There have been a number of studies that have been released showing the importance of keeping fit in everyday life. Many people including you have become more aware of the importance of exercise and how good it is for your body. There are many sorts of exercise equipment that you can use to help achieve this goal. One such example is a Rowing machine. Having your very own rower machine at home could do wonders for you. The best rowing machine allows you to train and keep fit in a safe and low impact manner. It engages almost all of the muscle groups (lower and upper body) at the same time.
It’s an all-round tool for your body. Purchasing your home exercise equipment is probably going to be an expensive purchase that you want to make sure to get right. This guide is meant to help you when doing your purchase to ensure that you get a rowing machine that meets your needs. Let’s begin.
The best rowing Machine – One of the Best Exercise tools
Based on the name, the rowing machine is based on the design of rowing boats. It’s one of the best cardio vascular exercise equipment. You can have and use it at home as no assistance is required to use the machine. A rowing machine burns calories and also strains the muscles less. It’s great for people recovering from injury and wouldn’t like to strain themselves or aggravate the injury.
The machine also allows you to work out the entirety of your body. Your quads, calves, lower back and even arms get in motion when using this machine. Like any other exercise or exercise equipment, proper technique is a must. A lack of technique will only do harm than good. You might hurt/strain your lower back if done with improper form, so take care of that.
What to look for before buying one
There are some considerations that you’re going to need to make before buying a rower. It’s these considerations that’ll speed up your search and allow you to get the rower that truly meets your needs. Here are some few considerations that you need to make:
- Resistance types
Rowers might look similar, but they are different in one way or the other. The way in which that most of them differ is in the resistance type. Rowing machines have different types of resistance mainly air, magnetic, water, and hydraulic/piston resistance (we shall look into them further). These different forms of resistance help determine how effective your workout will be. The type of resistance you choose to get mostly depends on your fitness level and preference as well.
- Workout Space
Rowing machines can take up quite a bit of space by themselves. This is not including your exercising on them as well. Once you consider that, a lot more space is needed. When deciding on buying a rowing machine ensure that you have enough space for working out with the machine. It’s even better if you can have a dedicated workout room/gym at home as well.
- Monitor Controls
If you have used a treadmill before, then you know what we’re talking about. The monitor on a machine normally gives you basic information at minimum. The monitor controls shouldn’t be top priority when selecting a rowing machine, but then again, it’s all about personal preference. You could go for a basic monitor that displays data such as speed, distance and time or an advanced monitor that has a calorie counter, heart rate monitor and preset programs. As said previously, this isn’t a crucial thing to consider. If you have the money for it, then go for a more advanced monitor, but if you’re on a budget, then a basic monitor will do fine.
- Personal fitness goals
What is your fitness goal? Are you looking to get in shape or are you more of a fitness enthusiasts looking to get even better may be preparing for a competition? All this will help you know what rower works best for you. Whether you should get a simple rower or a more advanced one with more features.
- Comfortability and Adjustability
These are some of the key features that you shouldn’t ignore when looking for a rowing machine. Any features that you may find that may increase the comfort level of the machine should be taken into account. The seat, handle bar and footplates should be the parts that you check for these features. Things such as wheels to help move the machine and a rower that can fold are just some of the key features that’ll be great to have.
Types of Rowing Machines
As said earlier, rowing machines look similar, but are quite different. They differ mostly on the type of resistance used. Resistance systems have their advantages and disadvantages. The one you should pick will mostly depend on your fitness level and personal preference among many other factors. Here are the types of resistance systems for rowing machines:
- Air resistance
Rowing machines that uses air resistance systems are mostly found in fitness centers. They are mostly preferred because of the smooth, natural rowing stroke they provide. They are as close as they get to the real thing.
- Magnetic resistance
This type of resistance system uses electro magnets to produce the resistance. This system normally provides a constant resistance, so it might be hard for beginners. Rowing machines that use this system tend to be quiet and easy to maintain.
- Water resistance
This type of resistance is aesthetically pleasing. It incorporates water into the design, so it comes as close to the real deal as possible. If you care about feeling like you’re truly rowing, then this system is the best.
- Hydraulic/Piston resistance
In comparison to the other systems, this is affordable and compact as well. If you’re worried about space and are on a budget, then you should consider getting one of these. Their stationery design is what mostly deters many as it doesn’t provide the free movement that the other machines deliver. Now that we know this much about rowing machines, it’s time to look at some of the best rowing machines for your home:
Concept2Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
I’m going to start this list a bit differently. This rowing machine is one of the best as seen by its reviews as well as it’s functionality to users. As a beginner, this machine was great and provided a smooth workout. It uses air resistance and has a spiral damper.
The damper makes it so that I can adjust the air flow into the wheel and thus the difficulty level. The design of the machine is also awesome as it can be divided into two pieces for easy storage. On top of that, it does come with the P5 Monitor that keeps me updated with important information. Here are some of the other great features on this machine:
- High tech P5 Monitor
The rowing machine comes with a high-tech monitor that keeps you updated on information like the Strokes Per Minute (SPM), the Distance covered and the Heart rate among many other things.
- It has caster wheels
The design of this machine allows for easy storage and this wouldn’t be possible without the wheels. The caster wheels are at the front of the machine. This allows for easy movement when storage is needed.
- It can be separated for easy storage
One of the reasons why this machine is great for home is because of the easy storage it offers. You can separate it into two halves making it easier to store it.
- It offers a smooth workout without putting strain on the joints
- It’s built to last
- It’s easy to store and assemble
- You might encounter some errors with the Monitor
The Concept2Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is just awesome. The monitor could use some few improvements here and there, but overall, it’s great and a pleasure to use as well.
Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower
This rowing machine from Stamina gets second best on our list. It’s the first magnetic rowing machine on the list and it’s for good reason. The design of the machine has comfort and functionality in mind from the large foot plates to the foam padded rowing handle and the extruded aluminium rowing beam. The equipment also has a monitor that can provide quite some useful information that’ll benefit you.
- It has an extruded aluminium rowing beam
As said earlier, the rowing machine’s design has comfort and functionality in mind. The beam allows for a smooth rowing motion. In addition, it also has a foam padded rowing handle, large molded seat and large footplates, all aimed at making exercise time as smooth as possible.
- It has a fitness monitor
The In-Touch fitness monitor that comes with the machine is quite good. It’s large and easy to read, plus it offers useful information like time, distance and calories among many others.
- It comes with a chest strap heart monitor
Included with the rowing machine is a chest strap heart monitor. This device can be used while exercising to help you know more about your heart rate while exercising and monitor it as well.
- 12 workout programs to choose from
If you’re a novice or don’t know a good program/setting for yourself, you can choose any of the 12 workout programs that are on the machine. These programs are meant to help make your workout more intense and make you break a sweat.
- Perfect size for small spaces
- It’s quiet
- Different resistance levels to choose from
- The seat isn’t great for use during long workout sessions
This magnetic rower by Stamina is great, functional and at the most part comfortable. The different resistance levels and programs make it a challenge and the monitor is awesome. The seat isn’t great for long workout sessions, but you can fidget and reposition or even take a rest, then get back to it.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5508 Ultra Tension Magnetic Pro Rower
For those not willing to spend too much money on a rowing machine, the Sunny health and Fitness rowing machine meets that need. Unlike other low-cost machines, it’s actually good quality and well made too. It uses magnetic resistance, thus it’s smooth as well as quiet. In comparison to previous models, it does offer an upgraded tension system which might mean more resistance levels.
- It has an elevated magnetic tension system
In comparison to the previous models, this one fairs better in terms of the resistance offered. You have 10 levels of resistance that you can adjust to during exercise.
- It has a large LCD console display
As it’s standard with many rowing machines, this one also comes with a display. You can get important information such as time, strokes per min and distance from the display.
- It has a built in wireless pulse receiver
This wireless receiver works with the chest strap to produce information about your heart rate. It should be noted that the chest strap is sold separately.
- It’s easy to move and store
- This is easy to assemble
- It’s value for money
- Not much adjusting can be done on the display
The Sunny Health and Fitness rowing machine is a great low cost rowing machine, but like any other low cost product, some sacrifices need to be made. The chest strap isn’t included with the purchase and the monitor doesn’t offer much customization options. Apart from that, it’s still worth the price and probably more.
Stamina Air Rower (Black, Chrome)
This rower comes in either black or chrome, so that’s one thing you’re going to have to decide on. It’s a foldable rower and uses air resistance. The rower has an upholstered and padded seat as well as nylon straps and oversized footplates. All this ensures that long workout sessions are as comfortable as they can be. Being an air resistance based rower, it does have its benefits as well as drawbacks.
- It’s a foldable rower with built in wheels
The Stamina air rower is meant for small spaces and easy storage. It can be folded and tucked away when not in use and the built-in wheels just help to make it mobile.
- It has a padded and upholstered seat as well as oversized footplates and angled seat rail
The rowing machine is comfortable as the seat is padded and upholstered. The footplates are oversized so as to meet the different user body frames and to make work outs more stable. On top of that, the angled seat rail does help smoothen the sliding process.
- It has a multi-function performance monitor
The monitor on this machine can be used to get different stats of your workout session. You can get stats like the speed, distance and calories burned.
- It’s durable
- Easy to store
- It’s comfortable to use
- It might get noisy as you row faster
The Stamina Air rower is great and durable, but using air resistance means that it does suffer from the drawbacks the system has. Either way, it’s comfortable (which is something many rowing machines lack) definitely one to consider for beginners.
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
The last machine on our list is a magnetic resistance based rowing machine. This machine uses a drum magnetic control system together with an electric tension control system to give more resistance levels to the user. These two systems combined makes this machine great for beginners and experienced rowers alike. It also features an LCD screen that’s easy to read and you also get a number of training programs to choose from.
- It has a Drum Magnetic Control system
This coupled with the electric tension control makes the rower suitable for all types of users, no matter their fitness level. It helps with the different resistance levels of the rower.
- It comes with a heart rate monitor chest strap
You also get a chest strap with the purchase. The chest strap helps monitor your heart rate as you exercise.
- It’s foldable and has an easy to read LCD screen
The rowing machine can be folded and tucked away when not in use. In addition, the LCD screen on the machine is great as it’s easy to read and can provide some vital information such as the rowing time, heart rate and pulse among many other things.
- It’s quiet
- Pre-programmed workouts that you can use during exercise
- It’s easy to store
- It doesn’t come with good enough instructions, thus trial and error is the way to go
The machine isn’t that bad at all. It’s value for money, solid and easy to store. There have been some complaints about the packaging, which you need to be careful about. It’s still great and can work fine no matter your fitness level.
Rowing machines are one of the best at home exercise equipment. You can use this guide to help you get a good rowing machine that meets your needs. The machines listed above are just a few in a market with many, so don’t limit your choices.