Are you looking for the best rowing machines on the market?
Rowing is an incredible cardiovascular exercise that finds its roots in Ancient Egypt. Unlike most cardio exercises, it works out your upper and the lower body, helping you burn a lot of calories!
If you’re an avid rower, it makes sense to buy a machine for yourself and kiss the hefty gym fees goodbye.
In this blog post, we will go through the top rowing machines available on the market, along with a must-read buying guide. We’re sure that you’ll find what you were looking for.
Let’s get this started!
Rowing 101: Let’s Take a Peek at Some of the Health Benefits
If you’re looking to lose weight, rowing will help you torch the extra calories and exercise all of your muscle groups. It’ll help you tone your calves, hamstring, glutes, deltoids, triceps, core, etc.
Now, that’s an effective full-body workout.
In this section of the blog post, we would like to go through some of the health benefits that rowing has to offer.
Effective Full-Body Workout
If you’re looking for a full-body workout in your home’s comfort, a rowing machine is a perfect choice for your fitness goals.
Unlike other cardio workouts, rowing requires you to use your upper as well as lower body. The exercise requires you to use a variety of muscles, helping you get the body of your dreams!
Helps Increase Your Stamina
If your goal is to increase your cardiovascular stamina and improve heart health, a rowing machine will help. The exercise helps strengthen your heart and lungs and builds endurance. Steady-state rowing helps build cardiovascular endurance.
If you increase resistance, rowing can be an effective anaerobic or ‘strength’ workout, helping you build muscle. You can build anaerobic stamina through HIIT sessions.
Improves Muscle Strength
Rowing is an excellent full-body workout that allows you to work out your upper and lower body proportionately. An effective rowing workout will help you work on your back, core, legs, arms, hamstrings, etc.
So, you’ll have that beach body you’ve always wanted in no time!
Helps Lose Weight
Are you looking to shed a few pounds?
Then again, aren’t we all?
Rowing helps you burn a lot of calories in a short period. On average, a moderately intense rowing workout helps you shed 600-1000 kcals per hour. That’s on the high end!
So, you’re bound to lose weight in no time.
Should I Invest In a Rowing Machine, Or is it a Bad Idea?
There are four questions that you should be asking yourself before investing in the best rowing machine.
- Do I like rowing? Do I find it fun?
- How much money can I afford to spend on it?
- Do I have enough space in my house to store the machine?
- How often will I realistically be able to use it?
After you’ve thought about the answers to these questions, you’ll understand your personal needs better. Everyone’s different.
Your Level of Motivation: Will You Use the Machine?
If you think that you’re motivated enough to get in shape and burn some calories then, investing in the best rowing machine is a good idea if you have proper form while rowing, you also have a minimal risk of injuring yourself.
This is a safe workout.
Once you’ve figured out how often you’ll be using the machine, you need to set a budget.
How Much Money Are You Willing to Shell?
You can get a good machine that fits your needs within a couple of hundred dollars. However, if you’re looking to upgrade and up your game, you’ll be looking at spending over a thousand. It is all worth it if you do end up using the rower every day.
While budget models are pocket-friendly, they’re not always the best choice. They can have kinks, need a lot of maintenance, and have a lot of wear and tear.
This can be frustrating for someone who uses the machine almost every day.
Do You Have the Space to Keep a Rowing Machine?
It’s important to know whether the rower will fit in your home gym or apartment. Most people forget to consider the amount of space the rower takes.
Additionally, you also have to check and see if the rower is long enough for your legs and can support your body weight.
The Type of Rowing Machine You’re Willing to Invest In
Finally, you need to decide the type of rowing machine that’ll fit your needs the best. You can find the following types of rowers on the market:
- Air Rowing Machine: Low in weight, this machine is extremely portable and easy to assemble and disassemble
- Power Rowing Machine: These are extremely popular and help you get in shape quickly. They’re extremely efficient
- Water Rowing Machine: This allows you to take smooth strokes and helps you burn fat and calories
- Elastic Rowing Machine: Thanks to the flexible tension, this machine gives you the opportunity
- Hydraulic Rowing Machine: These are on the heavier side, but work well and cost less
What to Consider when Buying Rowing Machine?
Rowing is an exercise that is tough and gives a full-body workout when done regularly.
If you have decided to take up this sport, there are a wide variety of rowing machines available for all kinds of rowing exercises ranging from low-impact to high-intensity workouts you can consider buying.
There is also the constant upkeep that needs to be done when it comes to the maintenance of these devices.
Besides, other factors like storage space availability, ease of unit assembly, etc. need to be considered while buying one. Let’s take a quick look at some of the things you need to know when investing in a high-quality rowing machine:
- Material: The material should ideally be a light-weight aluminum or steel for beginners who would start with low-impact rowing exercises. As the intensity of the workout and experience increases, machines made with more sturdy material like iron can be considered.
- Battery: Chargeable batteries are often expensive and hence, must be considered only if you are willing to maintain them. It is better to look out for machines that run on 2AA batteries rather than 3AAA batteries, which are a more expensive option.
- Resistance: Depending on the kind of workouts and muscle groups you are aiming at, you can choose from a variety of resistance options such as air, hydraulic, mechanical, and elastic. It is better to have a machine that comes with multi-resistance that can be changed automatically as the intensity of the workout changes.
- Sweat Proof: You must make sure that your machine’s handles and foot paddles are sweat-proof as the opposite may lead to gradual damage and wearing out of the unit.
- Grip: Smooth and comfortable handles increase traction on the surface and ensure a tight and comfortable grip. The smoothness prevents hand and palm damage in the long run. Having textured pedals is an additional advantage for sturdy grip while exercising.
- Digital Monitor: The LCD digital monitor coming with the machine must have tracking features for various parameters like time rowed, distance covered, calories burnt, etc. Having features like Bluetooth, USB connection, or a stand to place your tab or favorite book while working out is a plus.
- Other functional Features: The seat should be broad enough to help you workout. The handles and paddles should be cushioned to provide comfort while exercising. Some machines also come with a bottle holder to keep you hydrated throughout your workout.
Our Top 10 Reviews: The Best Rowing Machines On the Market
Now that you know everything you need to buy the best rowing machine for yourself let’s take a look at our top ten picks. In this section of the blog, we will go through the top 10 rowing machines you can choose from.
Have a look.
1. Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine
The Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine are one of the best rowing machines on the market. It comes with a digital screen, squat assistance, adjustable handlebars, etc. to make your rowing experience safe and fun.
Bands of Resistance
The machine features three customizable resistance rates that allow you to build and operate with the right resistance levels for yourself.
You can choose to warm-up without added resistance. By adjusting the resistance, you get the most out of your machine as it keeps challenging your body and builds strength and endurance, making the workout fun and versatile.
Each band offers 22 pounds of resistance.
A Digital Screen
The digital screen helps you keep track of your fitness levels and motivates you to achieve your goals. This machine comes with Number 077 Display, which shows the time and distance along with other fitness parameters.
It also comes with an Easy Scan feature that helps you keep track of your health goals.
Don’t like the calluses?
With the Sunshine Safety Rowing Machine, you don’t need to worry about them! The machine comes with an ergonomic handle that comfortably places your hand on it without pain.
Not only are the handlebars easy to adjust, but you can also customize them according to your needs.
Performing squats while rowing can be a highly beneficial exercise for the body, especially helping build and tone muscles of the calves, glutes, and thighs. Even more so when done with proper form. Your form while squatting will significantly improve from the support provided by the squat assisting rower’s seat.
- The number 77 digital monitor helps track fitness goals by measuring time, calories burned and virtual distance rowed
- The saddle is adjustable for angles at 30, 60 and 90 degrees, which provide deeper positions while squatting
- Automatic adjustment of handle distance control for proper technique
- Comes with pre-provided batteries
- You can tweak the resistance as and when you please
- Adjustable handlebars make it excellent for multiples users
- Faster wear and damage of the product may occur as the tension system is elastic and not magnetic
- The size of the seat is short, only suitable for a limited range of people
2. Stamina Air Rowing Machine
This rowing machine provides a great cardiovascular, muscle strengthening workout without having to hit the gym. As you excitedly row your way to health, this beauty by stamina effectively targets all major muscle groups.
Intuitive Wind Resistance
This machine comes with automatic, intuitive wind resistance that increases while pulled faster and slows down while the rowing slows down. This makes the overall rowing experience comfortable.
Easy-to-read LCD Panel
This rower comes with a big-screen LCD monitor that scans through speed, calories burnt, and time in real-time using the SCAN mode feature. This helps in monitoring your everyday regime and progress effectively.
Easily Foldable For Storage
The ATS rower can be easily folded for compact storage after your workout.
- The Air Rower 1399 ensures a powerful exercise experience while burning calories and improving overall health
- The air resistance gives you flexibility when it comes to tuning workouts, as you can adjust the strength based on the intensity of your workouts for the day
- The big LCD monitor helps to keep track of the time, distance covered and calories burnt
- Adjustable footboards and an upholstered bench that help make your workout a relaxing experience
- The rowing machine has a warranty of three years which has to be renewed every 90 days
- Complicated setup
- No batteries included
3. Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine
If you want a rower that gives you a great challenge the same as rowing outdoors, then this is the one for you! Coming with a newly improved magnetic tension system will give you challenging workouts to look out for.
Versatile Digital Monitor
Now you can plan and track your workout routines with the digital monitor provided by Sunny with its many different tracking options. The display allows the amount of time and effort you will dedicate to your routine and the number of calories burnt, muscle groups used, etc.
Multi-level Magnetic Resistance
The SF-RW 5515 rower has a provision of comfortably changing the resistance dynamically with a simple twist using tension knots as the intensity of the workout changes. This ensures an efficient workout regime while healthily challenging the rower throughout.
Without-Fall Foot Pedals
Due to its non-slip surface, the machine remains stable throughout. This stability, coupled with textured pedals and straps of high-quality, ensures that the rower’s feet stay in place. Its pedals are also wide catering to rowers coming in all shapes and sizes.
This rower ensures a comfortable experience while exercising offered by its coiled seat with soft cushioning. Working out has never felt better!
- You can flip through 8 levels of resistance throughout your routine
- Virtual distance covered, count of reps, time taken can all be tracked using the LCD
- It has non-slip handles for better grip
- It has built-in moving wheels for ease of transport
- Large muscle groups are targeted during workouts
- Features a three elastic band resistance system
- Adjustable handle and saddle for user comfort
- The batteries are not included
4. Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine
Touted as one of the world’s best rowing machines for over 40 years, the Concept2 has had a constant history of high quality and consistent innovation in rowing. A rower you should consider.
Multi-featured Display With Backlight
This rower comes with a display that processes real-time data to give you reliable progress results. For ease of viewing, the display comes with a backlight, complete with Bluetooth and ANT+ features for cardiac monitoring and compatible with other apps.
You can also save your progress reports in USB flash drives (excluded) through their USB compatible port.
Has 10-level Resistance
You can easily switch between resistances across ten levels by an easy change of the damper which controls the airflow. This leads to a corresponding change in the resistance of the machine.
It can be easily assembled and fitted with a set of castor wheels for easy transport. The machine readily splits into two pieces for storage and has a smooth feel to it.
After your workouts, you can easily dismantle the frame for storage using a frame- lock mechanism. This machine also gives you some of the quietest workouts you have ever done.
- The exercise unit can be assembled quickly and easily according to the measurements provided
- We can chart and track real-time progress as we exercise leading to accurate workout results
- Ten resistance levels
- Ultra silent operation
- You can use Bluetooth to monitor heart rate
- Free ErgData app helps keep track of workouts
- It requires two people minimum to be carried around
5. MaxKare Water Rowing Machine
This water rower gives you the perfect experience of exercising with the feeling of rowing on actual water. With its resistance provided by hydraulic containers, this is a perfect full-body workout machine.
A wide range of exercises, especially upper-body ones, is made possible by this rowing machine due to the comfort provided by the fully foam-padded handles. Due to this feature, people in every stage, from beginners to experts, can achieve their set goals.
As this machine is specially designed to imitate real-life rowing in water, a container filled with water is used as per most water rowers to provide resistance while rowing. This container must be filled at all times by 2/3rds at the least while exercising.
The back supports of this rowing machine are provided with stabilizers, which ensure that the machine remains level, especially while working out on uneven surfaces.
This rower comes with a bottle holder that allows you to stay hydrated while sweating it out. Wheels are built into the base of the unit for smooth movement while transporting the unit.
It also comes with an LCD monitor that is large and has an extra feature called man-machine competition mode that makes your regimes more interesting.
- Built to imitate actual water movement while rowing, this beast makes your rowing experience much more realistic and demanding
- It has a brilliant ergonomic design made for comfortable workouts
- Its light-weight main frame is incredibly robust and easy to transport handling a full weight of up to 264 lbs
- It has an additional support point that helps hold the machine upright for storage in tight spaces
- The shaft must be used with great care
- The digital LCD monitor is neither waterproof nor sweat-proof
- The weight handling capacity of the rower is limited
6. Stamina Hydraulic Rowing Machine
This rower by stamina has a unique feature added to it that is the flexible full-motion arms rowing range that enables you to perform rowing exercises as you would in the real-world.
Full-Range Rowing Arms
This rowing machine comes with a rowing motion that is in sync with humans’ natural rowing motion, thus providing a feeling of actually rowing in the water.
Adjustable Hydraulic Resistance
The hydraulic cylinder that comes with this machine gives a resistance power that can be adjusted dynamically as per the user’s preference. It can be increased or decreased for workouts of varying intensities.
LCD Workout Monitor
The digital LCD monitor gives you accurate readings of your workouts, further motivating you to perform better. It lets you keep track of various factors like workout time; total strokes did and calories burned.
Textured Foot Plates and Straps
Workouts are a more stable affair with this rower due to its textured footplates and nylon straps that are adjustable and ideally suited for all foot sizes.
Ergonomically Molded Seat
The seat of this model provides great comfort while rowing due to its ergonomically efficient mold.
- The seats are ergonomically molded to suit rowers of all sizes
- It has an all-purpose LCD tracking monitor to track regimes accurately
- It comes with foam-padded handles for comfortable workouts
- It can be stored in compact spaces
- It is restricted to a weight limit of 250lbs
- The LCD monitor might get damaged easily as it is not sweat-proof
- Inelastic aluminum used to create the rowing beam renders it delicate for use
7. ProGear Power Rowing Machine
ProGear comes up with this awesome rower that you can now use in the comfort of your home. It has a new feature that is unlike other rowers of having independent hydraulic resistances that can be adjusted for both handles separately.
Independent Hydraulic Cylinders
This rower uniquely has two hydraulic cylinders whose resistances can be changed across three levels independently. The pressure on the handlebars can be applied separately along with a 180-degree rowing motion range.
Adaptable To Different User Heights
The ProGear has three rowing positions, which can be adjusted as per the user’s height. It has a thick cushioned seat, multi-exercise backrest and slide rail of 37″ – 43″. Additionally, it is also provided with foam-covered handles.
Step Pedals Anti-slip
The anti-slip foot pedals which are textured come in a large size and are pivoting. They are suitable for users of heights ranging from 4’9″ to 6’1″. The foot pedals also have an additional pivoting feature, which adds comfort while rowing.
Varied Workout Range
This rower comes with provisions for performing over ten workout regimes ranging from shoulder presses, curls, rows, as well as Abs workout and pec flies, giving your body a full-fledged workout in the true sense.
- It has a digital monitor with AA batteries included to help track workouts
- It has a unique independent hydraulic resistance system
- It comes with three adjustable rowing angles for various user heights
- It has anti-slip pedals for stable workouts
- Ensures full-body workout with over ten workouts provided
- It has a limited user weight support capacity of 220lbs
- It comes with a limited warranty period of only one year
- It is a difficult task to assemble this product
8. Sunny Health and Fitness Elastic Rowing Machine
This rowing machine by the brand Sunny ensures that you get those muscles moving and calories burnt by letting you perform rowing and full-body and cardiovascular exercises in a safe and low-impact way.
4-level Adjustable Resistance
This beauty comes with an adjustable resistance that can be changed across four levels to increase or decrease rowing intensity during workouts. By simply switching up the intensity, you can assuredly give your body a full workout exercising your arms, shoulders, glutes, hips, and legs.
It also gives the option of engaging in different routines stimulating various patterns of muscles in the process.
This rower has a frame structure that is easily foldable when it comes to storing it in compact spaces.
Floor Stabilizers for Leveling
The rower comes with a simple leveler that can be turned to match the floor’s unevenness, thus giving you an overall experience of working on a leveled floor even when placed on uneven surfaces
Now workouts can be an ultra-quiet affair due to the elastic cord resistance provided by this model. Working out becomes a smooth experience.
- It has four levels of adjustable resistance
- The LCD screen enables us to constantly check the calories burnt miles rowed etc
- It has an oversized angled seat for a comfortable experience
- It comes with big, anti-slip foot pedals for a stable grip
- It supports a user weight of maximum 220lbs
- It does not support high impact workouts requiring high resistance
- 2 AA batteries are not included
9. Sunny Water and Hydraulic Rowing machine
You can now experience the feeling of rowing on water, right in your homes with another brilliant rowing beast by the brand Sunny. The water resistance keeps your workouts fun and challenging at the same time. It is a great choice for burning more calories in less time.
In this design, the rower has to increase his resistance step by step while rowing against high-density hydro-blades that constantly work to create resistance. The paddles withstand water corrosion and damage by pushing against the water.
The blades are sturdy enough to withstand powerful rowing strokes with multiple resistances.
R2 Fitness Meter
This is a special fitness meter that comes with this rower to track and scan all your workout routines. When this meter shaped like a belt is worn around your chest while working out, it transmits your heart rate to the advanced digital monitor.
It additionally also displays the time and distance rowed to help you keep track of your fitness goals.
Wheels for Transportation
This rower can also act as a make-shift bike because the wheels are provided in the front of the unit allowing the user to move the machine around with great ease. You can easily tilt and roll it out to exercise or simply fold it and it away for later use. This feature easily transforms your home into an at-home gym.
- It has an eight-level customizable power tension belt framework
- This rower has powerful hydro-blades which provide tremendous multi-level resistance
- It has full-padded handlebars and seat to provide maximum support and comfort during workouts
- It has large slip-resistant foot pedals with adjustable foot straps
- It has a simple digital display monitor to track distance rowed, calories burnt, and time covered, etc
- It has built-in wheels in the front of the device for easy and comfortable transportation
- It supports a maximum of 300lbs of user weight
- The 3 AAA batteries which are required to power the machine are not included
- The quality of the LCD digital monitor is not up to the mark
10. Sunny Health and Fitness Adjustable Rowing Machine
This rowing machine is specifically engineered for low-impact aerobic exercise regimes.
It is especially great for an even rowing experience for the whole body.
Slip-free Pedal With Sliding Strip
The hardest and most rigorous workouts can be achieved by the non-slip textured foot pedals, which suit all types of people. The foot belts keep your feet strapped in without having to worry about instability during your workout. You are also able to maintain constant momentum with these pedals enabling you to exercise safely.
Wide Cushioned Seat
This rower comes with a specially designed, well-cushioned, full seat with adjustable padding that lets you carry out challenging and lengthy regimes with ease. These exercises further help you maintain a constant and healthy blood supply to your glutes.
This especially is useful for people with sedentary jobs and prolonged sitting periods, which results in overall less circulation in the legs and glutes, leading to sleepy leg syndrome.
The well-designed LCD control panel and the monitor come with various control systems to help you track various aspects of your workout like the number of calories burnt, amount of time and distance rowed as well as the giving multiple workout routines. This helps in making sure you are fulfilling your preset fitness goals well.
This rower has a unique, fully coiled handle with a sturdy grip, which lets you row with a steady momentum while providing a broad range of movements. This results in intensive training of the upper body.
The multiple levels of adjustable tension ensure that you challenge yourself while working out in plenty of different ways. Both experts, as well as amateurs, can achieve these fantastic results.
- It comes 12 levels of adjustable hydraulic resistance
- It is useful for low impact aerobic exercises
- It has a helpful display monitor to track workouts
- It has an excellently cushioned seat and handlebar with an excellent grip
- It has a beautiful ergonomic design for comfortable and steady workouts
- It provides a full-body workout while aiming for various muscle groups concurrently
- It comes with leg braces for proper foothold while exercising
- It has a limited user weight capacity of 220 lbs
- As the resistance is provided by hydraulic cylinders and is not elastic; there is a higher risk of wear and corrosion
- It requires a minimum of two people to assemble and carry due to its heavyweight frame
Best Rowing Machine Brands Available on the Market
There are a couple of easily recognizable rower brands that will delight to shop merely because of their long-standing reputations. You’re bound to come across many favorite brands like Concept2, Stamina, and Water Rower.
Do keep in mind that new brands are always emerging that bring new technologies and innovation to the rowing machine technology market.
However, try not to get tempted to settle on a rower simply because of its brand name. It still needs to be able to meet your fitness needs.
Check all the features and dimensions to make sure that it will work for you. Looking at the fine print on the manufacturer’s warranty is also something that must be done thoroughly.
Best Rowing Machine Brands
Here are some of the best models from famous brands you can consider while buying a rowing machine:
- Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine
- Stamina Air Rowing Machine
- ProGear Power Rowing Machine
- Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine
It is essential to choose a machine that gives you the best experience and form when rowing.
Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions
In this section of the blog post, we’ll go through some of the frequently asked questions that we came across when researching the article.
1. Are rowing machines good for weight loss?
You can certainly reduce your body fat using a rowing machine. However, it’s crucial to also reduce your daily calorie intake for the best results. Exercise, alone, won’t be of any help if you aren’t eating well or are overcompensating for the calories you’ve burnt.
If you’ve 200/300 calories on your rowing machine monitor, you shouldn’t reward yourself with some ice cream or a slice of cake! You need to follow a regular exercise regime, along with a healthy diet.
2. Are rowing machines terrible for my back?
Rowing does not harm your back.
Some people have weak abdominal muscles, and to make up for this, they round their backs as they’re rowing. This is not the best and can lead to unnecessary strain on the back.
The safest rowing technique involves opening your chest – the shoulders should conform to the chest. You should fully engage your core as you do the front and back row.
3. What exact muscle groups do a rowing machine target?
Rowing is very beneficial for the muscles of the body. We are in line with the right technique, so various muscle groups get engaged. Rowing benefits the leg muscles–especially the quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings.
4. Which kind of rowing machine is considered the best?
Many types of rowing machines are available on the market. You should make your mind up on many aspects that include performance, price, storage space, durability, and the features that you want.
If you’re just starting out or are on a strict budget, you should choose the less expensive rowers. However, if you’re a highly advanced rower, it’s a good idea to check out the high-end rowing machines.
Which is the Best Rowing Machines on the Market!
Buying a rowing machine, especially if you are a beginner in this form of exercise, can be a daunting prospect.
Based on the analysis of the above factors, the best rowing machine in this countdown is the Concept 2 Indoor Rowing Machine. The following reasons set it a class apart.
- It’s high-quality budget-friendly
- Considered one of the best rowing machines on the market
- Has a powder coat finish that is both durable and attractive
- Comes with the PM5 LCD Monitor that you can pivot to several positions so that you can adjust its height and angle
We hope that some of the points outlined above might have eased the tensions in your mind and answered a lot of questions regarding choosing the best rower for your requirements.