Rowing Machine King is a one-stop-shop for all information about rowing machines. I provide the best rowing machine reviews and informational articles you will find anywhere!
Walk through choosing a rower in the Start Here page or browse articles & reviews below!
New to rowing machines in general? Check out the Rowing Machine Crash Course.
Find A Rower
Compare all rowing machine reviews by ratings, features, price, resistance, and much more!
The rowing machine reviews comparison table will allow you to find the best rowing machine in the category of your interest.
Allow me to pick the best rowing machine for you based on a list of personal preferences.
Just fill out the short form and I will personally respond with the top rowing machines I feel you will like the most!
New to Rowing? Check out 4 easy articles to get you started!
Best Home Rowing Machine
Want to buy a rowing machine but confused about where to start!? Read my article on finding the best home rowing machine!
Also, check out my Rowing Machine Buyer’s Guide with important questions like, What’s your budget? What resistance type?, etc.
Check out Top 4 Workout WorkoutArticles
Will A Rowing Machine Help Me Lose Weight?
You like the idea of a rowing machine, but will it help you lose weight? The short answer is yes but come find out why!
Check out Top 4 Workout WorkoutArticles
- The Ultimate Total Body Workout Machine
- Rowing Machines: All Ages & Fitness Levels
- Rowing Machine Information for Beginners
The Ultimate Total Body Workout Machine
Rowing machines are regarded as one of the best total body workout machines available on the market today but don’t just take my word for it!
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, rowing machines are the “best exercise equipment in the gym” because “it’s a total fitness machine” that allows you to “exercise every major muscle group in the body in a smooth, controlled manner”.
According to Men’s Health Magazine, “Rowing machines provide the best total-body workout of any cardio machine. This is because they require equal effort from both your lower and your upper body, which could lead to greater gains in overall cardiovascular fitness.”
Each of my rowing machine reviews break down how effective the rower is at providing a complete full body workout. I discuss resistance strength, smoothness, and much more! Just visit the ‘Reviews’ tab in the top navigation.
Rowing Machines: All Ages & Fitness Levels
Before I knew anything about rowing machines, I assumed they were just for people that rowed boats in the water and they were to difficult to learn. That is FAR FROM THE TRUTH!
You don’t need any previous experience on a rowing machine or boat to use it correctly and effectively.
I’ve seen people of all ages rowing on a rower. Children rowing on the same machines adults row on, to senior citizens that have very weak joints and are looking to get back into shape.
Rowing is low-impact and doesn’t put any stress on your knees and ankles. Rowing machines are perfect for people rehabilitating an injury and are often seen applauding the rower in reviews for helping them.
It doesn’t matter what age you are – if you want to row on a machine, just hop on and start rowing!
Fitness level doesn’t matter, from someone that’s never exercised before to an Olympian athlete, most rowing machines have adjustable resistance which also makes it perfect for households with multiple people and varying fitness levels.
My rowing machine reviews break down which is the best rowing machine for different age & fitness levels. Some very fit users may need a more advance rower than an elderly person just looking to move a little more throughout the day. Each of my reviews goes into detail about age (height and weight) limits and fitness level (resistance strength).
Don’t be nervous to start! There are tons of videos and reviews out there to teach you, like the one below. Just take your time and take it slow.
Rowing Machine Information for Beginners
Required Space & Storage: Most rowing machines require the footprint of [at least] a love seat sofa while in use, but most also have storage options that will allow you to fold them up and slide them under the bed, store them in a closet, or lean them up against a wall. See more information in the reviews.
Weight: Rowing machines weigh between 50-100+ pounds depending on the resistance type. Most indoor rowing machines have dual caster wheels, which makes moving them around easy when needed. See more information in the reviews.
Comfort: What good is a rowing machine if it isn’t comfortable? Some models will have limitations to their comfort features like being too compact or having a hard seat. However, these things can sometimes be fixed like preventing a sore butt from rowing by using a rowing seat pad.
Noise Level: All rowing machines are fairly quiet, some are noisier than others depending on the resistance type. Hydraulic piston and magnetic rowers are the quietest, followed by water and air resistance rowers. See more information in the reviews.
Note: Each rowing machine resistance type has its own ‘pros and cons’. More information on resistance types is provided below or in the full rowing machine reviews.
Rowing machines vary from $100 – $2,000+. The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ applies to rowing machines like it does to every product and service out there.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a quality rowing machine at the lower end of the price range. What’s most important is you find a rowing machine with everything that you need.
Every rower has its ‘pros and cons’ and I go over each in my detailed rowing machine reviews.
For buyers on a budget check out my article: Best Rowing Machine Under $500
You can visit my ‘rowing machine reviews by price’ section in the top navigation bar. You can also visit my ‘Find A Rower’ page and compare rowing machines to find the best rowing machine for the money.
There are four main resistance types: air, hydraulic piston, magnetic, and water. Most rowing machines use one of the resistance types to provide resistance for the rower, while some use a combination of air/magnetic resistance.
Here’s a brief overview of each resistance type:
Hydraulic Piston Resistance
These rowing machines get their resistance from… you guessed it, hydraulic pistons! Rowing machines have either one or two pistons, depending on the model.
The resistance on hydraulic piston rowers is usually adjustable and the adjusting is usually done on the actual piston(s). Hydraulic rowers are quiet, compact, and are at the lower end of the price range.
These rowing machines use paddles suspended in a tank of water for resistance.
Like air resistance rowing machines, resistance on a water rower is variable. The amount of resistance a rower will feel is dependent on their rowing intensity.
Water rowers provide the most realistic rowing motion and on-the-water rowing experience you can get outside of the water. It’s fairly quiet, the faint sound of the water splashing in the water tank adds to the overall realistic rowing experience.
Water resistance rowing machines are at the higher end of the price range but there are a few mid-range options.
These rowing machines use a magnetic brake system to create resistance, which produces no friction and is virtually silent.
Most magnetic rowers have adjustable resistance and require little-to-no maintenance to keep it running smoothly.
Magnetic resistance rowing machines are at the mid-to-high end of the price range.
These rowing machines get their resistance from a spinning flywheel. The resistance on air rowers is ‘variable’ because the amount of resistance a rower experiences is dependent on the rower’s rowing intensity.
If you row with low intensity, you will get low resistance. If you row with a lot of intensity, you will get a lot of resistance.
This is the most popular resistance type out of all four (if you haven’t been to your local gym lately take a look at the rowing machines – I’m sure it’s an air resistance rower) and it happens to also be the noisiest because of the spinning flywheel.
Air resistance rowing machines are at the mid-to-high end of the price range.
Air/Magnetic Combination Resistance
As you may be able to guess, these rowers use a combination of air and magnetic resistance.
The combination allows for greater overall resistance. At lower levels, the rowing machines rely more on air resistance. As a user adds more levels to the magnetic settings, it starts to utilize more of the magnetic system.
These rowers are great for people who want strong overall resistance. The downside is that they aren’t as good as the stand-alone resistance types. Meaning, they don’t provide the realistic, variable resistance type of air-only models and they don’t provide the silent rowing stroke of magnetic-only models.
You can also visit my ‘rowing machine reviews by resistance type’ section in the top navigation bar to find the best air rower machine reviews.
There are a LOT of rowing machine manufacturers out there. Over the years, many brands have popped up and I have over 20 brands listed on this website!
Below are 3 popular brands that have been around for over 30 years!
Started in 1976 as a company that only provided rowing oars. In 1981, they developed the Concept2 Model A indoor rowing machine that became the best-selling rowing machine in the world.
Today, they’re an international company with over 50 employees with a product line that includes SkiERG, oars, and rowing machines. Their philosophy is “rowing is a lifelong activity, accessible to all.”
Concept2 is one of the most popular and respected rowing machine brands in the world today. They’re the preferred rower of choice for off-season rowing professionals but are also popular with people interested in a solid full-body workout.
They have also become wildly popular in Crossfit gyms and are the official brand of Crossfit. They are the most sought after rowers in my reviews and provide the best home rowing machines.
If you’ve visited a fitness club within the past few decades, chances are the rowing machines provided by the club are Concept2 rowers. Concept2 rowing machines are air-resistance rowers.
Started in 1988 in Rhode Island, USA – they now have international offices in London and Australia and employs over 70 employees worldwide.
WaterRower crafts all of their wooden rowing machines from “Appalachian hardwoods sourced ONLY from replenishable forests.” All of their rowing machines are handcrafted in their Warren facility in Rhode Island.
WaterRower is a trusted brand worldwide and they produce nothing but high-quality rowers. They arguably manufacture the world’s most popular water resistance rowing machine that provides the look and feel of rowing in the outdoors on water.
WaterRower rowing machines are water resistance rowing machines. They are among the most aesthetically pleasing products on my reviews.
Stamina Products, Inc.
Was founded in 1987 and their focus is to “supply quality and value to the fitness and leisure markets.” They were the first company to bring Pilates reformers to the mass market for home use.
In addition to the Stamina brand, they have released other products under brands such as Body by Jake, Suzanne Somers, and Tony Little.
Stamina produces a myriad of home fitness products such as exercise bikes, ellipticals, dumbbells, inversion systems, and rowing machines.
Stamina Products, Inc. is a popular brand that focuses on quality and value. This is reflected in their rowing machines as they are quality machines priced at the lower end of the price range for rowers.
Stamina provides rowing machines in the air, hydraulic-piston, and magnetic rowing space. They offer the largest selection out of all my reviews.
You can also visit my ‘rowing machine reviews by brand’ section in the top navigation bar. This will list out the best rowing machine brands with their accompanied bestsellers.
How I Create The Best Rowing Machine Reviews
Before I buy anything, especially a high-ticket item like a rowing machine, I want to do as much research as possible before I make my final purchase.
If it’s been a while since you last rowed on a rowing machine or you never rowed on one before, the product information on a retailer’s website just doesn’t provide you with enough information about a rower.
Retailer websites don’t offer answers to questions such as the seat comfort level, the level of noise, whether or not the rower is ideal for beginners, etc., etc.. Customer reviews can also be confusing, bias, and vague.
To make sure all of your questions get answered, I spend days researching each rowing machine.
I read the instruction manual, visit the manufacturer’s website, read all online product reviews, examine feedback in discussion forums, watch videos, and demo the product when it’s available.
I also use my experience of testing/using well over 20 different models to give my opinion about resistance, monitors, quality, etc.
Afterwards, all of the information is compiled in an unbiased rowing machine review.
Each review has a standard format. For example, if you’re interested in knowing more about a rowing machine’s performance monitor on two different machines, you can find that section in the same spot on each review under ‘monitor/control panel’.
The standard format on all reviews makes it simple to read about each detailed area of a rowing machine and compare different makes/models.
Any Last Questions?
If you have any questions, please contact me at Edwin@RowingMachineKing.com and I will reply as soon as I can. If you have a specific product question, leave it in the comment section on one of the reviews.
I understand how difficult finding a rowing machine is so I’ll do whatever I can to make the process as pain-free as possible!
Good luck in your search and happy rowing!