Top 10 Rowing Machine Models for Price, Quality, and Design


Rowing machines are some of the most popular pieces of workout equipment both for at home use and in the gym simply because they help work the entire body.

Because they are such great total body workouts, many people are deciding to add one to their home gyms instead of going out of their way to head to the gym. However, before you head out to the store or order a machine online, take some time to get to know the different types of machines, features and some of the top brands out there!

What Are Rowing Machines Used For?

What Are Rowing Machines Used For?

Rowing machines may seem basic at first glance, but they are anything but.

These machines provide users with a total body workout because they engage each and every muscle of the body and does so with little pressure on the user’s joints, which is why it is so popular. Users work their legs, glutes, and hips, upper body, back, their arms… It really is a total body workout.

What to Look for In a Rowing Machine

When it comes to purchasing your own rowing machine for home use, it is important to look at a few different factors.

Just because a machine may cost a certain amount, doesn’t mean that it will provide you with what you need. So instead of blindly walking into a sports store, take some time and do a little bit of research into the different types of machines and what features you may or may not want.

Types of Rowing Machines

Types of Rowing Machines

What many people don’t know is that rowing machines come in three different types, air resistance, magnetic resistance and water resistance. Most will be familiar with air resistance machines as that is what is typically used in gyms.

Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the other types of machines so you can make a more informed decision as to what will suit your needs more:

  • Air Resistance – Air resistance rowing machines are also known as fan resistance machines. These machines create airflow by a flywheel which houses a fan with large blades that are driven by a chain or belt. This creates wind resistance, and in most cases, the more exertion on the flywheel, the more resistance. Although, some models do provide an option to adjust the flywheel to have more of an impact manually.
  • Magnetic Resistance – A magnetic resistance rowing machine has a flywheel as well, although these machines use magnets that adjust to create the resistance. This type of machine uses electromagnets to provide resistance braking, according to RBR Fitness, to keep the momentum going.
  • Water Resistance – Water resistance machines use water to help create the resistance by rotating blades moving through a tank of water. Depending on the exertion of force by the users, the overall resistance is increased or decreased. Water resistance rowers often find that the motion feels a little more natural compared to the other two resistance types.

Other Features to Consider

Depending on the user, some may require more features than others, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few core features that need to be considered before purchasing a rowing machine.

Below, we have listed just a few of the features that should be considered when a user is researching their rowing machine:

  • Size – Size really does matter for many users because not everyone has the same home space to use the bigger, more advanced machines. Besides the overall footprint of the machine, shoppers should investigate whether it is foldable or how it can be alternatively stored when not in use.
  • Resistance – As discussed in the different types of machines, different rowers have different methods of altering the overall resistance. With each type of machine, air, water and magnetic, comes a different way to alter the resistance. So, make sure you pick a method that suits your needs the best.
  • Comfort – Comfort plays a big role in whether or not you will continue to return to your machine for continued sessions. Let’s face it, if the seat or handles aren’t comfortable, you won’t make proper use of the machine, and it can easily become more of a burden than a benefit. So, make sure to not only check the reviews to see what other consumers say about the overall comfort of the machine but, if possible, head out to a local sporting store and see if they have any models that you can test out for yourself.
  • Additional Features – While entry-level athletes can do just fine with the more basic models, the more advanced athlete may be looking for something with extra features to help guide and push them. Extra features could include built-in training programs and heart rate monitors.
  • Overall Cost – While this may seem silly at first, it really is important to consider the cost of the machine you want to purchase. Prices for rowing machines can vary hugely. Some come in around $200 while others can be upwards of $2,000+ and while the higher priced machines may seem daunting, they could provide you with more of what you need. However, as stated above, if you don’t use the machine, you can easily be out thousands of dollars. So sit down and decide what it is you need in a rowing machine and then break down the cost and see how it can fit into your budget.

Top 10 Rowing Machines

Top 10 Rowing Machines

When it comes to choosing the right rowing machine, the research and buying process can seem a little daunting.

But fear not!

Below, we have listed the top ten rowing machines currently on the market (warning affiliate links may follow) and have ranked them based on customer reviews to give you, the consumer, the most precise look at what is preferred on the market. If there was a tie, the number of total purchasing customer reviews and price were taken into consideration.

Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black or Gray

Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black or Gray

The Concept2 Model D is the choice rower for athletes of all levels as it’s low-impact workout engages all major muscle groups and provides users with a high calorie burning workout.

Users can track their progress with reliable real-time data thanks to the Performance Monitor 5. The monitor is also compatible with USB flash drives so users can easily store their data, and also compatible with many heart rate monitors and apps so that users can monitor their heart rate.

Price

Our Rating

$945.00

5.0/5.0

Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

The Concept2 Model E features a 20-inch frame height, nickel-plated chain and a double powder coat with a glossy finish. This commercial-grade rower is suitable for either home or gym use and easily separates into two pieces for storage.

Users can track their program in real-time thanks to the Performance Monitor 5. The monitor is backlight to increase data readability and is compatible with USB flash drives so users can easily store their data. The monitory also connects wirelessly to heart rate monitors to help users monitor their heart rate.

Price

Our Rating

 $1,160.00

5.0/5.0

Water Rower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

Water Rower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

This rower is handcrafted from solid Ash wood and has a black and rose finishing. The WaterRower’s patented WaterFlywheel has been designed to emulate the dynamics of a boat moving through water and is said to be unsurpassed in its simulation of the physical and physiological benefits of rowing.

The series four performance monitor tracks the user’s workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate and so much more. It also features six QuickSelection buttons and three navigation buttons. The monitor is even compatible with an optional heart rate chest strap and receiver that allows users to optimize their workouts.

Price

Our Rating

$1,160.00

4.5/5.0

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine

The First Degree Fitness Newport Challenge AR rowing machine features First Degree’s patented adjustable fluid resistance technology that allows the user to control and adjust the resistance from “feather light” to “Olympic sprint” load levels.

This rower features an advanced computer monitor that provides users with accurate feedback, along with their time, distance, stroke per minute and calories burned per hour. It also featured an ergonomically designed seat that rides on precision bearings and rollers for a smooth experience, an upgraded footboard with advanced heel support, and an innovative soft grip handle to reduce stress on users wrists and hands.

Price

Our Rating

$899.00

4.0/5.0

BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower

BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower

This rower features a deluxe adjustable heel rest with quick adjust foot straps, a heavy duty I-Beam Mono-rail made with high strength T13 Aluminum and ergonomically correct comfort grip aluminum handlebar with four button IR remote resistance controls.

The VR500 also features electronically controlled air and eddy current magnetic resistance with 32 different levels, along with an easy to read black mask LCD with LED-backlit display and keys. Thanks to its easy fold-and-story system with a child safety lock, this rower can be stored away in under three seconds.

Price

Our Rating

$1,599.00

4.0/5.0

Avari Stamina Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

Avari Stamina Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

The Avari Programmable Rower features 23 different programs that can be monitored by using the backlit LCD In Touch Fitness Monitor. It also features seven preset programs that will automatically adjust the magnetic tension to maximize the user’s workout.

Price

Our Rating

 $668.18

3.8/5.0

Stamina ATS Air Rower

Stamina ATS Air Rower

The Stamina ATS air rower is a wind-resistance rower with a multi-function performance monitor that displays speed, distance, time and calories burned. The padded and upholstered seat is comfortable, and the footplates are large enough for any size user. This unit also folds up for quick and easy storage.

Price

Our Rating

$299.00

4.1/5.0

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine

The Lifecore R100 commercial rowing machine utilizes both air and electronic brake system technology, making this machine perfect for the beginner rower.

Features include 15 challenging programs, heart rate control, 16 levels of resistance, angled foot rests with pivoting heel supports and an adjustable cooling fan vent. This machine also allows data storage for up to four users and has a weight capacity of 600 pounds.

Price

Our Rating

$1,299.00

4.4/5.0

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

The Stamina Body Trac Glider is both compact and portable and can easily stand on end for easy storing in between workouts. This machine features full-range-of-motion rowing arms that give users a more natural rowing movement to help optimize the proven benefits that rowing can provide the body.

The ball-bearing roller system and adjustable hydraulic cylinder resistance arms all for smooth, low-impact movements, while the combination of a padded, molded seat and steel frame offers a stable, comfortable workout.

This machine also features a multi-function fitness monitor that tracks time, stroke count and calories burned.

Price

Our Rating

$134.99

4.2/5.0

Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

The 1215 Rower has full range-of-motion rowing for a truer rowing motion that is said to mimic the same rowing motions one would go through on the water. This machine is both compact and portable and weighs in at 47 pounds.

This machine has a padded seat that glides on a ball bearing roller system, rowing arms with adjustable resistance and foam grips that help keep the user’s hands both stable and comfortable. The multifunctional fitness monitor keeps users on track by showing them their speed, distance, time, stroke count and their calories burned.

Price

Our Rating

$259.41

3.5/5.0

Picking a Rowing Machine That’s Right for You

Once you have taken some time to get to know the brands on the market, their features and the different types of machines, picking out the ideal rowing machine isn’t all that difficult.

It all comes down to the user, their budget, and their overall needs.

Rowing machines are an ideal piece of equipment for any level athlete, whether you are just starting your journey in the fitness world, or if you are an experienced athlete. The ease of a rowing machine may be the key to keeping you on track to reaching your goals.

* YourShapeYourLife.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Recent Content