Rowing machines offer the ultimate full-body workout experience, increasing your heart rate and strengthening your lower body. That’s besides the fact rowing is one of the best cardio exercises. You can work out in the comfort of your home, while on vacation, or traveling abroad.
There are several types of rowing machines in the market, each with its style, resistance levels, price, and features. So, after weeks of reviewing dozens of options, the results are out.
Here are the best rowing machines you can buy in 2022:
- Best Overall Rowing Machine: Concept2 RowErg
- Best Budget Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Best Rowing Machine With Adjustable Resistance Levels: Echelon Row S Smart Rower
- Best Rowing Machine For Small Spaces: Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050
- Best Rowing Machine For Beginners: MaxKare Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Best High-Tech Rowing Machine: NordicTrack Smart Rower
- Best Water Rowing Machine: Fitness Reality 3000WR
Best Overall Rowing Machine: Concept2 RowErg
- This item benefits from an Extended 90 Day Return Window
- Low impact workout that engages all major muscle groups; work legs, core and arms with a smooth, high calorie-burning motion
- Track your progress with real-time reliable data; the Performance Monitor 5 (included) self-calibrates for comparable results; connect wirelessly to heart rate belts and apps (not included)
- Designed to fit most users: 14-inch seat height, adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
- Separates easily into two pieces for storage; caster wheels make it mobile; easy to assemble with only eight screws. Space Recommendations- Assembled- 8 ft x 2 ft (244 cm x 61 cm). For Storage- 25 in x 33 in x 54 in (63. 5 cm x 83. 8 cm x 137. 2 cm)
If you’re looking for a rowing machine to help you make a big jump in your fitness, look no further than the Concept2 RowErg. This machine is perfect for anyone who wants to get into rowing but doesn’t have the space or budget for a full-size machine. The RowErg has plenty of positive reviews online, with users praising its ergonomic design and smooth operation. The rower is easy to use and is perfect for professionals and anyone looking to get into a workout routine.
Additionally, it is very durable and reasonably priced (especially compared to other options), which it needs to be to withstand the demands of rigorous training every day. A flywheel and damper provide resistance, and the nickel-plated chain needs oiling occasionally. The performance monitor on the RowErg keeps track of things like speed, strokes per minute, kilometers rowed, and more. It can also connect via Bluetooth to a wide range of apps, such as ErgData, free from Concept2. It’s also convenient that it has a place for your phone or tablet, so you can watch shows while you work out.
- It’s portable and easy to store, so you can take it on vacation or even use it at work if your office has limited space.
- It’s affordable compared with other indoor rowing machines
- It’s easy to use. You don’t need special equipment or training. Just sit down and start rowing immediately.
- Ergonomic handle and seat
- Low maintenance
- The handle may cause calluses during long sessions
- Air flywheels are noisy
- Not comfortable for people over 6’6″ to use (38″ inseam)
Check out Concept2 RowErg on Amazon.
Best Budget Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine
- DIGITAL MONITOR: The large LCD console displays time, count, calories, total count, and scan. The convenient scan mode displays your progress to assist you in tracking all your fitness goals.
- EXTRA LONG SLIDE RAIL: At 48 inches in slide rail length, and 44 inches in inseam length, the SF-RW5515 can accommodate rowers nearly any size.
- ADJUSTABLE MAGNETIC RESISTANCE: With a simple twist, you can increase or decrease the 8 levels of magnetic resistance, so your workout can remain challenging and effective throughout your fitness journey.
- TRANSPORTATION WHEELS: Built-in transportation wheels for easy portability. Simply tilt and roll out for use or away for storage, no need for heavy lifting or muscle strain.
- NON-SLIP FOOT PEDALS: Textured non-slip foot pedals will ensure safe footing during the most demanding and vigorous workouts. Foot straps keep your feet saddled with so you can focus on the workout without feeling unbalanced.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly rowing machine to help you get in shape, the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machinewith LCD Monitor is an excellent choice. It’s made with high-quality materials and has various features that will keep you engaged while working out.
This rowing machine has an adjustable handle that allows users to find the right amount of resistance for their current fitness level. This model includes a magnetic resistance system with eight levels of adjustable tension, which means that you can adjust the resistance of your workout to maintain an effective and challenging fitness journey. It also has an LCD monitor that displays heart rate, time, distance, calories burned, and more. The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor is made from high-quality steel and aluminum for durability, which makes it ideal for use in commercial gyms or at home.
- Good value for money
- Operates quietly and has a smooth motion
- The magnetic resistance system makes it easy to change the intensity of your workout.
- wheels for easy transport
- Not challenging enough for advanced users
- Limited data on the performance monitor
Check out Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine on Amazon.
Best Rowing Machine with Adjustable Resistance Levels: Echelon Row S Smart Rower
- Enjoy a FREE 30-day trial of the Echelon Premier Membership with access to more than 3,000 live and on-demand connected fitness classes led by the world's best instructors through the Echelon Fit App. Classes range from 5 to 45 minutes and are designed for everyone from beginner to pro athletes. Explore classes like Cycling, Rowing, Running, HIIT, Kickboxing, Yoga, Pilates, and more. One membership allows up to five users, so your friends and family can enjoy the Echelon experience together.
- DESIGN: Get a total-body workout that challenges you in all the right ways with the Row! Foldable design, sophisticated engineering and rotating console to hold your tablet or smartphone. This rower has everything you need for an effective row workout.
- FEATURES & PERFORMANCE: Device holder that both swivels 90° and flips 180° for off row workouts. - Resistance controls located on handlebars - An easy-glide seat, ergonomic handlebars and 32 silent magnetic resistance levels offer a low-impact workouts that are equal parts challenging and dynamic. Built-in wheels to help you move it where you need with ease.
- CONTENT: With a membership, you’ll get Speed, Strength, Endurance and Fusion classes you can access live and on-demand. Plus, on-demand scenic rides from some of the best waterways in the world. You also get our Fitpass programs which include yoga, strength, pilates, boxing and much more!
- MUSIC: We Don't Play Elevator Music! With a membership, you'll stay energized and motivated with the best music in the industry. We partner with the top record labels to bring you the latest music for the best fitness experience. Dance, EDM, Folk and Funk. Hip Hop to K-Pop. Metal, Latin and R&B...whatever your ears want, we've got!
The Echelon Row S Smart Rower is a great rowing machine with adjustable resistance. This exercise rower is equipped with the latest technology and features to give you the most efficient workout possible. The Echelon Row S Smart Rower provides you a full range of resistance levels from 1 to 10, allowing you to adjust the intensity of your workout as needed. Additionally, the resistance controls are simple to use because they are on the handlebars. The Echelon has a 22-inch (56-cm) touch screen that you can rotate 180 degrees. A monthly membership is required to access the rowing workouts and other on-demand classes such as yoga, strength training, and Pilates.
- It’s hushed when in operation
- It can provide a wide range of resistance levels
- Easy to use, set up, and fold up
- 180-degree screen rotation for off-equipment training
- Limited functionality for non-paying members
Check out Echelon Row S Smart Rower on Amazon.
Best Rowing Machine for Small Spaces: Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050
- REAL-WORLD ROWING FEEL: The full-motion rowing arms on the Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 provide a natural rowing movement, helping you realize the proven benefits that rowing provides for the entire body. Aids in burning calories, improving cardiovascular function and strengthening major muscle groups.
- SET YOUR RESISTANCE: Adjust the hydraulic cylinder resistance to match your desired workout intensity level.
- TRACK YOUR PROGRESS: The multi-functional LCD monitor displays current workout time, stroke count, calories burned and total stroke count. SCAN mode cycles through each of these metrics in real time.
- SMART FITNESS APP INCLUDED W/ PURCHASE: This product is fully supported by müüv, the all-in-one workout app that offers personalized training, a follow-along assembly video, and custom workouts tailored to your fitness goals using the equipment you own. No subscription required.
- COMFORTABLE AND SPACE-SAVING: This compact yet full-featured Rower is outfitted with a smooth ball-bearing roller system, comfortable molded seat, textured footplates with straps and foam padded hand grips. After you're done exercising, the full-motion arms fold into the frame to save you storage space.
If you’re looking for a rowing machine compact enough to fit into your home or apartment but still has enough power to get you in shape and help you reach your fitness goals, the Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 is for you! This machine is ideal if you live in a small space because it is only 39 pounds and measures 58.25 inches (148 cm) (17.7 kg). Additionally, it has foldable arms for easy storage and a multifunctional LCD screen to monitor your metrics. Although the rowing motion isn’t as smooth as with some other designs, it does provide a range of motion when rowing, thanks to the hydraulic cylinder resistance. Due to the rower’s small size, it has a 250-pound weight limit (113 kg).
- Ergonomic design and adjustable seat
- Good size for apartments and small rooms
- Foldable for simple storage
- It can only hold up to 250 pounds maximum
- It can be cumbersome to operate
Check out Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 on Amazon.
Best Rowing Machine for Beginners: MaxKare Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine
- [Rowing Machine for Full Body Workout] Merax rowing machine offers 8 levels of magnetic tension that will challenge your body and take your stamina to the max. Enjoy a low impact yet efficient workout that targets forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, legs, thighs and more with additional exercises.
- [Smooth & Quiet Glide Rowing] Experience smooth glide rowing that helps with maintaining a comfortable momentum so you can row longer with the perfectly angled seat railing and the whisper silent magnetic wheel for the perfect amount of tension control.
- [High Quality Build] 17” wide grip foam handlebar provides comfortable grips for different workout exercises. Large contoured cushion seat (12.8” x 10.4”) that glides along the 46” slide rail to accommodate users of different heights. Heavy-duty frame holds up to 330 LBS.
- [LCD Monitor & Non-Slip Pedals] Track your progress in real time and watch yourself get stronger with the built in LCD monitor that displays time, distance, count, total count, and calories so you can keep track of your fitness level and hold yourself accountable. The 12.2” x 4.3” large footplates with adjustable straps help keeping your feet secure during the workout.
- [Foldable Rowing Machine for Easy Storage] Merax rowing machine measures 80.5” x 18.7” x 10.2” (L x W x L) in use, while it can also be folded easily to 46.9” x 18.7” x 57” (L x W x L), so you can stow it away in your closet or a corner in your home gym to conserve valuable space in tight areas. The built in base wheels make it easy to roll and transport your rowing machine from place to place without assistance.
The MaxKare Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine is a great rowing machine for beginners who want to start their fitness journey with a budget-friendly option. With its foldable design, you can easily store this machine in your closet or under your bed. It’s also lightweight, so you can take it with you when you travel! The MaxKare Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine has an adjustable seat with handles that make it easy to put on and take off. This rowing machine is suitable for users of all skill levels, from beginners to experts, and features a magnetic control flywheel with 16 levels of resistance.
You’ll love using this rowing machine because it has a built-in monitor that lets you track your progress and provides feedback each time you use it!
- Folds up into a compact shape for storing in small spaces
- It’s easy to assemble and disassemble
- Affordable entry-level rower
- It might be too low-tech for advanced users
- Maximum user weight of only 245 pounds
- No workout programs
Check out MaxKare Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine on Amazon.
Best High-tech Rowing Machine: NordicTrack Smart Rower
- 30-Day iFIT Family Membership Included; Stream live & on-demand workouts on your equipment with Global Workouts & Studio Classes; Add up to 5 users; Elite trainers adjust your equipment ( dollars39 value)
- 22” HD Interactive Touchscreen Display streams on-demand iFIT workouts into your home directly on your rowing machine; Adjustable Console Angle for a variety of training both on and off your equipment
- 26 Digital Resistance Levels; Your iFIT Trainer auto-adjusts your smart rower’s resistance for an optimized workout that meets your goals and realistically simulates famous bodies of water
- Innovative SpaceSaver Design; Your rower folds in half after your workout for compact storage; Bluetooth Headphone Connectivity; Link your Bluetooth headphones to your rower for an improved experience
- 250-pound user capacity; Protected with a 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty; 50.4” H x 22” W x 86.5” L
The NordicTrack Smart Rower is the best high-tech rowing machine you can buy today. It’s equipped with a 10-inch HD touchscreen, which makes it easy to see your workout metrics. Plus, it has a library of on-demand classes and 26 resistance levels, so you can always find a challenging workout. And the console will automatically track your calories burned, strokes per minute, total distance rowed, and heart rate. It also includes built-in speakers, so you can listen to your favorite tunes while working out. Not only can you stream classes with personal trainers on demand, but your trainer can also automatically adjust your resistance so you can focus on your technique (and getting your workout in)
- Automatically adjusts resistance level to match wind and water conditions
- Adjustable touch screen for off-rower workouts
- Excellent range of resistance levels.
- A huge library of beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts
- Quiet and smooth ride with an upgraded flywheel and sliding rail system
- iFit membership costs extra after the first year
- Requires a large space for use and storage
Check out NordicTrack Smart Rower on Amazon.
Best Water Rowing Machine: Fitness Reality 3000WR
- 300 lbs. Weight capacity
- Angled water tank slows down water faster between pulls, which provides better resistance for each stroke than others in flat position
- Water resistance levels (1-6) can be adjusted with included water pump and funnel
- 3 Customizable HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Intervals, 5 Standard preset workout goals, 13 Level race options and 3 Workout target goal settings from the console: time, distance and calories burned
- 19” Slip resistant wide grip handlebar provides comfortable grips for each stroke
If you’re looking for a water rowing machine to help you get in shape and stay fit, then the Fitness Reality 3000WR is an excellent choice. It involves a program, like some other subscription-based rowing machines, but minus the classes. You can participate in competitions and challenges like interval workouts, with real-time feedback and personalized targets that change as you get fitter. This idea was inspired by gaming technology. The program heavily emphasizes competition, and you can compare yourself to other users in global rankings. It has at least five new weekly workouts, a Race of the Week, a new program, and a monthly community challenge to keep things interesting.
Fitness Reality is custom-made from American cherry wood, making it likely the best-looking rowing machine available. It has a 17.2″ touchscreen with HD graphics in place of the S4 monitor and will sync with heart rate monitors that support Bluetooth. This workout machine has a signature hiss-and-swish sound and smooth action as all other WaterRower models. The resistance cannot be changed without draining the drum’s water contents.
If you like the concept of a membership program and get a kick from working out with others but dislike the upbeat atmosphere of instructor-led group sessions, this can be a great buy. On the other hand, a rower with a group class program would work better if you are motivated by working with an instructor.
- Stylish design and great graphics
- Gaming-inspired program with constant updates
- No instructor classes
Check out Fitness Reality 3000WR on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Rowing Machine: Step by Step
Whether you’re looking for a way to get in shape or just want to have some fun and get your heart rate up, rowing is a great way to do it. But how do you know which rowing machine is right for you? We’ve got some tips on how to pick the best rowing machine for your needs.
Rowing machines range in price from about $150 to over $3000, depending on the brand and model. When starting, you may not want to invest in a high-end model. However, as your fitness level improves and your budget allows, you can upgrade to a more expensive one with more features.
Storage and portability
Ensure you have enough space before investing in a rowing machine. Focus your search on rowers that are simple to fold and store. Sometimes, you may need to move it. Additionally, consider rowers with integrated transport wheels.
Rowing machines have different levels of resistance. If you are looking for an aerobic workout, pick a model with an adjustable resistance knob that lets you adjust from 0 (no resistance) to 10 (highest level of resistance). If you are looking for an intense workout, go for a model with higher levels of resistance or one with multiple settings. This allows you to choose between lower and higher intensities according to your needs.
Most rowing machines have an electronic screen. Basic rowers typically have a small display that shows the number of rows, strokes per minute, and calories burned during your workout. The more expensive, high-tech rowers have elaborate electronic displays, some with adjustable touch screens. Consider features like Bluetooth compatibility, weight and height restrictions, on-demand programming, live classes, and different resistance levels.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Rowing Machine
It’s important to think about things like size, ease of storage, noise levels, and usability when deciding on a rowing workout machine. If you live in an apartment, noise may be a deal-breaker. Have limited space? The size of the machine or the ability to fold it up when it’s not in use may also be a deal-breaker. There are four different kinds of rowing machines. Each gives you the resistance you need to work your muscles differently. Hydraulic and magnetic rowers are quieter, water rowers don’t need much maintenance, and air rowers have a smooth, flowing motion. To summarize, the best rowing machine is one that you enjoy using, want to keep returning to, and isn’t too expensive for you to afford.
Using a Rower: What it’s Like
Rowing is a full-body workout, strengthening major muscle groups in your arms, legs, and core and enhancing cardiovascular endurance. In a nutshell, if you use the rowing machine regularly, you’ll notice that you’ll get stronger and less exhausted. You may notice some muscle growth even if you don’t notice it.