We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. These days, there’s no need to trek to a gym and pay costly membership fees if you want to get fit and stay healthy. Rowing machines provide a low-impact, full-body workout that targets almost every major muscle group. Once you choose the model that best fits your needs and find a convenient location somewhere in your home, there's nothing left to do but dip your oars. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best rowing machine on Amazon.
Outside of resistance type, we found the number-one arbiter of ride feel to be cord quality. Water ergometers tend to employ nylon cords, while air ergometers feature metal chains — a durability factor we anticipated would result in our favoring air. But while all three water rowers aced our expectation of smooth, high-tension strokes, perfecting the chain seems to be more difficult: Some tug with just a slight rumble, others feature bouncy, grinding chains that are incredibly loud, something akin to angry snoring. As for nylon, the best wind and unwind like elastic silk — no slack, no sound, no catching, just perfectly even tension throughout the stroke.
According to fitness experts, water resistance is by far the most efficient technology used in a rowing machine, and the result is a realistic rowing experience that provides a better workout with smoother and more fluid rowing. These machines use a paddle that’s suspended in a tank of water, providing a realistic sensation of rowing outdoors. Extremely quiet running, as you row the only sound you’ll hear is the gentle splashing of water moving with each stroke, which serves to enhance the realistic experience of this style of rower.
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From a fitness perspective, the WaterRower Classic works 84 percent of your muscle mass, helping tone and strengthen your muscles while burning far more calories than most other aerobic machines. The exercise is also low impact, as it removes all the body weight from the ankles, knees, and hips, but still moves the limbs and joints through a full range of motion--from completely extended to completely contracted.
Flywheel sits in enclosed water tank to provide smooth, quiet, self-regulated resistanceSeries 4 performance monitor tracks workou...t intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, and moreHandcrafted rowing machine with "water flywheel" that replicates actual rowing feelStores upright; measures 83 x 22 x 21 inches (L x W x H) and weighs 108 poundsNo impact and Non-Load Bearing, perfect for users with Joint concerns read more
The resistance of your rowing machine impacts how it moves. Select from hydraulic and magnetic rowing resistance. Hydraulic rowers are typically more compact in size, while magnetic machines make little noise as they operate. Details like easy-to-reach tension knobs or buttons allow you to increase or decrease the intensity of your resistance as you train.
No matter the resistance we set or the power we applied, the machine remains sturdy, centered, and even. We amped up the intensity for 2000m sprints and found that the C2 supports consistent effort in a way water resistance can’t. The machine assists in keeping your intensity uniform, because it stores up remaining energy in the spinning flywheel. Comments about the ride feel of both Concept 2s were noticeably brief. As one tester put it, “It’s unremarkable because it’s good,” and leaves you free to focus on the effort you’re putting into your workout.
Do you need a machine that folds up? If you've decided to avoid a water rower for space reasons, you may prefer a model that folds up for storage. Even better, some rowing machines have wheels fitted to them, so that once it's folded up, you can steer it to a storage space out of the way. You can find a foldable design in many magnetic and some air rowers.
I have also received negative feedback about the resistance. After 15 minutes at the maximum level, you will feel that you are hardly putting an effort to row. However, this won’t be an issue if your weight is less. This could indicate an issue with the oil or gasoline mixture in the piston. Also, issues were mentioned by other customers with the footrests. They’d problem strapping their feet. It is a bigger issue as it becomes difficult for people who have small feet as the feet keeps on slipping. The footrest grip is not tight. This is affecting particularly when you would like to experience a workout without any interruption; when you actually want to go with the flow of workout. Fast rowing also becomes difficult with this type of problem as you have to stop and strap the feet back. However, the problem could be solved by using a wide and thick Velcro straps. Use your creativity and be resourceful while coming up with the ideas to solve the problem of slipping feet.
Water Rower Dimensions: 88" x 22" x 28.5" / Weight: 79 Lbs (Empty Tank), 116 Lbs (With Water); Maximum User Weight And Height: 700... Lbs & 38" InseamExercise Rower Features Aluminum Makeup With Powder-Coated Aluminum Finish For High DurabilityBoasts Patented Water Flywheel Responsible For Its Natural Rowing Dynamic-Like Actually Driving A Boat With Oars! Other Features: Self-Regulating Resistance Levels-Making It Suitable For Any User, Little Maintenance Required (Tablets Available From Manufacturer Free Of Charge) And Inclusive Of S4 Performance Monitor (Displays Intensity, Kcalories/Hour, Stroke Rate, Heart Rate, And More! Enjoy 1 Year Commercial Warranty (Upgradeable To 3-Year Parts While 5-Year Frames Are Free Of Charge With Registration) read more

However, I own an air rower and have zero worries about maxing out it’s ability. I can completely exhaust myself on any type of workout. Air and water rowers are the chosen resistance type by Olympic athletes and any athlete looking to train their full-body cardio. I don’t think they would choose this resistance type if they felt they could max it out.


In the 1950s- and 1960s, more sports coaches began to use rowing machines for training and assessment of athletes' performance. One such rower developed at this time was the Harrison-Cotton machine, the brainchild of John Harrison of Leichhardt Rowing Club in Sydney and Professor Frank Cotton, produced by Ted Curtain Engineering. This was the very first piece of equipment able to measure athletic power with great accuracy, and it also imitated the actual experience of rowing more closely than any previous rowing machine.
The WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine is a work of art. But before you buy one just to hang it on the wall, the more important feature of course is that this rowing machine is a high-quality, durable, and effective piece of exercise equipment that will help you get in top fitness with ease and low-impact comfort. With a user weight capacity of 1,000 lbs, WaterRower has built the Classic Rowing Machine to take everything you can throw at it. No matter how intense your workouts are, you’re not going to hurt this machine. And it accommodates everyone from beginner rowers to experienced die-hards.

Rowing machines are often used by people who are looking to get a full-body workout, and also by rowers to stay in rowing shape during the off-season. According to Men’s Total Health, rowing is a natural motion, and is therefore fairly easy for anyone to pick up and do properly. Also, rowing is a low-impact exercise, meaning that the potential for injuries to your joints is lower than on such machines as treadmills, for example.
PROVIDES GREAT TRACTION - Even during your most intense rowing routine, you need not worry about the unit slipping or sliding arou...nd your space. Mat Dimensions: 90 L x 36 W x .25 H inches/ Weight: 8 pounds.PROTECTS FLOORS - This WaterRower Mat is made of PVC Foam and helps protect your floors and carpets from scatches, scrapes, debris and sweat. It can even double as an extra mat for aerobics or yoga.EASY TO CLEAN AND STORE - After each use, it is good to give the mat a good wipe with a damp cloth to keep it clean. It rolls easily for storage under the bed or closet and will not take much space.PERFECT FOR ANY WATERROWER ROWING MACHINE - This 7.5-Feet long mat will perfectly fit under any of your WaterRower Rowing Machines.FREE SHIPPING - Buy this 7.5-inch long floor protecting mat from Dazadi and get free shipping. read more
In sweep or sweep-oar rowing, each rower has one oar, held with both hands. This is generally done in pairs, fours, and eights. In some regions of the world, each rower in a sweep boat is referred to either as port or starboard, depending on which side of the boat the rower's oar extends to. In other regions, the port side is referred to as stroke side, and the starboard side as bow side; this applies even if the stroke oarsman is rowing on bow side and/or the bow oarsman on stroke side.
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