With the help of a rowing machine, you get a full-body workout in a way that no other gym equipment can provide. This is because rowing machines don’t just stimulate your muscles but also your cardiovascular system, helping you achieve fitness goals you otherwise wouldn’t exercising without one, or at least not in such a short period of time. That said, let us point out that rowing machines are built differently from one another, meaning that you have to take the time and learn about what makes a good rowing machine before committing to one if you’re ever in the market for such an ingenious piece of equipment. To help you in this regard, we put together a list of the ten best rowing machines the market has to offer right now.
Best Rowing Machines – Top List
10Sole SR500 Rower
Sole is one of the best brands when it comes to exercise equipment and the SR500 Rower is a clear example of why that is. With its smooth and efficient air and magnetic resistance motion, it offers you some the best and most effective workout stability of any rower. This is because the machine gives you a realistic water rowing experience with the help of an aluminum rail that offers maximum support and stability. It can also be adjusted to accommodate a number of different heights and weights.
9Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower
One of the best rowing machines available online is the Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower, one that delivers a phenomenal performance every time. This machine is fitted with a useful performance monitor that displays all your progress at the touch of a button. Check your speed, time, calories burned, and distance to make your workout absolutely perfect. The seat is padded and molded to keep you comfortable at all times while a metal rowing chain gives it strength and durability. Furthermore, the machine can be folded and stored away easily.
8Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
Velocity’s Exercise Magnetic Rower offers a powerful exercise experience and is compact for easy storage. It also has a DMC or Drum Magnetic Control system that offers the perfect resistance when exercising. With electric tension control, you get to choose the intensity of your workout. The saddle is made from PU and is extremely comfortable. In terms of tracking, you get a heart rate monitor to ensure you efficiently workout.
7WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
The WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor is one of the most appealing exercise machines on the market today. It is handcrafted and is equipped with a water flywheel that gives you the feeling of rowing in actual water. The water tank encloses the flywheel to ensure a quiet and effective workout. With a Series 4 monitor, you can check and track your progress as you work out. Check your heart rate, stroke rate, intensity, and more. At the same time, the ash wood frame keeps your workout quiet and reduces vibrations.
6Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower
The Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower is a wonderful and useful rowing machine that delivers an unmatched performance. It comes with 12 different workout programs that include a heart rate program, 6 cardio profiles, 4 custom profiles, a manual program, and more. It also features a fitness monitor that helps track everything from distance, calories, time, strokes, pulse, and more to keep you motivated at all times. You can easily customize your workout experience and enjoy a perfect resistance just the way you like it. The machine can be stored away easily and comes apart in 2 lightweight pieces.
5First Degree Fitness Newport Adjustable Resistance Water Rower
With the First Degree Fitness Newport Adjustable Resistance Water Rower, you get the true rowing experience thanks to the water tank that is made of high-quality polycarbonate. The machine features a stainless steel triple blade that helps your workout in every way possible. At the same time, it comes with a display that helps you read and track your progress as you go on. Read the time, distance, strokes per minute, split time, heart rate, and calories burned. The handle and footrests are durable and ensure a perfect exercise routine every time.
4Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
With the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine, you can have an exceptional life-like rowing experience at home. With its full range of rowing motions, you feel like you’re in the water while in the comfort of your home. An electronic monitor helps to keep you pushing harder to get the most out of every exercise. The seat is soft and comfortable to keep you on for hours together. The machine comes with a hydraulic cylinder that can be adjusted and offers a smooth rowing action. With foldable arms and textured footrests, this rowing machine stands out for its performance.
3BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower
When it comes to affordable rowing machines, the BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower stands out for all the right reasons. The machine is fitted with a black mask LCD that has a LED-lit display and is easy to read. The resistance is electronically controlled as well as magnetic with 32 different levels for the best workout. The machine is ergonomically designed and comes with 4 buttons on the handle for instant connectivity. Also, its handlebars and seat are adjustable for everyone to enjoy, not to mention how easy it is to store and fold.
2Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
The Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 comes fitted with a seat that is placed six inches above the ground which makes it easy for anyone to get on or off quickly. The machine is great for exercising all parts of the body and targets all muscles including the core, legs, and arm muscles. Given its ingenious design, it helps burn calories quickly with minimal work on your part. It also features a Performance Monitor 5 that displays all your progress so you always stay motivated. As such, you can check your heart rate through various apps that connect to the machine. We should also point out that this rowing machine is durable and can be stored away easily with it being made of two parts.
1Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 offers an all-around workout that targets all major muscle areas to keep you fit and healthy. It works on arms, legs, and the core to help you exercise more efficiently overall. With the included Performance Monitor 5, you can keep track of your progress and better yourself with every move using a variety of apps that you can use to connect to the machine’s records. The machine also comes with an adjustable seat that rises to a maximum 14 inches, sturdy footrests, and well-cushioned handles. Due to its clever construction, it is very easy to store as it comes apart in two parts that can be joined using just eight screws.
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Rowing Machine Buying Guide
Having decided to invest in a rowing machine, you’re probably wondering what characteristics you should look for and what model best suits your needs. One thing to keep in mind before going any further is that rowing machines can be quite diverse in their construction and the features they pack, which is reason enough to take your time and learn about what makes a good rowing machine in regards to stability, design, reliability, and ease of use. That said, here is what you need to consider:
The first thing you need to think about is where exactly you’re going to place the rowing machine once you’ve figured out which one to get. Although it might sound rather basic, many people are actually surprised by how much space these machines require to function properly. To give you an idea, try to picture a rowing machine as a sofa that you need to position, mostly because they share roughly the same size.
Rowing machines can cost anywhere from a couple hundred bucks to more than three thousand depending on where you buy them from, their construction, their features, and their manufacturer. For the most part, anything around the $1,000 mark should be considered good or even top quality if they have the reviews to go with the price tag. As expected, the quality tends to drop considerably along with the price tag, so don’t be afraid to spend a few dollars extra for a rowing machine that is sure to deliver long-term.
Another thing to consider is how exactly you plan on using the rowing machine, either for personal, residential, or commercial use. Keep in mind that rowing machines should be different for gym use where people of all ages and body types can use them; compared to home use rowing machines that don’t really have to be adaptable or too flexible in their adjustments. You also have to remember that commercial-grade rowing machines are designed slightly different from home-use machines.
Like we said, rowing machines are built differently according to their intended purpose, both in regards to their construction and their adjustability. If, for instance, you are looking for an on-the-water simulator, then try to remember that not all rowing machines are built as such. In fact, on-the-water rowing machines offer a water resistance function that you will not find in another type of rowers.
If you plan on being the only person who uses the rowing machine, then you shouldn’t really be looking into flexible or adjustable models. We say this because some rowing machines offer different resistance levels for users to choose from, which is great when different people share the same machine. Some of these machines also have different weight and height capacity settings that you can change depending on the user along with inbuilt monitoring systems to keep track of multiple profiles.
You have to understand that rowing machines offer different resistance types depending on their construction. As such, rowing machines usually fall into four categories: air, hydraulic piston, magnetic, and water resistance machines. In this respect, each resistance mechanism comes with its own particularities, good and bad. One should also remember that models that use common resistance setups are usually a lot cheaper.
Air resistance – This is perhaps the most common type of rowing machine setup, one that uses air to provide a certain level of resistance as you row. The level of resistance in this regard is usually determined by the amount of air used.
Hydraulic piston – Machines that use hydraulic mechanisms are usually adjustable and much quieter than air resistance models. Given their design, these machines are also a lot easier to store, not to mention how affordable they are when compared to other rowing machine types.
Magnetic – Magnetic rowing machines are very quiet and smooth, a lot smoother than air rowing machine at least. They also create virtually no noise when operated, which is great for a home gym or for working out in a quiet environment.
Water – With water setups, you get the most realistic experience one can get using a rowing machine. For the most part, users get full control over the rowing resistance which is fully adjustable in some models. We should point out, however, that water rowing machines are a lot noisier than other models.