Now more than ever, exercising at home is becoming fashionable due to the emergency we have been through. It is widespread to find people with treadmills and stationary bicycles in their homes. Lately, those known as rowing machines or ergometers are becoming popular, which are very versatile and allow a complete exercise.
Indeed, if you think of a rowing machine, a typical gym machine and inappropriate to have at home, come to mind. Besides that, you may not know what its benefits are and how to use it.
Therefore, in this article, I want to show you a guide about the possibilities that this machine can offer you, what you have to know about it and why it is feasible to have one at home. Above all, I am going to show you the best models that you can currently find.
Best Rowing Machine For Losing Weight
Rank #1: Sunny Health & Fitness Incline Full Motion Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness Incline Full Motion Rowing Machine is an ideal machine to start in the world of rowing. It has four different hardness positions, but they are more than enough to perform daily physical maintenance.
It is the lightest machine on the list. This, added to its small size, makes it very comfortable to have it at home.
As for cons, it would lack a better grip on the ground. Besides that, the LCD screen is quite simple, omitting data such as the distance paddled.
It is seen that it is a low budget domestic machine designed to start from scratch with lighter exercises, making its benefits focus on this objective, so its value for money is excellent. It is undoubtedly a good option if you have never had a rowing machine and want to start this sport without emptying your pockets.
- Very light and compact
- Good value for money
- Affordable price
Rank #2: HouseFit Rowing Machine
HouseFit Rowing Machine is an excellent option if you don’t want to worry about being short on endurance. Being an air rowing machine, it does not have resistance levels, but it will depend on your strokes’ intensity.
It stands out above all for being very stable, which will allow you to row more comfortably. Also, it is generally a very inexpensive rowing machine.
Having air resistance also has its drawbacks, such as the fact that it is not very quiet and that its folding system does not become very comfortable, and its dimensions are considerable.
It should also be noted that its rail is a bit short, making it not recommended for people over 1.87 m.
In short, the HouseFit Rowing Machine is useful both for those more experienced who want to make sure they can exercise very intensely and for those fewer experts who want to ensure the shot with a rowing machine that serves them throughout their improvement process.
- Good stability
- Very affordable price
- Simple assembly
Rank #3: Bluefin Fitness Rower Machine
The Bluefin Blade 2.0 is proof that a rowing machine isn’t just suitable for gyms. I say this because it is tiny, besides being foldable, making it ideal for people with little space.
Despite having a reasonably low price, it has excellent features, such as being robust and stable, as well as being silent, demonstrating an excellent quality-price ratio.
The only flaw I can find, although important, is that it would lack a little more difficulty in the resistance levels, so I would not recommend it if you are an experienced rower.
Although they are not essential features, it should be added that it includes additional features such as the fact that its viewer has Bluetooth functions to connect to compatible applications such as Kinomap and incorporate support for a tablet and smartphone.
In summary, the Bluefin is highly recommended for people who want to start rowing and do not have much space at home.
- Not bulky
- Robust and stable
- Obvious assembly instructions
Rank #4: Fitness Reality 1000 Plus
The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus is a magnetic rowing machine that allows complementary exercises with the rowing rope, making it a very versatile machine.
What this rowing machine stands out most is being too silent. If we add to this its 14 levels of resistance varied, it becomes a complete machine usable for both beginners and veterans.
The downside of the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus is that it is not recommended for people taller than 1.82 meters.
It includes Bluetooth functions that allow you to connect with apps like “My Cloud Fitness” to record your workouts’ results.
Due to its benefits, this rowing machine is ideal if you want to train intensely without disturbing your family and neighbors at all. On the other hand, thanks to its large number of resistance levels, it is an excellent option for houses where it will be used by different members of the family as long as they comply with the recommended height limitations.
- Very light and compact
- Good value for money
- Affordable price
Rank #5: Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Fan Rower Rowing
The Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Fan Rower Rowing is undoubtedly the best rowing machine about the quality – price. Despite the useful features it offers, it is still one of the cheapest on the list.
It is one of the few machines that allows you to regulate the incline, increasing realism when rowing. Also, it is hushed, and its eight adjustable levels offer enough resistance to tire you on long runs, although if you are looking for a HIIT training and you are someone trained, it may be short since the resistance from 1 to 8 does not vary that much.
Also, it incorporates a chest strap to measure the pulsations wirelessly, which allows you to monitor yourself without disturbing the exercise.
It supports a sizeable maximum weight of 150 kg, making it an excellent option for overweight people who want to start losing their first kilos. This data also shows that it is a very robust rowing machine.
It also has some minor flaws to note, such as the fact that its calorie counter is not entirely accurate and that the footrest does not fit correctly and move.
Despite not being a characteristic of the rowing machine, it should be noted that it has excellent customer service and technical service that makes it easy to get spare parts.
- Excellent value for money
- Good maximum weight supported
- Very quiet
- Simple assembly
Rank #6: ShareVgo Smart Rower Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine
The ShareVgo Smart Rower Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine is, without a doubt, the complete rowing machine on the list. It is the only one that offers 12 training programs that will make the exercises more varied and entertaining.
Also, it includes handy accessories such as a tablet holder, a heart rate monitor belt, and a 5.5-inch screen with a wireless connection that allows you to create profiles for different users, making this machine ideal if it is going to be used by other people.
It is not far behind its use characteristics, being a robust machine with a smooth and silent paddle. That, added to its 16 resistance levels, make it recommended for both beginners and more expert rowers.
Another positive factor to consider is that it is ideal for very tall people and can be used by people up to 2 meters. Even with that, folded, it takes up very little space.
Like everything, it is not perfect, and it has some defects, such as the fact that the heart rate monitor is not waterproof and sweat leaks out. Its assembly also has a specific complication, although you can find a video on youtube showing how to assemble it step by step.
- 12 training programs
- 16 resistance levels
- Not bulky once folded
- Robust and stable
- Great after-sales service
Rank #7: Merax Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine
Merax Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine is the best air rowing machine you can find. Not surprisingly, it is the default choice in most gyms and is recognized by competitive rowers as the standard for their indoor training.
Despite having air resistance, it offers ten different resistance levels, since it allows you to adjust the air current that enters the fan to modify the stroke’s feeling to suit your taste.
It stands out for being made with excellent quality materials, ensuring that it is robust and durable. By cons, this also makes it quite heavy.
Despite its weight, its folding system is straightforward since it separates into two parts, and they are put back together with just one click, which makes it practical to store in a small space.
Another proof of its robustness is the fact that it can be used by very tall people with great weight, supporting up to 227 kg.
As for accessories, its LCD screen is complete, offering different training systems and even games. This screen is wireless, which allows you to put it wherever you want. It also allows you to connect via Bluetooth with mobile apps and heart rate monitors.
Like any air rowing machine, its negative point is the fan’s noise, especially at high intensity, although it is not at all as annoying as other machines of the same type.
In short, the Concept 2 is ideal if you are already hooked on the world of rowing and want to train very intensely without fear of investing in a quality machine.
- Good quality and durability
- High maximum weight supported
- Straightforward folding system
- Offers training programs
- It does not have a built-in heart rate monitor
- Pretty heavy
- Noisy at high intensity
Basic criteria for rowing machines
What is a rowing machine, and what is it for?
A rowing machine or ergometer is a device that simulates the underwater thrust of traditional oars. This is achieved with two handles and a sliding seat on top of a rail, which allows the same movement of arms and legs to be reproduced when stretching the handles as in a conventional paddle.
These machines have different brake systems to simulate the water’s resistance to exercise resistance to paddling, such as a magnetic brake.
Rowing machines serve simultaneously as both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. They are a cardio machine that loses weight and a strength machine, which improves bodybuilding.
There are fixed-resistance paddles, and others adjusted to be more for cardio or more for strength. The latter depends on how the user adjusts the resistance.
Benefits of rowing machines
- Low-impact exercise: Unlike the use of treadmills or stationary bikes, there is no impact on the joints when rowing, which greatly reduces the risk of injury.
- The whole body is worked
- They are more efficient than other devices in terms of burning calories: Even if you exercise with the same intensity as in other devices, the calorie burn is greater in rowing since more joints are used in its movement, making the level of effort that the body has to perform is greater because more muscle mass has been moved
- They are very versatile: In addition to conventional rowing, you can choose to grow sideways, thus working other muscles such as the obliques.
- They take up less space than they appear: Most of the models are foldable or put upright to take up less space.
How to use a rowing machine?
One of the possible reasons that rowing machines are not as widely recognized as others is that their use may seem less obvious than a treadmill or exercise bike.
Regarding the machine’s operation, it is as simple as any other fitness machine. You only have to manually adjust the resistance with which you will row through a manual wheel or a screen reader, and that counting that it has levels of resistance. Beyond that, it only remains to put the feet on the support and fix them with their corresponding fixing system (normally straps).
What is important to know in a rowing machine is the rowing movement, not only to exercise better but also to avoid prolonged bad postures. As an image is worth a thousand words, I leave you a video where the process is shown step by step:
What muscles does the rowing machine work?
As already mentioned, rowing has the advantage of allowing the whole body to be worked. Even so, the ones that work the most are the glutes and legs, the lower abdomen, the lower back, the arms, and the lats.
Where to buy rowing machines?
Although rowing machines are currently not yet the most common to see at home, large companies such as Amazon already have a large number of models of different types and price ranges in their catalog.
Buying guide: How to choose your rowing machine?
Here is a guide with the most essential characteristics that you must consider to choose the rowing machine that best suits your needs.
Type of use
The first thing you should consider when choosing your rowing machine is how you will use it. If you are experienced in this type of device or intend to use it intensively, you will have to look for one that offers high resistance levels so that it does not fall short and has good durability.
If, on the other hand, you are initiated, you can opt for a simpler one that offers less resistance when rowing. In these cases, a good option is rowing machines with air or water resistance since the resistance depends on the row that the user does.
This factor is closely linked to the previous one. If you want to row intensely, you will enjoy the machine to move as little as possible. On the contrary, if your use will be more sporadic or you are only going to grow at lower rates, stability will not be so vital to choose a cheaper machine.
Height and maximum weight
As is common in fitness machines, it is essential not to exceed the manufacturer’s maximum weight. On the other hand, in rowing machines, it is also vital to choose one that suits our height since if we are very long legs, we can find ourselves in the situation that the selected model falls short so we cannot reach do full body extension.
The data that can help you know if this model is suitable for your height is the rail length. In this case, I have stipulated a maximum user height for each model analyzed based on the size of the rail provided by the manufacturer (you can see it in the comparison table).
Type of resistance
There are three types of rowing machines, depending on the system they use to simulate rowing resistance:
Magnetic resistance: It is based on magnets that generate a magnetic force opposite to our paddling. It has the advantage that the resistance can be adjusted (manually or from the monitor), thereby generating different work levels. Rowing machines with this system has the advantage of no contact when working with magnets, so they are usually the quietest and have more excellent durability.
Water resistance: They are based on a water tank that you can empty or fill to make it easier or difficult to grow. These are ideal because they are the ones that best simulate rowing on water. On the other hand, the same tank is responsible for taking up more space.
Water-resistance rowing machine
Air resistance: These simulate resistance with a fan. They have the particularity that the opposition is not adjustable as such, but will be greater the more force you do when rowing. They are ideal if you want to train intensely since there is no resistance limit.
Dimensions and folding system
When talking about a machine to have at home, it is essential to know the rowing machine’s dimensions, both mounted and folded. In this way, we make sure that we can keep it in the corner we want and use it without any problem.
It is worth knowing how its folding system works since you can find an ideal model for you, but it has an unnecessarily complicated folding system, so it is worth assessing whether you can leave it fixedly mounted.
Inertia disc weight
This parameter, indicated in kg, gives us a reference to how well the machine simulates real exercise. The heavier the inertia disk, the more similar the exercise will be to a real stroke.
All rowing machines have an LCD to monitor training. Some are very simple, but at a minimum, they always include readings for time, distance, strokes/minute, total strokes, and calorie consumption.
Some usually include additional functions, such as training programs and Bluetooth functions that allow you to connect to applications to record your workouts.
It is also interesting to know if they have a heart rate reader, something essential in all cardio exercises. Good rowing machines have it included in the form of a chest strap that connects wirelessly to the visor. If not, you should check if its LCD screen allows Bluetooth connection, because in that case, you could buy any wireless chest strap and link it to the machine.
You May Also Like