Best Rowing Machine – March, 2019 Reviews & Buyers Guide

As more men and women are becoming invested in health and fitness, interest in fitness equipment is rising as well (after all, you can only run and do push-ups for so long without feeling like you’ve hit a fitness-increasing wall). An excellent option for a more complete, advanced workout is a rowing machine.

What makes a rowing machine workout so unique is that it works out your entire body. You have to complete a full rowing motion as you work out, which means that you have to engage all of your muscles and the areas of your body, and you can’t coast or “cheat” the way you can on other more standard equipment (like an elliptical),

Ready to get started with a full-body, great workout on a rowing machine? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. It’s vital to use the proper technique when working out on a rowing machine if you want to experience the full benefits. Because of this, you’ll want to be sure to learn how to use a rowing machine instead of just diving in blind. Thankfully, there’s a ton of info online, and the techniques are relatively simple and straightforward.

2. Before starting any exercise routine, it’s a good idea to have a checkup and discuss your workout plans with your doctor.

3. While rowing machines can be quite expensive, since they work out all of your body, it can be cheaper to invest in a good quality rowing machine, versus buying multiple pieces of equipment that only target one section of muscles.

4. The motors and fans on some rowing machines can be quite loud, especially when you’re using them at their peak performance level. While this doesn’t bother some, if you find it distracting, you may want to wear noise-canceling headphones while you workout (besides, music can make a workout more fun anyway).

If you’re eager to find the best rowing machine for you, we’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of ten of our favorite rowing machines so that you can find your perfect match.

Best Rowing Machine

Image
Our Favorite
Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Gray
Highest Rated
Concept2 Model E with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black
Highest Quality
First Degree Fitness Rowing Machine
LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine, Black Frame
Bodycraft VR200 Rowing Machine
Description
This Concept 2 Rowing Machine is specifically designed to help you analyze and improve your workout routine.
It features a higher frame, which can make it much easier to get on and off the rowing machine, meaning it’s more accessible for those who have difficulty getting onto a seat of a more standard rowing machine.
The First Degree Fitness Dynamic S6 Series Laguna Edition AR Fluid Rower can grow with you as you advance.
The LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine takes advantage of this by offering a computer program that allows you to race against a virtual competitor.
Bodycraft VR200 Rowing Machine aims to counter that and keep you comfortable as you row.
Our Rating
Price
$945.00
$1,160.00
$2,294.99
$500.00
$895.00
Our Favorite
Image
Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Gray
Description
This Concept 2 Rowing Machine is specifically designed to help you analyze and improve your workout routine.
Our Rating
Price
$945.00
Highest Rated
Image
Concept2 Model E with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black
Description
It features a higher frame, which can make it much easier to get on and off the rowing machine, meaning it’s more accessible for those who have difficulty getting onto a seat of a more standard rowing machine.
Our Rating
Price
$1,160.00
Highest Quality
Image
First Degree Fitness Rowing Machine
Description
The First Degree Fitness Dynamic S6 Series Laguna Edition AR Fluid Rower can grow with you as you advance.
Our Rating
Price
$2,294.99
Image
LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine, Black Frame
Description
The LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine takes advantage of this by offering a computer program that allows you to race against a virtual competitor.
Our Rating
Price
$500.00
Image
Bodycraft VR200 Rowing Machine
Description
Bodycraft VR200 Rowing Machine aims to counter that and keep you comfortable as you row.
Our Rating
Price
$895.00
Image
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine Bundle - S4 Monitor, Laptop Stand and External Starter Kit
WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
Total Gym Fitness Elevate Circuit Row Trainer Full Body Workout Rowing Machine
Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor - Obsidian SF-RW5713
Description
It comes with a Starter Kit that features a digital HR receiver, a heart rate chest belt transmitter, and a water mower mat.
he WaterRower Club Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor shows that a rowing machine can give you countless benefits without irritating your ears.
It offers a clean, seamless design and still provides a full body workout.
Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine is commercial grade, so you can feel confident that it’s built for serious, sustained, and intensive use.
t features 3 Hydro Blades that are designed to help you move the same way you would when you are competitively rowing.
Our Rating
Price
$1,455.00
$1,160.00
$1,145.00
$1,299.00
$399.99
Image
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine Bundle - S4 Monitor, Laptop Stand and External Starter Kit
Description
It comes with a Starter Kit that features a digital HR receiver, a heart rate chest belt transmitter, and a water mower mat.
Our Rating
Price
$1,455.00
Image
WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
Description
he WaterRower Club Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor shows that a rowing machine can give you countless benefits without irritating your ears.
Our Rating
Price
$1,160.00
Image
Total Gym Fitness Elevate Circuit Row Trainer Full Body Workout Rowing Machine
Description
It offers a clean, seamless design and still provides a full body workout.
Our Rating
Price
$1,145.00
Image
Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
Description
Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine is commercial grade, so you can feel confident that it’s built for serious, sustained, and intensive use.
Our Rating
Price
$1,299.00
Image
Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor - Obsidian SF-RW5713
Description
t features 3 Hydro Blades that are designed to help you move the same way you would when you are competitively rowing.
Our Rating
Price
$399.99

Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor

If you want to get the most out of your workout (and who doesn’t?), this Concept 2 Rowing Machine is specifically designed to help you analyze and improve your workout routine. It comes with the Performance Monitor 5 which enables you to track your progress with real-time data, so you always know if you’re working out, well, working.

The Performance Monitor 5 self-calibrates and it connects wirelessly to apps or heart rate belts, so you can keep a close eye on any changes in your body, your heart rate, or anything else you want to track while you workout.

With all the Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor offers, you may expect a bulky, cumbersome piece of equipment that only belongs in a gym (and that can just be put together by a trained expert). But this model can be separated into two pieces for storage, has caster wheels so you can move it around without hassle, and is easy and painless to assemble.

 

Pros and Cons

  • Progress tracker
  • Fits to most users
  • Easy to assemble
  • Expensive
  • Noisier than some other models

Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

Rowing is an excellent low-impact exercise for those who aren’t yet that fit, have mobility issues, or have problems with their joints, and the Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 may make it even easier.

It features a higher frame, which can make it much easier to get on and off the rowing machine, meaning it’s more accessible for those who have difficulty getting onto a seat of a more standard rowing machine. (And everyone deserves a great workout!)

Not only is the design practical, but it’s downright luxurious. The aesthetics of the Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 are sleek, graceful, and professional-looking so that you can fall in love with every element of this rowing machine.

 

Pros and Cons

  • Quiet design
  • Smooth movement
  • Well-respected brand
  • Manual controls are in an awkward location
  • Assembly instructions may be confusing

First Degree Fitness Dynamic S6 Series Laguna Edition AR Fluid Rower

Since exercise equipment can be a hefty investment, you want to make sure you get a good return on your money and can see benefits from your rowing machine workouts for years to come. With that in mind, the First Degree Fitness Dynamic S6 Series Laguna Edition AR Fluid Rower can grow with you as you advance.

It offers 16 different levels of fluid resistance, ranging all the way from the relatively straightforward “feather light” setting to the challenging “Olympic spring” level. Because of that, you’re able to keep using the same piece of equipment as your fitness level, and stamina improves. Even the most seasoned rower may find the higher settings challenging, so you’re much more likely to keep using First Degree Fitness Dynamic S6 Series Laguna Edition AR Fluid Rower no matter how loud you get.

It also allows you to see the water as you row, so you not only feel and hear water, but you get the full sensory experience of rowing in actual water. It can benefit not only your fitness but your spirit and senses as well!

 

Pros and Cons

  • Full replicates water rowing
  • High weight capacity
  • Smooth gliding movement
  • Very expensive

LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine

If you love rowing and other more athletic workouts, it’s likely that you’re also a competitive spirit. And even if you’ve never competed in your life, that thrill of victory may be enough to keep you coming back to your workout routine.

The LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine takes advantage of this by offering a computer program that allows you to race against a virtual competitor. So you can push yourself even harder and have fun while you do it—and get that sought-after endorphin rush when you win!

Get a little rough when you get competitive? (I feel you there!) The The LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine is made with strong, durable construction. Its toughness is designed to withstand the severe workouts of military members, CrossFit lovers, and pro athletes. You can give your workout your all, and the The LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine can handle it.

 

Pros and Cons

  • Comparatively low price
  • Both air and magnetic resistance
  • “Race” against a computer program
  • Relatively low weight limit

Bodycraft VR200 Rowing Machine

Everyone knows that to see a real payoff in a workout, you need to build up a sweat. And building up a sweat can be well….uncomfortable. You may love the feeling of a challenging workout, but hate the feeling of being overheated, sweaty, and stuffy, primarily when you’re working out inside.

Bodycraft VR200 Rowing Machine aims to counter that and keep you comfortable as you row. It features a unique cooling fan works harder as you do. When you pull, air is forced through the central air vent and is then directed, through the fan, directly back onto you. If you crave a cool breeze in your face as you row down a river, the Bodycraft VR200 Rowing Machine can replicate that experience.

Its multi-function LCD monitor is another excellent feature that can help keep you going through the toughest workouts and can help make sure you’re making the kind of gains you are striving for. It displays the distance you’ve rowed, the calories you’ve burned, your strokes per minute, and a wealth of other info that will keep you on top of your workout routine.

 

Pros and Cons

  • Multi-function LCD monitor
  • Contoured seat
  • Easily folds up
  • Can be loud

WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine Bundle

If you’re just getting started with rowing on a machine, WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine Bundle may have everything you need to make sure you start off on the right foot (or oar). It comes with a Starter Kit that features a digital HR receiver, a heart rate chest belt transmitter, and a water mower mat.

Not only that, it comes with a laptop stand so that you can watch your favorite movie, show, or even soothing nature videos while you workout. (I’m much more likely to stick with a more extended exercise if I can binge-watch Friends while I do it.)

It’s smooth gliding action, thanks to its adjustable resistance levels and water-rowing feel, means it’s gentle and easy on joints, making it even better for those who are starting out and want something that is not stressful on their body but still can challenge them and help them grow.

 

Pros and Cons

  • Includes helpful accessories
  • Designed for everyday use
  • One-year warranty
  • Somewhat high cost

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor

You may think you can’t get rowing machine benefits without one of the conventional drawbacks of a rowing machine—the loud noises of its motor. Well, the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor shows that a rowing machine can give you countless benefits without irritating your ears.

This handcrafted (which in itself is impressive) machine includes a “water flywheel,” so instead of a whirring motor, you get the calming, tranquil noises of water with every movement. It even mimics the feeling of actually rowing along a river, which can help you enjoy your workout by providing a positive, relaxing, and rewarding physical sensation. Besides, the ash construction dampens and absorbs sounds, making it even quieter.

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor also includes a performance tracking monitor, so you can see the progress you make with every stroke. It stores upright, so you don’t have to sacrifice a considerable space for it.

 

Pros and Cons

  • Handcrafted
  • Quiet
  • Performance monitor
  • Chair is small
  • Water may leak

Total Gym Fitness Elevate Circuit Row Trainer

Sometimes, you want to keep your exercise equipment simple. But just because you want to keep things simple and don’t feel the need to pay for extra bells and whistles doesn’t mean that you don’t want a complete workout that doesn’t require you to sacrifice any fitness benefits.

If that sounds like you, you may be thrilled with the Total Gym Fitness Elevate Circuit Row Trainer. It offers a clean, seamless design and still provides a full body workout. With the combined effects of strength training and cardio, you’ll know you’re taking care of your body, inside and out.

It’s also made in the USA, so you can feel secure in how it was manufactured and the consistency in the quality of the Total Gym Fitness Elevate Circuit Row Trainer. Keep in mind, that while it may be an excellent rowing machine, reviews state that some people may exercise on this machine boring or repetitive since it doesn’t offer much in the way of sensory engagement.

However, if you focus on your body (or if you enjoy wearing headphones and concentrate on music or audiobooks, which is what I tend to do), you may appreciate the lack of distracting from this rowing machine.

 

Pros and Cons

  • Made in the USA
  • Provides full-body workout
  • Some find the workout boring

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine

Whether you’re a season fitness pro or if you are training competitively for rowing, you’ll want a rowing machine as serious about your workout as you are. Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine is commercial grade, so you can feel confident that it’s built for serious, sustained, and intensive use.

With 16 levels of resistance, as well as 15 programs that are present and four heart rate control programs, there’s something to challenge you, no matter how advanced you are or how severe your training needs may be.

It’s also ergonomically designed so that the seating, handles, and footrests all are comfortable, supportive, and mimic the feeling and sensation of sitting in a boat. That not only can make working out more fun but if you’re a serious athlete, it could give you just the competitive edge you need. 

Pros and Cons

  • Commercial grade
  • Ergonomically designed
  • 600-pound weight capacity
  • The heart rate monitor may be inaccurate
  • The clutch may wear out quickly

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD Monitor

Do you find yourself getting bored with regular workouts on essential gym equipment? Are you the type who much prefers to play sports or take part in active hobbies to reach your fitness needs met? If so, a water rowing machine like the Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD Monitor may be just what you need.

As high as it is to row on the water in the sun, it’s not always feasible (whether due to where you live, weather conditions, or simply not having the time to get outside daily). But Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD Monitor may be the next best thing.

This rowing machine accurately replicates the feeling of rowing on water. It features 3 Hydro Blades that are designed to help you move the same way you would when you are competitively rowing, so it feels more like you’re spending the day on the river than it does a day in the gym. And when your workout is fun, you’re much more likely to stick with it (and see and feel the benefits).

Pros and Cons

  • Comparatively low price
  • Mimics the feel of rowing on water
  • Stores upright
  • Blades may squeak

Final Thoughts

If you’re on the hunt for a workout that is fun and engaging, as well as low-impact, total-body, and a combo of cardio and strength-training, a rowing machine may be your ideal answer. But when you are trying to pick out a rowing machine for sale, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by all your options.

With this helpful guide, your choice can be as simple, calming, and peaceful as a day spent out on the river—or rowing on a smooth, challenging, and enjoyable rowing machine. Take a seat and feel how powerful a workout can be!