In this video we’re breaking down the five best rowing machines in 2021. I’ve included options for every type of consumer. Whether you’re looking for a budget friendly option with decent performance and a compact design that’s best suited for smaller spaces or a high and luxurious model with a massive display all of the products for you.
If you’re shopping around for a rowing machine on a tight budget, the sub 100 Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 is a good option. The 90 Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 provides an affordable and beginner-friendly way to improve your cardiovascular fitness. It comes with adjustable levels of resistance to customize your workout, a lightweight and compact design, and a range of useful features.
It’s ergonomically designed with a durable commercial grade steel frame, non-slip grip handles and rotating foot plates with adjustable Velcro straps for a relatively comfortable experience. The foldable design and lightweight 20-pound frame allow you to easily move it around and store it in smaller home gyms or apartments although it has a limited maximum weight capacity of 220 pounds
I like that it comes with an LCD display which is a solid addition for the price, and it tracks your time, row count, total count and burned calories. It even has a scan function to toggle between your different statistics, but the tracking can be inaccurate, and it lacks workout modes.
It utilizes a hydraulic piston to provide resistance and you get 12 levels to choose from for a personalized routine. Unfortunately, hydraulic rowers are susceptible to losing resistance due to heat buildup with extended use, but they run quietly and are suitable for shorter workouts.
It has a smooth glide padded seat that gives you improved lower body involvement along with fixed arms that make it easier to use. You’ll find that most of the assembly is done out of the box and the four-step instructions give you a hassle-free setup. I also think the warranty is solid which comes with a comprehensive three-year frame warranty and a six-month parts warranty to deliver some decent longevity.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 is among the cheapest options available, and it provides a solid full body workout. You get several levels of resistance to tailor your workout to your preference, a solid and lengthy warranty and a nice LCD display. I would recommend this for smaller entry level users or those with smaller workout spaces.
For anyone looking for the rowing machine that gives you the best bang for your buck the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 might be the right choice for you. The 250 Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is a Magnetic Rowing Machine that delivers full body workout capabilities and has a solid price to performance ratio.
It comes with built-in transportation wheels for easy portability and lcd monitor to display information and some essential features. It has a sturdy long slide rail and a footprint of around seven feet and should accommodate most body types and users with a maximum weight of 250 pounds. It has a relatively compact design and is foldable for easy storage, though some users might find it’s difficult to break down.
The built-in wheels on the front give it added maneuverability along with adjustable floor stabilizers to prevent tilting on uneven surfaces. The LCD monitor is a good size and easily readable and displays basic data such as your time road, stroke account and estimated calories. Even though it doesn’t display distance in lax workout programs it does have a scan mode that switches the display every six seconds.
I think the magnetic resistance mechanism of this rower gives it outstanding value: magnets are placed over a flywheel to resist the pull-on handles to deliver smoother performance than hydraulic models. You get a knob with eight different levels of resistance to control your workout’s intensity along with a solid range of difficulties between the highest and lowest setting.
It also comes with a smooth gliding seat and non-slip handlebars for comfort, but the seat is relatively hard.
The texturized pedals have safety straps to keep you firmly in place. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is a Magnetic Rowing Machine that gives you a lot of useful features at an affordable price. You get a long frame for a full range of movement and various intensity settings. I think it offers all the essential components of a good cardiovascular workout and will suit at home exercisers.
If you’re shopping around for a reasonably priced air resistance machine the Concept2 Model D costs less than 1 000 and could be what you need. While the 900-price tag is on the higher side the Concept2 Model D is considered the industry standard by professional rowers and it can last you a lifetime.
You get a realistic and smooth rowing motion with effective feedback, a high-quality build and useful features that makes this rower well worth the investment. It comes with a durable and robust build that uses aluminum and steel alloy components so it requires minimal long-term maintenance although the exposed, nickel-plated chain might need oiling occasionally and can be quite loud.
It has a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds so it can accommodate any body size. You also get a frame lock with a quick release mechanism that allows it to be folded for easy storage when not in use. I think the pm5f performance monitor is a key feature which records many fitness measurements that can be downloaded for analysis such as your stroke rate, distance road, watts and calories burned.
It has five information display options, and it springs to life as soon as you start using the machine. I also like that it’s compatible with most heart rate monitors, and it delivers Bluetooth connectivity and USB flash drive options.
The model D utilizes a large semi-open fan for air resistance and a flywheel system to provide tension for each stroke. You also get a dampener to help adjust the resistance level depending on your preferred intensity so it’s suitable for beginners and experts alike. It has an ergonomic handle with a 10-degree bend to help you find a natural position and a contoured seat that glides easily but some might find it to be too hard.
The Concept2 Model D is an air resistance rowing machine that delivers outstanding performance. You get a useful monitor with key information, a comfortable handle and easy storage.
If you’re looking for the best water resistance rowing machine available, the Waterrower Rowing machine Ash is a high-end option that could satisfy your needs. Waterrower Rowing machines provide a smoother ride than alternative resistance methods and the eleven hundred sixty-dollar Waterrower Rowing machine Ash is a high-end offering with lifelike performance.
You get a long lasting and unique wooden build, several convenient preset workouts in customizable interval sessions and low long-term maintenance requirements. It comes with an environmentally friendly and durable solid ash wood frame with an impressive maximum weight capacity of 1000 pounds.
The wood’s slight flex absorbs more noise than metal and it utilizes a strap drive instead of a chain drive for quieter performance, so your workouts won’t disturb others. However, you will need to have enough floor space to accommodate this large row and it’s unable to conveniently fold up to save space, but you can store it vertically if you need to it. Lacks mechanical parts allowing for hassle-free long-term maintenance.
I think the included s4 monitor is a solid addition and it displays relevant fitness data such as your speed, intensity, time, distance, and stroke rate which can be uploaded to your computer. It also allows you to use any of the six preset workouts or you can set up to nine interval sessions depending on your exercise requirements.
It even gives you the ability to monitor your heart rate using a chest strap although the receiver and transmitter aren’t included in box.
It comes with a unique water flywheel which seals paddles inside a refillable water drum to create smoother strokes and the swooshing sounds deliver a realistic growing experience. While there are no adjustable resistance settings the amount of tension is based on how hard you pull just like in real water. You also get flexible and adjustable footplates to maintain ergonomics, a coated handle, and a comfortable and well-padded contoured seat.
The Waterrower Rowing Machine Ash is an expensive option but delivers outstanding water resistance performance and a realistic experience. You get an easy to maintain frame with a generous amount of fitness tracking. I would recommend this for serious rowers or fitness enthusiasts with chronic joint pain.
For anyone who wants to splurge on the best overall rowing machine the Nordic Track RW900 Rower is an outstanding option that excels at nearly everything. The 1600 NordicTrack RW900 Rower gives you some useful features and dual resistance from air and magnets. It provides a comprehensive range of resistance adjustments and control modes, a free subscription for ifits interactive sessions and a touchscreen display.
It comes in a robust frame that utilizes a belt drive instead of a chain for quiet performance and although the 250-pound maximum weight capacity is less than other luxurious competitors it folds in half for easy storage.
You get adjustable nylon foot straps and pivoting pedals to keep you secure, a comfortable handle and an ergonomic seat that conforms to your body for a comfortable fit. The 26 levels of magnetic resistance allow you to customize how intense, intensive your workout is.
I believe the 22-inch tilting and rotating touchscreen display is a major benefit which allows you to track your watts, burned calories, total time, strokes, and distance in meters. You can also follow your resistances and even though no heart rate monitor is included you can connect your own tracker via Bluetooth.
You get 30 built-in workout programs to try, and the automatic trainer control feature intuitively adjusts your resistance throughout your session. It even has two integrated speakers to stream your music. I like that you get a free one-year membership to Ifit which gives you even more workout programs to try along with the ability to watch over 12 000 live and on-demand interactive trainer-led sessions on the display.
Ifit coaching also provides access to a wealth of nutrition, sleep and overall exercise advice. The Nordic Track RW900 Rower is a high-tech option that delivers an unmatched experience. You get an ifit subscription that lets you receive some coaching, a dual resistance quiet design and a touch screen with Bluetooth compatibility. I would recommend this if you want to invest in the absolute best.