15 Best Rowing Machines: Compare & Save

best rowing machines

When you can’t make it to the water, a rowing machine is a convenient alternative. From compact rowing machines for apartment dwellers to elite models with all the bells and whistles, check out our list of the best rowing machines for your money.

Expand your home gym with our best cycling bikes and elliptical machines for indoor workouts.

What Are The Best Rowing Machines in 2020?

magnetic rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Interactive workouts
  • Live and on-demand classes
  • 32 magnetic resistance levels
Price: $999.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
home rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dynamic air resistance
  • Large pivoting foot plates
  • Folding frame
Price: $339.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
indoor rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dynamic air resistance
  • LCD monitor
  • Large footpads
Price: $406.14 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
home rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Free fitness app
  • Large tablet holder
Price: $325.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
home rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Transportation wheels
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable resistance
Price: $248.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full-motion arms
  • Easily adjustable resistance
  • LCD display
Price: $219.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
home rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Space-saving design
  • Manually adjustable resistance
  • Integrated device holder
Price: $259.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
indoor rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sturdy frame
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Non-slip foot pedals
Price: $641.31 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
indoor rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Natural resistance
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Triple-bladed paddle
Price: $799.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
magnetic rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Interactive workouts
  • In-depth workout statistics
  • Comes with 26 resistance levels
Price: $2,384.45 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
home rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lag-free pull
  • Ideal for all fitness levels
  • Folds for storage
Price: $449.10 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
magnetic rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Built-in LCD display
  • Adjustable air resistance
  • Several tension levels
Price: $899.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
home rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sturdy wood construction
  • Water resistance
  • Ergonomic seat
Price: $699.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
concept 2 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full-body workout
  • Ideal size for most users
  • Responsive flywheel
Price: $1,214.48 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
magnetic rowing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fully adjustable
  • Has 10 resistance levels
  • Magnetic resistance system
Price: $349.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Echelon Smart Rower

    Pros:
    • Space-saving folding design
    • Suitable for all fitness levels
    • Resistance controls on handlebars
    Cons:
    • App is a bit limited
    • Membership costs extra when trial is over
    • Not the most user-friendly setup

    If the thought of coaching yourself through a workout has you feeling less than enthusiastic, the Echelon Smart Rower is a viable alternative. This interactive rowing machine keeps you feeling motivated with live and on-demand instruction every day, making it one of the best rowing machines on the market if you need that extra push.

    You’ll have access to various instructors, along with on-demand scenic rides from waterways around the world. Don’t worry if you’re just starting out or you’re ready to take your training to the next level, as you’ll find classes for all abilities. A free 30-day trial is included to help you determine whether the connected rowing experience is right for you.

    If you’d rather skip the classes or you could use some extra entertainment the integrated device holder will come in handy. The standard for most magnetic resistance rowers is eight distinct levels, but this machine has 32 total resistance levels. When the workout is finished you can simply fold up the rowing machine to move it out of the way.

  2. 2. Stamina ATS Air Rower (1403)

    Pros:
    • Multi-function performance monitor
    • Fits most users from 4'9" to 6'4"
    • Smooth gliding seat rail
    Cons:
    • Lacks a device holder
    • Some complaints of pull lag
    • Not the quietest machine

    The Stamina ATS Air Rower features dynamic air resistance, which means that it’s always in sync with your pace. Instead of turning a knob or lever to increase the resistance, you simply need to row faster to make the workout more challenging. This home rowing machine also works well for apartments and small spaces, as it folds up for storage and has convenient transport wheels.

    As you go, the LCD monitor shows your distance, time, calories burned and speed. This compact rowing machine fits most users between 4’9″ and 6’4″ and has a recommended user weight limit of 250 pounds. It’s also equipped with large pivoting foot plates to accommodate users of various sizes.

    Even longer workouts won’t leave you feeling uncomfortable thanks to the padded and upholstered seat. Floor protectors around your home keep surfaces from getting scuffed or damaged as you row. The frame is covered by a three-year warranty.

  3. 3. Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower

    Pros:
    • Budget-friendly
    • Comfortable seat
    • Multi-function performance monitor
    Cons:
    • Chain is prone to jams
    • A bit loud
    • Pedals don’t always remain in place

    This budget-friendly rower is an appealing choice for an entry-level rowing machine. One of the hallmark features is its comfort level, as this rower is outfitted with a molded and supportive seat along with an angled oversize chrome seat rail for optimal rowing action.

    The comfortable seat also slides effortlessly along the ball bearing rollers. You can keep tabs on your workout with the multi-function electronic performance monitor that displays the time, distance, speed, and calories burned.

    Need to move the rower out of the way? You’ll appreciate how easily it folds for storage along with its wheels for enhanced portability.

     

     

     

  4. 4. ShareVgo Smart Rower

    Pros:
    • Integrated handlebar stroke counter
    • Has six pre-set distance goals and challenges
    • Works with most Bluetooth heart rate monitors
    Cons:
    • Limited 90-day warranty
    • Some complaints of connectivity issues
    • Foot pedals are prone to movement

    Stay connected as you go with the ShareVgo Smart Rower, which features a free accompanying app to help you log your workouts and overall performance. The app is compatible with iOS and Android systems and logs workout data such as the number of strokes per minute, 500-meter split time and more. You can also sync most Bluetooth heart rate monitors and sensors with the app.

    Bluetooth technology allows you to track and monitor your performance as you go. Whether you’re in the mood to cruise or set a new PR you can choose between six pre-set distance goals and challenges.

    A large tablet holder makes it easier to stay entertained during workouts. As with many other magnetic resistance rowers within this price range, you’ll have a choice between eight resistance levels.

    Not only are the handlebars wrapped in foam to keep your hands comfortable, they also have an integrated stroke sensor that counts every row. This rowing machine supports up to 300 pounds. A long side rail accommodates various user heights.

  5. 5. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

    Pros:
    • Multiple resistance levels
    • Large LCD display screen
    • Easy to adjust resistance settings on the go
    Cons:
    • Weight limit is 250 pounds
    • Several note the calorie count doesn't seem accurate
    • Not the most fluid resistance

    This magnetic rowing machine is a solid all-around value, from its easily adjustable resistance to its large LCD console and easy portability.

    If you want to get in shape but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a higher-end rowing machine, this indoor rower is a solid compromise. A single twist lets you adjust the resistance as needed to tailor each workout to your specific needs. There are eight total resistance levels.

    From the foam grip handlebars to the non-slip foot pedals, this rowing machine also stands out for its all-around comfort. The large foot pedals provide extra stability with their textured design and included safety straps.

    You can use the digital screen to track and monitor each workout. A quick glance will show you vital information about your workout, including the total time and calories.

    When it’s time to move the machine or store it out of the way, the built-in transportation wheels come in especially handy.

  6. 6. Stamina BodyTrac Glider Rowing Machine (1052)

    Pros:
    • Closely mimics real water rowing
    • Comfortable large molded seat
    • Hydraulic cylinder makes it easy to adjust resistance levels
    Cons:
    • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
    • Doesn't track stroke rates
    • More experienced athletes may find the resistance too low

    The Stamina BodyTrac Glider Rowing Machine 1052 closely mimics real water rowing, complete with full-motion arms that replicate rowing in water. An adjustable hydraulic cylinder allows you to adjust the resistance level accordingly.

    You can keep tabs on your stroke count, calories, workout time and more via the built-in LCD display. A large molded seat keeps workouts as comfortable as possible.

    This rowing machine also comes with padded handles and textured foot plates. When you’re done working out, simply fold up the arms to save space.

  7. 7. MaxKare Rowing Machine

    Pros:
    • Easily adjustable tension resistance
    • Air and belt resistance to crush your workouts
    • Two adjustable foot platforms
    Cons:
    • Very basic display
    • Weight limit is a relatively low 220 pounds
    • Seat doesn't have much padding

    If your home gym space is at a premium and you need a compact rowing machine, this MaxKare rower’s space-saving design makes it an appealing choice. When folded, the rowing machine measures just 42.5 inches long and 54.7 inches high.

    Whether you’re just beginning or are more experienced with rowing, you can manually adjust the resistance level to get the most out of each workout. You’ll find air and belt resistance to help you cruise to a new PR or simply enjoy a rewarding low-impact cardio workout. You can adjust the resistance with the twist of a dial, making this rowing machine suitable for all levels.

    Another perk is its fully padded handles for increased comfort as you row. A display panel shows basic workout stats such as time, stroke count, calories and distance. There’s also an integrated device holder with room for a tablet that helps keep boredom at bay.

  8. 8. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

    Pros:
    • Comfortable saddle
    • Tracks information such as distance, watt, and calories burned
    • Electronic tension control
    Cons:
    • Lacks an on/off switch
    • Inaccurate heart rate monitor
    • Some users wish it had a higher resistance level

    This programmable magnetic rower stands out for its comfortable saddle and multiple functions. As you’re rowing you can keep track of information such as calories burned, time, count, distance, watt, pulse, and stroke/minutes.

    If you’re not sure where to begin or could use a change in your workout routine you can select from 12 programs. Half of the programs are pre-set while the other half are manual.

    This rowing machine stands out for its Drum Magnetic Control System (DMC) and electronic tension control for a smoother and more meaningful workout. You can also easily fold it for storage when necessary.

     

     

     

     

  9. 9. First Degree Fitness Newport Water Rower

    Pros:
    • Adjustable fluid resistance
    • Improved pulley system
    • Height adjustable footplates
    Cons:
    • Assembly can be tricky
    • Some consumers wish there was more resistance
    • Paint prone to chipping over time

    This rowing machine is ideal for anyone seeking a fun and rewarding alternative to on-water rowing.

    The tank features an adjustable fluid resistance that delivers a broad range of resistance levels for all abilities.

    Another highlight is the improved pulley system, which enhances performance while ensuring that there are no dead spots.

    A multilevel computer monitor displays everything from time to distance to strokes per minute along with watts, calories burned per hour, heart rate, and interval training.

    The comfortable seat runs easily along the precision bearings for a smooth and safe operation. Height adjustable footplates cater to feet of various sizes.

     

     

  10. 10. NordicTrack RW 900 Rower

    Pros:
    • Google Maps-based sessions for realistic rowing sessions around the world
    • On-demand studio workouts with personal trainers
    • Includes a one-year iFit membership
    Cons:
    • Have to unplug the rower to turn it off
    • Some owners had trouble activating the iFit membership
    • Large display bezels can be distracting

    Working out on your own can be tedious, which is why the RW900 stands out for its on-demand studio workouts with personal trainers. New workouts are added on a daily basis to keep you stimulated and ready for more.

    If you’re still feeling the need for a change, try out one of the Google Maps workouts to experience rowing virtually anywhere around the world. A one-year iFit membership is included with your rower, giving you plenty of time to decide whether you want to continue with the subscription. If you want some extra motivation without help from a trainer, the rowing machine comes with an auxiliary music port along with two amplified speakers.

    This rowing machine has a generous 26 resistance levels along with manual air resistance to give you a truly rewarding home workout experience. There’s also live resistance control, so you can leave the resistance adjustments to the machine and simply focus on each workout. Each workout session includes in-depth workout stats tracking so that you can analyze your performance and identify areas for improvement.

    If you like the sounds of the RW900 but want something cheaper, the RW500 also offers an interactive training experience and has a 10-inch touchscreen display. The entry-level RW200 offers a home interactive training experience as well, but has a more basic display.

  11. 11. Women’s Health Men’s Health Bluetooth Rowing Machine

    Pros:
    • Track workouts via the MyCloudFitness app
    • Available professional coaching with free 30-day trial
    • Fits users between 4'9" and 6'6"
    Cons:
    • Seat could use more padding
    • Foot plates aren't adjustable
    • Has some flimsy plastic components

    Keep that frustrating lag at bay with this home rowing machine, which features smooth and steady resistance with every pull. You’ll also find 14 different resistance levels, each of which has been specifically calibrated to suit your needs.

    Whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced athlete, there’s a level for you. If you could use some guidance, you can enhance your sessions with available on-water and in-studio professional coaching via a free 30-day trial. You’ll also have free and continuous access to the MyCloudFitness app to track and monitor your workouts.

    As you row, the machine records calories, time, watts and distance. The suggested user height is 4’9″ to 6’6″. This rowing machine supports users up to 250 pounds.

  12. 12. PowerBoostConcept Rowing Machine

    Pros:
    • Supports up to 500 pounds
    • Covered by a five-year warranty
    • Folds up for easy storage
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Some competitors have more features
    • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity

    Finding the appropriate workout equipment for a small space can be tedious, which is where this compact rowing machine comes in handy. Once you’re done with your workout, simply fold up the rowing machine to move it out of the way.

    This home rowing machine has adjustable air resistance with 10 different levels, making it suitable for beginners and advanced users alike. You’ll also find a built-in device holder that rotates.

    An integrated performance monitor shows all the basics and more, including strokes and total strokes, watts, time, distance and calories burned. You can also use the integrated pulse monitor to track your heart rate.

    Other perks include pivoting footplates and non-slip handles. This compact rowing machine supports up to 500 pounds and folds up for easy storage and transport.

  13. 13. Mr. Captain Rowing Machine

    Pros:
    • Complimentary protective covering
    • Several customizable modes
    • Bluetooth smart monitor
    Cons:
    • Computer is rather basic
    • Filling the tank can be tedious
    • Foot straps can be tough to adjust

    When you find yourself craving the sound and sensation of your favorite outdoor rowing experiences, this machine can be a natural substitute. Instead of relying on magnetic resistance levels, you’ll work against realistic water resistance to mimic water-based workouts. Each machine is also made with durable wood in various colors.

    A customizable Bluetooth monitor allows you to set up manual, interval, custom or target workouts. The integrated display shows all the vital workout information you might need, including distance, calories burned, time, rowing strokes and stroke rate per minute.

    This rowing machine is designed for home fitness and supports users up to 320 pounds. In addition to a comfortable ergonomic seat, you’ll also find adjustable footplates and an ergonomic handle.

  14. 14. Concept2 Model D

    Pros:
    • Flywheel minimizes noise
    • Performance monitor
    • Easy to store
    Cons:
    • Seat is hard
    • Cumbersome foot straps
    • Software could be better

    This rowing machine comes with an innovative flywheel design that keeps noise to a minimum while ensuring a smooth and even feel during your workout.

    Another highlight is the Performance Monitor 5, which provides accurate data for each row. An adjustable monitor arm promotes a comfortable setup for users of various sizes.

    The machine is equipped with a 14-inch high seat and a nickel-plated chain. There are also adjustable footrests to accommodate feet of all sizes. An ergonomic handle promotes easier rowing even during more demanding workouts.

    Storage is a breeze as the rowing machine breaks down into two separate pieces and is outfitted with caster wheels for enhanced mobility.

     

     

     

  15. 15. JOROTO Magnetic Rowing Machine

    Pros:
    • Dual caster wheels for easy transport
    • Aluminum slide rail helps minimize noise
    • Comes with an integrated water bottle holder
    Cons:
    • Basic display screen
    • Doesn't measure splits
    • Seat could use more cushioning

    Some workout machines can disrupt the peace and quiet around your home, but this magnetic rower features an aluminum slide rail and a touchless magnetic resistance system for a quiet and controlled session. A solid aluminum flywheel provides the resistance you need for a challenging training session without worrying about waking others up if you enjoy working out later at night or early in the morning.

    This fully adjustable rowing machine has 10 resistance levels, making it equally suited for beginners through advanced riders. The digital display shows essential workout data to keep you motivated and in tune with your fitness. A quick glance will show your time, stroke count and total count and calories. The display is also adjustable so that you can see your data at all times. If you’re looking for more entertainment as you ride, the integrated tablet and phone holder is a handy solution.

Are Rowing Machines worth It?

Maybe indoor rowing is your primary workout, or you're simply looking for an efficient way to stay in shape. The intended use of your rowing machine will play a role in deciding which is the best indoor rowing machine for you.

Some home rowing machines are designed to closely mimic the sensation of water rowing, and come with various bits of data to help athletes closely monitor their workouts. If you're simply looking to stay in shape, however, you can probably get by with a more affordable machine.

Rowing offers numerous health benefits, whether you're trying to stay in shape or just conquer a workout at home. A home rowing machine is a versatile piece of exercise equipment that can be used to supplement your preferred workout or as a primary means of getting in shape.

According to this Men's Health article, rowing is just as effective for warming up as it is for working on your sprinting power. Simply adjust the resistance levels and intensity according to your workout demands. The best rowing machines can be used for everything from intense interval and endurance sessions to general fitness and staying in shape.

Can You Lose Belly Fat on a Rowing Machine?

When it comes to weight loss, and especially burning belly fat, the best rowing machines rank up there with whole-body workouts such as running. However, according to Lyuda Bouzinova, an ACE-certified personal train, you'll need to maintain between 55 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes four to five days each week.

The weight loss won't happen overnight, though, and you'll need to be prepared for weeks to even months of weight loss training in order to see results. No single exercise will definitively burn belly fat, but you can use high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions to boost your heart rate up to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate to burn more fat.

Which Muscles Are Targeted During a Rowing Machine Workout?

According to the American Council on Exercise, a complete rowing stroke targets your entire body. The best rowing machines work your hamstrings, glutes, quads, upper back, shoulders, arms and core with every stroke, with each movement from start to finish targeting a different area of your body.

For best results, start with a five-minute warmup of easy rowing as you focus on getting into the proper rhythm and keeping your form in check. The same is true for the end of the workout, when the goal is to get your heart rate down. If you want, you can even hop off the rowing and stretch or walk for five minutes after you've warmed up.

See Also:

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