Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Buying Guide: What You Need to Know When Shopping for the Best Rowing Machine for Home
- 3 Rowing Machine for Home Reviews
- 3.1 Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
- 3.2 Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
- 3.3 WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
- 3.4 WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
- 3.5 Rowing Machine with 12 Adjustable Resistance by Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-RW1205
- 3.6 Stamina Air Rower
- 4 Final Thought
A quick trip to the gym will let you know a lot about which exercise equipment is perfect for your home gym. However, if you want something that will help you achieve a workout that is at the level of a Crossfit session, you can’t just go for a spinner or an elliptical trainer. They don’t give a whole body workout like the rowing machine does.
But what exactly is a rowing machine? Aside from being the most ignored gym machine in the recent years, this exercise machine is actually experiencing a resurgence as of late, spawning fully booked rowing classes and the newest boutique workout craze that is out to dethrone spinning and yoga.
As the name suggests, it replicates the exercise you’ll get when rowing a boat. It requires a pulling motion from your arms and a pushing motion for your legs, letting you achieve a full body workout in one session. Each row will make use of 84% of your body’s muscles and targets 9 major muscle groups including your quads, glutes, hamstrings, lats, shoulders, triceps, back, core, and biceps, making it an efficient method to stay in shape.
Aside from this, indoor rowing has other benefits including the following.
Effective Cardio Workout
As this machine works out both your upper and lower bodies, it’s not surprising that it’s an excellent cardio exercise. It will keep your heart rate elevated all throughout your session, increase your oxygen intake, and strengthen your immune system.
Indoor rowing is much more than just your regular cardio workout, though. As it requires you to work with the resistance from the flywheel, it also makes for an excellent strength and endurance workout. It will help tone almost every muscle group in your body and make you stronger over time.
Effective Weight Loss
Indoor rowing offers effective calorie burning. In fact, an hour of this activity can help you burn 400 to 800 calories, which can be a lot more than what you’ll get from other exercise equipment.
Low Impact Workout
Another reason why you’ll love indoor rowing is because it’s a lot friendlier to your joints. As it doesn’t require you to put your weight on your knees, ankles, or elbows, it’s a low impact workout that anyone, even those with bad knees, can enjoy. It’s also a whole lot safer and won’t put you at a large risk of getting hurt.
A lot of the best-rated rowing machines are also very affordable. You just need to make sure that the unit you’re buying is made of top-notch quality so you can get the most out of it.
The only downside to indoor rowing is that it can get boring if you just pull and push every time you spend time on it. Luckily, you can now easily find different exciting workouts like HIIT, Leapfrog, and Pyramid Power routines for this machine to switch up your activities and keep you from getting bored of this equipment. There is also other great equipment such as the spin bike and stair stepper which requires more effort on your legs than the whole body so check it out!
Buying Guide: What You Need to Know When Shopping for the Best Rowing Machine for Home
Although indoor rowers haven’t been the most popular exercise machines in the past few years, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a good amount of options if you want to own one. So if you want to bring home the best indoor rowing machine, you might need to know a few things before you start your search.
The 4 Types of Rowing Machines
The first thing you need to know about rowing machines is that there are four types to choose from which are the following:
Air Rowing Machine
Also known as Flywheel Rowing Machines, this is the most widely available type of indoor rowers today. Their resistance is determined by the pulling effort you exert as each pull spins the flywheel where the fan blades are attached to. The wind created with every pull mimics the resistance provided by the water in actual rowing.
Water Rowing Machine
If you want to go all out, this type of indoor rower is the best way to go. It provides the most realistic motion as outdoor rowing as it is designed to emulate the dynamics of paddling through the water. Its resistance is created by the amount of water in the tank. It’s also quite relaxing for some people to hear the water slosh around, making it a great workout for folks who use exercise as their quiet time. You just have to remember to clean out and change the water in the tank every month to keep it in top shape. You can also use water purification tablets to prevent algae growth.
Magnetic Rowing Machine
Highly recommended for its silent operation, magnetic indoor rowers make use of electromagnets to create resistance for your every stroke. They can be available in compact versions and their resistance levels are fully adjustable, allowing you to tailor fit your workout easily.
Hydraulic Rowing Machine
For the best cheap rowing machine, you might want to consider getting a hydraulic type as it is often the most affordable type of indoor rower. These units make use of pistons to create resistance, allowing it to be compact and economical. However, they don’t usually offer the same smooth stroke of rowing in the water, making it uncomfortable to use.
Aside from the resistance type of the rowing machine, there are a few more considerations that you should keep in mind when shopping for the best rowing machine for home. One thing that you shouldn’t overlook is the space you have at home. These exercise machines will take up space in your humble abode but they are available in different sizes and configurations so you can be sure to find one that will suit the space you have.
Your budget is another important thing to consider. These machines can range from a few hundreds of dollars to thousands, so you should know how much you’re willing to spend on one.
With tons of options available, using these tips as guidelines can help you narrow down your options. Picking the one that feels the best for your needs is a call that’s completely up to you, so you should make sure to know everything you need to make the right decision.
Rowing Machine for Home Reviews
If you still don’t know where to begin when searching for the best home rowing machine, here are five great products that you can start with.
Those who have no prior experience with indoor rowers might feel it’s best to opt for the pioneer brand in indoor rowing machines. Concept2 may not exactly be the brand that created this equipment but as they are best known for revolutionizing the indoor machines into what it is now, it’s safe to say that they can be a great brand to turn to for the best home rowing machine.
Being one of the best-selling models in the market today, the Concept2 Model D boasts of dependable performance and durability. Competitive rowers even consider this make as the standard for indoor training, so you’re pretty much guaranteed that this is one of the best rowers you can find on the market today.
It has a heavy-duty steel frame and uses air-resistance to provide the workout you need. With the help of its special flywheel and damper design, you can adjust the airflow to create your preferred feel of stroke. Topped off with an adjustable footrest and ergonomic handles, you’re guaranteed that this machine will suit your workout requirements.
What makes the Model D even more special is the Performance Monitor 5. This device will allow you to see the data of your performance and select programmed workouts. It also has a USB port so you can transfer the recorded data for easier consolidation. It even has wireless capabilities so you can easily monitor your heart rate or even do a machine to machine racing.
- Built to last a lifetime
- Loaded with convenient features
- Will let you track your progress
- Great for indoor training
- Can be easily disassembled for convenient storage
- Made in the USA
- Available with 2-year or 5-year warranty
- 500-lb weight limit
- Easy to set up and use
- Quite pricey
- Large footprint
- Regular maintenance required for the nickel-plated chain
Editor’s rating: 5.0/5
It’s no secret that indoor rowers are expensive. However, not because you can’t shell out more than a thousand bucks does it mean that you can’t enjoy the great benefits of this exercise equipment. One of the most affordable options is the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050.
What makes the Body Trac Glider 1050 a major hit is really its price tag. it ‘s easily one of the best priced in the market today, so if you’re after a budget-friendly rowing machine, this can do the trick for you. Its next selling point is its size as it has a small footprint, allowing small home dwellers to enjoy the fitness this equipment can offer right in the comforts of their homes. It even folds up so you don’t have to worry about storage.
If you’re worried about compromising performance with such a compact rower, fret not. This hydraulic type machine has an adjustable gas shock resistance that you can configure to your desired intensity with the help of a knob. As it is also made of a steel frame and an aluminum center beam, it won’t give out easily. In fact, it has a 250-lb weight limit so it can accommodate a lot of folks without any problems.
However, since it makes use of a single piston under the main frame to provide resistance, it can get worn out easily. Heavy users might experience some issues with this unit as it won’t be able to recover as easily as other types of rowing machines. This shouldn’t be a problem for beginners, though, as it takes a lot of force to tire out a hydraulic system – something casual and first timers might still need to develop through time.
- Very affordable
- Easy to use
- Compact and easy to store
- Comes with a monitor that notes the calories burned, rows made, and duration of use
- Not for serious training
- Foot straps can be made more secure
Editor’s rating: 4.1/5
Another popular reason why a lot of people are interested in indoor rowing is the fact that the premium models look so elegant that they add great value to any home. They spell luxury in every angle, especially the water type units.
This is the very case for the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine. It’s essentially one of the best rowing machines for home because it’s a top of the line unit that is not just about performance but also oozes its value through and through. Its patented polycarbonate water wheel is not just capable of providing you an almost identical workout as rowing an actual boat with its fluid resistance, but it also virtually indestructible and looks like an expensive furnishing with the unit’s handcrafted ash hardwood frame.
Made for fitness clubs, this equipment will surely provide the workout you need at home. Its resistance is determined by how hard you row without sacrificing your comfort and the natural stroke feeling. Thanks to its special construction, it’s also guaranteed to be durable, comfortable, and easy to use.
Another highlight of this unit is the S4 monitor. It provides access to the information you need about your exercise. It can help track your workout’s intensity, duration, and stroke rate, as well as monitor your heart rate and the distance you’ve reached among many other advanced features so you can easily know how well you’re doing and how much further you can push yourself.
- Attractive and expensive looking design
- Comfortable ergonomic seat and footrests
- Easy operation
- Made in the USA
- Advanced S4 monitor
- Built to last
- High weight capacity of 1000 lbs
- Flips upright for storage
- Quiet performance
- Takes a good amount of floor space when in use
- Quite expensive
Editor’s rating: 4.5/5
Another popular WaterRower product is its entry-level Natural Rowing Machine. This may be considered as one of the base units of the brand but it doesn’t mean that it should be dismissed. It is actually considered as one of the best home rowing machines nowadays with its top-notch performance and quality.
The first thing to love about this product is its look. Like the Club Rowing Machine, it also uses ash hardwood for its frame, giving it a natural look that looks great in most homes. It looks expensive and even decorative. But the choice of material is not just about aesthetics. This wood actually helps minimize vibrations so it’s more stable and quieter. It’s also more durable so you can expect this product to last a lifetime.
Like other water type indoor rowers, it replicates the feel of rowing outdoors. Its resistance is also determined by the intensity of the user’s rows. As it uses the water’s drag to challenge your body, you can use the same tricks in actual rowing if you choose to get a good workout. Going faster will up the intensity while going slower will give you a more relaxed workout.
The WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine is also very comfortable. Its seat, handle, and foot rests are configured ergonomically so you won’t have to feel any discomfort when using this equipment.
Equipped with the S4 monitor, this unit will also let you monitor your progress. This device is filled with advanced features that will give you the information on your time, distance, speed, and a number of calories burned. All of these make this equipment a great home rowing machine for athletes and competitive rowers.
- Beautiful exercise equipment
- Helps you effectively monitor your progress
- Very easy to use
- 1000-lb weight capacity
- Very durable construction
- Quiet and even relaxing when in use
- Ideal for users of every fitness level
- Flips up easily for more compact storage
- Quite expensive
Editor’s rating: 4.8/5
Fitness buffs on a tight budget can find the best cheap rowing machine that won’t disappoint in the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205. This hydraulic rowing machine may be very basic, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t give you a good whole body workout at home.
Best noted for its really affordable price, this indoor rower is also very compact. This makes it the perfect choice for those who live in small homes and don’t want to bother with bulky rowing machines.
Sunny Health & Fitness has been offering a wide range of affordable exercise equipment for years so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they have now created their own version of a compact indoor rower. The SF-RW1205 stays true to the tradition of the brand and performs well despite its friendly price tag.
With a straightforward design, this hydraulic type indoor rower makes use of a single piston under its main frame to provide resistance to your exercise. You can adjust the intensity of your workout easily, making it a good fit for beginner and experienced users alike. With 12 different levels of resistance, you’re sure to get the workout you need no matter what.
Another great feature this product has is its monitor. This nifty device will help you monitor your workout stats including the number of your rows, time, and calories burned.
Made of heavy duty steel, this unit is also very comfortable and easy to use. It also folds for easy storage.
- Very easy to operate
- Compact and easy to store
- Lightweight so it’s easy to move around
- Very affordable
- Straightforward deign
- Adjustable resistance
- 220-lb weight capacity
- Quite small for tall users
- Might not provide ample reisstance for serious rowers
Editor’s rating: 4.0/5
Those who are willing to put in more money and allocate a bigger space for an indoor rowing machine might find the Stamina Air Rower the perfect fit for their needs. This unit is an excellent exercise equipment for those looking to stay in top shape or lose some pounds, thanks to the intense workout that it can offer.
As the name suggests, the Stamina Air Rower is a flywheel rowing machine that makes use of wind resistance to give you a good workout. It features a heavy duty steel frame that will guarantee that it will fit right in your home gym and ensure durability. It even has a 250-lb weight limit so those who are looking into enjoying indoor rowing as a means to shed some pounds can still find this unit very useful.
Designed with a nice, ergonomic seat, large footrests, and padded handles, you don’t have to worry about your comfort when using this equipment. It also folds up, so storage is not an issue as well.
What you’ll really love about this unit is its smooth ride. It’s capable of providing a similar feel to actual rowing as all you need to do to increase the intensity of your workout is to pick up your pace. While you might have to build the resistance before you can really enjoy a full workout with this equipment, it shouldn’t be a major issue if your main purpose is to just get some exercise.
Its straightforward design and operation also make it fuss-free so you can focus more on your movements instead of trying to fiddle with the equipment. This makes it an excellent home gym equipment as it is designed to help you break some serious sweat.
- Simple operations
- Great resistance
- Easy to store and has built-in wheels for portability
- Comes with a monitor that will contain your workout stats
- Reasonably priced and offers great value for your money
- Good for most home gyms if you only want to get a good workout from it
- Not for serious rowers
- Has plastic parts
- Quite loud when in use
- You need to build the resistance before you can get a full workout
Editor’s rating: 4.8/5
Ultimately, the rowing machine is one of the greatest exercise machines that forces you to utilize all parts of your body which is why we wrote this product review to help you purchase the right one. We want our readers to understand the importance of maintaining your physical and mental shape so that they can remove their bad habits. We provided the best review and believe this will only benefit you in the long term so don’t skim this review.