With various models available on the market, one wonders: What is the best rowing machine? Which one should I buy to exercise at home? The answer is not easy, since today we could find more than 30 different devices (from hydraulic to magnetic and flywheel) and not know where to start.
Many compact rowing machines have advanced features that you may not be aware of, and knowing which type is the best for you takes time. Even sometimes, no matter how much you read and inform yourself, you still have doubts and are unsure which model to buy.
To solve your doubts and try to help you in an easier way to choose your perfect machine, we have been testing several models of rowing compact machines for a few months, checking their characteristics, their performance, and assessing the quality/price ratio.
Because if you like to exercise, you will know that there is nothing better than trying a best rowing machine for small space to get to know it thoroughly and comment on it.
My Top Selction- 10 Best Rowing Machine For Small Space
10 Best Rowing Machine For Small Space
We have created a more detailed list of our experience for compact rower, with the models that we think are worth the most. Few have impressed us, but we are sure that yours is among them.
This is the curated list of the best rowing machines for compact spaces we’ve tried:
Rank #1: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine.
The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is a simple compact rowing machines machine, with a good finish and simple design materials but in line with its price.
Its assembly is rapid and easy, and when folded, it takes up little space at home.
- Eight different levels of resistance
- Console with a display that measures heart rate, time, strokes per minute, total strokes, and calories burned
- Corded rowing system. High-quality rail folding
- Allows users weighing up to 120 Kg
- 4 Kg flywheel
- cardio machines for small spaces
- Compact size when folded
- Eight adjustable resistance levels
- The maximum user weight is 120 Kg
- Very easy to assemble
- The pulse sometimes does not detect it well
Rank #2: SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS MAGNETIC ROWING MACHINE
We have included the SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS MAGNETIC ROWING MACHINE in the best list due to its quality/price ratio, compact size, and resistance level that allows low to medium intensity workouts.
- LCD: indicates strokes per minute, speed, time, and calories burned
- It has 12 adjustable resistance levels
- Hydraulic piston
- space saving rowing machine
- Foldable and compact
- Good value for money
- Comfortable seat
- Easy assembly
- Instructions in Italian
- Not suitable for a demanding level
Rank #3: STAMINA BODY TRAC GLIDER 1050 ROWING MACHINE
The STAMINA BODY TRAC GLIDER 1050 ROWING MACHINE is a magnetic rowing machine for small space, and therefore the movements it allows to do are very smooth. The materials are ergonomic, and all this has given us a great and comfortable experience.
- 5.5 kg flywheel with fluid and smooth movement
- Very silent exercise due to its magnetic system. Maintenance-free magnetic brake
- Voltage regulator up to 8 levels, manually
- Monitor and LCD screen that reports calories consumed, time, speed, strokes per minute, positions, and the total number of strokes
- Allows users up to 110 kg in weight
- best compact rower
- Eight adjustable resistance levels
- Very smooth and silent movements
- Easy level of resistance for advanced athletes
Rank #4: WATER ROWER NATURAL ROWING MACHINE
This rowing machine has left us delighted due to the naturalness of the movements and design. The Marcy RM413 is a magnetic type space saving compact rowing machine, and if we compare it with an air resistance one, the smoothness of the activities, very similar to rowing, and the silence are much more noticeable.
- Integrated display that measures different parameters during exercise (time, calories, distance, speed)
- The compact folding rowing machine
- cardio machines for small spaces
- Magnetic resistance adjustable in 8 levels
- 4 kg inertia wheel
- small rowing machine
- Allows users weighing up to 110 Kg
- Silent and robust
- Suitable for height up to 1.90
- You can adjust the resistance level
- Very smooth movements
- Easy resistance for advanced
Rank #5: CONCEPT2 MODEL E INDOOR ROWING MACHINE
The CONCEPT2 MODEL E INDOOR ROWING MACHINE is perfect for getting started with this compact home rowing machine and is quite good for the price.
It allows you to improve your cardiovascular system, strengthen all muscles simultaneously, or do it in isolation.
- Adjustable resistance
- A computer that displays: exercise time, number of movements, rowing, calories burned, etc …
- Includes an instructional DVD
- Interchangeable handles
- Three tensioners. Adjustable resistance
- compact rowing machine
- Very compact
- Perfectly mimics the movement of the rower
- Perfect for beginners
- Complete DVD
- Easy to assemble
- You need a non-slip mat under the machine.
- Not suitable if you are taller than 1.80 – 1.85m
Rank #6: STAMINA ATS AIR ROWER
The STAMINA ATS AIR ROWER has shown us, with its daily use, that it is worth investing in it since the quality/price ratio has been excellent, and it has not given us any problems during its use. The only but is that you can stay something.
- Air Resistance Rowing Machine
- It allows folding of some of its parts to be stored (occupies 1 meter)
- The main structure is made of steel.
- LCD screen
- The maximum load capacity of 115 Kg
- smallest exercise machine
- Very smooth operation
- You can do more or less resistance depending on your strength
- Easy assembly
- Good value for money
- If you are an expert rower, it will not be enough for you
- Instructions are in English
Rank #7: SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS SF-RW1205 12 ROWING MACHINE
The SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS SF-RW1205 12 ROWING MACHINE is one of the rowing machines that we liked the most, for its quality/price ratio.
You can use it daily, and it is very compact since when folded, it takes up little space, and its movement is simple, allowing it to be stored easily.
- Multi-function display compatible with pulse strap
- 15-degree tilt. Seat with bearings
- It has an application for tablets and mobiles
- Manually adjustable magnetic resistance (8 levels)
- Integrates wheels for movement
- Suitable for heights up to 1.90
- High-quality aluminum
- Good design
- Solid and stable structure
- Perfect for beginners and for more advanced
- Easy to assemble
- Instructions in Spanish
- Compact, foldable, and easy to move
- The display batteries drain very quickly
What is a rowing machine?
This exercise machines for small spaces are in fashion and part of the fitness equipment we currently find in most gyms. It is an excellent training machine that does not need assistance or be supervised by a professional trainer, and that you can use at home or in the gym.
Its structure is based on the design of the rowboats that we all know, and they help burn calories by simulating the exercise done during rowing with hands and legs. Thus, during your sports routine at home, you will exercise the muscles without subjecting them to excessive tension.
Should I Buy a Home Rowing Machine?
If you feel identified with any of the following objectives, you are the right person to buy a rowing machine. Start enjoying its benefits while you exercise.
Looking to Lose Weight
Rowing machines are ideal for those looking for a healthy and strong workout to lose weight. A good workout pace can help you burn your calories. To give you an idea, if you weigh around 80 kg, you can lose up to 377 calories in just 30 minutes of continuous exercise practicing high-intensity indoor rowing.
You want to reduce stress.
Rowing machines are used primarily for cardiovascular workouts. A 30-60 minute training session with a rowing machine helps increase the number of endorphins circulating in your blood. These endorphins are responsible for reducing stress and help prevent depression or low moods.
With regular exercise, your energy levels will get higher and higher, while reducing the chances of heart risks.
You are concerned about the health of your heart.
Doing aerobic exercises with a rowing machine daily or regularly will strengthen your heart. Not only that, but it will also improve the health of your lungs. This could be very effective for those who have recently quit smoking and are seeking a healthy lifestyle.
As we said in the previous point, the risk of suffering from heart problems, including coronary artery diseases, will be reduced since rowing will help you maintain your heart rate. You are maintaining a low level of tension on the machine while working at high speed and a low resistance level is necessary.
Looking for a Low Impact Workout without Weight Support
Anyone can use a rowing machine. This has a low impact on our muscle and bone structure and allows us to do the exercise session while sitting.
If your ankles, knees, or joints are weak, and you want to practice sports with a machine at home without having to bear weight, the rowing machine is the right one for you. It is also recommended if you have had a recent surgery or injury and are already recovered.
The low-impact exercises offered by rowing machines make it ideal for avoiding joint pain and is the main reason why many people choose these devices in their exercise routine.
Types of Rowing Machines
By imitating the technique of rowing in the water, rowing machines promote full-body training. The tone and strengthen all the muscles in our body, and help improve the cardiovascular system through an exercise that is very easy to master.
They are made up of accessories similar to an oar, along with a sliding seat. The exercise consists of rowing with your hands and legs.
There are different types of rowing machines on the market:
- Water Resistant Rowing Machines
- Rowing Machines with Air Resistance
- Piston Resistance Rowing Machines
- Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machines
All of these machines are very similar but differ in the type of resistance they offer when rowing. If you are interested in a more intense training session, the ideal one to choose is the magnetic resistance machine.
Benefits of compact Rowing Machines
These compact rowing machines have been found to help injured people who cannot perform exercises that impact their joints, such as running, jumping, lifting heavy weights, and keeping fit.
Below you can see some of the benefits that indoor rowing will bring you :
Rowing has been proven to stimulate brain centers that trigger endorphins release, improving mood, and making you feel more relaxed.
Training session without difficulty
Rowing with these machines is very simple. Also, you can practice the exercises while you watch TV at home or listen to your favorite music while burning those calories that will help reduce your weight (about 600-1000 calories per hour with intense exercise)
Improve your cardiovascular system
Rowing machines increase the flow of oxygen to your body and help improve heart function, blood circulation, and the use of carbohydrates by cells. All this translates into improvements for your health.
Complete body toning
Through the rowing exercise, you will be able to train and strengthen your body’s muscles.
The rowing you do on these machines has a low impact on your body. This means that the probability of muscle tears, joint pain, or other injuries is much lower than other types of exercises that you could practice in the gym room.
It is an ideal exercise for older people with a recovered injury (as long as the doctor does not prohibit the exercise) or athletes who are injured and must keep in shape by changing the exercise type.
Exercise from home
We all know that the intention to go to the gym and play sports is sometimes difficult due to lack of time or laziness. Having a rowing machine at home will make things easier for you and help you get in shape from the comfort of your home.
What Muscles Does Rowing Strengthen?
When you finish a rowing stroke, your biceps in the upper arm are the most exercised, helping to bend your elbows and push your arms to pull the rower. Next, your chest muscles, along with your triceps, help you prepare to push off another row stroke.
Muscles of the upper back
Many of the muscles in your upper back and shoulders are involved with these exercises. The shoulder muscles, called rhomboids, tend to pull your shoulders back when you complete a rowing stroke.
Muscles of the Midsection
Upon reaching the handle of the rower, the force exerted by the arms and back when pushing us, stabilizes the lower part of the spine, avoiding injuries, and the muscles of our midsection contract. The lower back is made up of the rectus abdominis, obliques, spine, and transverse abdominals.
When you push the rowing strokes with the machine, you are pushing your legs hard, something called “catching on the row.” This directly affects the knees and hips’ muscles and the largest muscles in the body, including the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteal muscles. The hamstrings are located on the front of the thighs. The quadriceps are located on the back of the thighs, and the gluteal muscles are located on the back of the hips.
Each time a rowing stroke is completed, it tends to advance slightly. This is due to movement within the arms and because the hip muscles and hamstrings tend to contract. The hip muscles work simultaneously with the rectus femoris, located at the front of the hips. The contraction in this area prepares you to push forward and prepare to continue with the row’s next stroke.
Errors during Rowing Machine Training
We know that using a rowing machine is easy, and it is easy to master the exercises after just a few sessions. However, here are some common mistakes to avoid during your training session to get the best result without injury or discomfort.
It is very important to keep your back straight and avoid hunching over. Sit upright in the seat, tighten your abdominal muscles, and relax your shoulders, while allowing a relaxed rowing motion.
Adjust Shock Absorber
Before starting your training, adjust the shock you will find on the machine (it is like a small level). A high setting offers greater resistance and a more difficult job, something to keep in mind if you are a beginner (the ideal, in this case, is a setting of 3 to 5 ).
You can progressively increase the fit, achieving a much more effective training session.
Maintaining the Rowing Pace
If you follow the order that your arms and legs should maintain during the rowing exercise, everything will be fine. Don’t try weird things, like synchronizing your hand and leg movement simultaneously, as the exercise will be more difficult and cause you to lose more energy. Try to keep up with the rowing exercise, and little by little, you will succeed.
Making jerky movements
The rush is never good. Therefore, the learning process of rowing exercise should be gradual, without trying to master it on the first day. Sometimes, controlling your body while gliding back and forth is difficult, but you will succeed with practice.
The first half of the exercise involves pushing, where the legs push, and the arms pull, and the second half involves returning to rest. If you push your legs too fast, you could jerk your butt forward into a jerky movement. Also, this jolt can cause injury, so you should maintain a firm and controlled posture.
Move Your Arms Properly
The rowing machine is not only about using the arm to complete the training session, but also about equivalently using the legs. Without forcing your arms too much, you should be able to use 60% of the force through the legs’ push, 20% through the arms, and the remaining 20% using the rest of the body.
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