Best Rowing Machine Reviews 2019

If you could pick a part of your body to get into great shape, what would it be? If your answer is “all of it,” you’re going to love the muscle and strength-building performance of a rowing machine. Not only can you enjoy the full cardio benefits of an indoor rower, but your back, arms, and legs will look great too.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Capacity
Size
Display
Features
Our Top Choice
Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine
Indoor rowing doesn’t get any better than this with Wi-Fi, USB flash drive for data share, and a backlit monitor by Concept2, founded by Olympic rowers.
Train with the equipment Olympic athletes and professionals use. Available in light gray or black, use the quick-release frame lock to easily store it away.
A little pricier than some competitors, but well worth it.
Air Flywheel w/Front Row Bar
500 pounds
96” long x 24” wide, 57 Lbs
Advanced PM5 w/stats & games
Preset workouts, wireless
Best Value
Stamina Stamina BodyTrac Row Machine
These makers of a plethora of fitness equipment including the InStride Walker, Aeropilates, and products by Suzanne Somers have made working out fun and affordable since 1987.
Designed to simulate real rowing with side row bars. A great price with a compact footprint for home users to tone their whole body, improve circulation, and burn fat.
A little creaky w/some foot strap issues
Hydraulic Piston Resistance
250 pounds
46” long x 23.5” wide, 39 Lbs
Monitors time, strokes, calories
Super affordable
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine
Providing beautiful craftsmanship with indoor rowers that are framed with wood harvested from sustainable forests, the WaterRower is proud to be ‘Made in the USA.’
A great alternative to most resistance equipment, the paddles actually push water through a tank for a true rowing simulation. This machine can handle large sized individuals.
Computer doesn’t provide total calories burned
Water Flywheel w/Front Row Bar
1,000 pounds
84” long x 22” wide, 117 lbs.
Advanced Series 4 w/heart rate
Flips upright for storage
Velocity Exercise Programmable Rower
Velocity Fitness Equipment offers a wide range of options from bicycles to this Magnetic Rower with foot rests that provide great traction.
Large padded seat. Safe high-intensity workouts with the included chest strap heart rate monitor. Lots of detailed data on the large LCD display with preset and manual workouts.
Customer service could be better
Electronic Tension Control
275 pounds
45” long x 30” wide, 75 lbs.
LCD w/preset workouts
Comes w/heart rate chest strap
Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine
Covering the full range of indoor fitness equipment, Sunny Health & Fitness has something for everyone, offered at very reasonable prices.
An inexpensive option for a home gym. Get a great cardio and muscle-toning workout with 12 resistance options and the pivoting, non-slip foot rests.
Some consumers had a problem with the piston.
Hydraulic Piston Resistance
220 pounds
53” long x 22” wide, 23 lbs.
Monitor w/strokes & calories
Pivoting foot rests

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Rowing Machine?

You can’t beat this combination of upper arm strength and an intense cardio workout in one. I mean, you can strap on some ankle and wrist weights while you’re on the treadmill, or combine a step machine workout with an intense kettle bell workout, but the best bet is to get a rowing machine. What a great way to spice up your workout!

If you’re bored with the same old, same old, switch it up with a rowing machine and experience the multiple benefits it offers. No doubt your arms will get into sick shape, plus you’ll get your cardiovascular system into tip-top condition.

There are a few factors you’ll have to consider before you pick the right make and model for you. If you have plenty of space, then no worries, but if not then you’ll want a compact version that can be folded and easily stored away. If you like to track your workout stats to stay on top of your progress over the weeks and months, check out a model with a USB flash drive for sharing and downloading your stats onto a computer or other tech device.

You may also want to consider rowing machines that do a great job of simulating the real thing. This will come in handy if you like to spend the summer out on the lake, or gliding down the river. If that’s what you’re looking for, check out a model that has side “oars”. Or you may prefer a water flywheel rower, with its smooth pulling action that feels like you’re really “in the drink” rather than working out at home or in the gym. Having blood pressure issues? Then check out a rowing machine with a chest strap heart rate monitor to be sure you’re in the right heart rate range at all times.

And finally, there’s your budget… you can spend a pretty penny on a top-of-the-line rowing machine, or get some serious savings in a small, lightweight rower for occasional use at home. Either way, we have you covered with a wide range of options from a few of the best sellers on the market.
Price
When it comes to price, we’re talking about a pretty wide range here. You can buy a cheap rowing machine that’s made of lightweight aluminum and is super-affordable at around a hundred bucks. Of course, you’ll sacrifice on things like a top-of-the-line flywheel or LCD display if you go that route.

A rowing machine with extras like an efficient heart rate monitor will probably run you about $500-$600. Then there are the creme-de-la-creme rowing machines with features like advanced monitors with a wide variety of workouts, and a flash drive with Wi-Fi that will run you about $1000.

If you really want a beautiful piece of equipment, a rowing machine crafted from natural wood is also an option. We’ve featured one with a water flywheel that will run you about $1100. Another cost consideration to factor in is whether or not you want your rowing machine assembled. If you’re pretty handy, you can assemble your rowing machine yourself, or spend about $100 extra to have a professional do it for you.
Features
Now, of course, you have to take into consideration the size of the space which will house your rowing machine. Lightweight and foldable rowers will be optimal for small spaces. Plus there is the size of the person or people it will need to accommodate. Weight ranges can vary from 200 pounds to 1000 pounds, so pick the right maximum weight capacity. Other features include games, pre-set workouts, heart rate monitors, and the overall size.

Here is a rundown of some of the important features to look for before making your selection:
  • Size of the rowing machine
  • Maximum weight capacity
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Compatibility with other technological devices
  • Type of rowing action
  • Foldable or static design
  • Adjustable foot rests
  • Warranty
Construction and Design
When it comes to construction and design, this is where you’ll see a great variation in price. Basically, the cheaper rowing machines will be made of aluminum, and use hydraulic pistons to generate the rowing tension.

A front-positioned flywheel incorporates advanced technology to enhance performance. This design will greatly improve your experience of the rowing action, so you can really feel the difference. These come in two options: air flywheels or water. The water flywheel has a smooth action that does a great job of mimicking real rowing, but both offer superior performance over hydraulic or electronic tension rowing machines.

Advanced monitors with pre-set workouts and games will be included on the high-end rowing machines. The cheaper models often have some basic monitoring, like time and total number of strokes. In terms of size, the width of your rower can range from two to three feet, and the length tends to have a wide range, from a compact design of four feet long, to a rowing machine that is twice that length at eight feet long.
Performance and Ease of Use
Materials like wood and steel are heavier, and will make it difficult to maneuver the machine; so if you’re of particularly small stature you will either need to solicit help or select a lightweight aluminum version. Although wood and steel are heavier to maneuver, they create a rowing machine with greater stability and performance.

It’s a good idea to request to have your rowing machine assembled, and splurge on the extra hundred bucks if you’re short on time or not particularly handy with a tool box. This will save you the hassle of setting it up yourself.

If you want advanced workout options, pay attention to what type of monitor comes with the machine. Some rowers have basic monitors with time and strokes, others have lots of other features like games to keep you motivated, or pre-set workouts that are programmed to suit your needs.

What is the Best Rowing Machine?

Okay, now that you’re armed with all the details about options in price, ease of use, factors to consider, and construction and design, it should be smooth sailing for you to pick out the right model. And yes, that pun was intended. Our featured brands are super popular with consumers, and have taken into consideration all the factors which are most important when picking out your favorite rowing machine.
Our Top Choice
Enjoy the super-smooth rowing experience offered by expert rowing machine designers Concept2. While their Model D is top-notch, their latest design the Model E, offers a higher seat height of 20 inches, giving you a higher lift off the ground.
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with Games & Wifi - Available in 2 Colors

Concept2 Rowing Machines 2712-US-p – Grey


Features
With a foundation in Olympic training, Dick and Pete Dreissigacker began making racing oars in the back of a bread truck in 1976, and soon advanced to designing ultra-popular indoor rowing machines of supreme quality. They sell direct to consumer from their manufacturing facility located in Vermont.

This Flywheel-style rowing machine is super cool. Enjoy endless workouts to build your stamina with the professional style display screen featuring all the stats you require, plus games and preset workouts to keep you enthralled when the going gets tough. Fold it easily to move or store with the quick-release frame lock and caster wheels.

You can use a USB Flash drive to upload your rowing performance data to your Mac or PC for long term goal tracking and to share with your personal trainer or coach (if you have one). Use Bluetooth or ANT+ for wireless heart monitoring or enjoy the wireless capabilities to race against other machines.

Here are the finer details of what you get with this purchase:
  • Advanced PM5 Display Monitor with backlight
  • Tracks speed, distance, pace, calories burned, watts
  • Natural ergonomic handle for rowing with a 10-degree bend
  • Adjustable foot rest fits all shoe sizes
  • Quiet during operation with adjustable airflow to the flywheel
  • Comes with a durable nickel-plated steel chain
  • Monorail length is 54” and fits up to a 38” inseam
  • Requires 8 feet x 2 feet of space for operation
  • Works all your muscle groups
  • Offers an excellent cardiovascular workout
  • 2 year limited warranty
This Model D rowing machine is available in light gray or black.
Best Value
The treat of this rowing machine designed by Stamina is the oar-like rowing action of the side handles. If you prefer a similarly affordable rowing machine with a front row bar, check out the Stamina Air Rower.
Stamina Stamina Body Trac Glider Rowing Machine with Monitor

Stamina Rowing Machines 35-1050


Features
Stamina opened their doors in 1987 with the intention of improving the health and fitness of people in the home through use of their wide range of equipment that includes AeroPilates, Juvo, and the American Gladiator Home Gym. Their products have been featured by Denise Austin, Suzanne Somers, Tony Little, and Body by Jake. They focus on the affordability of their quality products, so just about everyone can afford to get in shape.

Enjoy the smooth feel and gliding action of this rowing machine. With the side row bars you will actually feel like you are rowing outside. Use the monitor to help you set your goals and keep track of your workout. While this row machine is not for extremely large or heavy frames (it lists as max weight capacity 250), many tall men around the weight limit use this machine quite comfortably and effectively, so it is sturdy.

Here are the features in greater detail:
  • Comes with 12 different rowing tensions to choose from
  • Strong steel frame and handles frequent use well
  • Oar-like rowing action
  • Tones your whole body, inside and out
  • Low impact on your joints
  • Track glider with ball-bearing roller system
  • Monitor that reflects strokes, calories burned, and time
  • Folds up so you can store it easily
  • 1 year limited warranty
These gorgeous hand-crafted rowing machines by WaterRower operate with a Water Flywheel for a true rowing experience. Select our featured rower in light Ash Wood, or another option is the Black Walnut design, hand-finished with Danish oil.
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine with Water Flywheel & Advanced Monitor – Available in Other Wood Types & Sizes

WaterRower Rowing Machines Ash S4


Features
Yale national team rower John Duke designed this true simulation water rowing machine in the 1980s, and WaterRower was formed, housed in Rhode Island. By the early 1990s their high-quality rowing machines began entering the European marketplace with an office in London and is now global. The company supports their local community and environmentally friendly practices.

Constructed of Ash Wood and featuring miniature oars that paddle through water in the unique Water Flywheel design, you truly feel like you are cutting through water with this rower. The high performance S4 monitor provides great stats like intensity, heart rate, stroke rate, zone bar, distance and duration. This rower is also compatible with a chest strap heart rate monitor. A smooth and fluid ride, the natural wood design keeps your workout quiet and enhances your decor.

A beautiful piece of craftsmanship, let’s take a look at the WaterRower in more detail:
  • Handcrafted in the USA
  • 84” long x 22” wide, 117 pounds
  • Designed to store upright
  • Drag resistance increases with faster paddling
  • Drag resistance decreases with slower paddling
  • Low impact on ankles, knees, and hips
  • Monitor has six information and programming windows
  • Works the all muscle groups and your cardio system
  • Recoil belt and pulleys don’t require lubrication
  • Sturdy and smooth design with attention to detail
  • Can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds
WaterRower ensures their construction design is environmentally friendly, and harvests wood for their frames that comes from sustainable managed forests with growth of +229%.
Enjoy the Magnetic Rowing Machine by Velocity Exercise or if you prefer the Air Flywheel design, you may want to check out the Velocity Vantage Programmable Air Magnetic Rower with 16 different resistance levels to choose from.
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower with Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor and Preset Workouts

Velocity Rowing Machines CHR-2001


Features
Velocity Exercise is a fitness equipment company that supplies a huge range of gym equipment like this Magnetic Rower that generates rowing resistance with Drum Magnetic Control technology. The chest strap heart rate monitor that comes with this rowing machine is a unique standout feature that allows you to safely go to your maximum intensity zone.

You will enjoy the six preset workouts and large saddle of this rowing machine that offers a comfortable ride. The large LCD display offers data like calories burned, time, strokes per minute, distance, and heart rate to keep you on your game. Built-in transportation wheels and a foldable design also make it a great option for home users who need their space to do double-duty.

Let’s check out the other features:
  • Anodized aluminum beam and rectangular tubing
  • Equipped with chest strap heart monitor
  • LCD display offers programmable workouts
  • Non-slip foot pedals offer better traction
  • Electronic tension control
  • Ergonomic molded foam padded seat
  • Nylon belt construction
  • Sturdy frame and quiet design
Get into great shape with a rowing machine workout by Sunny Health & Fitness. Want to up your budget a little? Check out this Magnetic Rowing Machine by Sunny Health & Fitness with large, sturdy foot rests and a higher maximum weight capacity that goes up to 250 pounds.
Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine - Select From 12 Resistance Levels

Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machines SF-RW1205


Features
The best days are full of sunshine, and Sunny Health & Fitness brings the outdoors inside with their indoor rowing machine. Sunny Health & Fitness offers inexpensive fitness equipment that makes having a home gym experience accessible to almost anyone. They offer a tremendous range of fitness equipment from steppers to treadmills, and also offer a nice line of indoor bikes to choose from.

This Rowing Machine lets you get into the action with pivoting foot plates. Enjoy a low-impact workout at home that trains your whole body, with 12 levels of resistance so you can improve over time. Providing smooth gliding action, this rower comes with an electronic monitor that displays the time, strokes, and calories burned.

Let’s check out a few more details about this product:
  • Comfortable seat that glides easily
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • Solid steel frame
  • Non-slip handle bars with cushioning
  • Ergonomic seat design
  • Non-slip foot plates for good traction
  • LCD monitor
  • Can handle up to 220 pounds
You can’t beat the price of this workout offered by Sunny Rowing Machines.

Get the Best Rowing Machine of 2019!

We have cut down on the decision-making process with these fine brands with variable features and price points. One of these rowing machines will make a terrific addition to your health and fitness routine.

Our Top Choice
Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine
Best Value
Stamina Stamina BodyTrac Row Machine
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine
Velocity Exercise Programmable Rower
Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine