The rowing machine has long been known to provide a full body workout that will help to burn calories, burn fat, and increase lean muscle mass. No other piece of exercise equipment is able to work out as many muscles in the body at the same time while maintaining a low impact workout, thus making it accessible for people of all ages. As people learn how good of a workout you can get with these machines they want to have one for themselves, which is understandable.
A rowing machine is not only going to help you tighten up and tone up, it will help to work those parts of the body that are notoriously difficult to work. The stretching and pulling is especially beneficial for firming and toning up your stomach and limbs, and your entire body shape is going to improve for the better. Learning how to choose a rowing machine will ensure that you end up with a rowing machine that will really help you achieve your fitness your goals.
What to Consider When Buying a Rowing Machine
How do I choose a rowing machine? You need to be sure that you consider all of the aspects of the machine before you buy. The first involves the features that you should be looking for in your rowing machine and the bar or handle is one of most important considerations.
The handle is the part of the rowing machine that you hold and grip and pull back on to create the rowing movement, and you want to make sure that the machine you are interested in features a bar or handle that feels secure when you grip it but is not too tough on the hands. It should be soft enough that you can maintain hold for the duration of your workout. If you don’t find a machine with a comfortable handle you will definitely find it difficult to workout at all.
How to choose a rowing machine? Consider all of the features, especially the heart rate monitor. You don’t have to have one, but they do come in very handy because they can help you to assess how hard you are working when you are on the machine and going through your workout routine. If you are working out to lose weight or increase endurance, the heart rate monitor is a great consideration.
Whether or not you get the heart rate monitor when choosing a rowing machine, your machine should still have an LCD digital readout display, which will at least tell you what speed you are rowing at and your stroke rate, total distance rowed, time and so on. You should also be able to switch the display to the numbers that you are most interested in and change between programs, as you desire.
Figuring out how to choose a rowing machine really does not have to be difficult, but you do want to be as educated. When you are educated you are more likely to make a purchase that will continue to serve you well each and every time you get on to work out.
Shopping For Fitness Equipment: Rowing Machine
When you are considering resistance associated with the rowing machine, you should make sure that you are choosing a resistance level that will allow you to get a good workout while keeping the movements smooth. If you are able to do this, then you will be able to get a great aerobic workout that will develop muscle endurance and tone, and you will know that the tension being used is correct when you find yourself able to make it through a session without overworking but still working your muscles as effectively as possible.
When you start shopping for your fitness equipment rowing machine you’ll find that there are a lot of places to shop and many different units to choose from. You should make sure that you choose the right location to buy from; as they will help you choose the machine that is best for you.
Check out the 8 Best Rowing Machines on the market right now:
#1. BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower
- The VR500 Pro Air and Magnetic resistance rower represents over a decade of research and development and incorporates all the latest technology and long standing consumer requests resulting in one of the finest rowing machines ever created
- Along with the wireless handlebar resistance control, the ultra smooth industrial grade bearings housed inside the friction free rollers combined with the ergonomically designed contoured seat and precision extruded aluminum track provide even the most seasoned professional rowers one of the best “out of water” rowing experiences available
- Easy to Read Black Mask LCD w/LED Backlit Display and Keys.
- Electronically Controlled Air and Eddy Current Magnetic Resistance with 32 levels.
- Ergonomically Correct Comfort Grip Aluminum Handlebar with 4 Button IR Remote Resistance Controls.
- Deluxe Adjustable Heel Rest with Quick Adjust Foot Straps
- Heavy Duty I-Beam Mono-Rail made with High Strength T13 Aluminum.
- Easy Fold and Roll System with child safety lock
- Folds for storage in less than 3 seconds.
Pros: superior customer service, the quality of this machine is excellent, solid, well-built, the seat is wide and comfortable, 19″ seat height that is much higher than most rowers, the beam is long enough for your legs to fully extend, the on board computer is awesome and very nice, whisper quiet, it has a ton of programs and the resistance is no joke, can adjust the pull resistance right on the handlebar, folds for easy storage, recommend this product for anyone looking to burn some calories at home, you will not be disappointed …
Cons: large footprint, too large to fit under a bed or in a standard size closet …
#2. WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine in Black Walnut with S4 Monitor
- The WaterRower Classic is outfitted with a Series 4 performance monitor that’s designed to balance technical sophistication with user-friendliness
- The monitor–which includes six information and programming windows, six Quick Selection buttons, and three navigation buttons–displays your workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, zone bar, duration, and distance
- Plus, the monitor is compatible with an optional heart rate chest strap and receiver, which helps you optimize your workout and achieve your exercise objectives
- The WaterRower Classic is handcrafted in solid American black walnut, which may vary in color from rich brown to purple/black
- The black walnut was chosen due to its marvelous engineering properties, especially its ability to absorb sound and vibration, which enhances the WaterRower’s quiet performance and smooth operation
- Black walnut, like all woods used in the construction of the WaterRower, is a premium hardwood with incredible longevity and dimensional stability
- In addition, the wood is harvested from replenishable forests and is hand finished with three coats of Danish oil to give it a deep luster and warmth
- Other details include dual rails with four corner wheels that increase seat stability and reduce the amount of sweat buildup; a frame that flips upright for handy storage; and a weight capacity of up to 1,000 pounds
- The WaterRower Classic measures 84 by 21 by 22 inches (W x H x D), weighs 117 pounds (with water)
Pros: outstanding product, easy to assemble, well packaged, high quality, quiet, all you hear is gentle movement of water, rowing on it is a dream, smooth tension for the workout, absolutely beautiful piece of functional furniture, very nicely and unambiguous in a corner of the room, you can easily lift and hide it in regular closet, it was an excellent alternative to running outdoors in the winter …
Cons: it was expensive but well worth it, computer does not track calories …
#3. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
- The dependable performance of our Model D Indoor Rower has made it the bestselling indoor rower in the world
- Recognized by competitive rowers as the standard for indoor training, the Model D delivers an effective cardiovascular workout that will increase your fitness level and improve muscle tone
- The Model D is efficiently engineered and will last a lifetime
- The Model D is the same machine used by Olympic-level athletes to train for their sport-it’ll take the abuse of heavy training day after day
- The Model D is a solid piece of exercise equipment offered at a great value
- The Performance Monitor 5 allows you to track data such as distance, speed, pace, calories burned, and watts
- A backlit display screen illuminates automatically when you start your workout
- The user-friendly menu helps you manage a wide range of features such as preset workouts, games, and multiple languages
- Store or transfer your performance data to your Mac or PC with a USB Flash Drive (not included)
- ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity allow you to pair with compatible heart rate monitors for wireless heart rate monitoring
- The wireless capabilities of the PM5 also support machine-to-machine racing and connectivity to computers and smartphones
Pros: company support is outstanding, awesome piece of equipment, wonderful rowing machine, very high quality, super easy assembly, pretty good quality materials, it is very quiet and smooth, great work out and easy on back and knees, highly recommend for anyone looking for a high-intensity exercise with a low impact on knees, will never get a better workout, can not say enough positive things about it …
Cons: if your over 6’1″ the stroke is too short and unnatural …
#4. Stamina 15-9003 Deluxe Conversion II Recumbent / Rower
- The Conversion II looks like a standard rower, with a molded, adjustable foam-padded seat and seat back, rotating rowing pedals, and an extruded aluminum rowing beam
- However, the seat also doubles as a recumbent bike seat that supports your lower back while you ride, with foot straps holding your feet securely in place as you pedal
- And that’s not all, as the Conversion II also offers options for working your upper body–including such exercises as bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and forearm curls–along with a resistance cord that attaches under the seat for light leg presses
- Other details include eight levels of smooth, quiet magnetic resistance; a multifunction electronic monitor with a large LCD display that tracks speed, distance, time, calories burned, and pulse; sturdy steel construction; a hand-pulse sensor built into the grips to measure heartbeats per minute; a weight capacity of 250 pounds; wheels for easy transport; and a folding frame for quick, effortless storage
- The Conversion II measures 74.5 by 25.5 by 10 inches (W x H x D) and weighs 105 pounds
Pros: well-constructed, the seat and the backrest are comfortable, it is extremely quiet to operate, tension settings are perfect for a cardio workout, the display is large and easy to read, it is great on your off running days or when the weather is too bad to get out in, the machine develops the muscles much faster while still providing the aerobic exercise needed for good heart health …
Cons: a clicking sound when biking until it warms up, the seat could use a bit more padding …
#5. First Degree Fitness Newport Adjustable Resistance Water Rower
- Mother Nature knows the key to a dynamic workout and the First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine harnesses the power and unique physical properties of water
- Just as a wave can be anything from a gentle ripple to a raging ocean surf, this water rower instantly adapts from a light warm-up to a fierce workout
- Because with water, the harder you exercise, the tougher it gets
- This rower has been developed in collaboration with professional rowers to deliver the feel, sight, and sound of real on-water rowing
- Its multiple chamber ribbed internal tank provides natural “catch” at the start of the stroke and provides the smoothest and most consistent resistance you will find on any rowing ergometer
- The water is easily adjusted from the inner to tank to the outer to change the overall resistance profile to perfectly suit every user
- Additional Details: Constructed from aluminum Red finish Smooth and consistent resistance at all levels
- Replicates the feel, sight, and sound of real water-rowing
- Adjustable levels of fluid resistance
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
- Dimensions: 20.9L x 77.8W x 20.1H in.
Pros: affordable price, design and construction is excellent, doesn’t take up much floor space, except for the rollers under the seat, good quality piece of equipment, operates very smoothly, the water sound is not too loud, helped you build endurance and chest and ab muscle, gives you a good cardio workout, really works muscle groups and build cardiovascular health …
Cons: the resistance is too low for someone …
#6. Kettler Kadett Rowing Machine
- Stay in peak shape and train in your own home with the Kettler Kadett rowing machine
- With the special outrigger design’s circular movement, the Kadett closely simulates the actual process of rowing on water
- It features two hydraulic cylinders with the ability to set force resistance on a scale of 1 to 12, and a comfortably ergonomic seat with smooth running rollers mounted on rails
- It also has moving foot plates with adjustable straps, folding oars with continuous force adjustment, and an anti-slip base that protects the floor
- The Kadett is outfitted with a training computer that provides info on time measurement, number of oar strokes, speed of strokes, distance covered during training session, total distance, energy consumption, and pulse rate
- You can program settings for desired distance covered and stroke speed and receive visual and audio signals when you’ve reached your goals
- It has a 250-pound weight capacity and measures 59 x 67 x 18 inches
Pros: fantastic compact rower with resistance levels from 1 to 12 giving the ability to advance your workout, solid, smooth, natural motion, close your eyes and you’d think you were rowing a boat, focus on the joints and not stressing them, excellent dry-land training machine for rowing enthusiast’s, overall you will very happy with this model and rowing exercise …
Cons: foot straps could be better, all of the displays are in German …
#7. ProForm Hybrid Rower / Recumbent Bike
- Low-impact, cardio training at its finest—we introduce the ProForm Dual Trainer
- Bringing you all the benefits of both a recumbent bike and a rower, the Dual Trainer is your cross training secret weapon
- Develop strength and flexibility with 20 digital resistance levels
- And the 24 onboard workouts help you blast through calories and improve form and performance—each specially designed by a certified personal trainer
- Great for injury prevention, rehabilitation, and cross training, the Dual Trainer brings you a proven full-body workout
Pros: solid in-home performer at a great price, built up much muscle, there are 10 programs for the rower and 10 for the bike you can of course create your own as well, the built-in routines are great for adding some cardio, someone lost 35 lbs just in a month from using this machine daily, the seat is adequately padded and rolls smoothly & silently during the rowing exercise, monitor very easy to read, bike and rower switch is relatively easy …
Cons: it can’t handle a start of 10 resistance from the first pull …
#8. LifeSpan Fitness RW1000 Rowing Machine
- The rower has an easy to use console that includes readouts for distance, time, calories, stroke count and strokes per minute giving you all the information you need to get a great total body workout
- The patented Eddy Current Drive System delivers smooth and ultra-quiet resistance and the belt retrieval is slack free, even during intense workouts
- There are 5 levels of resistance that are conveniently controlled by a resistance knob located directly below the display
- If you’re looking for a rower to use without turning up the TV or waking up the family, this rower is a great fit
- For comfort, the rower includes padded hand grips, a comfortable 14-inches injected foam seat supporting users up to 300 pounds and large swivel foot pedals with Velcro straps
- No tools are required to fold and store the rower
- Simply remove the locking pin, fold the rower and replace the locking pin to lock the frame in the folded position
- Once folded it rolls on the transport wheels located underneath the footpads
- A great product when floor space is limited after use
- Compactly folds to a mere 34 x 19 x 64-inches (L x W x H)
- Unfolded dimensions of 90 x 18.5 x 23-inches (L x W x H)
Pros: shipped on time, it is a great starter machine, a good home rowing machine, good machine for small space, minimal assembly and easy to follow instructions, smooth, comparatively quiet operation is virtually inaudible while exercising and listening to music, the tension is adjustable so you can work as hard or easy as you like, folds up nicely for storage …
Cons: the foot pedals, feet tended to slide out of Velcro …