Most folks ignore rowing machines when shopping for new home gym equipment. This can be attributed to their comparatively high prices. While they don’t come cheap, rowing machines are low impact and work 85 percent of body muscles. Rowing is a proven way to exercise without putting excessive strain on any of your joints. Rowers are also easy to use and collapsible for easy storage. But for that, you have to go with the best option.
So, what factors should you consider when purchasing one? Over the years, rowing machines have come a long way with their construction, design, ability and durability. The market is filled with a variety of sleek, highly-refined rowing machines with different styles and features ready to improve your cardio health. Having a rowing machine at home can turn out to be the push you really need to work out. It’s no secret that great quality comes at a price, but it doesn’t mean that there are no reliable rowers that are reasonably priced.
Best Rowing Machines for Smart Fitness
When buying a rowing machine, its vital to first consider its size. Most rowing machines are made to fit within small spaces. Check if it will comfortably fit into whatever space you’ve got. A good display to check your performance and progress is also vital. And finally, a lengthy warranty in case of malfunction. How often you’ll use it will also affect your decision. If, for instance, it’s just for a few casual sessions every now and then, it will make sense to go for a cheaper model instead of top-of-the-range models that cost hundreds of dollars.
We consulted fitness experts and gym owners to discover the best rowing machines for users of all descriptions. We considered performance, comfort and adjustability, construction, noise level, max user weight and price. Here is what we discovered:
Concept2 Model D
- Low impact workout that engages all major muscle groups; work legs, core and arms with a smooth, high calorie-burning motion.
- Track your progress with real-time reliable data; the Performance Monitor 5 (included) self-calibrates for comparable results; connect wirelessly to heart rate belts and apps (not included).
- Designed to fit most users: 14-inch seat height, adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle.
- Separates easily into two pieces for storage; caster wheels make it mobile; easy to assemble with only eight screws.
- Space recommended for use is 9 x 4 feet; 500-pound user capacity; 5-year frame warranty included.
This professional-level indoor rowing machine is designed for a full-body workout and lets you exercise in a natural, relaxed manner without straining yourself. It’s one of the best-selling indoor rowing machines on Amazon for good reason. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just a beginner, you will find this machine solid, durable and well-balanced. The built-in Performance Monitor 5 allows you to track your progress in 2 ways. You can choose to see your workout as splits or in total distance and time. It also provides pinpoint monitoring and feedback. The machine can log your data and track your heart rate, strokes per minute, calories burned, pulse and distance covered. The padded seat lets you sit comfortably, and the footrests and monitor arm are adjustable. For easy transport and storage, you can separate it in 2 pieces. Assembly is also easy with only 8 screws. On purchase, you receive a 5-year frame warranty.
Stamina ATS Air Rower – Rowing Machine
- Rowing Machine Dimensions: 75.5 L x 18.75 W x 22 H Inches / Weight: 54 Pounds. Features Comfortable Padded, Upholstered Seat Slides Easily.
- Designed With Efficient Wind Resistance for Smooth Rowing Stroke And Multi-Function, Electronic Performance Monitor Displays: Speed, Time, and Calories Burned.
- Equipped With Large Foot Plates To Fit Every User. Adjustable Nylon Foot Straps Hold Feet Securely in Place While The Over-Sized Seat Rail Offers Smooth Sliding Seat. Angled Seat Rail for Easy Seat Return.
- Sturdy Steel Construction with Tough, Nylon Rowing Strap. Folds For Storage And Features Wheels for Portability and Floor Protectors Safeguard Your Workout Area and Prevent Skidding.
- Enjoy 3 years manufacturer warranty on frame and 90 days manufacturer warranty on parts plus free shipping when you purchase from Dazadi.
If you’re low on budget, the Stamina ATS is unique regarding price and quality. It is equipped with lots of handy features that will help you in your fitness journey. Effective for both full body and cardiovascular exercise, the machine activates 85 percent of the body’s muscular system to burn fat and calories faster, improve heart health and build total-body strength. The dynamic air resistance matches your pace. The basic console records your progress and status. During your workout session, you can track distance, speed, time and calories burned. For added comfort, you get adjustable footplates, a padded seat and padded rowing handle. For a better fit, the straps are adjustable. You can store the rowing machine anywhere as it’s lightweight. Don’t let this fool you, it’s still strong for continued usage. On purchase, you receive a 3-year frame and 1-year parts warranty.
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine
- DIGITAL MONITOR - The large LCD console displays time, count, calories, total count, Scan. The convenient scan mode displays your progress to assist you in tracking all your fitness goals
- FOAM GRIP HANDLEBARS - Help prevent calluses with the improved Sunny Health & Fitness Handle Bars. Non-Slip foam grip handlebars offer comfort while enduring those long rides. Slide rail inseam: 44 inch
- NON-SLIP FOOT PEDALS - Textured non-slip foot pedals will ensure safe footing during the most demanding and vigorous workouts! Foot straps keep your feet saddled in so you can focus on the workout without feeling unbalanced
- TRANSPORTATION WHEELS - Built in transportation wheels for easy portability. Simply tilt and roll out for use or away for storage, no need for heavy lifting or muscle strain. Folded Dimensions: 37L X 19W X 53. 5H inches
- ADJUSTABLE RESISTANCE - With a simple twist, you can increase or decrease resistance, so your workout can remain challenging and effective throughout your fitness journey. 8 Resistance levels.Slide Rail Length:48 inches
This rowing machine offers all you need to perform a cardiovascular workout. It is near the bottom scale of the price range, making it a great choice if you are low on cash and still need a reliable machine. This unit uses a magnet inside the flywheel to deliver resistance against a spinning metal drum. This delivers a silent row and a smooth rowing motion, unlike hydraulic, air and water piston rowers. With this rowing machine, you get 8 resistance levels to switch up the intensity of your workout conveniently, non-slip foot pedals and built-in wheels for easy moves. Each of the 8 levels can be adjusted by turning the knob on the center panel. Level 8 provides a great workout for serious athletes while level 1 is the easiest and suitable for beginners. The rowing machine comes with a basic LCD monitor. The monitor tracks and displays time, calories, count (strokes) and total count. The monitor is battery operated meaning you don’t have to worry about not having an electrical outlet nearby. For ultimate comfort, the rower comes with non-slip grip handlebars and a padded seat. The pedals are textured with safety straps to give you a non-slip surface. The built-in transportation wheels allow for easy portability.
Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine
- Displays 6 functions simultaneously: Time, Distance, Energy Consumed, Strokes, Pulse Rate and Frequency; Includes a recovery feature which provides a cardio wellness grading indexed 1 to 6 to track improvement
- Two industrial strength hydraulic pistons provide resistance which can be adjusted by repositioning the piston's clamps to the various knurl marks on each rower oar
- Resistance levels can be set to any one of the 50 knurl marks on each oar to provide a wide and challenging range of resistance
- Biomechanically correct footplates offer a natural pivoting action providing a full longitudinal rowing motion; Thick, padded seat with sealed ball bearings glides smoothly along a steel track
- Includes an infrared earlobe clip sensor to measure pulse rate electronically; LCD display requires 2 "AA" batteries, has a weight capacity of 285 lbs.
If you’re in the market for a super-light rowing machine, you should seriously consider Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine. Designed for beginners and folks who want to maintain a fitness level they are at, it uses hydraulic resistance and can be conveniently adjusted by repositioning clamps on the pistons. You can set the resistance levels to any one of the 50 knurl marks. Don’t let the lightweight design fool you though. The steel frame is powder-coated for extra strength. It has a weight capacity of 285 lbs. The LCD monitor displays 6 functions simultaneously: energy consumed, distance, time, pulse rate, frequency and strokes. The recovery feature offers cardio wellness grading to accurately track improvement. It is indexed 1-6. Its quiet nature makes it suitable for indoor use. If you have limited space, you will love its compact design. For comfort, you get padded seat and footpads.
NordicTrack RW200 Rower
- Adjustable console angle, backlit display with watts meter, ipod-compatible sound System, 20 workout Apps
- Pedals that pivot, ergonomic seating, folds for storage
- Inertia-enhanced flywheel, Adjustable Air resistance, 20 workout Apps
- Oversized steel seat rail, soft touch ergonomic handle, Transport wheels
- 250 lb user capacity, 5 year frame Warranty, 1 year parts & Labor Warranty
NordicTrack is a trusted name in the exercise equipment field, and this rowing machine takes the number 5 spot on our list for good reason. It has all the bells and whistles a beginner or anyone on a tight budget could need. The rowing machine features amazing craftsmanship, extra features and durability to let you make the most out of your workout experience. Built for speed and comfort, this unit uses air resistance method. You get 10 different levels of intensity, and can conveniently adjust the resistance for an easier or more intense workout. The digital monitor screen keeps an eye on vital data like distance traveled, strokes per minute, calories burned, energy burned and speed as you work out. The 20 built-in workout programs will help you keep track of your goals. It has a 250 pounds user capacity. The pedals are big enough to accommodate individuals with large feet. For folks nursing injuries and those with mobility issues, they get a raised seat. On purchase, you receive a 5-year frame Warranty and 1-Year Parts & Labor Warranty.
Rowing is seen by many fitness experts as one of the most effective ways of keeping fit as it gives you a great, all-over workout. Rowing helps torch calories, build up aerobic fitness and sculpt hamstrings, back and glutes. We’re halfway through 2019, but if you’re still committed to sticking to your working out new year resolutions, a rowing machine may be exactly what you need.