Best Rowing Machines: Get Whole-Body Workout

Any of the best rowing machines can give you a whole-body workout that employs your arms, legs, core, and back — and it can help enhance your posture as you build muscle.

You don’t want to know anything about the pleasure of rowing to get a great workout with a rowing machine. While they aren’t as mainstream as ellipticals, treadmills, or the Peloton Bike, they’ve been expanding popularity in recent years and deserve a spot in your home gym.

There are many different rowing machine options out there, each with its features and resistance type. You can run for a rower with hydraulic resistance, one with magnetic resistance, or one with a flexible resistance mechanism. You can serve an intelligent rower; you could even arrange a foldable rowing machine if you don’t have an area. It all depends on your exercise equipment choice.

Best Rowing Machines

NordicTrack RW900

If you’re attending for a genuinely immersive experience rather than just a simple workout, the NordicTrack RW900 brings all the intelligent features you need. It has a 22-inch touchscreen and lives resistance control that gives iFit trainers the power to change their fitness reality experience during a rowing workout. In addition, this rowing machine combines air and magnetic resistance that upped the ante on workout intensity.

This indoor rowing machine is going to be the most comfortable. In addition to becoming an ultrasmooth glide, it allows for a full range of motion and has pivoting pedals and a soft-touch handle that is easy to grip and hold on to as you will go through the motions.

Like all NordicTrack and ProForm machines, it appears with the option to connect an iFit membership, and your first year is free with investment. That’s where the real alchemy happens. iFit gives you a way to hundreds of coaches that take you through workouts for each fitness level to help you reach your fitness aims. In addition, you can opt for studio classes, which include exercises both on and off the rower. For these exercises, you can use the touchscreen to watch along with the trainer.

ProForm 750R Rower

Rowing machines aren’t incredibly bulky, but they take up a fair amount of horizontal space, making them inaccessible to have around if you don’t have a dedicated gym space. The ProForm 750R Rower determines this home gym doubt with its Space Saver design. With the literal weight of a handle, it folds up, and its trail goes from 7 feet to about 3 — probably one of the most convenient stow-away processes to experience in a cardio machine.

Employing this exercise equipment is relatively straightforward. Admittedly, the pull wasn’t as smooth as some of the other options on this list. However, you can gain a full range of motion, and the inertia-enhanced flywheel provides for a smooth rotation without any wobbling or jerkiness, even at more incredible swiftness.

This machine is on the less-expensive front as far as midrange rowing machines operate, but it doesn’t feel like a budget option aside from producing a video display on the console. It does have the capacity to attach to iFit; it’s just not as seamless as the NordicTrack RW900 since you’ll need to bring your viewing screen.

Hydrow Rower

It has an upscale, beautiful design. The strokes are smooth, the adjustable footbeds are comfortable, and the seat rail is long enough to allow a full range of motion without bumping against the stoppers. Also, rather than owning an exposed flywheel like some of the other examples on this list, it runs on an electromagnetic resistance drag mechanism that you can accommodate from 1 to 300. At default, it’s set to 104, which simulates the feel of rowing on the water. As a result, it fits most workouts and fitness levels. 

The LIT Strength Machine

It’s intended to be a rower, reformer, and resistance trainer in one — and it addresses it very well. Using it as a primary rowing machine is straightforward. Not only did the seat glide smoothly, but you can also achieve a full range of motion on the seat rail without beating the stopper, even at more incredible speeds. The adjustable foot pedals are convenient, and the pull is steady. 

The only instrument on this list that works actual water resistance, which most nearly mimics the outdoor rowing feel you would perceive as a solid rower out on the open water. If you need a little more oomph, you can customize the resistance level with a twist knob, but you can exercise relying on the water to work against most of the time. Filling it up was a moderately lengthy process — the machine comes with a siphon that you can employ to transfer water from a bucket into the water reservoir. 

The primary thing that delivers this workout machine stand out, though, is the accessory pack that happens to come with it. There are numerous kits to choose from, but you can attach several strength bands and power bands that enable you to use the machine as an anchor as you do resistance exercises. The main goal is to create an all-in-one machine that will allow you to combine cardio and resistance training but focus on low-impact activities that prevent injury. And that goal has been accomplished. During the testing period, you could complete all of your workouts.

While the LIT Strength Machine doesn’t hold any innovative characteristics, an app, and an on-demand digital platform, it will give you access to all types of workouts, from essential rowing to mindfulness to barre; these fitness classes were hands-down my favorite of any other platforms. They’re fun, high-energy, and adaptable. In addition, there are so many options to choose from that you never get bored. 

AssaultRower Elite

Another darling of dangerous athletes, the AssaultRower Elite, is a monster of a rower machine. Professional athletes and trainers created it to take a beating, and thanks to its solid steel construction, it likely does just that. Like Concept 2, the AssaultRower has a primary digital interface that tells you only what you need to know — no-frills or leisurely digital immersive experiences here — and works on air resistance, so the harder you work, the more complex the workout gets.

Concept2

It’s impracticable to pull a list of the best rowing machines collectively without at least mentioning Concept2, probably the most well-known rowing machine out there (at least by CrossFitters). The Concept2 model indoor rower consistently receives high marks across the board. While the RowErg doesn’t have any seasoned technology — its digital display highlights the basics — it’s smooth and can take heavy day-to-day use, which is ideal for solemn rowers. 

Stamina ATS Air Rower

If you need all of the bells and whistles, you’re not going to accept it with the Stamina ATS rower, but this is a good alternative if you properly manage your expectations. It has a virtual digital interface that shows speed, distance, time, and calories — and that’s it. Unfortunately, there’s no way to control resistance digitally. Still, one of the perks of a machine with air resistance is that it automatically adapts to match your pace without the demand for too much technology.

You get a reasonably smooth rowing stroke and seat glide. However, you hit the stopper at the end of the seat rail several times, which will prevent you from achieving a full range of motion like with some of the larger, more expensive models. However, it likely wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for casual rowers or anyone who’s just starting with a rowing machine workout.

Wrap Up

Rowing is a low-impact workout that’s easy on your bones. While several rowing machines can arrange the job, the best rowing machine for you depends on your goals, budget, and fitness level. So go, get one for yourself.