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Build Muscle and Cardio Strength With The Best Rowing Machine

Indoor rowers have multiple uses as they can be used by avid rowers to train in the off season or by regular Joes looking to build muscle and cardio strength at the same time. When you are looking for the perfect rower, you should be aware of both your budget and space issues in your home. While indoor rowers are a great form of exercise, they can take up a lot of room inside your home. By comparing these rowers and their unique features you are sure to find the machine that fits your needs perfectly. Be sure to check out our best rowing machines in 2021 and the buyer's guide which outlines all the essentials you need to know about these classic pieces of workout equipment.

The Best Rowing Machine Models of 2021 in Detail

Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine - Best Rowing Machine Overall

Concept2 may not be as widely known as some other fitness product manufacturers, but you can bet that their users swear by them. This machine is long, but it has an incredibly slim frame that folds up when you aren’t using it and can still support users up to 500 pounds. It has a small, but heavy flywheel which offers smooth wind resistance with minimal noise. The display is really what makes this rower stand out against other models. The screen is large and backlit which makes it easy to read all of your key metrics and the multi-button system makes scanning through your metrics a breeze. The monitor comes with an adjustable arm to perfectly place the screen at eye level and a USB port to record your workouts. This device also comes equipped with the ability to connect a wireless heart rate monitor.

best water slider rowing machine

Water Rower Slider Dynamic Rowing Machine - Runner Up

With a name as generic as Water Rower, you would think that their products belong in the trash; but don’t judge a book by its cover as it’s actually the exact opposite. This machine uses air resistance which is smooth and consistent, but tends to be a little on the noisy side. Fortunately, this rower is perfectly designed for both comfort and is just as functional when not in use thanks to the frames folding capability.

Water Rower doesn’t offer a weight capacity for this device which likely means the rower is designed to withstand more than a human being could put on it. Just in case something does go wrong, this manufacturer does offer a warranty up to five years. The monitor on this devices is large and well-lit with a button for each key metric which makes navigating the display simple. The Slider Dynamic also has one of the most impressive features that you will ever find in a rower as it can connect with other Slider Dynamics to simulate an actual team row.

Stamina DT Pro Rower - Honorable Mention

Stamina is well known for delivering quality products at a reasonable price, but even a middle of the line model has their top tier products. The DT Pro puts together all of the features that you would want all in the same package. The steel and aluminum frame makes this frame lightweight and easy to move, but still supports weights up to 300 pounds. When you’re not using the DT Pro, you can fold it up to save space, especially if you’re somewhere where available room is at a premium.

This Stamina rower is unique because it combines both air and magnetic resistance for smooth and quiet movement. As far as monitors go, this one offers of the most advanced on the market. Personally, I love the large blue backlit screen which is easy to read and easy to navigate with its large side buttons. The screen displays all of your key metrics as well as of the 12 workout programs that are built in.

Stamina X Air Rower - Consider

Stamina is a great company when it comes to reliable machines at affordable prices and this rower is no exception. The rowers air resistance offers smooth and infinite because of the wind resistance as well as a creating a cooling breeze around the room; however, the tradeoff here is it’s much louder than magnetic or hydraulic resistance types. At six and a half feet long, it’s not exactly compact, but much shorter than a full-size rower.

This pick is no stranger to comfort either, offering a nicely padded seat, oversized foot pedals, and comfortable foam grip handles which are slip resistant. The screen is a great size and it is easy to read all of your key metrics, which combined with single button scanning, makes it easy to navigate during your workout. This rower does only support weights up to 250 pounds which is a little bit of a drawback but a three year warranty on their solid steel frame makes up for this shortcoming.

Buyer's Guide

Best Rowing Machine Buying Guide

If you want to condition your whole body using one fitness equipment, there can’t be a better option than a rowing machine. A rowing machine provides a great cardio workout and helps in getting aerobic fitness without affecting the joints. However, buying the best rowing machine is no easy feat.
There are many things that you should consider before buying a rowing machine that perfectly suits your needs. But the most crucial thing is not going for a poorly-made rowing machine because the savings will not be worth the poor reliability, poor construction, and poor features. No matter which flashy features you want to opt for, risking your body structure for cost is not a wise decision.

What should you consider before buying a rowing machine?

You should take into account the following factors to choose the best rowing machine.

Fitness Goals

There are different types of rowing machines that help in achieving different fitness goals. If you want to shape your muscles, you should go for a hydraulic rower. Similarly, some rowing machines are suitable for weight-loss exercises, and some are good for posture building. That’s why you should consider your fitness goals before buying any rowing machine.

Workout Space

Rowing machines come in various sizes, and most of them are pretty bulky. They usually cover ample space. So, before buying a rowing machine, you should be mindful of its size, whether it’ll fit in your workout space or not. We would suggest you take measurements of the space where you want to place your rowing machine before heading to the market. Moreover, you should also consider the surroundings as there should be enough space to expand your arms and legs.

Rowing Machine Types

The types of rowing machines are differentiated based on the resistance systems. Usually, rowing machines come with 04 resistance systems, i.e., air, water, hydraulic piston, and magnetic resistance system. All these types are designed to provide different benefits according to their use. For example, air resistance rowing machines are used in a fitness center because of their durability and load capacity.

Here are the significant differences between the four rowing machine types:

  • Hydraulic Piston: These are compact and inexpensive but don’t provide a much smoother rowing experience.
  • Magnetic: These are noiseless and easy-to-maintain that provide a seamless rowing experience.
  • Water: These provide a realistic rowing experience best for a tough workout.
  • Air Resistance: These are the most durable rowing machines that can be used for long hours.

All these rowing machines are the best in their capacity, whereas you should choose the rowing machine that matches your needs and fitness goals.

What are the essential features of a rowing machine?

Rowing machines come with various features that are really helpful for the users. These features help to make the machine more user-friendly and easier-to-use. Some of these features are very important, while some are just add-ons. Here are some essential features that you should consider before buying a rowing machine.

Comfortable Seat

You should always look for seats that are cushioned and leather stitched to provide you ultimate comfort during a workout.

Adjustable Straps

The footplates must have adjustable straps to fit in your feet perfectly. Otherwise, you won’t be able to work out comfortably.

Monitors

The rowing machine must have a monitor to record your workout data. There are many advanced and basic monitors with different features that you can choose according to your needs and requirements.

How to choose the best rowing machines?

Your selection criteria must be based on the above mentioned considerations and your personal requirements. Additionally, you should also look for these highlights to select the best rowing machine:

Customer’s feedback

Reviews are necessary to determine the worth of anything. Therefore, before selecting a rowing machine, carry out thorough market research and specifically get reviews from people using a rowing machine themselves. It’ll help you to know the pros and cons during selection.

Reliable brands

After going through everything, you ultimately select a brand that is trusted and reliable. Today, the market is saturated with many brands manufacturing rowing machines and claiming to be the best. But you should select a brand that provides a high-quality product at reasonable prices.

Price range

It is the most crucial factor to look at while selecting a rowing machine. You should always go for a less expensive and more compatible machine that matches your requirements. Many rowing machines are overpriced because of some useless features; you should not fall for glitters and select wisely.

What are the pro tips for buying the best rowing machines?

After getting in touch with many rowing machine buyers and asking them about some tips, we have scoured a list of top tips that proved to help make a sound purchase decision that you won’t regret afterward.

  1. Think of a budget and don’t try to exceed it.
  2. Be determined to achieve your fitness goal with the machine as you will be investing a lot of money.
  3. Never assume that you’ll change/upgrade the machine after some time. So, make the best decision in the first place.
  4. At least try all the products in the same category within reach and choose the best one.

Rowing Machine FAQs

What is the best type of resistance system for a rowing machine?

Comparatively, the magnetic resistance system is best for rowing machines used indoors. This system provides a noiseless and seamless rowing experience to fitness freaks. Although rowing machines with this resistance system are a bit expensive, the experience is worth the investment.

How good is a rowing machine workout?

Rowing machine workout is better than other workouts because you get a full-body exercise session. It also burns a lot of calories and helps in losing weight in a short time. You can quickly build a better posture and shape your muscles with the help of a rowing machine.

Are rowing machines bad for you?

No, a rowing machine is the best option for a full-body drill as it has a meager impact on joints and ankles. You can even use a rowing machine when suffering an injury, and doctors mostly recommend it in such cases.

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