If you have firmly decided to improve your health, lose weight, tone those flabby muscles, strengthen your heart and generally feel better about yourself, we have a proposal for you. Get that dust-covered rowing machine from under your bed because the general consensus among fitness gurus and personal trainers of the world is that rowing machines are “the unsung heroes of the fitness world”. As one trainer from Southern California jokingly observed “spinning isn’t dead, but it has been put on notice.”

Did we mention that a one-hour-rowing class can burn up to 1,200 calories and that with every stroke your calves, quads, hamstrings, abs, pecs, biceps, triceps and lats are hard at work. A word of “warning” – you might get seriously hooked on rowing and even try it outdoors. Rowing has also become the newly appointed king of cardio-vascular exercises because as you work every single muscle group in your body, your heart rate becomes really elevated. So, in order to help you to get that dream body which you can proudly flaunt, we have decided to give you a rundown of the top rowing machines on the market. Again, in no particular order, they are….

1 – Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Concept2 Rowing Machine

By investing in the Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine, you are investing in “a 30-year-legacy of excellence”, the manufacturer of this beauty claims. What makes the Concept2 Model D so outstanding and cut above all other rowing machines currently available on the market? First of all, it is its practicality and sturdiness. This rowing machine is bound to last you for a lifetime because it is so efficiently engineered. The Concept2 Model D is frequently used by Olympic athletes and it can withstand the pressure of heavy training on a daily basis. It has one of the most advanced monitors – the PM5 – which provides detailed and comparable data with every stroke you make. The seat height is 14 inches, while adjustable footrests accommodate a wide range of shoe sizes. The Model D’s weight capacity is 500 pounds and it weighs only 57 pounds.

The flywheel is designed to almost completely cancel out the noise while providing a smooth rowing feel. Considering its durability, we highly doubt that you will need a five-year-warranty that the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine comes with. This rower is suitable to use just about anywhere – at home, fitness and health centres, hotels or military bases. If you are purchasing it for team training, you are advised to also buy the Concept2 Slide which allows you to connect other models (like multiple models C, D and E).

BUY | $900

2 – The WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine


Designed by Yale and US National Team rower John Duke and produced by the eponymous company from Rhode Island, U.S., the WaterRower is handcrafted from the finest woods of the Appalachian Mountain region – solid Ash and stained Honey Oak. The manufacturer uses only verified sustainable hardwoods from this mountain region where planting rates exceed harvest rates by an average multiple of 2.29.

Another unique feature of this rowing machine is its WaterFlywheel which “has been designed to reproduce the precise physical dynamics of a moving boat; the surest way to replicate the physiological benefits and aesthetic pleasure of rowing.” Before you start exercising, you will need to fill the WaterRower’s tank with water. Bear in mind that the amount of water you put in the tank simulates the weight of the boat and crew. More water in the tank, heavier the boat and the crew. If you are wondering whether you have enough room in your home for one of these fantastic exercising machines, here are the dimensions – when in use, WaterRower is 209 cm (82.25”) long, 57 cm wide (22.25”), and 51 cm (20”) high. It weighs 30.5 kg (66.5 lbs) when dry, and 47 kg (103.5 lb) with 17 litres of water.

BUY | $1160

3 – Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

Stamina Avari Programmable-Magnetic Exercise Rower

Produced by an American company Stamina Inc. which prides itself in being on “the cutting edge of innovation with an affordable price tag”, the Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower has a total of twelve fitness programmes including six cardio workouts, one manual, four custom-user and one heart rate programme. It comes with a fitness monitor which tracks time, distance, calories, strokes per minute, pulse and watt used.

The In Touch® Fitness Monitor is easy to operate with the help of up and down arrows. You use it to adjust the workout time and resistance on the fly. The Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rowing Machine is about 81 inches long (the precise dimensions are 81 x 20 x 24.5 inches) and it weighs around 90 pounds. You don’t need to fret about assembly because it is pretty straightforward. There are three parts to put together (rowing section, rails and front stand) and, after you did that, just plug it in and you are ready to go. Also, this rower is rather sturdy and will not budge regardless of the surface you are using it on.

BUY | $698.99

4 – Kettler-Stroker Rower and Multi-Trainer

Ketler Stroker Rower

German company Kettler has a very comprehensive and diverse product range which includes exercise bikes, treadmills, rowers and cross-trainers. Their rower and multi-trainer is one of those that you won’t forget in a hurry because everything about this machine screams quality – from LCD displays with six simultaneous functions (including the cardio-wellness grading indexed from one to six) to the fact that the rower comes with accessories for ten additional exercises and a chest-strap heart rate monitor.

The Kettler-Stroker’s flywheel weighs at impressive 4kg which ensures a quiet and problem-free ride. Also, its rail is long enough to accommodate rowers with the longest of legs. The footplates are biomechanically adjusted and you will not find your feet slipping which is a frequent flaw in many lower-priced rowing machines. The seat is well-padded for maximum comfort. The rower folds easily and it comes with a rather generous warranty. Not to mention that it is good value for your money.

BUY | $699.99

5 – BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower

BodyCraft VR500

The manufacturer – BodyCraft – claims that VR500 is a result of over “a decade of research and development” and that this is “one of the finest rowing simulators ever created”. When we consider the VR500 features, we tend to believe them. The reviewers agree that this machine is certainly the top dog in the world of rowers. First and foremost, the rowing position is great thanks to the rower’s 19-inch-high-seat which gives the feel of a good quality machine.

Although, at first glance, the seat doesn’t look that comfortable, do not be fooled since this is an exceptionally well designed ergonomic saddle. The VR500 provides resistance thanks to a combination of air and magnets while the rower’s weight should not exceed 350 pounds. The rowing feel is very realistic. Changing the resistance level is easy with the help of the buttons on the handle, i.e. the remote resistance controls. The heel rest and foot straps are easily and quickly adjustable. Storing the VR500 is piece of cake owing to its easy fold and roll system. All in all, this is machine that does the job. Perfectly!

BUY | $1599.99

6 – Stamina InMotion Rower

Stamina InMotion Rower

This is one of the most affordable rowing machines which despite its low price is still a good buy. The Stamina InMotion Rower is very lightweight (weighing at only 29 pounds) which makes it an ideal fitness companion when in travel. It has a solid steel construction with foam hand grips, five resistance levels and it comes with a single-button InTouch monitor which covers the entire spectrum of users – from beginners to experienced. The monitor displays how many calories you have burned, it counts strokes and your session time.

The Stamina InMotion Rower is exceptionally sturdy with the piston that is much bigger than its main competitors. Once you assembled it (and this is rather easy to do even if you are extremely DIY challenged) and set the resistance level, you will find that the rowing is very smooth and the workout very intense. The foot plates pivot in order to ensure the best possible position. Storing the Stamina InMotion Rower is simple (you can store it vertically against a wall) which makes it ideal for rowers with a limited living space. Its weight capacity is 250 pounds and it measures 56.5L x 19W x 23.5H inches.

BUY | $179

7 – Velocity CHR-2001 Exercise Magnetic Rower

Velocity CHR-2001

If you want a whisper quiet rowing machine, then Velocity CHR-2011 Exercise Magnetic Rower is the thing you are looking for. This machine will not interfere with your wireless headphones and it certainly won’t wake up the family members. Thanks to its magnetic resistance, rowing is perfectly smooth and within a few minutes of the workout you are guaranteed to get up to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Imagine the calories you are going to burn if you continue rowing as long as your limbs hold out.

The Velocity CHR-2001 Exercise Magnetic comes with a nice set of electronics including the electronic tension control. It has a spacious polyurethane molded seat and it also comes equipped with a heart rate monitor that you can strap to your chest. The CHR-2001’s beam is made from anodized aluminum which can take the maximum weight of 275 pounds. With the CHR-2001 you can personalize your workouts by setting your own target time, the distance, the number of calories you would like to burn and the stroke count. Since it folds quickly and effortlessly, the CHR-2001 saves space and even has built-in transportation wheels.

BUY | $600.39

8 – First Degree Fitness Newport Adjustable Resistance Water Rower

First Degree Fitness Newport Rowing Machines

Just like the earlier featured WaterRower, the First Degree Fitness Newport applies the so-called fluid resistance technology utilizing water as nature’s perfect resistance. This rowing machine is definitely built to last. The water tank is made from durable and incredibly resistant polycarbonate shell which can take between 9 and 17 litres of water. The rower is comfortable, stable and unlike its competitors (namely air rowers), it ensures constant resistance throughout the whole stroke. Its computer display shows the time, the distance, the 500 metre-split-time, the number of strokes per minute, the number of calories burned per hour, the wattage, and the optional heart reception. Its saddle is made from anodized aluminum which adds to the machine’s strength and durability.

Rowing with the First Degree Fitness Adjustable Resistance Rower is a smooth experience since there is no jerking during the catch and both design and construction are well executed. Assembly is not difficult at all, and you’ll love the sound of water as you are rowing. The rower’s dimensions are 78 x 20 x 21 inches and it weighs at reasonable 60 pounds.

BUY | $795.70

9 – ProRower H20 RX-750 Home Series Rowing Machine

ProRower H20

Designed by the eponymous company, the ProRower H20 RX-750 is a quality rower which features innovative Hydro-Power Drive system. This is also a water-resistance rower which gives you the unique feel of rowing on water thanks to its paddles which are suspended in a water tank. The resistance it provides is incredibly similar to rowing in a boat with proper oars while the resistance that the water provides actually reflects the user’s rowing intensity. The H20 RX-750’s water tank is made from polycarbonate and it is virtually indestructible.

This rowing machine comes with a multi-functional performance monitor which will give you the vital data like the distance you’ve rowed, the exercise time, the calories burned, the strokes per minute and your heart rate. You can also view each statistics individually or you can quickly scan through them. The display, which is rather large and easy to read, is powered by 2 AA batteries. The handgrip is comfortable and ergonomically designed, while the pivoting footrests are easy to adjust. The ProRower H20 RX-750 can be folded quickly, it measures 78 W x 20 H x 22 D inches and comes with a lifetime frame warranty which is quite rare in the world of fitness machines. To say that this rower is solidly built is an understatement. The frame is rock solid and its weight capacity is 350 pounds.

BUY | $746.54

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