face problems while working out in low light.
Choosing the Best Rowing Machine
Choosing the best row machine can be a bit tricky if you are doing it for the first time. Because there are a number of factors which you need to think about. Additionally, there are certain things which your rowing machine should and should not have. So here are certain things based on which you will be able to choose a best row machine for yourself.
i) Resistance Type: We’ve mentioned in the very start that based on resistance type there are three main types, namely water, air and magnetic. All these have their pros and cons. In short:
- Water rowing machines are the best type, they do not produce too much noise. The resistance here depends on the force you apply, this means the resistance changes as you pull harder or softer. But most of the water rowers are expensive compared to other types.
- Air rowers are budget friendly, some of the best cheap rowing machines have air resistance type. This type is best for hardcore trainings and long sessions. The resistance type is same as water rowers, the harder you pull the greater is the resistance. But the disadvantage of such rowers is that they produce a lot of noise because the flywheel rotates in the air and ultimately there is a lot of noise produced.
- Magnetic rowers are the most silent of them all, they do not produce any sound and their price lies somewhere at the middle of water and air rowers. But these rowers use magnet bars for resistance for which you have to set the resistance level in advance. You can not change the resistance on the go while rowing.
ii) Ergonomics: A rowing machine mostly affects all your muscle groups, this is why you always a need a balanced row machine. Things like seat, footrests, handle etc. needs to be adjustable and comfortable. You should always look for a rowing machine which has pivoting footrests, the seat is nicely padded and the handle has a firm grip. All these important factors are mentioned with each rower above in the reviews.
iii) Dimensions and Weight: Everyone knows that they will placing their rower somewhere in their home. But you may need to move them around at some point or you may not have too much space in your room. This is why you need to check the dimensions of the row machine you select. Make sure it can be placed at your space and also check if you can move it around or store it easily.
Additionally, you need to check two other things. One is the weight of the rower itself and other is the maximum weight which the rowing machine can bear.
iv) Fitness Monitor: You could only achieve good results if you track your workout. This is why almost all rowing machines comes with a built-in performance monitor which tracks certain things. Some of these are simple monitors which just track things like speed, time, strokes per minute and the calories your burned. While other are advanced, they can connect to your smartphones for sharing data and doing other advanced things.
How to use a Rowing Machine
You must know how to use a rowing machine before you start. There are a number of exercises which you can do. Mainly three different exercises are performed using a row machine. These are the best rowing machines workout.
i) Legs Only: The first main exercise you can do using a rowing machine is to put all the force on to your legs. For this type of exercise you need to sit upon the rower and keep for posture straight, then hold onto the handle and tie your feet to the footrests using the foot straps. Now, you just have to push your legs and the machine itself will take you back and forth. Make sure you do not bend your back and you must hold your arms in the same position throughout.
ii) Arms Only: This type mainly focuses on building your arms strength, although it also affects other muscles. In this type again, you need to sit in the same manner mentioned above and then push your legs against the footrests only once so that you pull yourself back. Now you have to keep your legs straight and start moving the handle back and forth. This exercise affects your biceps, triceps and wings (the left and right back of your body).
iii) Complete Rowing: In this type you use both, legs and arms for pulling your body back on the slider. This type effects all the major groups of your muscles. In other words it’s a full body workout and an amazing cardio. You only have to make sure that while coming back towards the front of the rower, your speed is reduced. In simple words, you have to resist the force which is pulling you back towards the front part of the rower.
Benefits of Rowing
Rowing has a lot of benefits, we have mentioned the most common benefits which can help any ordinary human.
a) Rowing is the best cardiovascular exercise of all. This way, your heart, lungs and other internal body parts stay healthy.
b) It’s a full body workout. When you use a rowing machine properly, almost all of your body muscles are effected.
c) Your body gets flexible. If you row regularly, you can get a nice flexible body and not get old soon.
d) You burn calories. Someone who is worried about their weight and physical health but has got no extra time for gym, a rowing machine can be their best friend.
e) It is suitable for people of all age groups. Elderly people can also use a row machine for keeping their body together.
That’s all about best rowing machines 2019 from us. Hope by now you know which row machine is the perfect fit for you.
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