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The 10 Best Rowing Machines

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Best Rowing Machines

What are the best rowing machines?

Regardless of your skill or fitness level, this post will share the best rowers that will make a great addition to your home gym. 

Rowing is an excellent total body cardio workout that can be done at home or in the gym in a few minutes. 

Rowing strengthens your heart and lungs and can be a great alternative to traditional methods of cardio, like the treadmill or elliptical.

Let’s find the best rowing machine for you!

 

The Best Rowing Machines Compared

Our equipment lists are created by researching the best-reviewed products from the most reputable companies and web sources.

Here’s our list of the 10 best rowing machines:

 

In A Rush? Here’s Our Top Pick:

Best Rowing Machine Overall
NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine
$2,384.45
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
10/15/2021 06:16 pm GMT

 

10. Sunny Health & Fitness – Magnetic Rowing Machine

Best Compact Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine
$248.99
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10/15/2021 12:25 pm GMT

With Sunny Health’s magnetic rowing machine, users of virtually any size can get a solid, vigorous workout at home. 

8 levels of adjustable tension create a customizable workout for any fitness level.

Slip resistance handlebars enable users to feel secure while getting their row on.

Get your cardio workout done at home with the convenience of a rower like this one.

Pros

  • Maximum weight capacity 250 pounds
  • Frame made from alloy steel
  • LCD console displays count, time, calories, and more
  • Slide rail length is 48 inches
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Built-in wheels for easy transport
  • Non-slip foot pedals ensure secure foot placement
  • Foot straps keep feet saddled in place during intense workouts 
  • Floor stabilizers prevent tipping and wobbling

Cons

  • Not for heavy or large users
  • LCD lacks useful data for tracking progress

 

9. Schwinn – Crewmaster Rowing Machine

Best Rowing Machine For Any Size User
Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine
$499.99
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10/15/2021 01:20 pm GMT

Individuals looking for a full-body workout at home should consider the Schwinn Crewmaster rowing machine for their workout space. 

 With a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, this rower offers a great workout for heavier and taller users without sacrificing intensity. 

Ten levels of resistance are suitable for beginners up to rowing experts and provide a full-body cardio workout every time. 

Pros

  • Maximum weight capacity 300 pounds
  • Adjustable console adapts to users of any size 
  • Large LCDs time, calories, distance, recovery, pulse
  • Oversized seat designed for comfort
  • Nylon transmission enables a quiet workout 
  • 10 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Adjustable pedals with secure foot straps

Cons

  • Too low to the floor; some users report it is difficult to get off this rower

 

8. Merax – Water Rowing Machine

Most Quiet Rowing Machine
Merax Water Rowing Machine
$569.99
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10/15/2021 02:00 pm GMT

Users looking for a quiet rowing machine should look no further than the Merax water rower. 

Get a more effective cardiovascular workout without leaving your home with this machine, and look stylish while doing it! 

The unique design of this water rower gives you the realistic experience of an outdoor rowing workout without any disrupting noise you’d expect.

Pros

  • Solid steel construction for steady and durable workouts
  • Maximum weight capacity 330 pounds
  • 19” long handlebar
  • 12” long footrest with adjustable velcro strap 
  • An inclined water tank ensures powerful resistance without tipping or wobbling
  • Glide mimics dynamic rowing movements of outdoor rowing in real water
  • LCD monitor displays duration, strokes, calories, distance
  • Custom resistance experience based on the water tank 

Cons

  • Handle grip cushion is thin; many users suggest wearing gloves
  • The foot pedals don’t offer much adjustment

 

7. Mr. Right – Water Rowing Machine

Most Stylish Rowing Machine
Mr. Right Water Rowing Machine
$599.00
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10/15/2021 02:51 pm GMT

To boost your heart rate and build your back muscles, Mr. Right’s water rowing machine is an excellent choice. 

Increase your metabolism, burn fat and calories every time you complete a workout on this stylish, oak wood rower.

This rower’s heavy-duty aluminum alloy track creates a smooth glide, and the ergonomic seat cushion creates a comfortable, secure workout setting. 

Pros

  • 3 workout modes: manual, intervals, and target
  • Stands up for easy storage, transport wheels to relocate
  • Maximum weight capacity 320 pounds
  • Water-resistance system
  • Adjustable footplates with straps
  • Waterproof cover included
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • LCD monitor leaves much to be desired

 

6. Sunny Health & Fitness – Obsidian Surge Rowing Machine

Best Budget Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge Rowing Machine
$475.84
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10/15/2021 03:56 pm GMT

Keep your cardio workouts exciting and challenging with the Sunny Health Obsidian Surge rowing machine. 

The unique water resistance provides a smooth pull every time. 16 fan blades create unlimited resistance for users of any skill level. 

This rower is made with lightweight, sturdy steel for a durable rowing experience. 

Pros

  • Maximum weight capacity 300 pounds 
  • Made from durable alloy steel 
  • Water-resistance tank 
  • 42” slide rail length 
  • Sweat-resistant handlebars 
  • Non-slip pedals with adjustable nylon straps
  • Molded, padded seat for comfort 
  • The fitness meter tracks total time, strokes, distance, and more
  • Non-marking rubber wheels provide easy transport

Cons

  • Monitor not designed to track performance output
  • Foot pedals and straps loosen with use 

 

5. Teeter – Power10 Rowing Machine

Best Elliptical Rowing Machine
Teeter Power10 Rowing Machine
$1,149.00
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10/15/2021 05:05 pm GMT

Those searching for an elliptical rowing machine look no further than the Teeter Power10! 

The unique bi-directional resistance of this machine allows users to engage more muscles and get a well-rounded total body workout from home. Two pieces of equipment in one! 

Strengthen your back, biceps, calves, quads, and more with this elliptical rowing machine. 

Pros

  • Adjustable seat, foot straps, and stroke length for multiple users
  • Subscription-free training app with free classes
  • Multi-grip handles target multiple muscles at once
  • 7 levels of resistance for various intensity
  • Digital performance monitor tracks time, calories, distance, strokes

Cons

  • Expensive price point

 

4. Concept2 – Model D Rowing Machine

Best Rowing Machine For Heavy Users
Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine
$1,018.00
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10/15/2021 06:05 pm GMT

Designed for heavy individuals and any size user, the Concept2 rower can work all major muscle groups, including your legs, core, and arms. 

Concept2 has become a reliable name in fitness, and many professional athletes train on this rower.

This particular model is designed for home gyms but is used in commercial gyms as well.

Pros

  • Maximum weight capacity 500 pounds 
  • Made from stainless steel and aluminum 
  • 14” seat height and adjustable footrests
  • Resistance levels 1-10 for customized training
  • Connects with various fitness apps 
  • Mobile, caster wheels for transport
  • Pre-set workouts included
  • Performance monitor tracks real-time workout metrics 

Cons

  • Some users claim the monitor doesn’t work how it should

 

3. Concept2 – Model E Rowing Machine

Best High-End Rowing Machine
Concept2 Model E Rowing Machine
$1,518.99
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10/15/2021 07:11 pm GMT

Trust one of the biggest names in fitness with the Concept2 Model E rower. 

With a higher frame height of 20 inches, users with bad knees or other mobility issues will have no issue getting on and off this rower. 

Providing a full-body workout while maintaining style and sleekness is no easy feat, but the Model E rowing machine checks every box. 

Pros

  • Maximum weight capacity 500 pounds
  • Made from aluminum and alloy steel 
  • Adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
  • Separates easily for storage. No tools are needed
  • Available in gray and black 
  • The advanced monitor provides workout metrics to track progress

Cons

  • Expensive price point 
  • Users have issues with the performance monitor not working 

 

2. WaterRower – Classic Rowing Machine

Best Water Rowing Machine
WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine
$1,160.00
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10/15/2021 12:16 pm GMT

Those seeking a low-impact, water-resistant rowing machine should consider the WaterRower classic machine for their home gym or workout space. 

Designed for high traffic areas, this wood-constructed rower absorbs sound and vibration so your workouts won’t disrupt your household. 

Despite previous injuries or mobility issues, users with any skill level or fitness background can achieve an intense, low-impact workout on this machine. 

Pros

  • Water flywheel mimics real outdoor rowing experience
  • Smooth, self-regulated resistance 
  • Very solid and durable design and build 
  • Maximum weight capacity 700 pounds
  • Performance monitor tracks stroke rate, heart rate, intensity 
  • Padded seat and sweat-resistant handlebar for comfort and grip

Cons

  • Difficult assembly for some users
  • Does not integrate with other health trackers or apps 

 

1. NordicTrack – RW900 Rowing Machine

Best Rowing Machine Overall
NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine
$2,384.45
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
10/15/2021 06:16 pm GMT

The best rowing machine in the game is the NordicTrack RW900! 

From its sleek design, easy portability, tech capabilities, and resistance levels… It’s no surprise why NordicTrack is our top pick on this list. 

Two forms of resistance enable users to increase their resistance and build muscle while engaging in low-impact aerobic exercise.

Pivoting pedals with adjustable straps ensure security and allow you to go all-out during fast-paced rowing sessions. 

Pros

  • Maximum weight capacity 250 pounds
  • Interactive touchscreen display for on-demand workouts 
  • 26 digital resistance levels
  • Oversized, pivoting pedals with quick-release straps
  • Realistic simulation of outdoor rowing experience 
  • Spacesaver design for easy storage 
  • Adjustable console for workouts on and off the machine

Cons

  • Most expensive option 
  • A common critical review is poor customer service by iFit 

 

FAQs About Rowing Machines 

We know it can be overwhelming to try and narrow down your search for workout equipment.

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about rowing machines to help you feel more informed.

 

Q: When should you use a rowing machine?

If you’re an active person, a rowing machine can be implemented into your workout regime daily. 

30 minutes on a rowing machine 4-6 times a week is a great goal to aim for. If this seems too much for your current fitness level, aim for 3-4 times a week for 15 minutes. 

For optimal aerobic training, rowing machines are an excellent choice for any fitness level. 

Particularly for those who have sustained injuries, are in recovery, have mobility issues, or want lower impact workouts to prevent injuries, rowing is an ideal workout.

It gets the heart rate up, works out essential muscle groups, burns fat, and builds endurance.

 

Q: Which muscles does a rowing machine work?

A rowing machine works 90% of the body’s muscle groups, making it the ultimate workout machine. 

In the upper body, rowing works the triceps, biceps, deltoids, and pecs. 

In the lower body, rowing works the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. 

 

Q: What will rowing do to my body?

Because rowing is an aerobic exercise, the benefits are much larger than simply building muscle or improving your endurance.  

Rowing can lower blood pressure, assist in weight management, improve lung function, decrease the risk of heart disease, and much more. 

 

Q: How long should a beginner row on a rowing machine?

In the beginning, try to spend about 10-15 minutes on your rowing machine.

As you feel your stamina increasing, you can slowly increase the time spent on the machine by 5-10 minutes.

Avoid over-exertion by completing short intervals and gradually increasing with time.

Make sure to listen to your body and prioritize recovery, stretching (we love foam rolling!), and plenty of rest.

 

Q: How To Choose / Which To Choose? 

Price

We know price is always something to consider, and there are several budget options on this list. 

While some rowing machines can run on the high end in terms of price, you won’t have to worry about quality control or customer service issues. 

We find it can be a better financial decision to spend more so you don’t have to endure the headaches that often come with cheaper versions, including faulty products or poor customer service. 

Space

How much room you have for a rowing machine will also influence which one you select.

Whether your home gym is in your office, living room, or garage, take space into account when shopping for a rower.

Many options on this list are compact and even fold up so you can save space.

The majority of rowers include wheels so that they can be moved around in your workout space. 

Fitness Goals

Determine your fitness goals (along with anyone else who will be using the rower) to select the right one for you. 

Resistance options vary from different machines, along with pre-set modes and the workout classes available. 

If you want trainer-based rowing programs with high resistance options, we recommend the NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine. 

 

Summary

There you have it! Those are the best rowing machines money can buy. 

We hope this list provides you with insight into which rowing machine is best for you and your fitness goals. 

Whether you’re in the market for a water-based machine, are looking for something high-tech to track your progress and goals, or simply want a machine to get your cardio in every day, there’s something for you on this list.

Best Rowing Machine Overall
NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine
$2,384.45
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
10/15/2021 06:16 pm GMT

Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best rowing machines:

  1. NordicTrack – RW900 Rowing Machine
  2. WaterRower – Classic Rowing Machine
  3. Concept2 – Model E Rowing Machine
  4.  Concept2 – Model D Rowing Machine
  5. Teeter – Power10 Rowing Machine
  6. Sunny Health & Fitness – Obsidian Surge Rowing Machine
  7. Mr. Right – Water Rowing Machine 
  8. Merax – Water Rowing Machine
  9. Schwinn – Crewmaster Rowing Machine
  10. Sunny Health & Fitness – Magnetic Rowing Machine  

What’s your favorite rowing machine? Leave a comment below. 

Jacked Gorilla was founded in 2013, with a mission to provide people reviews of the best supplements in bodybuilding, as well as training advice, workout routines, and much more. Follow Jacked Gorilla on Instagram: @jackedgorillanews

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