best indoor rowing machines

Top 7 Best Indoor Rowing Machines

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Are you looking for an effective aerobic exercise with low impact cardio? The best rowing machine can be a solution. You can strengthen your muscles and tone your body shape with both upper and lower body workout. Not only it increases your endurance but also it burns calories. Other than that, rowing machines are easy to use and budget-friendly. The machine follows the principle of rowing crews in a boat. That is fun and a good alternative to elliptical or a treadmill.

A rowing machine creates resistance by using airflow over an internal flyover. The rowing handle is connected with its wheel. As the user pulls, it spins the flywheels. The flywheel spins faster with faster rowing; thus creating more resistance for workouts. In most cases, you can adjust the stroke needed for your workout. If you are not comfortable with running, then the rowing machine can be an excellent alternative to keep you fit. Let’s put some more light on the best rowing machines of 2021.

Top 7 Best Indoor Rowing Machines

  1. Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Rowing Exercise Machine
  2. Concept2 Model D Indoor Row.  ing Machine with PM5
  3. Fitness Reality 1000 Rower Rowing Machine
  4. MaxKare Water Rowing Machine
  5. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
  6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Rowing Machine
  7. Stamina ATS Air Rowing Machine

1. Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Rowing Exercise Machine Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Rowing Exercise Machine

Are you trying for bubble butts or bigger glutes? This multipurpose serve you all goods. It not only strengthens your lower body but also arms, back and shoulder. Also, it has ergonomic handlebars for the most comfortable rides.

The machine has a digital monitor to track your fitness goal. You can calculate Time and Total Calorie Burn with this digital monitor. Besides, it has three levels of resistance bands to challenge your workouts. Each of these bands adds 22 pounds of resistance to the system. Not to forget, the aluminum unit is light and foldable.

This unit is also especial for adjustable squat depth. You can adjust its saddle angle to 30, 60 and 90 degrees for varied squat programs. The affordable unit can sustain 220lbs and comes with an online training video package.


  • Three elastic band resistance system.
  • Adjustable Handlebars.
  • Adjustable squat depth.
  • Digital monitor.


  • No heart rate monitoring.

2. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

This is the best-selling rowing machine for the last four decades. That is because it has everything you need. You can control your workout intensity with damper levels from 1 to 10. Also, it has the least noise and moves smoothly with every stroke to the flywheel.

Other than that, you can track the progress of every stroke on an LCD monitor. The unit also offers Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility for heart rate monitoring. That’s not all! You can save your workouts to USB flash drive. Also, it has games included to make workout fun.

This rowing machine is also easy to assemble and store. You can easily assemble with just 8 screws. Besides, its caster wheel makes the unit mobile. The Concept2 Model D is also especial as it offers 5 years warranty on frame and can sustain loads up to 500 pounds.

Cutting deep to design- it has 14 inches seat height, ergonomic handle and adjustable footrest. Unlike others this machine offers a wide range of popular fitness apps. So, you can always join online challenges and compare yourself with others. Though it is expensive, considering all features it can the package that anyone could have.


  • Control your workout.
  • Measure progress with an LCD monitor.
  • Connects with a wide range of fitness apps.
  • Easy to assemble and store.
  • Wireless Bluetooth and ANT+ for heart rate monitoring.


  • It is expensive.

3. Fitness Reality 1000 Rower Rowing Machine Fitness Reality 1000 Rower Rowing Machine

If you want a rower with additional workouts, then this is your item. This machine allows full-body low-impact workout. Other than that, you can target biceps, triceps, shoulders, leg, thighs, or more with additional workouts. This machine can also sustain up to 250lbs of body weight.

This unit is also unique as it features 14 levels of dual transmission of magnetic resistance. In addition, it has large anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable strap rings. Because of its pivot foot pedals, you can try large range of motions. That’s not all! Its front stabilizer foot pads allow more exercises. Yes, you can try upright rows, curls, and many more.

The machine also offers 3.5 inches monitor to track progress like distance, calorie burned, strokes per minute, and many more. Besides, its extra-wide grip foam handlebar, and large contoured seat cushion can make you sweat with full comfort. It uses a tablet holder that holds the phone easily. REALITY 1000 PLUS is made by strong steel which makes it more attractive.

The space design also offers transportation wheels for easy relocation. Unlike others, you can also connect Bluetooth with Smart MyCloudFitness APP for a rich online database. Last but not least, the whole package falls just under 300 dollars with US-based customer service.


  • Bluetooth smart cloud fitness.
  • Fourteen levels of dual transmission tension.
  • Full body low impact workout.
  • Extra exercise footpads.


  • No preset workouts.

4. MaxKare Water Rowing Machine

MaxKare water rowing machine is unique as it can pursue you some real life rowing experience. It has an adjustable large LCD monitor to track progress. Yes, you heard it right! Adjustable monitors!! You can see SPM (strokes per minute), calories burned, distance, and many more.

This machine also features adjustable footplates with secure foot straps. The ergonomic foam padded handles and large cushioned seats provide users a comfortable rowing experience. Other than that, it has a bottle holder and wheels for easy transport. Its ergonomic design and sturdy frame can sustain up to 264 lbs. of weight.

This rowing machine is unique for its adjustable stabilizers at the back. That ensures the unit is always at the level. The machine allows you to control water resistance in terms of water fill. More water in the container will create more resistance at rowing. Make sure; the water should be less than 2/3 of the container. Furthermore, it is foldable to store anywhere.


  • Adjustable footplates.
  • Water resistance.
  • Padded handles.
  • Adjustable LCD monitor.


  • Chances of water leakage.

5. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

This machine is unique for its design. Along with full-body workout, you can target major muscle groups like leg, arms, back, glutes, etc. Other than that, it features hydraulic resistance for the desired intensity workout. Though it mimics the feel of actual rowing water, yet it is comfortable with a padded seat and handlebar.

The unit is also special for its folding arms and saves a lot of space after rowing. Just like others, it features textured footplates and straps for secure workouts. In addition, it has an LCD monitor to track all records. You can track stroke count, workout time, calories burned, and total strokes accumulated. Last but not least, the unit is affordable and costs no more than 150 dollars.


  • Full range rowing arms.
  • Adjustable hydraulic resistance.
  • Folding arms.
  • Footplates with straps.


  • The hydraulic piston can leak.

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Rowing Machine Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Rowing Machine

This is another market best of rowing machines. It offers eight levels of magnetic resistance to challenge your workouts. The unit is also special for its extra-long slide rail. It has 48 inches slide rail length and 44 inches inseam length. So, it can accommodate rowers of any size within 250lbs.

Just like others, it has an LCD console to track time, calories, total count, and scan. Because of its transport wheels, it is easy to transport and storage. Other than that, it has non-slip foot pedals with safety straps. So, you can try any vigorous workouts without any hiccups. Also, the unit covers foam grip handlebars for the best comfortable exercise.


  • Eight levels of magnetic resistance.
  • Non-slip foot pedals.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • Extra-long slide rail.


  • Noisy slide mechanism.

7. Stamina ATS Air Rowing Machine Stamina ATS Air Rowing Machine

This is an exciting gear. Unlike others, it uses dynamic air resistance for the best of rowing experience. It is simple and easy- you just need to pull harder for more resistance and ease of for less resistance. Well, just like others, it has a large LCD monitor to track your workout progress.

There is more to count in this machine- padded rowing handles, adjustable footplates, padded seats, and many more. Other than that, it has an oversized, angled rail to support a smooth sliding seat. The machine also has floor protectors for a safe workout area.

Because of its dynamic air resistance, it engages 86% of your body muscles in an efficient way. This unit is also especial as the company offers three years warranty on frame and one year on parts. The perfect package for your indoor workouts costs just above 300 dollars.


  • Dynamic air-resistance.
  • Folding Frame.
  • Textured footplates with adjustable straps.
  • Three-year frame warranty and one-year parts warranty.


  • It is a bit noisy.

What is a Rowing Machine?

It is a machine that imitates the action of watercraft rowing. Indoor rowing is an established sport as well. Modern rowing machine measures the amount of your work and shows statistics based on your performance. You can measure distance, scan, calories burned, and more.

More importantly, the rowing machine shows the time it requires to cover 500m in every stroke. This is more commonly known as split rate or split. You can not only work your upper body, but also you can target the whole body with specific muscle group exercises. Most rowing machines are affordable and are foldable for storage.

Types of Rowing Machine

A rowing machine has four different variants. They can be water-resistant, air resistant, magnetic resistance, and hydraulic piston resistance.

Water Resistance
Water-resistance uses paddles that are suspended inside a closed tank of water. When you start rowing, its paddle spins. That, in turn, uses water for its resistance. The faster you row, the more you get resistance from the water. This machine is not noisy, instead of providing you with a more realistic experience of boat rowing.

Air Resistance
This variant gets its resistance by using air. What happens when you pull the handles of a rower? That causes the flywheel to spin, and whenever it spins, it generates wind to create resistance. The harder you press, the more air it generates. So, there is more resistance to work with. This type has no knob for controlling resistance levels; instead the resistance level is completely dependent on your motion.

Magnetic Resistance
It is the most popular variant of all rowing machines. A magnetic brake controls the amount of resistance that a user can get upon rowing. Also, you have a chance to adjust your resistance level. Because there is no friction produced by this system, so it is the silent version for indoor workouts.

Hydraulic Piston Resistance
This is the most budget-friendly option of all. This variant produces its resistance from the two pistons attached to handlebars. It generates resistance when you pull against a fluid or air compressed inside the piston. This rowing machine is also unique as it allows you to adjust resistance in each handlebar independently. So, you can put more specific workouts and target body muscles with this variant.

Things to Consider before Buying a Rowing Machine

To find the best rowing machine, you must consider some of its features carefully.

Resistance Types
Rowing machine falls into four main categories. All of them are unique for different resistance levels. Besides, for a real-time rowing experience, water resistance is more preferable. In case you want it smooth, and noise-free then go for magnetic ones. Furthermore, hydraulic-piston resistance is more affordable, and air-resistance is common in most home gyms.

Adjustability and Comfort
Though most rowing machines are adjustable but look for its comfort issues. Make sure they have padded foam handlebars and large comfortable seats. In terms of adjustability, long slide rail will give you more flexibility in the workout. You can try all different workouts for the whole body or particular muscle groups. Also, check the non-slip footplates and safety straps.

Maximum User Weight
This is important for obese people. Not to forget, that rowing machine is also effective for fat loss. About its weight capacity- this equipment can sustain loads from 200lbs. to 350lbs. Check the reviews carefully before you buy them.

Customer Review
This is important to justify any product quality whenever you are buying it online. Scroll through the product page and read some customer reviews. Account negative opinions along with positives. These are some potential problems that you may face with this product.

Not all rowing machines offer a warranty. There are a few models that cover frame and parts warranty. This is all-important for customer satisfaction purposes.

Benefits of Indoor Rowing Machine

There are enough benefits to count in indoor rowing machine-

Weight Loss: A rowing machine workout can burn up to 600 calories per hour. So, that is significant in terms of weight loss.

Effective Aerobic Exercise: A rowing machine offers effective aerobic exercise that increases your stamina and boosts the immune system. It also releases endorphins to lift your mood and sleep quality.

Low-impact Cardio: People with existing joint problems or overweight cannot try high impact workouts like running, walking, weight-bearing, etc. Instead, they can try low-impact workouts like cardio to keep them fit.

Upper and lower body workouts: Rowing machine allows you to strengthen both your upper and lower body parts. You can actually target biceps, triceps, shoulder, back, leg muscles – mostly quads and upper front of thighs. Not only does it strengthen your body muscles, but also it tones your body shape with improved flexibility.

Increases Endurance: A rowing machine boosts metabolism and increases your stamina, so it also increases your endurance level. It’s good cardio with major muscle workouts. Thus it enhances your chances of stress toleration.

Frequently Asked Question

Q: How should I row on a rowing machine?
Ans: It completely depends on your fitness level and targeted goals. Besides, 20 minutes daily can benefit you for sure. For the newbies, try at least two 500 meter sessions a month. That would probably take you 10 to 15 minutes.

Q: Which rowing machines are quietest?
Ans: Magnetic rowing has the least noise of all. Besides, a water resistance rowing machine creates a more realistic whooshing sound and makes you feel riding on a boat.

Q: Is a rowing machine good for abs?
Ans: A rowing machine engages all core body muscles. Also, it provides tension on the front and midsection for abs strengthening. So, yes, regular rowing will surely help to build abs.

Final Verdict

A rowing machine is one of the best effective cardio and whole-body workout equipment. The machine is lightweight and portable. Other than that, the space-saving equipment also falls in the affordable range. Unlike others, this indoor equipment can be fun because of its action. You will feel more like riding on a boat while building your muscles. So, try the best indoor rowing machine. You are never too late to earn the best.

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