Medical Professionals and Physical Therapists trust the benefits of the WaterRower and Rowing as an excellent cardio exercise. Burning up to 1000 calories per hour and working out up to 84% of your muscle mass during one exercise, rowing offers a tremendously beneficial exercise without the perceived fatigue and exhaustion often apparent when using other cardio training gym equipment.
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.