Best Rowing Machines For A Health and Wellness Studio 2019

Best rowing machines for improving health

Best rowing machines for improving health. A home training exercise program can be seen as daunting by most, and especially for those new to the world of fitness. You don’t need to run five miles a day to get in shape, or even hit your local gym. All you need is a rowing machine.

Rowing machines is a great option because it builds endurance, is low impact, and it’s great for all exercise levels and ages. This machine mimics the motion of moving a boat in the water, so it’s easy for anyone to do. Some rowers are your standard machine with a standard tension system that you work against, and some are so sophisticated that they actually make you think you’re in a rowboat!

Here we will offer up our honest review on

Best rowing machines

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A detailed review of each rowing machines

1. Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Row Machine

Best rowing machines Pros

  • Smooth and quiet magnetic tension system
  • 8 levels of adjustable tension
  • Built-on transportation wheels

Best rowing machines Cons

  • Can’t track meters rowed
  • Tiny monitor
  • No virtual 3D glasses option

The SF-RW5515 is great for a HITT workout, or for general cardio that still builds endurance if that’s more your speed. With 8 levels of resistance, you’ll always have a challenging experience. Its LCD monitor displays time, count, calories, total count, and scan.

It has a padded seat, non-slip grip handlebars, and a large anti-slip foot pedal.
Dimensions: 82L x 19W x 23H (in.)
Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.


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Best rowing machines Pros

  • Air resistance only
  • Easy to assemble and store
  • Solid build to last a lifetime

Best rowing machines Cons

  • Hard seat

The Concept2 is truly one of the best machines to simulate the rower experience out there, but this machine is for the advanced rower, so you’ve been warned!

Its Performance Monitor 5 (PM5) gives you accurate data for every row, has a backlight for visibility, and a USB flash drive that makes it easy to store workout data. The monitor has an adjustable arm so you can re-position it.

The spiral damper allows for easy adjustment of airflow to the flywheel, which will let you control your strokes. And it is really quiet.

Concept2 has a quick-release frame-lock mechanism that lets you easily separate the machine into two pieces for storage. The caster wheel allows you to roll the machine into position.

It has adjustable footrests and an ergonomic handle that has a 10-degree bend to let you move your arms and hands in a natural manner.

As for the seat, the seat is only uncomfortable at first. Your bum has to get used to this! This is often a complaint from those who do not have developed glutes, so just remember No pain, no gain!

Dimensions: 96L x 24W x 44.5H
Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

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Best rowing machines Pros

  • User-friendly, low impact
  • Easy setup
  • Plenty leg extension space

Best rowing machines Cons

  • Fan is a bit loud
  • Basic digital interface
  • No resistance setting

The Stamina ATS gives a great home workout for both upper and lower body. The intensity of the workout is up to you: Change the speed of your stroke to change the difficulty of the workout. The faster you row, the more resistance the machine will add.

It has an over-sized seat rail that supports a smooth-sliding seat that good for every body type. The seat is padded, along with textured grips and over-sized foot plates to fit any foot size.

To drown out the fan, you can always listen to your own music. And the basic digital interface is not that big of a con unless you love the latest when it comes to technology. It is sad that there is no resistance setting. Everybody has the ability to push themselves harder during a workout, but if it’s been a heavy 30-minute HITT routine, you’ll need a resistance setting to keep you in check.

Dimensions: 77L x 18W x 22H
Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

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4. XTERRA ERG200 Folding Magnetic Resistance Rower

Best rowing machines Pros

  • No plug-in required (2 AA batteries)
  • Dual aluminum track rail system
  • Large 3.7″ LCD monitor

Best rowing machines Cons

  • Needs batteries if you don’t want to plug it in
  • Anyone taller than 6’2″ cannot use this machine

The XTERRA ERG200 uses heavy-duty steel with incorporated durable components that keeps this XTERRA going. The creators of this rower also provide top-notch customer service. Aside from the above, this is your standard rower machine. It’s good for beginners or those who don’t want to use this machine often.

Dimensions: 72L x 20.7W x 31.5H
Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

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5. Body Xtreme Fitness Rower Machine

Best rowing machines Pros

  • Large multi-functional LCD display
  • Easy storage
  • Fastened foot straps to support leg thrusts

Best rowing machines Cons

  • Assembly can be somewhat difficult

Body Xtreme is a heavy-duty row machine that comes with a 16 pound inner magnetic system that you can easily adjust the tension control of with the touch of a dial. This machine will definitely boost muscular endurance! (It includes a cooling towel so that should say something!)

And to make sure you’re at your most comfy, it comes with an ergonomic seat that supports all exercise levels. As for assembly, I found it a little difficult to assemble, while others seemed to have no problem. It’s not a huge downside, but it is worth mentioning.

Dimensions: 69.5L x 20.1W x 18.9H
Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

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6. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

Best rowing machines Pros

  • Replicates actual rower experience very well
  • Has minimal footprint
  • Smooth and quiet machine

Best rowing machines Cons

  • Foot straps do not work with all shoe sizes (Have to buy more straps to use different types of shoes)
  • Pivot mechanism beneath machine has PLASTIC bushings (AKA It will wear out eventually!)
  • If you’re really strong you can’t use this machine

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 has a ball-bearing roller system and hydraulic resistance. This wind-resistance rower will adjust based on your stroke speed and intensity.

The multi-functional monitor displays workout times, stroke counts, calories burned during each workout, and the total strokes accumulated since you’ve owned the machine.
Each data point will be displayed for 6 seconds before moving on to the next.

The plastic bushings in this rower really bring the value and experience of it down. Those plastic bushings will break, whether from continuous use or from you becoming too strong. And you are free to order new bushings if you would like, but if you’re particularity strong this can turn into a problem quickly. It’s still an excellent machine, but I just wish they would have used metal bushings instead of plastic ones.

Dimensions: 50L x 12W x 10H
Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

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7. WaterRower Natural Rower Machine in Ash Wood

Best rowing machines Pros

  • Quiet, up-front mechanism with low profile
  • Beautiful craftsmanship
  • Extra comfy seat

Best rowing machines Cons

  • It’s made of wood, which expands and contracts, so bolts will need to be tightened every few months
  • Needs fresh water purification tablet every 6 – 12 months

The WaterRower is made of Ash wood. It has a WaterFly wheel that perfectly emulates the feeling of a boat being rowed through water.

Working 84% of your muscle mass and still providing a low-impact workout, the WaterRower comes with a Series 4 performance monitor that displays workout intensity, stroke and heart rate, zone bar, duration, and distance. You also have the option to use a chest strap that monitors your heart rate and a receiver. The monitor also comes with 6 information and programming windows, 6 QuickSelection buttons, and 3 navigation buttons. Pretty nifty.

Ash wood is used for its ability to absorb sound or vibrational frequencies. The dual rails with 4 corner wheels serve to stabilize your ride and reduces sweat that ends up on your seat.

The Ashwood is one of the things that makes this rower so unique! But do realize that since it is made of wood, you will have to tighten the screws every few months. Wood expands and contracts according to humidity, so during the summer months you may find the screws too loose, or in the winter months too tight.

Also be aware of the water purification tablet. Trying to use this machine when it needs a tablet may result in damages to the machine

Even with the cons, I would still say this is truly a wonderful purchase for the user who wants as much of a real-life rower experience as possible.

Dimensions: 84W x 21H x 22D
Max. Weight Capacity: 1,000 lbs

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8. Stamina X Air Rower

Best rowing machines Pros

  • Pivoting footplates
  • Angled seat rail
  • Durable rower chain

 Best rowing machines Cons

  • Parts of the rower come off too easily

The Stamina X uses wind resistance to make sure you’re always pushing yourself to the limit. The faster you row, the more resistance the machine will give you. It comes with a multi-function monitor that displays your distance, calories burned, speed, time, number of strokes, and strokes per minute.

An added rowing handle gives you a comfortable grip during your workout, and a molded seat contours to the curves of your body. The durable chain will last over years of prolonged use. It’s frame is made of steel and folds down so it doesn’t ruin the look of your house.

It’s not a bad machine, but the parts kind of have this tendency to just fall off. When a part disappears or breaks on the machine and you have to order a new part, there’s a good chance the new part will still have missing parts. So just be careful with that.

Dimensions: 78.5L x 18W x 29H
Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

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9. Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower Machine

Best rowing machines Pros

  • Has free-motion arms
  • Uses dual piston hydraulic resistance
  • Precision extruded aluminum beam

Best rowing machines Cons

  • Does not stand properly when stored upright
  • No locking mechanism for the seat
  • Roller wheels under seat are made of plastic

The Stamina 1215 is compact and portable, with a single button multi-function monitor that shows your speed, distance, time, row count, calories burned, and miles rowed. It has adjustable tension controls and you can increase the beam incline for a more intense workout. And the footplates pivot for your added comfort.

Be careful when you store this machine upright. The grips at the bottom slip too easily, which will make the machine lean. Be careful when you sit down in the seat to start your workout since the seat doesn’t lock.

And if you think you want to buy this machine you may want to go ahead and just buy a new pair of roller wheels because this machine has plastic wheels under the seat that will wear down as you use it.

Dimensions: 48L x 32.5W x 27.75H
Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

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10. Stamia Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

Best rowing machines Pros

  • Pre-programmed workouts with 4 you get to design yourself
  • Heart rate chest strap included
  • Magnetic Rower

Best rowing machines Cons

  • None

The Avari features 12 workout programs with:

  • 6 cardio profiles
  • 1 manual
  • 4 custom user programs
  • 1 heart rate program

Its monitor will keep you motivated by tracking your time, counts, distance, calories burned, strokes per minute, pulse, and watt. It also has a back-light to make it easy on the eyes.

I found no clear, routine issues with this machine. Of course, every machine may have its loose screws or pieces that fall off, but that wasn’t the case for this machine. Everything stayed in place, and there’s no big maintenance the machine needs, so I didn’t see a need to put any cons on this machine.

Rowing has been recognized as a great aerobic activity, consisting of fluid movements that improve your muscular endurance, aren’t harsh on the joints, and still gets your heart rate up. For those who may not want to go find a river to row a boat in whenever they get the urge, rower machines are the perfect replacement.

Above is my review of the 10 best rower machines out there. There are countless more great rower machines out there, but here are a few just to start you off. Almost all of the machines above I would recommend for anyone, for the absolute beginner all the way up to the seasoned athlete.

I hope one of the machines above are to your liking, or at least you can go out and have a fun idea on the type of machine you want. Take care, and stay on top of your health!

Check out our guide to the best Olympic Weight Sets to help you improve power output by developing Olympic cleans.

We also have a few more pages of cardiovascular machines below

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