8 Best Rowing Machines of 2022

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What are the best Rowing Machines in 2022?

The workout provided by a rowing machine is hailed as one of the best that you can get. It provides a low-impact exercise that tones the arms, legs, back, and core abdominal muscles. It also provides you with the heart benefits of a vigorous cardio workout. Stationary bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals cannot reach all of these muscle groups.

To help you navigate the many options out there, we have rounded up the Best Best Rowing Machines in the post for you:

QUICK RECOMMENDATIONS

Check out this quick list of our favorites if you’re in a hurry, or continue scrolling to see our full top 8 list with in-depth reviews.

#1: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine (Best overall)

#2: Hydrow – Connected Rowing Machine

#3: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5854 Magnetic Rowing Machine with Dual Resistance (Best value)

#4: NordicTrack – RW900 Rowing Machine

#5: ProForm Pro R10 Smart Rower with 10” Touchscreen

#6: Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine – SF-RW5713

#7: ProForm 750R Folding Smart Rower

#8: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor (Best budget)

Types of Rowing Machine

There are four main types of rowing machine classed by the resistance mechanism used. Here are the 4 types:

Hydraulic

If you are looking for an economical option or you are living in a space that is limited in size the hydraulic rowing machine can be a wise choice. This machine gets its resistance from the air and fluid that is being compressed with a cylinder inside that can be adjusted by the user. The problem with these machines is they do not allow you to pull in a straight line and you therefore are unable to perform a natural stroke row stroke.

Water

The Water rowing machine is prized as the best rowing machine out there by many people because it emulates the motion, feel, and resistance of being in a true row boat because of its patented water flywheel design. The water rower rowing machines gain resistance by dragging through water just like your performing outdoors. They have a tank of water that the machine moves through so the resistance is similar and the sound is almost silent. You do hear the movement of water but with most water rowers it is ever so slightly.

Most water rowing machines are made of wood but there are a few commercial models that are mostly constructed of metal. The disadvantages of water rowing machines are that they tend to be larger than other types of rowing machines and the prices start at a higher price point.

Magnetic

Magnetic resistant fitness rowing machines are very popular due to their silent stroke and smooth resistance. Unlike flywheel based indoor rowers which receives its resistance from the wind, magnetic rowing machines utilizes a magnetic brake system. This provides for multiple levels of resistance and easy adjustability. This ease of resistance adjustability makes them very popular in the rowing world today, especially for the use in the home. Because they use magnetic resistance there is no friction and there is virtually no sound out of the machine.

Air or Flywheel

The Flywheel Rowing Machines are often referred to as an air rowing machine and can usually aim to give you a feel like outdoor rowing. The air rowing machine uses a flywheel that is spun from the pulling motion. This flywheel then spins blades from a fan that puts out wind. The resistance is increased the faster you pull on the rowing machine because the faster you go the faster the blades spin and this creates more resistance. The problem with these machines is the can be very noisy for indoor use.

To figure out which model is the best rowing machine for your use, you will need to examine the following criteria: Rider weight may have a maximum limit of 250 pounds up to a possible 500 pounds. Obviously, your personal situation will dictate the appropriate model. You will also have to examine height limits if you are extremely tall or short. You will also need to determine your space requirements. If you have a home gym with room to spare, it is not a concern. For those who need a model to fold and store in the closet or under the bed, it will be more of a consideration.

Your goal in shopping for one of these machines is to find a model that is best suited to your individual needs and preferences. You want to find a unit that balances affordability with reliability and resistance. Evaluating the 4 kinds of resistance available will help you to determine the most suitable rowing machine for you.

1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

$1,183.12 in stock
7 new from $1,087.61
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 15, 2022 7:01 am

PROS:

  • Smooth gliding operation
  • Ease of assembly
  • Large size to accommodate tall people
  • Reliable and robust with readily-available replacement parts

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • Requires a bit of space (9 feet by 4 feet)
  • No in-built apps, fancy graphics or live workouts
  • Not the most aesthetically attractive


2. Hydrow – Connected Rowing Machine

Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 15, 2022 7:01 am

PROS:

  • Extensive library of motivating classes and rowing events
  • Delivers a full-body workout
  • Features quiet, electromagnetic resistance
  • Superb graphics

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Membership not included


3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5854 Magnetic Rowing Machine with Dual Resistance

$358.65 $469.98 in stock
2 new from $358.65
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 15, 2022 7:01 am

PROS:

  • Enlarged digital monitor
  • 16 levels of magnetic resistance
  • 7 workout programs
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • Folding frame for storage
  • ANT+ heart rate monitor compatible
  • Pivoting foot pedals
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy assembly
  • Price

CONS:

  • Warranty could be longer
  • An HR chest strap is not included


4. NordicTrack – RW900 Rowing Machine

$1,446.98 $1,599.00 in stock
3 new from $1,446.98
2 used from $1,212.68
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 15, 2022 7:01 am

PROS:

  • Interactive workouts
  • Comprehensive program including cross-training 
  • Easily folds up for easy storage
  • Utilizes a dual resistance design

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • iFit membership costs $39 per month (after the first 30 day)


5. ProForm Pro R10 Smart Rower with 10” Touchscreen

$1,292.50 in stock
3 new from $1,272.00
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 15, 2022 7:01 am

PROS:

  • Totally free with a 3-year iFit subscription
  • 10″ HD touchscreen
  • Oversize, pivoting foot pedals
  • Folds and rolls for storage

CONS:

  • Only one month’s iFit subscription included in price
  • The touchscreen could be larger


6. Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine – SF-RW5713

$449.00 $499.98 in stock
4 new from $449.00
2 used from $362.74
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 15, 2022 7:01 am

PROS:

  • High-density rubber wheels make it easy to maneuver
  • Built-in fitness meter helps to track workouts easily and accurately
  • Constructed with sturdy steel that provides maximum durability
  • Smooth rowing action
  • Adjustable water levels
  • Heart rate monitor compatible

CONS:

  • May not be ideal for people with short height
  • Water can leak from tank when stored vertically
  • Heart rate monitor not included


7. ProForm 750R Folding Smart Rower

$995.00 in stock
1 new from $995.00
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 15, 2022 7:01 am

PROS:

  • Good value
  • Optional membership program
  • Folds up for storage
  • Integrated tablet holder

CONS:

  • Only one month’s iFit subscription included in price
  • Design not the most attractive


8. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor

$249.00 $399.00 in stock
2 new from $249.00
5 used from $225.22
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was on: August 15, 2022 7:01 am

PROS:

  • Economical with eight levels of resistance
  • Easy to fold and store

CONS:

  • Only okay cord quality
  • Rail might be too short for tall people


2 Comments
  1. […] you can’t get a run in or you really want to avoid the treadmill, try the rowing machine. If you haven’t tried it before, run into a local gym and check it out. This isn’t something […]

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