Best Rowing Machines Reviewed For Ability Boosting Power

Many people are put off of using a rowing machine because of how intimidating it looks. If you are able to get past your fear, it is actually a great machine to use. There are many benefits of using one and they can greatly aid you in achieving all the fitness goals you have. A benefit is rowing machines are a mix of both aerobic and cardio exercises. When your body starts to row, the muscles will start to fire up. This will release a chemical reaction known as endorphins, which are known to help improve your quality of sleep and your overall daily mood. Rowing uses all the major muscle groups and is a great way to get your heart rate going. As you work out, your body will naturally increase the amount of oxygen you inhale, thus allowing red blood cells to be more oxygenated. This directly translates to an increase in stamina and endurance.

Using a rowing machine regularly greatly improve your weight loss. Rowing is a process that utilizes almost all your muscle groups at the same time. This will increase the number of calories you burn. This is a much more efficient way to exercise than using other machines. The calories that are being burned are really fat deposits in your body. As these deposits are being used up, it will remove the fat from your muscles. This will reflect on your body as having tone muscles and less flabby and soft areas. A rowing machine and a balanced diet is the ultimate combination for weight loss.

 

Featured Products

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050img
  • Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Range of Motion
  • Storage
  • Price: See Here
img
Concept2 Model D
  • Concept2 Model D
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Low Impact
  • Easy to Store
  • Price: See Here
img
Sunny H&F SF-RW1205img
  • Sunny H&F SF-RW1205
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Adjustable
  • Pivoting Footholds
  • Price: See Here
img

 

It has been mentioned multiple times that a rowing machine will work out all your muscles. However, we have included a concise break down of which muscles get the best workout. As expected, the rowing machine will strengthen both your upper and lower body. Rowing moves muscles such as your biceps, shoulders, trapezoids, and back muscles. This can greatly improve any back discomfort or pain that you may have. Having a stronger back and shoulder muscles will improve your posture, thus alleviating stresses and pressures on your spine. The rowing machine will also work your core muscles and have them become stronger. This can be very beneficial in your everyday life.

The rowing machine makes a huge difference in your lower body workouts. The pushing and pulling motion give your quadriceps a big workout. These thigh muscles usually do not get much when you’re using your legs day today, so it is important you allocate time to specifically build on these muscles. During your rowing, your hamstrings and glutes will also fire and start to burn extra fuel. This can translate to improved balance and flexibility in your everyday life.

 

 

10 Best Rowing Machines

 

 

1. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

This particular machine has been chosen as the go-to product for thousands of people. It is made of high quality and really cares about the comfort of the user. Every part that the machine will come into contact with your body is padded with a thick foam, preventing rashes or blisters from forming. It is also relatively affordable, making it a great product for people that are just getting into fitness.
Expand to see more
Range of Motion
Unlike your standard machines, this product allows you to exercise all parts of your body. It simulates rowing in water better than any other machine on the market. It utilizes both bending arms and a seat that is easy to move. Using this product on a daily basis will allow you to keep in shape and continue to train during bad weather.

Storage
A rowing machine can take up a lot of room. It is ideal for people that have enough room in their home to have a small scale gym. To make this product more accessible to people, the arms and extension of this machine can fold to become much more compact. This makes it much easier to store and also allows people in small apartments to take part in the great exercise of rowing.

Cost and Value
This is a great product with an affordable price tag. There are many benefits to this machine that put it as one of the leading rowing machines on the market. Being easy to store is extremely important as more people are living in apartments with much smaller space than a single detached home. Coupled with the fact it can work out every part of your body, this is a product you do not want to miss!
Pros

Comfortable

Affordable

Easy to store

Full body workout

Compact

Cons

Uncomfortable footrest

2. Concept2 Model D

This brand has been on the market for years. It is a well known and trusted brand that most athletes choose. These particular rowing machines are so mainstream that they often appear in commercial fitness centers as well. They are a great form of low impact exercise but can also be adjusted to give people that are training some serious muscle gains.
Expand to see more
Low Impact
This product is designed for low impact exercising. This does not mean that serious training athletes cannot use it. While the machine is built to withstand the stresses and pressures of being used daily, it can also be used every day on a lighter setting. This is a great product for people that have injuries and are looking to get back into exercise or for muscle therapy. There are multiple lighter settings to choose from that can help you get back into your routine.

Easy to Store
Storage has always been a concern for many people. Previously, rowing machines were only things that could be purchased if you had a large townhome or single detached home. This was because a product like this took up too much valuable space. To make these products more accessible, this brand has built the machine so it can be detached and separated into two pieces. This will allow for upright storage and will not need as much length in your storage compartment.

Cost and Value
This product is on the expensive side but it is worth every penny invested. The fact that it can be easily stored is going to give it an edge over competitors and their machines. It is also very mobile and can easily be moved around in your home. The entire system only uses eight screws, making it really easy to install. This machine can also be adjusted so that people in therapy or recovering from injuries can use it as a low impact exercise.
Pros

Easy to store

Simple maintenance

Low impact

Reliable

Trusted brand

Cons

Expensive

3. Sunny H&F SF-RW1205

This product is unlike other machines on the list simply because it can offer a much wider range of resistance. It also comes with a large monitor that allows you to clearly see where you are in your training. It can also keep track of data such as how much you have rowed and how many calories have been burned. Small little tweaks have been made in the design to make it safer and prevent injuries from happening.
Expand to see more
Adjustable
Most rowing machines have different adjustments to add or lessen the resistance of the machine. This product, in particular, has twelve adjustments, which is much more than their competitors. This will allow you to plan your workouts better and allow you to hit specific targets you are trying to reach. It also has a wider range of resistance, allowing you to train harder or use it as low impact exercising during your warm up.

Pivoting Footholds
There is always a worry when using footholds that you get an injury. One of the most common ways is for your ankle to roll when you are thrown off balance. This can cause a sprain or in more severe cases, a dislocation or break in the bone. To mitigate this problem, this particular product has footholds that pivot. This does not change the stability or integrity of the foothold, just simply offers you less rigidity and reduces the number of preventable injuries.

Cost and Value
This is a very affordable product and is a great machine to purchase if you are looking to start exercising. This machine will be suitable for all beginner and athletes looking for some serious training. The design on this product is to be able to facilitate low impact workouts while also be able to withstand the stresses of being pushed to its extremes on a daily basis. This total body workout product can easily substitute for most other machines you may need to purchase, thus saving you money.
Pros

Affordable

Safe

Easy to use

Large resistance scale

Moveable footholds

Cons

Machine may overheat

4. Sunny H&S SF-RW5515

4. Sunny H&S SF-RW5515
This brand is popular and well known for making quality rowing machines. They have multiple models that have different specifications that can work towards your fitness goals. The thought put into this product also works to keep the user safe when engaged in exercise. There are strong rubber pads that prevent your feet from moving. This is incredibly beneficial as any sort movement or slipping can cause a serious injury on a rowing machine.
Expand to see more
Display
This is a product that comes with a large and easy to read display. Often times, having a monitor will help track your progress and training. This particular model will show you how far you have rowed and how long you have been rowing. The numbers on the display are large enough to see even with your body fully extended. This will allow you to set more accurate goals and ensure you are reaching them.

Anti slip
A rowing machine utilizes all your muscles to give you a full body workout. It is important that the machine stays sturdy and still as slight movements can throw you off balance. To add an additional layer of protection, this product has anti-slip pads on the footholds. This will prevent your feet from slipping out and knocking yourself off balance. The pads work to grip the rubber at the bottom of your shoe to keep your foot inside the foothold during your entire workout.

Cost and Value
This product is more affordable than most other machines, but it does not mean it is cheaper. This item is made from high-quality materials, with a strong tension system that can help your workouts. The pads that prevent you from slipping are sourced from a quality provider and can grip your feet better than most other rubbers. Coupled by a large monitor to display your data, this is a product you do not want to miss out on!
Pros

Protective

High quality material

Easy to use

Strong foot holds

Large display

Cons

Heavy

3. Stamina ATS Air Rower

3. Stamina ATS Air Rower
This is a great product for people that are looking to be serious in their training. A air rower can significantly build up your resistance as you are constantly trying to spin the fan blades. This will build stronger muscles and help reduce your overall body mass index. This particular item is also much lighter than other models and is much more mobile. This will make moving it around much easier.
Expand to see more
Wind

Unlike other machines, this product utilizes wind to help build your resistance. With each pull, you are trying to turn a fan which will produce wind. Because the fan blades produce a lot of drag, it will make it very difficult for you to get the blades spinning. This is where you can build resistance. By putting your entire body behind it, the machine can help give you a full body workout.

Protection

One of the most important things while exercising is staying safe. Because of the momentum, there is a high chance of the machine slipping and moving while you are using it. To prevent this problem, this particular rowing machine has padded feet that lightly suction to the ground. Couples by your weight, it will prevent the machine from moving as you row. It will also prevent your floors from being scratched or scuffed up by the small movements of the machinery.

Cost and Value

This product is reasonably priced and is a great addition to any home gym. Despite the size of the product when it is in use, the machine can be folded up and stored away in significantly less amount of space. It is a great product to help build up resistance in your muscles for better daily stamina and endurance.
Pros

Light

Mobile

Endurance training

Protective feet

Affordable

Cons

Complicated set up

6. Stamina 1205 Precision Rower

6. Stamina 1205 Precision Rower
This product has an interesting design that does not look similar to other rowing machines. However, this is also where the benefits of this product lie. The monitor that tracks multiple types of data to show you your progress is placed between your legs. While this may seem to be an interesting place to put it, it actually works really well with the design. Because it is affordable and also smaller in size, it has become a hit for those that live in small homes.
Expand to see more
Fitness Monitor
This product comes with a fitness monitor that is situated by your feet. Despite its unassuming look, this monitor is able to track many different things. This machine can track the speed at which you are rowing which is important for people that want to know how much they have progressed. The speed which they row is affected by endurance, the faster you are able to row means that this resistance is not strong enough. This will allow you to make the adjustments necessary to workout with a difference.

Design
The design of the product is the highlight of this machine. It features an extremely compact design that no other rowing machine uses. Instead of rowing along a lengthy bar, this product is about half its size. The arms of the machine are placed by your side and they move forward and backward on a pivot. The product is a much closer simulation of what you would look like rowing on an actual boat compared to other machines.

Cost and Value
This product is reasonably affordable and is perfect for people that have a small home. Because it is significantly smaller than other rowing machines, this one can fit comfortably in an apartment. When you are done, the seat and arms handles can be adjusted so that it can take up less space in your storage. Coupled by the fact it is a great back workout, this is a product you don’t want to miss!
Pros

Compact

Great design

Monitor

Durable

Adjustable

Cons

Shorter lifespan

7. Concept2 Model E

7. Concept2 Model E
This is a great product and is considered an elite model. This particular item uses a smaller wheel which will aid greatly in minimizing the noise pollution. There are multiple designs on this machine that aid in making it a comfortable experience to use. The brand that designed this product is well known for producing rowing machines. If this product is well maintained, it can last for decades.
Expand to see more
Noise reduction
For people who use rowing machines, they can get very noisy. This is because your body is moving multiple parts of this machine, coupled with the spinning fan blade the noise level can get quite high. To mitigate this problem, this product uses a small flywheel that can significantly decrease the noise level. The wheel offers the same amount of resistance training but spins much more quietly.

Ergonomic
There are multiple little designs in this product that all add together to make using this rowing machine a comfortable experience. The handles on the machine are coated with a slightly softer material, which can prevent blisters from developing. The footholds are also adjustable and are designed to be a little loose. This will give the machine flexibility of moving around and prevent ankles from being sprained or broken.

Cost and Value
This is quite an expensive product but it is worth every cent you invest in it. The quiet design will allow you to not disturb the people around you. The ergonomic designs built into this machine will also ensure that your workout is comfortable and will work to prevent avoidable injuries. Despite the hefty price tag, this is something that you will buy once in your lifetime as there is a high chance this product will never need to be replaced.
Pros

Durable

Quite

High end model

Comfortable

Well designed

Cons

Expensive

8. Sunny H&F SF-RW5639

8. Sunny H&F SF-RW5639
This is a product that will give your body a total workout. In particular, this product has increased the angle in which the arms on the machine can move. This directly translates to wider stretches for your arms and shoulders, thus building more power and strength. This product can also greatly strengthen weak back muscles to improve your posture and remove any back pain you may have.
Expand to see more
Full Motion Arms
Your arms and shoulders benefit greatly from using a rowing machine. It can simultaneously work out all the muscle groups, thus saving you time. This product, in particular, uses two individual handles on each side, which can work out your arms and shoulders much better than the ones that use one handle attachment in front of you. This specific item boasts a much wider rotating angle on the arm handles, meaning a bigger workout for your arms.

Core Workout
This product is designed to work out your abdomen area. The motion of rowing is similar to doing sit-ups. By using this machine to push your body forward and backward, it can help to work the muscles in your core area. The rowing motion will strengthen all the muscles in your lower back and on your side as you are constantly stretching forward.

Cost and Value
This product is reasonably affordable and a great way to get fit. It can easily help you build muscles as it works almost all the muscles in your body all at the same time. The rowing motion helps to strengthen your arms and legs while your back and stomach muscles are contracting to propel your entire body. This product will save you a lot of time while exercising, thus freeing you up to do other things you want to.
Pros

Core workout

Improved design

Strengthen weak or injured muscles

Better arm strength

Affordable

Cons

Hard to put together

9. Harvil Hydraulic

9. Harvil Hydraulic
This is a reliable product that can last you many years with the proper maintenance. To make it easier to lengthen its lifespan, this is a product is constructed with the highest quality material that is available on the market. This can save you a lot of money in the long run as you may only need to purchase one in your lifetime. Because this product gives you a total body workout, it is a great investment and a must have in your fitness center.
Expand to see more
Durable
Most rowing machines are very expensive, thus many avoid purchasing these. However, purchasing a reliable product will can last you for years and possibly a lifetime. This particular rowing machine is very durable. It is made from high grade premium steel which will prevent the track from bending or warping over years of use. The tension system is also made from high quality wires that will not break prematurely.

Comfortable
Working out can be an uncomfortable experience already, so when you are using machines it would be better if they did not add to the discomfort. This product has a molded seat which follows the natural curvatures and dips of an average person. This will make it much more comfortable to sit on than just a flat and level surface. The track also uses a smooth gliding design which will prevent you from feeling knicks or bumps along the track. There will also be no unnecessary resistance coming from the metal rail itself.

Cost and Value
This is a reasonably affordable product for most people that want an addition to their home gym. It is a great product that is highly recommended as it can offer you a low impact exercise to warm up, or be great resistance training. The more resistance you use, the faster you build your muscles. Along with the design for comfort, this is a product you do not want to miss!
Pros

Durable

Comfortable

High quality material

Total body workout

Affordable

Cons

Feels a little small

10. Merax Magnetic Rower

10. Merax Magnetic Rower
This is a great machine as it gives your body an entire workout. While you are building muscles, there are reactions happening inside your body that can help with burning off some fat. Leaning out your muscles will lower your overall body mass index and become less work for your liver. This is beneficial to maintaining the overall health of your heart. This product also features a compact design that makes it easy to store when not in use.
Expand to see more
Boost Metabolism
Many people exercise in the gym but do not see results as quickly as they want to. This particular product can aid to wake up your metabolism and get all your muscles fired up. Because a rowing machine will work all muscle groups, it makes activation of your body much quicker. This will directly translate to a much more effective workout that builds muscles and increases your endurance.

Lean Muscles
This is a machine that can help you with weight loss goals. A rowing machine moves all your muscles at the same time. When it does, the muscles in your body start to fire up and starts to use up the fuel in your system. When all the food in your system is gone, your muscles will turn to the stored fats. They will break down the fat molecules and convert them into usable energy. This will lean out your muscles and remove the fat deposits from the tissues.

Cost and Value
This is a product that is slightly more expensive but it is worth the money invested. This machine will save you a lot of money as it will reduce your need to buy weight loss supplements and other dieting foods. This is a product that all the people in your family can use for years to come. The materials used in this product are of high quality, so all together this machine boasts a minimum ten year lifespan.
Pros

Leans muscles

Boost metabolism

Full body workout

Compact

High quality material

Cons

Expensive

 

While using a rowing machine has many benefits, it is important to know that there can be disadvantages to them as well. For people that have small home gyms, these machines can take up a lot of space. It may prevent you from bringing in another piece of equipment that you really want. If you are an inexperienced rower, using one incorrectly can lead to serious injuries. They are usually caused by incorrect posture or pulling and will lead to injured back or leg muscles. Another recommendation prior to purchasing a rowing machine is also to ensure that the system won’t be loud enough to cause a disturbance. The way the wheel spins and how much of the machine is moving can actually cause a loud noise which may translate to complaints from neighbors.

 

Criteria For Evaluating
The Best Rowing Machines

best-rowing-machines-faq

Types

There are four main types of rowing machines that are available to be purchased for home use. As expected, there are disadvantages and advantages to using all of them. Two key points to consider regardless of which type you purchase are whether noise is going to be a concern and whether you have enough space to put it in your home.

Air Rowers

Of all types, these are the most popular. They are the ones you see in fitness centers, on television, and what you would imagine if someone was talking about a rowing machine. They are the most resilient type of machines, with some that have been used since the 1980s. They are durable workhorses that help you train your resistance by sucking the surrounding air into the machine. Essentially, resistance is created when there is air flowing over the wheel. Then the wheel is attached to a chain that has a handle at the end. When you pull, it spins the wheel. The faster and harder you pull, the speedier the wheel turns.

Air models are preferred by many simply because the resistance that is created is the closest replica of rowing in the water. An air rower is designed to pull smoothly without damaging or wearing out the mechanism. However, the downfall is that these machines can be quite noisy. The sound will be especially prominent if you are in an enclosed space.

Water Rowers

A water rower is considered a new-fangled contraption to the world of rowing machines. The resistance in these machines is made by the water and the paddles that move back and forth. These are often a chosen product for people that have noise restrictions within their homes. Water rowers are able to help you get your workout in by offering resistance in the sliding seat. The more resistance there is, the harder you have to work. A water rower uses a wheel inside a tank of water. This wheel is connected to a chain which can be pulled to get the wheel spinning. The wheel moving in the water creates drag, which produces resistance. These are ideal for people that also train on open water as it is able to help recreate a complete stroke cycle.

Water rowers are much quieter and are toted to be smooth and comfortable to use. Each stroke and pull are smooth and consistent, without the worry about the chain being caught. Apart from adding water to the machine, using a water rower requires little to no maintenance. This is especially beneficial for people who are always pressed for time. However, the downfall is that these machines are significantly larger than air rower. They are also much more expensive.

Magnetic Rowers

Magnetic rowers are a favorite amongst people that have home gyms because of multiple reasons. It is the smallest and most quiet type of rower on the market. While it may not be as effective as other rowers, it still does a great job of getting your cardiovascular system going. The technology behind a magnetic rower can be quite fascinating. Like all rowers, there is a wheel that spins, however, there are also strong magnets connected to it. Depending on how hard or fast you pull, these magnetics spin the wheel. The resistance levels are often automatically controlled by a minicomputer within the machine.

The great thing about these sort of machines is they are quiet. Some would dare say they are silent. They also have a much wider range of resistance levels as they are not physically restricted by the chain and flywheel. Their compact size makes them great for apartments and other smaller gyms. There is also little maintenance that is required on these products. The downfall is that they do not help your imagination and don’t feel like you are rowing on water. However, if you are only looking for a total body workout, that shouldn’t be a problem!

Hydraulic Rower

These machines are great because they are much more affordable compared to other types. They are also smaller and much quieter. These rowers are especially good for people that are using a rower for aerobic or anaerobic sessions. These machines use a piston that is connected to handles. When you pull, it is against the air and fluid inside the pistons. This is what creates the resistance. While they are an effective way of rowing, most experienced rowers can tell you that the stroke cycle is not as smooth.

Compared to other products, these type of rowers is only a fraction of the cost. They are also foldable, which makes them very compact. This can be easier to store away or tucked in a corner. Because there is no wheel you are trying to spin, it also eliminates any noise issues you may have. The downfall to these is that some cases have been reported where the oil in the piston can heat up and change the resistance levels on the machine.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

best-rowing-machines-crit

Q: Where can I buy a rowing machine?
A: Sport equipment stores may carry a limited amount. Due to their sizing, they are usually ordered online or off a catalog and shipped to your home.

Q: Can my child use one?
They are not recommended for children under eight. These products are designed for adults with much longer arms and legs.