Best Rowing Machines for 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide


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Rowing machines have grown in popularity in recent times. They are very effective in building core strength and cardio. If you are looking to burn calories fast with a full-body workout then you need to consider investing in a rowing machine.

Rowing machines are available in different shapes and sizes, as they have come a long way over time. You’ll come across different types of rowing machines and picking the right one to meet your needs seems a bit eschewing.

Therefore, this guide will help you get sorted out and make the right buying decision to start rowing right in the comfort of your home.

So, let’s get straight to it!

What are rowing machines?

A piece of exercise equipment mimicking the motion that you make when you row a boat is called a rowing machine. It is an excellent option for a full-body workout and weight loss. The machine is equally effective in building and toning your muscles and improving stamina.

If you want a game-changer in your fitness regime then there is no option better than a rowing machine. The rowing motion that you make with this machine allows you to get rid of the belly fat.

Top 10 best rowing machine currently on the market

Stamina Trac 1050 Rowing Machine

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

The Trac Glider 1050 is the best rowing machine. Stamina has made this machine sturdy. It allows you to keep your full body motion maintained. It perfectly mimics the motion that you make on the water. Furthermore, its multi-functional motor will keep you going.

The seat of this machine is comfortable and has an ergonomic moulded design. The hydraulic cylinder of this machine offers perfect resistance and you can adjust it according to your preferences and workout needs. The arms are foldable so you can use them if you want to store your machine comfortably.

The textured surface of the footplates will keep your feet firmly in place. Stamina has also padded the handgrips for comfort while the machine has a very sturdy frame made of steel.

Full-range motion that mimics the movement on the water.
Ergonomic handle and seat for comfort.
Textured footplates to hold the position of your feet.
Durable steel construction.
Smooth rowing with hydraulic resistance.

It does make some noise.
Plastic bushing inserted into the frame wears out a lot quicker at high resistance.

Best place to buy

Sunny Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower

The Sunny rowing machine keeps your workout challenging and engaging. The water resistance feature provides you a steady and smooth rowing experience along with each stroke. Plus, it is equipped with a Fitness R2 meter that accurately tracks all essential metrics of your workouts.

It is equipped with 16-fan blades for delivering a dynamic and unlimited resistance response. The seat is also moulded and well-padded, which enhances functionality and comfort. You can also conveniently transport it for storage due to non-marking high-density rubber wheels.

The footpads are non-slippery and textured for stable rowing. These foot pedals come with Velcro nylon straps, so you can adjust according to your foot width.

The water-resistance gives you a steady and smooth rowing experience.
Fitness R2 meter accurately tracks your workout metrics.
Moulded and padded seat is more functional and comfortable.
A non-marking high-density rubber wheel for easy transport.
Non-slippery foot pads come with a Velcro strap for absolute stability.

Tiny bits sag during the workout.

Best place to buy

Stamina ATS Air Rower

Stamina ATS Air Rower

If you are looking for the best space-saving rowing machine, then Stamina Air Rower should be your priority due to its durable frame. You can fold it after completing your workout for easy storage.

This rowing machine comes with a large size, easy to read LCD monitor. The monitor shows your workout statistics. These statistics include calories, time, distance, and speed. Also, it is equipped with anti-skid protectors that safeguard your floor or workout area.

It comes with textured feet plates along with adjustable straps. So, you can adjust the strap according to your feet width for enhancing relaxation and stability.

An easy to read large LCD monitor to view speed, distance, etc.
Dynamic air resistance makes it effortless to operate.
Adjustable straps on textured feet plates for relaxation and stability.
The smooth-sliding and padded seat for a comfortable workout.
The foldable frame makes it a space-saving machine.

The fan is a little bit loud.

Best place to buy


Waterrower Rowing machine Ash

The company uses solid ash wood and finishes with a honey oak stain, plus Danish oil in the construction of the WaterRower. The wood can absorb vibration and sound that maximize its performance. This premium quality wood also makes it incredible longevity and also provides great stability on the floor.

The frame of the WaterRower can flip upright. So, you can say that it is another good space-saving rower machine for easy storage. The maximum weight capacity of the machine is more than 1000 pounds.

Additionally, your purchase comes with a 1-year warranty. It is equipped with a full-featured monitor that includes programming and information windows, plus navigation and QuickSelection buttons.

The monitor is compatible with other chest straps and receivers for heart rate. It comes with an 84-inch x 21-inch x 22-inch dimension and weighs 117-pound.

Handcrafted machine with water flywheel for your comfort.
A monitor shows your heart rate, stroke rate, workout intensity, and more.
Solid and durable construction absorbs vibration and sound.
Stand on the end for easy storage space.

Only suitable for limited workouts.

Best place to buy

Stamina Orbital

Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

We recommend Stamina Orbital due to its space-saving design. It has a multifunctional monitor that tracks your workout metrics for keeping you motivated.

These metrics are consisting of distance, calories, stroke count, time, and speed. It is the best full-body workout machine that effectively and efficiently improves your strength and fitness.

The footplates are pivoting for additional comfort and also keeping your foot stable during a workout.

It comes with a deluxe ball-bearing roller system along with an aluminum accuracy extruded beam. You can also increase the incline of the beam for an intense workout.

Last but not least. It comes with a 5-year on frame and 90-day on parts warranty.

Increases incline of the beam for an intense workout.
Equipped with pivoting feet plates for additional comfort.
Smooth hydraulic and cylinder resistance rower.
Multifunctional with a single button monitor shows your workout statistics.

The seat doesn’t have any locking mechanism.

Best place to buy

Avari Exercise Rower

Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

Avari Exercise Rower comes with a multifunctional and programmable fitness monitor that has backlit for easy to read statistics. There are 6 cardio profiles and 12 other workout programs, so you can customize its setting according to your requirements.

The best thing is that your purchase comes with a chest strap for calculating your heart rate during a workout. This strap snugly fits around the body and tracks heart rate.

Additionally, it has a foam-padded handle to provide you a better grip with every stroke. You will also feel very comfortable while you are rowing because; the seat is moulded and ergonomically designed.

The foam-padded handle delivers a better grip.
An ergonomic and moulded seat keeps us comfortable while rowing.
Adjustable straps and textured feet plates for stabilizing your body.
Multifunctional and programmable fitness monitor.
Chest strap for measuring heart rate.

Foot straps don’t keep your foot stable during some exercise.

Best place to buy

First Degree Fluid Rower

First Degree Fitness Fluid Rower

The company uses Fluid Resistance technology that permits the rower to adjust and control the resistance in the right way. It is also a water-based system, which provides a consistent and smooth level of resistance during the entire workout.

The seat of the First Degree Fluid rower is ergonomically designed, so you can ride on precision bearings, plus rollers for total smoothness. The upgraded footboard comes with innovative heel support, so you can row for a longer period with comfort.

The handle of the machine is also soft and delivers an ideal grip, which minimizes stress on the wrist and hands while rowing.

A high-quality powder-coated steel frame makes it long-lasting.
Foldable design for convenient storage vertically.
Ergonomically designed for preventing strains on hands, wrists, and arms.
A monitor display that shows metrics of your workout.
Adjust footplates heights for a comfortable workout.

Produces some clicking noise after some use, but it doesn’t irritate you.

Best place to buy

Nordic Rower

NordicTrack RW Rower

Nordic is manufacturing the best rowing machine that gives you interactive training at your home. It is powered by iFit that comes with a wide range of workout programs.

The machine is also equipped with a smart HD 22-inch touch screen monitor. Now you can continue your workout with your trainers through the monitor screen. An innovative and foldable design makes it compact and simple to store.

You will experience a quiet and smooth workout with dual forms of resistance. You can also build your strength, increase workout intensity with the manual air resistance.

An HD SMART 22-inch touch screen display.
Equipped with dual forms of resistance for quiet and smooth workouts.
Pivoting pedal with quick adjustable straps for your comfort.
Get real-time training through the display at your own home.
No Bluetooth connectivity.

Best place to buy

Bluefin Rowing Machine

Bluefin Fitness Rower Machine Blade Home Gym Foldable

The Bluefin rowing machine is made with commercial-grade materials. It will give you a natural motion of rowing without any kind of splash. You can also incline the beam for customizing exercises.

A combination of the braking system and magnetic resistance gives you eight levels of tension controls. Therefore, you can choose the level which suits you more.

It has an LCD that shows your rowing metrics, such as burned calories, stroke per minute, distance, and time. The seat of the machine is also well padded that offers extra comfort throughout the rower workout.

Handlebar gives an ergonomic grip for your comfort.
Foot pedals are anti-slip to stable your feet for a secure workout.
Multifunctional LCD.
Incline the beam for an intense workout without any splash.
Braking system and magnetic resistance for improving your fitness.
Resistance knob isn’t working in some situations.

Best place to buy

Harvil Rowing Machine

Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine Adjustable Resistance with Folding Arms

Harvil has a durable and sturdy steel material in the frame’s construction. You can use a resistance knob to manually control resistance levels according to your workout.

It also comes with an LCD that shows your workout metrics such as row count, calories burned, and time. You will also feel comfortable during the workout because of its moulded and ergonomic seat.

The footplates come with an adjustable strap for your safety. These straps come with dual positions so suitable for everyone. Its arms are also foldable so you can conveniently store it after completing your workout.

Hydraulic adjustable resistance for customizing your workout.
An LCD that shows your workout statistics.
The seat is moulded and ergonomically designed for your comfort.
Folding arms make the storage effortless.
The steel frame makes it reliable and durable.
Not suitable for short leg people.

Best place to buy


Benefits of Rowing Machine

A rowing machine benefits you in many different ways. But you need to consult your doctor regarding any body-specific advice to you before you start using it. Some of the advantages of a rowing machine include the likes of muscle toning, cardiovascular fitness, and weight loss. In the following section, we will shed some more light on what a rowing machine has to offer.

  • Low impact exercise

If you are dealing with joint pains then rowing is a good choice for you. It is an excellent option for knee surgery patients in rehab. There will be no sudden pressure or jolting on your joints in this fluid motion.

  • Upper Body Workout

With your rowing machine, you can work on your shoulders, upper as well as lower back. but that is not all, your arms, hands, and wrists also get into the groove along with your core and your biceps.

  • Lower Body Workout

It might be a bit surprising for you but rowing is also an excellent exercise for the lower body as well. Your quadriceps, buttocks, and calves do get a very strong workout during the motion.

  • Effective Cardio Workout

Most of the machines and activities involving full-body workouts are very effective for cardio. They really get your heart pumping. And if you are able to tweak the resistance you will be able to control your heart rate and your exercise as well.

  • Weight Loss

On average, a rowing machine can burn more than 600 calories per hour. And by comparison, it is better than most of the exercise equipment out there. If you have weight loss goals set then you need a rowing machine to achieve them in good time.

Which rowing machines are right for you?

You can find programmable rowing machines that are also known as magnet rowing machines. These are budget-friendly machines.

You can also find programmable air rowing machines that allow you to alter the magnetic resistance with water-mimicking air rowing. These machines are best for home rowers.

For accurate water simulation, you need to go for water rowing machines. Hydraulic rowing machines are also available but they don’t offer that much quality and durability.

What to consider before buying the best rowing machine?

As there are different types of rowing machines and they all vary in every aspect, you need to make your choice wisely. This buying guide will assist you in finding the right machine, as we will focus on various aspects associated with a rowing machine.

  • Type of Resistance

All rowing machines might look similar but they all vary from one another in terms of the resistance type they have. the resistance type that your machine uses will determine its efficacy.

You can go for water, air, magnetic and hydraulic resistance. Each of these types come with a different rowing feel and unique benefits. So keep that in mind when shopping for a rowing machine.

  • Adjustability

Make sure that the rowing machine that you are considering provides you with the option of full adjustability.

The seat is comfortable, the footpads are relaxing and there are some adjustability features available. it is especially the case if someone else besides you is going to use the machine too. Every person has a preferred level of comfort so this issue needs to get addressed.

  • Noise Level

It is another key feature that you need to focus on because some models of these rowing machines are noisier than others.

Some people also prefer to use a noisy machine because they are taking the noise as feedback to their hard muscle work. So, it is entirely up to you whether you need a noisy rowing machine or a silent one that will work out for you.

  • Rower Price

It is quite a common tale to tell that exercise equipment varies dramatically in price from low to high-end models. High-end models are designed to take a toll and they can stand the test of time. however, the cheaper ones will require more maintenance and repairs over time.

  • Max User Weight

A rowing machine can normally take more weight as compared to other exercise equipment. The reason is that there are not many moving parts in this machine that will come under stress due to heavyweight users. An average rowing machine can take anything between 300 lb to 400 lb.

  • Storage Features

A huge plus for you if you live in a confined space is the ability to easily store your rower. You need to check out if you can comfortably fold up the rower and place it wherever you want to. Wheels or casters can also help you a lot in storing your machine comfortably.

  • Warranty

A decent warranty is necessary that covers your entire rowing machine or frame and parts, to say the least. A machine that comes with a good warranty will also be a durable option to consider. Because manufacturers that offer good warranties actually back the quality of their products.

  • Size

Size and portability go hand in hand and you need to pick your rowing machine according to your weight and the available space.

Choose a machine that can be used by several persons. The machine should be adjustable and comfortable to fit different users and you can also place it in your available space.

  • Ease of Assembly

In most cases, you may have to assemble your rowing machine only once, but it shouldn’t be one heck of a job to get done. You need to thoroughly understand the assembling process and make sure to get exercise equipment and not a piece of a puzzle.

Our Verdict

Overall, the best rowing machine that you can find on the market is the Stamina Trac 1050 Glider. It has a very compact yet durable construction and it can fit most tight spaces with ease.

Its seat and handles are built for comfort and it perfectly mimics the movement that you make on the water. Therefore, it is a great option for a full-body workout.

No matter what the requirements of your fitness regime are, you will find out that a rowing machine fits right in. There are different types of these machines and you need to be a lot more vigilant to focus on all the features that your buying option has.

No matter what your fitness goals are, you will achieve them a lot quicker with a rowing machine.

So which one of these rowing machines do you think are the best ones? Do you have any personal recommendations for us? Let us know by leaving your comments below!


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