A house rowing machine is a strong alternative for anybody seeking to begin a home gym or give an present exercise area a lift. This one piece of kit may strengthen sure areas of your physique that are not as simple to focus on with a treadmill or elliptical, making it a super cardio machine for getting a full physique exercise and assembly sure health targets. One of the best rowing machines provide an satisfying, full physique cardio exercise.

However earlier than you buy an at-home rowing machine, it is essential to know the variations between every sort of rowing machine and the benefits and drawbacks they provide. Whereas some rowers generate resistance with precise water, others use air, magnets or hydraulics. Some provide adjustable resistance and others permit you to alter the machine to optimize your rowing stroke. Past fancier options like app compatibility or aesthetic design, there are additionally such fundamental variations to contemplate as sort of resistance.

Hydraulic rowers

  • Professional: Extra space-efficient
  • Con: The rowing movement is not as clean

Air rowers

  • Professional: Inexpensive
  • Con: Noisier than different sorts

Magnetic and water rowers

  • Professional: Quietest and smoothest sorts
  • Con: Often costlier

Each rower’s sensibilities will range, however there’s undoubtedly a machine that may give you the rowing expertise you are searching for. Right here, we have chosen our picks for one of the best rowing machine choices, whether or not you are completely new to rowing machines or properly past newbie stage, space-conscious, data-driven or searching for one thing fairly.

Be aware that a few of these picks for one of the best rowing machine choices could also be bought out or back-ordered on account of manufacturing and delivery points. Costs for the train tools can change continuously on-line, however the under costs are correct on the time of publishing. We’ll replace this checklist periodically.

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The Hydrow is a rowing machine, antagonist exercise class, private coach and AR expertise all rolled into one. It supplies a near-silent, ultrasmooth row because of its nylon pull and electromagnetic resistance, whereas its show reveals your strokes-per-minute price, energy burned and coronary heart price. (Though the Hydrow works with coronary heart price displays, it is not appropriate with wearables or good watches.) Should you make use of the show display’s Reside Outside Actuality, you may really feel as in the event you’re truly out on the water if you’re rowing. 

Apart from the indoor rowing expertise itself, Hydrow’s rowing exercise attraction comes from the number of streamable class movies out there by means of its class membership service. Rowing courses vary in size from 10 to 45 minutes, whereas yoga, pilates and different full physique exercise choices can run between 5 and 20 minutes. The one factor is, as you may see from the worth, all of those further options do not precisely come low-cost — to not point out {that a} one-year class membership ($456) and Hydrow’s vertical storage kit ($69) are each bought individually.

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Smart indoor rower gets you fit right at home



Members of Reddit’s fitness and home gym communities have been singing the praises of Concept2 in general and the brand’s Model D for a while now, and it’s fair to see why. At $900, it’s an investment piece that doesn’t feel like a splurge — and it helps that it’s designed to last. It’s durable, easy to maintain (its nickel-plated chain requires less frequent oiling than other rowing machines) and equipped with a smooth, quiet air-resistance flywheel. 

With such a dependable construction, it’s the perfect pick for a lifelong rower. At the same time, it offers enough bells and whistles to be more than a utilitarian machine. Chief among these features is the performance monitor, which tracks calories burned, pace, speed, distance and watts, and offers five different display options, including games to make your indoor rowing machine workout more fun.

Sunny Health and Fitness

With magnetic resistance (of which it offers eight levels) and an LCD display that shows your time, count and calories, among other stats, Sunny’s rowing machine checks all the essential boxes. In other words, it’s nothing fancy. Some reviewers pointed out that this budget rowing machine’s chain is pretty loud and its small display screen could be bigger and clearer. 

It has more than enough, however, to make a beginner into a rowing devotee. If you’re planning to store your rowing machine out of the way part of the time, it should be noted that, although this magnetic resistance indoor rowing model is foldable, some Amazon reviewers say this budget rower can be difficult to break down.

Stamina Body

At about 52 inches long, the Stamina Body 1050 rower is pocket-size in comparison with the other machines on our list. But we’d argue that this hydraulic rowing machine’s biggest draw — if you’re an apartment dweller or someone who doesn’t have the space for more than a couple of hand weights in your home gym, this should be your No. 1 indoor rowing machine pick. 

And just because you’re sacrificing size doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on a solid workout with this indoor rower: This chainless hydraulic rower model offers a wider range of motion when rowing, and its hydraulic piston system can be adjusted with 12 levels of hydraulic resistance. Meanwhile, its (admittedly pretty small) display monitors workout time, stroke count, calories burned and total number of accumulated strokes.


This rower lives up to its “natural” title with its solid wood design and water-based resistance, which allows smooth rowing strokes and gives a more realistic rowing experience. Plus, the WaterRower is designed to be quieter than conventional rowers, as wood tends to absorb more sound than, say, metal. 

As much as the WaterRower aims to create a realistic water rowing machine experience, you won’t miss out on your workout metrics, thanks to the performance monitor that tracks speed, intensity, time, distance, stroke rate and heart rate (if, that is, you buy WaterRower’s heart rate monitor kit as well). If you ask us, it’s easily the most aesthetically pleasing rower on this list. However, that sleek wood construction also means that, while it can be stored vertically, it can’t fold up to save space.


This rower from ProForm boasts Stamina’s compact foldability, as well as Hydrow’s high-tech perks (with a lower price tag). The rower comes free when you sign up for a three-year family membership to iFit Coach, at $39 per month. iFit Coach is a tablet-enabled app with a vast library of rowing workout videos and classes, plus helpful performance info like speed and heart rate, if you buy a separate iFit heart rate monitor ($75). 

The rower itself is equipped with a secure tablet holder above its metric console. Speaking of metrics, ProForm logs distance, time, calories burned, strokes and resistance stats. With 24 levels of magnetic resistance for a light or intense workout and iFit’s various classes available, this magnetic rower is great both for beginners and for more experienced rowers looking to level up.

Typically $1,100, this rower is currently on sale for just $600.


Often mentioned in the same breath as the Concept2, this rower is similarly high-quality without being too expensive. Its 10 levels of air resistance allow for great indoor rowing variability and its heavily padded seat keeps longer workouts comfortable, but the difference-maker with the Xebex’s air rower is the extent to which it monitors your performance and improvement as a rower. 

For starters, it tracks your basic metrics like time, distance, strokes per minute, calories burned, watts, total strokes and heart rate (if you connect the rower to a heart rate monitor). But beyond those helpful stats, this rower also charts such measurements as average number of meters per stroke, average and max watts, max heart rate, and calories burned per hour. The Xebex makes it easy to stay up to date on your progress. It’s currently out of stock, but you can sign up for the retailer to let you know when it becomes available again.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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