Best Rowing Machines for Your Home Gym

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
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If you’re looking for an alternative to running or you’re sick of paying for a gym membership you hardly ever use, a rowing machine could be an excellent addition to your home gym.
A rowing machine is a great addition to any home gym because it offers a full-body, low-impact workout in a short amount of time. From working your core and back muscles to burning calories, rowing exercises have you covered.
“Indoor rowing is an excellent low-impact option for improving cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance,” says Hollis Tuttle, CITYROW Go Lead Instructor in New York City. “Since it is a low impact sport, rowing reduces the risk of damage to weight-bearing joints, such as hips, ankles, and knees, which tend to be prone to injury and soreness when doing high-impact sports.”


If you want to get fit, a rowing machine is a great investment. It’s an incredibly low-impact workout that offers cardio and strength training exercises. The best rowing machines are easy to use, convenient, and produce minimal noise.
“Rowing machines cost next to nothing to run, because you don’t plug them in like you would a treadmill,” says Personal Trainer and gym owner Steve Hoyle. “Unlike some machines, you’ll never outgrow a rowing machine, they’re suitable for all fitness levels — from complete beginner to a professional athlete.”
Rowing machines are a great alternative to the treadmill or elliptical. They offer a full-body workout that’s low impact and easy on the joints. This makes them great for those with joint pain or those who are new to exercise. A rowing machine also provides a cardiovascular workout that burns calories, and builds muscle all at once. If your goal is fat loss, then you should aim for more than 30 minutes of at least moderate intensity exercise on a rowing machine each day.
The best rowing machines offer a full-body workout at home in one compact piece of equipment, no gym membership necessary—just one of the many reasons they’re so popular. With a rowing machine, you can get a great workout in the comfort of your own home.
Start your morning with a fitness routine that energizes you. Not only can you burn calories by using a rowing machine at home, but it also increases endurance and strengthens muscles — a win-win exercise routine for beginners and advanced exercisers alike.


Benefits of rowing

“The rowing machine is like the Swiss Army knife of the gym,” explains Michelle Sosa, ACE-certified personal trainer, professional rower, and Hydrow athlete. “Its multiple purposes include low-impact workouts, high-intensity sprint intervals, low-intensity endurance development, full-body strength training, core training, heart health, and posture control.”
    • They use all the major muscle groups, so they’re great for people of all fitness levels to try.
    • Rowing machines are a great way to get a full-body cardio workout, that’s low impact on your joints and tones your muscles.
    • Rowing is good for weight loss and maintenance and builds power and endurance.
    • Rowing helps improve cognitive functioning, memory and thinking skills.
    • It increases the heart rate which increases the blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
    • And if you’re looking for weight loss or maintenance and toning of muscles, there’s nothing better than rowing.
    • Rowing is a low-impact exercise that can increase balance, flexibility and coordination.
    • Rowing machines are great for those who want to get in a workout without having to go to the gym.
    • They are an easy way to exercise at home, while also saving time and money since you save on gym membership.
    • Rowing is a total-body workout that can be done on your own schedule and requires minimal equipment so it’s easy to sneak in at home.


Best Rowing Machines 2022

Most Popular Rowing Machine: Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Concept 2

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
The Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine is a popular and versatile piece of equipment for home gyms.
The rowing machine is perhaps the most popular rowing machine on the market, found in commercial gyms and home gyms around the world, and sets the standard for indoor rowing machines.
This high-quality, easy-to-use rowing machine provides a low-impact, full-body workout and uses air resistance generated by a fanned flywheel. The machine combines the best features of rowing, such as the smooth, natural glide of water and air resistance with the safety of a fixed seat. The Model D is an excellent choice for athletes looking to build upper body strength, increase endurance or increase lower body power.
We love to use our rowing machine in the morning before work, when it’s still dark outside and the temperature hasn’t yet risen above freezing. It’s a great way to wake up, get warmed up and revved up for the day—and it really packs a workout into a short amount of time. We like that the Model D provides us with a low-impact full-body workout without placing strain on our joints. And it folds away nicely so we can pop it back in storage easily when we’re finished.”

Visit the Concept2 Store on Amazon


Best Hydraulic Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 with Optional Exclusive SunnyFit™ App and Smart Bluetooth Connectivity

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is a magnetic resistance type rowing machine that aims to provide the user with a convenient, yet challenging complete home workout. It has become extremely popular and is a great option if you’re on a tight budget.
This rowing machine aims to provide a complete workout experience in the comfort of your own home. The eight different levels of resistance allow you to make it as challenging as you want, while its large padded seat and attractive design should help keep you motivated.
The lightweight design makes it easy to move and store, while the eight levels of magnetic resistance help keep your workout challenging. With a large padded seat for extra comfort, this magnetic resistance type rowing machine aims to provide the ultimate whole body workout.

Visit the Sunny Health & Fitness Store


Best High-Tech Rowing Machine: Nordic Track RW900

NordicTrack Smart Rower
NordicTrack Smart Rower
Built for a diverse group of users, the RW900 is both quiet and customizable. Featuring a 22” display, you can browse and stream outdoor iFit workouts filmed all around the world. The RW900 keeps you engaged and makes working out fun.
It offers a wide variety of studio classes featuring exercises on and off the machine. Classes can be filtered by intensity and duration, offering options for everyone from beginners to advanced rowers, and you get access to Olympic athletes and world-class trainers who can teach you how to row correctly, give you tips to perfect your technique, and motivate you to push harder.

Best Foldable Rowing Machine: Echelon Row Connected Rowing Machine + 30-Day Free Echelon Membership

Echelon Smart Rowing Machine
Echelon Smart Rowing Machine
Designed by fitness enthusiasts, the Echelon Smart Rower is a high-quality rowing machine for at-home workouts. The foldable design makes it easy to store between sessions, and there are thousands of classes and on-demand workouts to stream using the Echelon app.
With 32 levels of adjustable resistance, 3 available models with varying features and price points, this smart rowing machine offers a challenging workout that targets more than 85% of your body’s muscles with each stroke. The built-in touch screen enables users to view workout metrics for precision tracking during and between sessions.
With an integrated touch screen display or built-in device holder, the Echelon Smart Rower gives you all the tools to reach your fitness goals and help you train like an Olympian in your own home.

Visit the Echelon Store on Amazon


Best Rowing Machine for Fun Workouts: Aviron Tough Series Rower

Aviron Tough Series Rower
Aviron Tough Series Rower
The Aviron Tough Series Rower is a high quality rowing machine that provides a tough workout, with 16 different resistance levels and nine workout modes, including engaging games and competitions, so it’s well worth considering if you’re looking for a challenge. The USP of the Aviron Tough Series Rower is that it has “something for the whole family”.
The Aviron Tough Series Rower is designed to take the discomfort out of your home workout by bringing you high-quality comfort features at a reasonable price. You can even view popular streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Hulu via the crystal clear 22-inch HD touchscreen while you row, allowing you to burn calories while you binge-watch your favorite series – you’ve got everything you need to get fit while staying entertained.
The tough design makes it ideal for large users and it folds up neatly. It has a comfortable layout and ergonomic seat, a premium look and feel, and an effective hybrid (magnetic and air) resistance mechanism. Fully adjustable saddle and backrest, movable footrests, a built-in heart rate monitor and pre-programmed workouts are just some of the features designed to make your rowing experience feel more like a real life workout in a gym than an exercise session in your living room.
With the ability to connect to popular streaming services and a hybrid resistance mechanism, this rower will push you out of your comfort zone while keeping you comfortable.

Visit the Aviron Active Online Store


Best Value Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205
This rowing machine provides all the benefits of a rowing workout in the comfort of your own home. The heavy-duty commercial grade steel frame with a simple design offers an even rowing experience for both arms and your entire body. Its hydraulic cylinder resistance system allows you to adjust the difficulty setting to match your fitness level or desired intensity.
If you are looking for a compact piece of equipment that can be stored away easily, then this rowing machine is ideal. The hydraulic cylinder resistance system provides 12 levels of adjustment so you can easily adjust the intensity levels. The large anti-slip foot plates with adjustable straps offers secure footing, while the ergonomically padded seat with cushioned non-slip grip handlebars provides comfort and support during your workouts. The LCD computer display includes time, count, total count, calories burned, and scan so you know how long you’ve been rowing.
This is an ideal machine for low-impact exercise when at home, but with the same intense results as a workout at the gym.

Visit the Sunny Health & Fitness Store


Is rowing better than treadmill?
Like running or an elliptical machine session, rowing is a full-body workout. For a great full-body functional workout, rowing is a great choice. Rowing builds more muscles than running and weight training, which means you’ll build up your metabolism more quickly and improve your baseline stamina – all of which makes it easier to burn calories throughout the day.
Rowing machines allow for all of the benefits of running, but help to build more and better muscle than your average treadmill. In addition, rowing machines will improve both your upper body and core strength.
Rowing machines are the best way to take your home gym to the next level. And the great thing is that they use almost every muscle in your body, which means you get both cardio and strength training, all at once. It uses over 80% of your muscle groups to burn calories, build lean muscle, and increase cardio performance.
“Rowing is about 60 percent legs, 30 percent core, and 10 percent arms,” says Joseph Ilustrisimo, an ACSM-certified personal trainer.
Is rowing better than indoor cycling?
Rowing is a full body workout; it uses all the main muscle groups, whereas cycling is heavily leg focused. Rowing is a whole-body workout that actively engages 86% of the body’s major muscle groups, whereas cycling is predominantly a lower-body exercise. The advantage of the rowing machine over the stationary bike is that it works the muscles of the arms, shoulders, back and abdomen, too.
Rowing machines and stationary bikes are both low-impact exercise machines. A long, gentle stroke on the rowing machine is a full-body workout, but the quick changes in pace during HIIT workouts can help you burn more calories than biking. “Compared to indoor cycling, you will burn more calories indoor rowing, assuming that both activities are done at the same level of intensity,” says Hollis Tuttle, CITYROW Go Lead Instructor in New York City. “In other words, it is a great option when you don’t have a lot of time.”
One of the best aspects of rowing is that it’s effective regardless of your fitness level, allowing you to gain strength and work up a sweat at the same time.

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