A rowing machine is exercise equipment with an oar and a sliding seat to work your calves, glutes, biceps, abs, hamstrings, and quadriceps. It is one of the best body toning machines used for losing extra fat. A good quality machine is portable, lightweight, and compact too. Also, it can be folded and stored away when not in use.
Some of the exclusive features of a premium-quality rowing machine include LCD, Bluetooth connectivity, cushioned seating, adjustable resistance, textured handle, anti-slip paddle, and a firm foot-strap. If you are looking at buying one for yourself, we bring you a list of some of the best rowing machines here.
Before that, let’s find out how to use the machine safely.
Safety Tips When Using A Rowing Machine
- You should feel comfortable and balanced on the seat. A slight imbalance on any side might cause an unnecessary sprain.
- Ensure the foot straps are neither loose nor tight.
- Don’t go for underhand grip during the drive as it might cause injury.
- Ensure that you are engaging the core to perform the exercise effectively.
- Always keep your posture straight when in a rowing position. Avoid slumping forward or backward.
- While pushing the upper body slightly back, ensure you’re not straining your spine. Take the help of your hips to lean your upper body back.
- Hinge forward and backward with your waist to do the exercise right.
17 Best Rowing Machines
The indoor rowing machine from Concept2 has a performance monitor to track your progress through accurate statistics. The 14in high seat is comfortable and lets you sit straight for proper muscle training. It requires only eight screws to assemble the machine, which can hold a maximum of 500lb weight. You can assemble, disassemble, and store it conveniently when needed. It is ideal for anyone who is looking for a portable machine with adjustable footrests and ergonomic handles.
- Responsive air-resistance flywheel
- Backlit LCD on the reading screen
- Workout measurements include time, distance, and interval
- Bluetooth connectivity with devices such as heart rate monitor and pulse monitoring machine
- Does not make noise
- Smooth operation
- Free app included to record and store workout
- Cannot save workouts in USB flash drive in one go
- Movable wheels may not slide smoothly on carpet
An extra-long slide rail is beneficial when purchasing a magnetic rowing machine. The Sunny Healthrowing machine has 48in side rail length and 44in inseam length to let you sit and work out comfortably. It boasts non-slip foot pedals and foam grip handlebars for added convenience. You can adjust its magnetic resistance levels to practice different levels of rowing. It is flexible, simple to use, store, and move as you want.
- Supports safe footing during intense exercises
- Cushioned seating provides comfort to the back and other body parts
- Digital monitor displays time, count, scan, and total count
- Floor stabilizers to correct the machine level
- Eight magnetic resistance levels
- Calculates and displays calories
- Possess roll-on wheels for portability
- Smooth rowing experience
- Suitable for qualitative exercises
- Squeaking plastic and noisy pulley may be annoying
- Poor quality of spring may affect the functionality
If you are looking for a machine to perform multiple exercises, this can be a good choice. The advanced rowing machine from Fitness Reality has Bluetooth connectivity to access your phone. It allows you a full-body workout and engages your triceps, shoulders, legs, thighs, forearms, and biceps muscles. You can also use it to strengthen and tone your curls, front raises, and bent-over rows with excellent magnetic skills, smooth handles, and paddles that add to the convenience.
- Free My Cloud fitness app to track the workout goals
- Large 3.5in LCD to show the real-time numbers
- Timely reminders
- Two AA batteries included
- Easy assembly using simple tools
- Suitable for weight loss, toning, and strengthening muscles
- Seating position may be too low for some users
Looking for a machine that can contribute to maintaining your heart rate? Stamina’s rowing machine has a foldable design to burn calories, engage muscles, and improve overall heart health. It is a good choice if you want to work out for a toned and fit body. The dynamic air resistance of the device lets you adjust the difficulty level as per your requirements. It has an LCD to monitor the speed, distance, time, and calories burned. It can bear up to 250lb of weight and is suitable for both men and women. The oversized, angled rail and built-in wheels add to your comfort.
- Effectively helps target the muscle groups to get faster results
- Adjustable nylon straps offer enhanced stability while using the machine
- Anti-skid floor protectors at required places to prevent any accidents and damage
- Textured grip on the handles are comfortable to hold
- Resistance is adjustable, can be both slowed and made fast
- Machine slides slowly when rowing forward
- No setup available to adjust the drag of the machine
The water-resistant MaxKare rowing machine gives you a realistic rowing experience with every stroke. It is made of sturdy materials and has a rigid structure to last long. The machine has adjustable features along with LCD and folding features, making it user-friendly. The support point helps to store the rowing equipment conveniently when not in use. It also tracks exercise variables, such as distance, stroke, time, and calories.
- Provides hydraulic momentum
- Relieves spinal pressures and protects knees from a sprain
- Comfortable seating alleviates the shoulder and back pain
- Work out mode with real-time statistics and exercise goals
- Suitable for all the age-groups—teenagers, adults, and children (under guidance)
- Bottle holder and wheels included
- Water may leak when the machine is stored upright
NordicTrack’s RW Rower is sleek and reasonably designed to give you an effortless experience. It uses 26 coach-controlled resistance levels to match the real-life trainer workout sessions. The silent magnetic resistance and power-enabled feature make it suitable for regular workouts at home. Compact, simple, and reliable, this machine has a good console screen, ergonomic seat, and front-mounted transport wheels to carry around. It lets you perform energy-efficient workouts.
- Front console powered with 22in smart HD touch screen
- Can live stream directly from the trainer
- Can set targets and goals
- Suitable for cross-training workouts
- Stat tracking available
- Doesn’t have Bluetooth support
The Echanfit rowing machine takes works on a silent magnetic resistance. It has 16 resistance levels that can be adjusted as required. The professional workout machine has an ergonomic design for you to relax when you are tired. The comfortable cushioned seating is suitable for all age groups, and its compact design enables easy folding for storage.
- Monitors calories, distance, and time
- Adjustable console angles to suit the user’s varying height
- Anti-skid pedals prevent minor accidents during intense sessions
- Front-mounted transport wheels add to the portability
- Water bottle holder included
- Can hold a weight of up to 265lb
- May be uncomfortable for people over 6.2in
- Foot platforms could be small for some
The Lanos hydraulic rowing machine has an adjustable hydraulic resistance and a manual knob to control the exercise rate. It can withstand 250lb weight and has an easy-to-read LCD to display the speed, distance, time, and calorie count. It engages most of your body parts, such as chest, shoulder, and arm muscles. The comfortable foot resting pad and seating can be adjusted as per your preference. Its active scan function can record and refresh itself every six seconds.
- Comfortable and ergonomic design
- Footplates with safety straps for a firm hold
- Can be used by both genders and all ages
- Arm grips are comfortable to hold
- Allows convenient folding and storing
- The hydraulic portion may get loose often
The Bluefin rowing machine has eight tension level adjustments and magnetic resistance power. The commercial-made and anti-slip foot belts secure the footing position, while its ergonomic handles, extra comfort seating, and metric measurement sensors add to the convenience. It includes an LCD digital fitness console and a smartphone app to support live streaming and video training. The natural rowing motion makes it suitable for both home and gym usage.
- Backlit LCD for reading the stats
- Comfortable cushioned seat
- Optimum incline suitable for everyone
- Smooth belt drive for low noise
- Supports Kinomap mobile for training via video
- Doesn’t take much space in the room
- Bluetooth app could be poor
The magnetic rowing machine from Joroto activates most parts of your body through various exercises. Itis comfortable to use, occupies 0.15sqm of space in the room and leverages magnetic power to give a smooth finish for the workouts. The LCD screen displays metrics, including speed, time, calories, and distance. You can connect toa professional training session on the screen through live streaming. The user-friendly pedals and seating make it suitable for all.
- Soft and comfortable handlebars
- Water bottle holder available
- Digital monitor keeps you at pace
- Ten levels of magnetic adjustment
- Phone holder on the monitor
- Non-slip pedals for a good grip
- Double sensor structure to validate the data
- Plastic footrest may not be durable
The Merax water rowing machine has a water filler in the front to give you a real-time rowing experience. It has comfortable seating, anti-slip pedals, and a holding bar for a smooth exercise session. The machine withstands up to 320lb weight and has a large LCD monitor to display strokes, speed, time, and heart rate. It measures 78x20x25.5in and has a 43.3in slide rail for comfortable exercise positions.
- Single-button push to start rowing workouts
- 19-in long ergonomic handle
- Inclined water tank fora powerful resistance
- Supports competitive race mode
- Fully adjustable Velcro strap for the correct leg position
- Sound of the seat rolling could be bothersome
- Seat rail is not uniformly flat
The ShareVgo’s smart rower machine enables a full-body workout indoors. It includes six pre-set, distance-based goals and challenges, such as 500m, 2000m, and 10km for a complete workout session. The Bluetooth LCD monitor and a tablet holder are included for added convenience and to display strokes. You can even connect the device to heart sensors and pulse meters to gauge different parameters.
- Easy to set up, store, and use
- Supports weight up to 300lb
- Intuitive dashboard for a performance update
- Informs on the number of calories burned
- Magnetic resistance system is quiet
- Durable and compact
- Resistance settings may be difficult to handle
The hydraulic machine is known for its top-notch adjustable resistance and full-arm extension. It has a 250lb capacity and allows full-motion rowing by activating different body parts, including thighs, buttocks, calves, and lower arm muscles. The versatile machine has slip-resistant handles and foot pedals to engage you without worrying about minor accidents. Its soft seat glides smoothly and supports you for different workouts. The LCD screen displays various metrics such as time, count, total count, and calories burned.
- Handlebars support full arm rotations
- Anti-corrosive properties for durability
- Multi-dimensional rowing stimulates joints
- Made of solid and sturdy steel
- Assembling is easy
- Cannot be folded
Suitable for the home gym, this rowing machine from Mr. Captain makes water’s swooshing sound to gives you a real water rowing experience. Equipped with a monitor and Bluetooth, the device can be customized to set different modes, including manual, interval custom, and target, to help you accomplish your exercise goals. It boasts convenient seating at the right height and has adjustable footplates. The functional machine can hold up to 320lb capacity.
- Easy to use and store
- Active recoil system supports engagement
- All-wood machine fora classic feel
- Easy to assemble parts
- Adjustable resistance by changing the water level
- USB chargeable water pump included
- Foot straps may be small for some
Want to lose weight and enhance your fitness levels? SereneLife’s smart rowing machine lets you do a complete body workout while monitoring your progress. It supports an application to track, record, collect and store your fitness data, thereby motivating you to burn more calories. The app is supported by Bluetooth to connect other devices and monitor distance, calories, speed, and the time taken. The machine is made of high-quality steel and can hold up to 250lb for both men and women.
- Can be folded and stored when not in use
- 16 levels of selectable resistance
- Extremely quiet during a workout
- Easy to use and suitable for home
- Comfortable seat
- Footrest may not be convenient for all
The magnetic rower rowing machine lets you transform your home into a mini studio gym. It is foldable, and can be easily assembled, used, and stored. The machine has eight adjustment levels for customization and a tiny LCD monitor to measure and show statistics. It engages and strengthens your legs, core, shoulder, back, and arms, giving you a full-body workout.
- Easy to adjust the resistance levels
- Smooth, quiet, and convenient
- Displays the calories burnt
- Non-slip paddles and soft padded handlebar for comfort
- Transportation wheels for portability
- Setting up the phone tray could be difficult
The rowing machine from Mr. Rudolf can give you a real rowing experience outdoors. Made from wood oak and water-resistant materials, this fitness machine is suitable for home and gym training. It includes three modes, manual, interval custom, and target, to meet your goals. Its tracking equipment lets you manage time, thus helping you achieve the fitness goals. It has a comfortable sitting cushion with firm paddles and textured handle fora comfortable experience.
- Active recoil system
- Adjustable footplates
- Transport wheels for easy movement
- Solid dual rails made from solid oak wood
- Ideal for everyday training
- Easy to assemble and store
- Monitor functionality could be inconsistent
How To Use A Rowing Machine?
Using a rowing machine involves movements that mimic rowing a boat. Here is a step-by-step approach to rowing the machine correctly.
- Sit straight with the bottom on the seat and your knees bent.
- Secure the footplate and hold the handle using an overhand grip.
- Engage your core and push the footplate with the help of leg muscles.
- Straighten your legs and keep upper body neutral.
- Use your hips to push the upper body back and arms to feel the pull.
- Bring your elbows back and keep it close to your body. You complete the ‘drive’ here.
- Reverse the order to recover your natural sitting position back
How To Choose The Right Rowing Machine?
- Type of resistance used to create a water impact includes air resistance, magnetic resistance, and water resistance. Air resistance is created by the flow of air over a flywheel and is usually noisy. Magnetic resistance is relatively smooth, produces low noise, and requires less maintenance. Also, such machines are easy to store. Lastly, hydraulic rowing machines have small storage units to hold water and create dynamics.
- Good quality rowing machines offer clear metrics display using an intuitive metric calculator to record several parameters, including distance, speed, time, and calories burnt. Look for a machine that gives you complete statistics of your sessions.
- Pick a rowing machine that is easy to assemble and disassemble. Though small, these machines can look inconvenient and messy in a room when they lie unused for a long time.
- Bluetooth and connectivity are common features of smart and advanced rowing machines and help you track your fitness activity and metrics. There is some exercise equipment that can also record videos while you work out. Pick one with the best connectivity options that you may use.
- Some machines come with pre-programmed workout options that set that track your fitness goals. A few of them also have recorded exercises and games as additional features. Look for a rowing machine that matches your requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?
Yes, using a rowing machine helps lose belly fat as it engages your full body, including the core and the stomach muscles. The action of sliding back and forth helps generate sweat and lose fat from the belly.
2. Magnetic vs. air rower: which is better?
Every rower machine has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Air rowers generate more noise than magnetic ones. On the other hand, air rowers replicate the feel of rowing on water. Magnetic rowers are smooth but may fail to create hydraulic dynamics. However, most people often go for magnetic rowers because of their durability, foldability, and better use.
Controls, programs, and pre-set workouts are three essential features of a premium-quality rowing machine. A good quality machine is smooth and lets you row without much stress while working out the complete body. So, if you are looking for a safe, easy-to-store, and functional exercise tool, compare the short-listed machines’ features and get the best one for yourself.