Rowing Machine Buying Guide

July 05, 2023 3 min read

Rowing Machine Buying Guide

Why Choose a Rowing Machine

One of the initial queries potential customers might have about purchasing fitness equipment is why a rower is so beneficial. We believe there is no better single piece of fitness equipment like a rowing machine that's as cost-effective, simple to store and can provide a great full-body workout which includes a cardiovascular benefit. Moreover, we have also identified 4 other key reasons to consider acquiring a rower.

Excellent Cardio Workout -Rowing uses the primary muscle groups of both the upper and lower body, elevating your heart rate and oxygen intake in order to fuel your muscles. For a personalized workout, set the resistance based on your ability, from beginner to advanced or club rower. Most machines can even track your heart rate to allow you to assess during your workout.

Great Conditioning -If you're looking for an exercise that offers comprehensive upper and lower body workouts, rowing machines are an ideal choice. They provide a low-impact, cardiovascular form of exercise that works multiple muscles in the upper body, such as the shoulders, trapezius, lats, biceps, pecs, and abdominals. Furthermore, gripping the handle also engages the forearms and wrists. Additionally, working out on the rowing machine targets the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Good for Calorie Burning - By using both the upper and lower parts of your body, you'll find rowing can help you burn over 600 calories an hour. This is an average figure, so the chance to burn more than 800 calories just requires a little more resistance. As a comparison, to burn 600 calories on an exercise bike takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

A Low Impact Cardio Exercise - The other great advantage of a rower, is that this is a low impact way to get fit meaning the stress on your joints is pretty minimal. This makes rowing accessible to all and great for rehab. You must watch your rowing position to ensure you don't get lower back pain and ensure you keep the right posture for your upper body to work all the correct muscle groups.

Ergatta standing upright

How much space do you need for a rowing machine?

 Rowing machines occupy up to 2.5m x 0.6m (8ft x 2ft) of space for a workout - enough for arm and elbow room, and some space from the wall. If you're without a home gym and need to store your machine, some rowers fold while others can be propped up in a full-sized cupboard.

Water rower smart row

Key rowing machine features 

  • Display monitor – nearly every rowing machine will show basic information such as time, distance, strokes, calories and rpm. But spending more will get you personalised options such as average intensity and split time.
  • Workout tracker – some smart rowing machines will connect to an app on your phone so you can record and track your fitness journey.  
  • Interactive coaching – to help with your rowing technique.
  • Pre-programmed workouts – the console will mimic different types of rowing to give variety or work on specific areas.
  • Weight capacity 
  • Comfortable seat – . It should also be grooved or designed to conform with the shape of your body with plenty of cushioning.
  • Seat rail – Make sure the seat rail is long enough otherwise you won’t be able to complete a full stroke.
  • Wheels – will help if you plan to regularly move your machine
  • Pedals – some will be fixed, while others will swivel to release pressure off your ankles
  • Handles – should feel fairly thick in your hands, with a foam grip.


Types of rower

Air Resistance Rowers had been the most popular type of rowing machine. They use air resistance to create a smooth, progressive workout. The faster you row, the more resistance you will feel. Air rowing machines are also relatively affordable. Explore the different Air Resistance Rowers


Waterower s1

Water Rowers are designed to simulate the feeling of rowing on water. They use a flywheel filled with water to create resistance. The faster you row, the faster the flywheel spins, and the more resistance you will feel. Water rowing machines are very quiet, but they are also more expensive than air rowing machines.

The WaterRower provides an unparalleled full-body workout. With its unique water-based resistance system, you get variable levels of intensity, natural flow and effective cardio and strength building. Your performance is tracked through its integrated performance monitor for maximum benefit and efficiency. Make the most of your training with a WaterRower, explore the different WaterRower models

Magnetic rowing machines use magnets to create resistance. The closer the magnets are to the flywheel, the more resistance you will feel. Magnetic rowing machines are very quiet, and they offer a smooth, consistent workout. They are also more compact than air or water rowing machines, making them a good option for small spaces. Explore our Magnetic Rowing Machines

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