(Best Rowing Machine Comparison) Buying Guide 2016: Why You Should Buy A Rowing Machine

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It’s hard to stay in shape, and it’s even harder to keep up with a routine. Are you tired of going to the gym day in and day out just to feel like you’re never making any progress and haven’t established a solid routine? Often it feels like no matter what you do, it’s impossible to stay in shape and get the look that you want with your current routine of lifts and workout activities.

You have to stay active, and you have to stay physical, but you also have to start considering more effective ways to target important muscles in your body. What are you supposed to do?

Best Rowing Machine Comparison Buying Guide

One of the most overlooked machines in the gym is the humble rowing machine. It’s comfortable, easy to use, and works out some of the most important muscles in the body. Plus, it’s exceptionally versatile, and combines several workout activities in one to ensure that you’re making the most out of the limited time that you have to workout and get the figure, form, and health that you deserve.

What if I told you that you could get some of the best rowing machines on the market, at a great price, and turbo-charge your fitness levels with one of the most enjoyable, fastest muscle building exercises on the planet.

We have 7 reasons that you should look into purchasing a rowing machine for your home gym

1. Rowing is one of the most efficient exercises on the planet, because it targets a huge variety of muscles (e.g., shoulders, biceps, triceps, abdominal, lats and traps) in one simple, efficient motion. You aren’t struggling to lift outlandish amounts of weight either, the pace, tension, and muscle movement are completely up to you. A rowing machine maximizes every movement, giving you more bang for your buck if you have a schedule to keep.

2. Better posture means better health. Rowing strengthens and straightens your back and shoulders, making you look taller and feel better. You’ll be taking fuller breaths, and therefore have a clearer mind, less indigestion, and look much healthier. Your posture affects how people perceive you and a healthy posture makes you look more attractive to the opposite sex, as well as being proud and strong.

3. Improved metabolism is an indirect effect of using rowing machines. Rowing machines improve your metabolism because you’re engaging in both aerobic and muscle building, which super-charges your metabolism to do more and burn more fat and enzymes. Most exercises either burn fat or build muscles, very few do both.

4. Tones spectacularly, building dense, tight muscles because of the aerobic nature of the exercise. Rowing builds tight and compact muscles with stamina and endurance, rather than puffy muscles that don’t promote lasting strength. Most muscle building core exercises revolve around squeezing and stretching muscles, whereas rowing pushes your muscles to the limit, depriving them of oxygen and forcing them to be more efficient. Rowing is one of the oldest activities on the planet, and often one of the most celebrated.

5. Rowing is a spectacular cardiovascular activity. It actively increases your heart rate, making you perspire freely and breathe deeply. In fact, these kinds of rowing activities, when done for a lengthy period of time at a vigorous pace can easily substitute with your regular cardiovascular activity, like running or using an elliptical.

6. Strength training is also a key part of what a rowing machine provides a user. Not only does it build lean muscles, it also prepares your muscles for enhanced lifting, porting, and pulling, which means that you’ll lift more in other areas and build some of the most important muscles on your body that carry all of your other muscles.

7. Flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of using a rowing machine over other types of workouts. Most general workouts focus on simply building muscle or burning fat, but rowing incorporates stretching, pulling, and flexing to move virtually every muscle on your body in some fashion. No matter which variety of rowing that you perform, you’re sure to stretch to your limits, and get stronger while you do it!

Here are six top-selling models of rowing machines on Amazon:

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

The Concept2 is a high quality, name brand rowing machine. It gives you a full-body, low impact workout for around $900, which is a great price for a high quality product. It’s been minimized to include only the essentials, streamlining the most important features for you to enjoy as you work out and catch your burn. Built to last a lifetime of smooth action and whatever wear and tear you can throw at it, you’re sure to enjoy this solid piece of exercise equipment.

Our favorite features of this machine include:

  • Completely wireless, connective with all of your favorite electronic devices
  • Illuminates automatically with your workout begins
  • Monitors all of your important workout data
  • Low impact, smooth motion
  • Excellent quality
  • Doctor approved and suggested
  • Check why 400+ customers ranked it for 5 stars

It definitely deserves all the hype that reviewers give it. This is one high quality piece of equipment.

Stamina Air Rower

One of the lowest prices on the list at the best value, comes the Stamina Air Rower at $299 dollars. Compact, and sturdy, this model uses wind resistance and multi-functional performance monitors that you need to keep up with your workout. It folds in for storage, and has wheels to make it easier to move. This is a great model for anyone that wants the workout without the extra features.

Our favorite features of this product include:

  • Everything you need in a rowing machine.
  • Three year warranty on the frame, 90 days on parts
  • Padded and upholstered to be comfortable
  • Sturdy and smooth
  • Intuitive and flexible
  • Just right below $300

You’ll love how the Stamina Air Rower works for you, saving you money on your rowing experience. There’s some assembly required, but it’s simple and lightweight. Imagine, getting in shape, with a little bit of a breeze, keeping you cool.

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

If you’re looking for the height of technology, invest in this beautiful product. It’s a water activated fly-wheel model which means that it has self-regulated resistance that’s far more advanced than other varieties of these product. Plus, it comes standard with a series 4 performance monitor that’s high-performance; dedicated to workout intensity exercises, stroke rates, heart rates, and much much more.

The customers are happy with these features

  • Realistic action
  • Highly affordable, compared to mechanical models (at $1,160)
  • Relatively light (117 pounds)
  • Extremely quiet and stylish, with mahogany finish
  • Handcrafted and ultra stylish
  • Smoothest action of any rowing machine
  • All 5 star Ranking by Buyers

If you like to be reminded of the realistic motion of the river, as well as the natural building process of speed and finesse just like an Olympian. It’s a breeze to move- and quickly will become your favorite piece of workout equipment.

Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

This stamina model is a great middle ground between cheaper options for rowing machines and the more high end models. It has 12 workout programs: 6 cardio profiles to keep track of, one manual program, and a heart rate program, to ensure that you’re getting the best workout possible. It’s a great magnetic rowing machine with smooth, steady actions, and a fitness monitor to work out on the fly.

Our favorite features of this model include:

  • extruded aluminum rowing beam that reverses your workout to pump your glutes and thighs
  • LCD backlit fitness monitor
  • Space saving design
  • Very sturdy and high quality
  • Whisper quiet
  • Stamina Avari Detailed Review

One downside of this model of rowing machine is that the seat is uncomfortable to sit on for a long period of time. In some circumstances, users have padded their butt with a cushion of some variety.

Sole SR500 Rower

The Sole SR500 is a combination air/magnetic resistance glider to give you the best of both worlds. While the price is a little stiff (at $1,061) the quality is excellent and it offers a lot of excellent features that other varieties of machines can’t. More to the point, it’s sure to deliver a spectacular rowing experience with the foldaway design that doesn’t take up space, and two color LCD screen to track all of your momentum.

Outstanding Features include:

  • Smooth and natural pulling action
  • 3 year warrenty
  • Textured grips for a comfortable rowing experience
  • Computer functioning to track everything
  • Excellent variation of resistances (first timers usually don’t row past 5)
  • Fantastic legs, arms, abdominal and back workout

It might be a little expensive, but if you know you’re going to use a rowing device regularly, you’ll love the Sole SR500. It delivers constant, spectacular performance, no matter what your needs are. This high end machines is one of the highest rated on the market for good reason- it’s a great product.

Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine

The Kettler model is perfect for someone who wants a compact rowing experience. Unlike other models, it’s very light, easy to assemble, and takes advantage of a hydraulic system that boosts muscle mass quickly and gets beginners started fast. It’s less than $400 and comes with free shipping- that’s a huge discount, and you don’t even have to leave the house.

Awesome Features include:

  • Video and audio signals that keep you focused
  • A complete on-board computer system that keeps track of time, measurements, and even oar strokes
  • It’s very well built for a more compact machine
  • Tools are provided for assembly
  • Elevated at the rear of the machine for ease of exiting
It’s a very smooth, sturdy piece of equipment, and well worth the $399. It definitely fits in the second category of rowing machines- it’s sure to last you for years to come, giving you great pressure and resistance.

What to look for in a rowing machine:

What you’re really looking for is a machine that gives you the most efficient workout that meets your specific needs. While there are many rowing machines on the market today, most operate in very different fashions. The most important aspect about a rowing machine is tension- because that’s how you build muscles, gain strength and get a workout. There are many different options to consider:

Air Resistance

Air resistance machines are perfect for beginners, or anyone new to rowing in general. The best part about air resistance machines is that they function perfectly for people who are new to rowing machines. They’re great about automatically adjusting to your needs and providing a nice breeze of air while you’re doing it.

Magnetic Resistance

Magnetic resistance machines are probably one of the more popular varieties of rowing machines, because they’re found in most gyms and fitness centers. They’re also very affordable, smooth and durable. They operate much like air resistance rowing machines, except they produce little to no sound or air flow.

Hydraulic Resistance

Hydraulic piston rowing machines are probably some of the cheapest models of rowing machines on the market, because they aren’t as solid as other models, and are made to fit virtually anywhere, which eliminates some of the comfort and ease of use that other models provide. They do operate independently, which allows you to engage your arms more in the workout, which burns more calories and builds muscle.

Water Resistance

Water resistance rowing machines are a relatively new technology that actively makes you feel like you’re rowing in a river or lake, because they utilize a tank of water with several revolving blades that provide a realistic sense of rowing in an outdoors environment, which is refreshing and relaxing. They’re also very quiet, but very expensive. They rarely need maintenance, which makes them more attractive for someone who knows that they will regularly use their machine.

Aside from resistance, you should also consider:

  • The Rowing Mechanism, the Seat and the Track are essential. You want your butt to be comfy, and you also want to include plenty of room for your frame, weight, and size. If you don’t, you might find that your new machine is too long for your torso, or too short to stretch out all the way, which means you aren’t getting a great workout. Additionally, a quality rowing machine will keep up with whatever you throw at it, keeping up resistance and not wear out when you’ve used it for a while.
  • Your Price Range is a key determining factor for deciding on a rowing machine. Most machines come in three price ranges: $50-$200 rowing machines that last for a while, $200-$500 rowing machines that will last for years, and $500-$1500+ rowing machines that will last forever.
  • Folding or Fixed? This might not seem like a big choice now, but if you plan on actively dedicating a lot of time to using your new rowing machine, you’re going to want it to be comfortable, or it won’t work for you. While folding machines are handy for people in apartments or tight quarters, if you can splurge on a more expensive model, you definitely should.
  • Warranties or Guarantees are important because they give you an idea of how long you can rely on a product. Most warranties are available for 2 to 5 years, which means that you should expect to be able to call a maintenance provider for your rowing machine for a decent period of time. The best machines on the market come with lifetime warranties and money back guarantees.

Consider how much you’re going to use a machine before you make a purchase. This is probably the most important consideration to make before purchasing a rowing machine.

Because they’re available in a wide variety of price ranges, it’s prudent to take the time to consider exactly what you’re looking for in a machine. You obviously aren’t wanting to break the bank, but if you’re planning on using it a lot, sometimes it’s worth it to spend more on a better, higher quality model.


Some Frequently Asked Questions

Are these machines easy to put together?

Often these machines are awkward, but not that difficult to put together. Most of the more expensive models come pre-assembled, but with basic knowledge of mechanical systems it shouldn’t take you that long. While some of the rowing machines out there are pretty heavy, the individual components aren’t.

How long are these machines? What about short people?

Look for these machines to be between 85-130 inches long. Remember, only the bottom half of your body will actively be sitting on the machine, so you’ll really only need between 40″ and 72″ of leg room, and that’s being generous. Most provide a wide range of functions to fit everyone, especially those between the heights of 4’8 to 6’4″

What kinds of materials is this product made out of?

In general, look for the quality of the material to very based on price. Many magnetic, air, and hydraulic models of rowing machines use high quality nylon rope that typically lasts for a long period of time in the right conditions. Obviously, your machine will last longer if you keep it inside, away from the elements and take good care of it.

Why should you buy a rowing machine?

Hopefully our “Top rowing machine comparison and buying guide” has shown you a few of the best reasons to purchase a rowing machine for you and your family. Go and Roll now!

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