Why a Rowing Machine?
A rowing machine really is a great way to get into shape and makes a great gift. Not only can they tone 85% of your body’s muscles it can also improve posture and back problems if used correctly. They’re also good for your heart providing a good cardiovascular workout. All from the comfort of your own home. In this post, I intend to look at the best rowers for the home.
Having a workout for an hour on your rower will burn off on average 600 calories. A good thing if you are after a bit of weight loss. Whilst burning calories you are also toning most of your muscles in your body. That’s pretty impressive, isn’t it?
Lots of Tech to Help You
With all the tech that’s out nowadays, it’s little wonder that some of these rowing machines are pretty awesome. With things like LCD screens and heart rate monitors helping you to monitor your progress. They really have come a long way in the past ten years.
Gone are the days when you only had one type of rowing machine. Today there are 4 main types to choose from. These are Water, Hydraulic, Magnetic and air. I will go into detail of the four main types below. With so many types and models around it may be a bit daunting to choose the right one for you.
We’ve Been Busy Researching
Through research of our own and analyzing reviews we have picked 3 from each category that we believe are the best rowing machines for home use. I hope this helps you on your journey to finding the best one for you. You may also like this post on treadmills.
Quick Guide to Buying a Rowing Machine
When purchasing your first rowing machine there are a few things you should consider.
- Your budget
- Which type of rowing machine
- Do you need a foldable one
- How quiet do you need it to be
- Do you want the added gadgets
Budget – Try not to break the bank when purchasing your rowing machine. Rowers can vary from very cheap to pretty dam expensive. Choose a budget you can afford and have a good look at what’s about in that price range. Sometimes you don’t have to spend as much as you first thought. Take a look ‘here’ for some ideas.
Which type of machine- Like I mentioned earlier there are 4 main types of rowing machines. Choose the type of resistance that best suits your preference. The product info below will provide you with more information on each one.
Foldable or not- A few of the larger ones can be stored upright or easily taken apart for storage purposes. If you really are pushed for space then it may be worth considering a foldable one. I find they aren’t always as robust as some of the others, but way more convenient. Consider what’s more important to you.
How quiet?- When it comes to any type of keep-fit equipment I think quietness is quite important. You don’t want to be upsetting your neighbours every time you’re having a workout. Neither do you want to be annoying your family members trying to get some quiet time. If a quiet model is a big factor for you then maybe consider the water or magnetic type of rower.
Are gadgets needed- If you are like me you will be drawn to added gadgets. But do you really need them? LCD screens, rowing games, apps, and heart monitors are lovely but they usually come at a price. Can you budget for them? If not then ditch them and go for a cheaper model.
Types Of Rowing Machines
Water almost seems like it is the natural choice to go with a rowing machine. To be fair it could well be and is my personal favourite. With a water rower, there will be a tank at the front of the machine to store the water. The water is there to provide a super smooth resistance. Although it can be a strong resistance it is designed to be super quiet. Making them ideal for home use.
Hydraulic rowing machines use a piston to control the tension on them. These, in general, are a lot cheaper than the other 3 types available. Quite often they are smaller than the other models and are generally foldable. Handy if you are struggling for space and don’t want to use much room.
This type of rowing machine does make a bit of noise as the wheel turns. The magnet type machine uses a magnetic break in the flywheel to give resistance. If you are after a quiet one this may not be the type for you.
I bet you can’t guess what these ones use for resistance? Yep, air! They provide their resistance using air flowing over a flywheel. The wheel comes connected via a chain to the handle. As you pull the handle this, in turn, spins the flywheel. So, therefore, the faster you do it, the faster the flywheel spins through the air, which gives you more resistance.
WaterRower Rowing Machine
It Isn’t Just a Rowing Machine
When reading reviews across the Net there really is a lot of hype around these bad boys. The WaterRower Classic isn’t just a rowing machine it is a work of art, it is a thing of beauty. The Classic is handmade from a quality black walnut and stained to a top-notch standard. The walnut it is crafted from is a hardwood making it built to last. They really are finished beautifully and lovingly from master craftsmen/women.
These stunning machines just have something about them. Something that just says ‘quality’. Most machines nowadays have a metal type frame. Nothing wrong with that, but I do like the wood finish, almost a bit retro. Due to the water type resistance, these rowers are as close to silent as you can get. Like I mentioned before perfect if you don’t want to annoy anyone around you.
They can be Stored Upright
Another good thing about it is the storage side of things. Although they aren’t foldable like some, they can be stored on their end. This minimizes the space they take up by a considerable amount. Spot on if you are struggling for space to put it.
This model comes equipped with a smart-looking S4 monitor. With this, you can track things like how many metres per second, calories burned, and how fast you are rowing. There are also features on there for setting fitness goals etc.
Maybe Pricey but Well Worth it
As with most rowing machines, there is an adjustable resistance. So whatever your desired pace, it really won’t be a problem with the Classic. This WaterRower may be a bit pricey, but you really are buying quality at its best. This product comes with a 1-year warranty, and all wood used in the making of it is from a sustainable harvest. Surely this has got to be one of the best rowers for the home?
Stamina Elite Water Rower
Stamina was founded in 1987. From that day the company has gone from strength to strength. Making quality products that are sold from major outlets worldwide. One of these products is the Stamina Elite rowing machine.
The Elite has had an upgrade! The fitness monitor has had extra features added to it. For starters, it is slightly bigger than the previous model making it easier to view your stats. Another feature allows you to wirelessly connect a heart rate monitor to the main fitness monitor. Tracking your heart rate allows you to customise your fitness programs for goals such as weight loss.
Very Impressive Design and Build
The design and build of this machine is pretty impressive and sturdy, to say the least. The seat itself is padded nicely making it comfortable for long sessions. Under the seat there are built-in ball bearings, this makes the gliding motion extremely smooth for the user. I like the fact that the handle is padded rather than molded grips. This doesn’t seem as uncomfortable on your hands after a long workout.
The footplates accommodate most people’s feet by being fully adjustable. While the quick-adjust straps keep them firmly in place. As mentioned earlier this model comes with a chest strap heart monitor. Ensuring you can get your heart rate to exactly where you want it.
It Mimics Being Out on the Water
Being a water type machine the Elite mimics rowing on the water byways of sound and resistance. You really can’t get more of a lifelike workout. There is also a siphon included for filling and emptying the water tank. This machine also folds up nicely, making it perfect for home use. This is definitely in my top 3 for best rowing machines for home use.
Marcy Pro Hydro Rower
Modern Sleek Design and Robust Build
The Marcy Pro is another nice looking rowing machine that’s available in today’s market. Marcy are designed and built by Impex Fitness who was founded in 1982. The modern sleek design and robust build makes it popular amongst the keen rowers. By all means, it isn’t one of the cheaper models but it is a great bit of kit. In my eyes, it is certainly worth the money.
As with all the water type rowers, it is built and designed to mimic the open water in terms of sound and resistance. I must say it does a pretty good job of doing just that. The resistance has 6 different settings on it so you can intensify your workout to your liking. The Marcy Pro seems sturdy enough to handle vigorous workouts.
A Good Comfortable Seat
The seat has a good look to it and is a good comfortable design. The footplates have some decent enough straps for holding your feet firmly in place whilst rowing.
Like with most of the rowers we have featured this comes with an LCD monitor. With this, you can track your distance, track your time, work out your average speed and how many calories you have burned. The wheels on the base of this rower allows you to up end it and push it to where it’s being stored. Though it’s not foldable it’s fairly easy to store.
MaxKare Magnetic Rower
Hydrow Magnetic Rowing Machine
Technology nowadays seems to get its claws into pretty much everything. Rowing machines certainly being no exception. This clever bit of kit is a truly stunning looking machine that would compliment any type of surrounding. Its stylish looks and impressive features make it one of the best rowing machines for home use.
It’s Quite an Expensive Machine
This rower is the most expensive of all the machines we have featured. But if money isn’t an issue and you want comfort, looks, and tech, then this could well be the one for you.
The resistance on the Hydrow is formed via the electromagnetic drag system that is computer-controlled. This makes for a super smooth experience and almost as quiet as it gets. You can certainly feel the quality in every stroke.
Equipped with 22″ Touchscreen
A lot of the rowing machines I have featured come with some kind of fitness monitor. The Hydro goes one further. This is equipped with a 22″ HD touchscreen. The screen itself is dustproof and sweatproof and has some good quality speakers built into it. These are crucial for the clever features that are included.
One of these features is live workout classes brought straight to the screen in front of you. These classes are designed for all levels of experience. So whether you’re an experienced athlete, or a complete novice to rowing, there will be a class suited to your fitness level. As well as the classes there are over 400 pre-recorded river and studio rowing scenes. Row anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. All shot in full HD. You will need a paid subscription to gain these services.
Super Smooth 10 Ball Bearing System
The seat is nicely cushioned and is sat upon a 10 ball bearing system which makes it exceptionally smooth. Everything about this machine is elegant, sleek and quality. So if money isn’t a problem maybe consider the Hydrow rowing machine.
Concept2 Model D
Popular Amongst Rowers
Back in 1976 two brothers started up a business called Concept2. These brothers were very keen rowers, their names are Pete and Dick Dreissigacker. They started off primarily selling carbon fibre oars. These oars quickly become popular amongst the Olympic rowing teams and are still used today. In 1981 they decided to start making indoor rowing machines at a fraction of the price of others on the market. These really took off and were very popular amongst rowers and keep fit fanatics alike.
One of the Most Popular Rowing Machines Around
Still going strong the company has advanced and manufactured many models, one of which is the ‘model D’. Out of all the Rowing machines around this one is certainly one of the most popular. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it is the most popular rowing machine around.
This machine is designed to get some abuse and heavy usage. It is engineered to last and built exceptionally well. Olympic standard rowers use it all over the world, you know it has to be good.
The D model is assembled with ease. All you need to do is tighten up 8 screws, how easy is that? Once assembled the machine has castors built into the bottom so that you can move it effortlessly around. storage isn’t too much of a problem either. Without the use of tools, it seperates into two parts, thus taking up less room.
The Bluetooth is Great
The performance monitor 5 is a nice touch. It’s equipped with Bluetooth so you can wirelessly connect to a good selection of workout apps, games and heart monitors. Using a USB flash drive you can store all your data that is needed for your training.
The frame is made using high-grade steel and aluminum. It also comes with a 5 year warranty and adjustable legs.
This rower is fairly quiet but certainly not silent. That said it is used by professionals all over the globe and is probably no1 when it comes to indoor rowing machines. This makes it one of my top choices for the best rowers for the home.
MaxKare Air Rower
The MaxKare air rowing machine is another firm favourite amongst home rowers. Due to the two belt drive and progressive air resistance design, the faster you pull the cord, the more resistance you will build up. Due to the air resistance design, this rower isn’t one of the quietest on the market. If a slight bit of noise isn’t a problem then read on.
A good Sturdy Design
The frame on this machine is made of steel. Due to its tubular structure, it is extremely sturdy and highly durable. The manufacturer’s weight recommendation is 264 pounds. So anyone up to 18 and a half stone can comfortably use it with no worries.
With this model, you get a digital monitor with it. We all love a digital monitor! This monitor provides data such as calories burned and distance rowed. As well as the monitor it comes with a tablet holder. This makes a rowing workout that bit more enjoyable. Another popular feature is that it folds up nice and easily.
Lots of Good Reviews
According to many reviews, this is a good comfortable rower to use at home and is highly recommended by most.
JTX Freedom Air
EFITMENT Aero Rowing Machine
The EFITMENT Aero is another good rowing machine for home use. It has a good sturdy build to cope with vigorous workouts. This is helped by the 4 feet on the bottom that really do help stabilize it nicely. The large footplates with adjustable straps also help the general stability. Weight wise it is capable of holding up to 245lb, so up to 17 and a half stone.
Fitness Monitor as Standard
This machine comes with a fitness monitor as standard. This will allow you to keep track of your time, calories burned, time strokes count and your repetitions per minute. Excellent for setting your own personal fitness goals.
The resistance is controlled via a fan which causes progressive air resistance. This basically means, the harder and faster you row, the more resistance you get. So if you need to challenge yourself that bit more, you just row faster. No need to fiddle around adjusting any tensioners. This along with the 51-inch slide rail makes for a nice smooth workout.
A handy Vent to Keep You Cool
The rower has a vent built into it that comes off the fan. This faces straight towards you while you row and will keep you cool as you work up a sweat. I personally like the idea of that because I do tend to get fairly hotter than average whilst working out.
This rower comes with transportation wheels for ease of moving about and folds up well if space is limited.
Goplus rowing machine
Hydraulic machines, in general, are the cheaper option when it comes to rowing machines. So if you are on a bit of a budget and watching your pennies, you maybe want to start with one of these. These might not be as high tech as the other types around, but they will certainly do the job.
Excellent for Muscle Tone
By using this machine you can still tone your upper arms, your lower arms, thighs, bum, back muscles, calves, and abbs. All this for a fraction of the price of other machines. The resistance on these is controlled via hydraulic pistons. This resistance is fully adjustable making it suitable for most people’s needs.
This model comes with an LCD fitness monitor placed at the front of it. This has settings such as count, total count, calories used and distance. You can also customise workouts with it and set certain fitness goals. The frame is made of solid steel and is sturdy and robust enough for vigorous workouts. The rower also comes with anti-slip footrests with velcro fasteners and anti-slip handles for a better grip. The seat is also padded giving you a more comfortable experience.
The Reviews are Pretty Damn Good
The maximum weight of the user with the Goplus rower is 220lb. Though it’s not foldable it is light enough and compact enough to store away fairly easily. The general reviews for this rower are pretty good. To check these out for yourself click on the link below.
Body Sculpture BR1000
If you are new to the world of home rowing, this machine could well be the one for you. As with most Hydraulic rowers, this one comes in at a very respectable price.Though it is fairly cheap and isn’t all singing and dancing like some, it does the job it is supposed to do.
Comes With 12 Levels of Resistance
The BR1000 comes with 12 levels of resistance so there is a level suitable for almost all of us to use comfortably. This is in the form of an easy to use dial placed at the top of the hydraulic piston. As you progress in your fitness level, you just turn the resistance to your desired choice effortlessly. This model also has an adjustable incline, another way to increase the intensity of your workout.
Like a lot of rowing machines today it comes with an onboard fitness monitor. This allows you to track your fitness by means of, count, scan, strokes per minute and calories burned.
The BR1000 is Compact but not Foldable
The seat is nicely padded and has got a fairly smooth action to it. Whilst the footplates are anti-slip and have velcro fasteners to keep your feet firmly in place. This model is fairly compact but not foldable.
This is a good beginner’s machine and worth the money. But if you are doing serious workouts this maybe won’t meet your expectations.
Murtisol Foldable Rower
Though the Murtisol looks a bit of a wideboy, it is foldable and has wheels meaning it can be stored with a minimum amount of hassle. It comes with plenty of options to make your workout harder or easier on your body.
Plenty of Settings
The first of these is the resistance. This model comes with 12 different levels, these are selected by means of adjusting the hydraulic piston. There are also 10 levels of looseness and 3 different levels for adjusting the slope. So whether you want to exercise your heart or strengthen your muscles there is a setting for it.
As with most good rowing machines, the Mirtosol comes with a monitor. With this you can track your count, distance and calories burned. This comes in handy if you want to set yourself fitness goals.
A Fairly Quiet Rower
The aluminum slide system is fairly quiet and pretty smooth, allowing for a pleasant workout. The seat is comfortable for most as well. Always a good thing! The large pivoting footplates will fit most peoples feet too, and the straps will hold them firmly in place.
This rower comes in at a good price. You will need a bit of room to use it but it is light enough to move from room to room.