Fitness Product Review

Best Rowing Machines for Your Home Gym

smiling ethnic coach clapping hands to overweight female in gym
Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

The “New Normal” comes with a lot of challenges. No social gatherings, keeping distance, and putting on your mask whenever you are in a public space. These challenges can disrupt your daily gym routine and deter you from achieving your goal of staying fit and healthy. 

Rowing machines help you keep track of your fitness training routine without having to travel the distance and relying on the commercial gym. 

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These machines are effective for burning calories and for complete body workouts. They also help you work on your cardio and help tighten and engage your posterior for your upper body and anterior for your lower body. 

Investing in one of these machines will make a lot of sense if you want to maintain the same fitness in the comfort of your home. But, how do you tell the best rowing machines for your home gym?

The factors listed below will guide you in choosing the best rowing machines for your home gym from the rest.

Let’s have a look.

5 Best Rowing Machines for Your Home Gym-Top Reviews for 2021

1.    Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine tops our list as one of the best rowing machines in the market. Thanks to its durable stainless steel design, it is the most popular and highly praised rowing machine for fitness centers worldwide. 

This rowing machine uses an air-resistance flywheel mechanism, and it features 10 levels of resistance to aid your workouts. Besides, it also comes with an upgraded concept2 monitor, also known as PM5. 

The PM5 monitor helps track your workout better than the other models. The machine also connects to bluetooth and ANT+ to connect a heart rate monitor to the machine.

Although the device is not foldable, you can dismantle it in two pieces for easy and convenient storage. Its construction makes it ideal for achieving a full-body workout, and it operates with little or no noise at all.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Realistic rowing
  • Extremely durable

Cons

  • Needs dismantling for storage

2.    Stamina ATS Air Rower

The Stamina ATS Air Rower is a solid rowing machine designed to keep you fit and balanced as you build strength and work on your cardio. Unlike the other rowing machines that get their tension from hydraulic, magnetic, or water-based resistance, the Stamina ATS Air Rower draws on a dynamic-wind resistance mechanism. 

This is made possible by a wheel fitted on the front of the bike and spins every time you row, hence gaining resistance as you accelerate. This resistance mechanism design encourages a more intense workout even as you grow stronger.

Its design includes adjustable pedals, padded handlebars, and a comfortable cushioned seat to keep your workouts comfortable. Even better, the seat smoothly slides forward and back as you row. If you love foldable rowing machines, then the Stamina ATS Air Rower is considered the best choice. It also has built-in transport wheels that make it suitable and easy to move from place to place.

Pros

  • Dynamic air resistance
  • LCD workout monitor
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Louder than other options

3.    NordicTrack RW Rowing Machine

Rowers who don’t have enough floor space and prefer foldable rowing machines can consider NordicTrack RW Rowing Machine. This rowing machine folds to 1/3 of the length for easy and convenient storage. Outstandingly, the machine uses a hybrid resistance mechanism using both air and magnetic, with 26 resistance levels. 

These mechanisms help work on your cardio-based workouts with the bonus of a quieter ride. Moreover, the rowing machine comes equipped with a large 22-inch touchscreen monitor for Peloton-style workout classes from iFit and has over 20 built-in workout programs. 

The monitor will also come in handily to track your calories burned, 500m split time, distance and time, total strokes/per minute, power, and more. Besides, its design also includes an input for your phone and speakers to get your power playlist on when rowing.

Pros

  • 30-Day iFIT Family Membership Included
  • 22-inch HD Interactive Touchscreen Display
  • Adjustable Console Angle
  • Fold up and wheel away 

Cons

  • Quite expensive

4.    Echelon Smart Rowing Machine

The Echelon Smart Rowing Machine will motivate you and make your workout routines more enjoyable thanks to its 32 electronic resistance mechanism with adjustable levels on the handlebar. 

Most outstandingly are the controls and the digital experience. This rowing machine is praised for its connected Peloton alternative, the Echelon Bike. 

The machine’s design features a device holder for your phone or tablet, unlike others with installed monitors. For the record, this rowing machine is only compatible with any Echelon Unite service devices. For example, if you need to access the virtual classes, you will have to use the Echelon smartphone app, synchronizing your workout data via the Smart rower’s built-in Bluetooth connection. 

With this app, and a monthly subscription fee, you will access 35 live classes daily and a library of on-demand routines. The membership fee will also support up to five users so that you can share the subscription with family members or friends.

Pros

  • Foldable design
  • Device holder swivels 90° and flips 180°
  • An easy-glide seat
  • Ergonomic handlebars
  • 32 silent magnetic resistance levels

Cons

  • Needs a tablet or smartphone
  • Expensive

5.    ProForm 750R Folding Smart Rowing Machine

The ProForm 750R Folding Smart Rower is ideal when looking for a space-saving and affordable rowing machine. This machine has a foldable design, and it features an HD display screen to help you monitor your workout and performance. 

Moreover, the machine has a compatible app that connects to your phone and has over 20 programmed workouts installed in it. The ProForm 750R Folding Smart Rower also features 24 different resistance levels, and a virtual personal trainer can automatically and remotely help you adjust your machine to get the most from your workouts. Besides, it is most ideal when you want to work on your cardio and burn some calories.

Pros

  • Solid build 
  • Good value for money 
  • Fold-away design 

Cons

  • Uncomfortable seat after regular use 
  • Added fees for app membership 

A Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider When Buying the Best Rowing Machines for Your Home Gym

a man using a rowing machine
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

·      Space Available

Space is one of the essential factors to consider when shopping for a rowing machine. This is pegged to the fact that these machines are bulky and will occupy much space in your home. 

The space available should accommodate the machine whence you are working on it or when it’s folded for storage. Also, ensure that the equipment will benefit your daily or weekly workout routine and not something that you will never use and take up space in your home. 

·      Durability

The durability of the rowing machine you intend to buy should be of uttermost importance. This is because the machines are slightly expensive and you wouldn’t want them to break down as soon as you unpack them. 

For your peace of mind, consider a rowing machine that is a bit pricier. This will be of much more value and more durable since it will last for a longer time.

·      Resistance Mechanism

The rowing machine’s resistance mechanism will generate the best workout. Different machines have been designed with varying mechanisms of resistance. For example, some rowers have water tanks that handle the tension, while others have internal resistance mechanisms like hydraulic or magnetic resistance. 

Also, some are equipped with built-in fans that provide wind resistance. The resistance mechanisms sources do vary, and your choice is pegged on your personal preference. Choose one that feels most comfortable during use.

·      Handle Design

The handle designs of these machines do vary. Some come with a single handle which comes in handily to grip with both hands to pull. Others boast of two handlebars ideal for achieving a fuller range of motion in your upper body. For your safety, consider going for a handlebar that will not tear your hands apart after a long session on the rower. 

The best handlebar with traction and grip will also be of great importance. But if the handle has too much texture, it can cause blisters on your hands over time. Ensure that you choose one that feels good from the first use.

·      Storage and Portability

Owing to their large and heavy designs, rowing machines can get bulky and challenging to move from to place and store. For ease of movement, consider going for a rowing machine that comes with built-in transport wheels that make them easy to move from place to place. 

When considering storage, portability, and convenience, consider a foldable rowing machine. Some come in designs that can be turned on their sides and supported up against your wall.

·      Special Features

How fun will it be when rowing and you can see your instructor on the other side of the screen? So fascinating.

The special features might include built-in games, workouts, LCD, or guidance from an instructor. They make rowing more fun and motivating. These features can be a good option for the novice who needs additional instruction or try a new dimension to their workouts on YouTube.

The Optimal Choice

focused ethnic sportsman doing exercises on rowing machine
Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

Whether you’re looking for weights or a cardio machine, there are hundreds of devices available to turn your home gym dreams into a reality. Good rowing machines for your home gym make for a quality workout. Therefore, there is a need to invest in an excellent rowing machine if you want an exceptional workout experience.

The rowing machines listed above are the best because they are all marked for an exceptional workout experience at home.

However, The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine stands out for us due to its durable stainless steel design. The machine also uses an air-resistance flywheel mechanism, and it features 10 levels of resistance to aid your workouts, and it operates with little or no noise at all.

The NordicTrack RW Rowing Machine comes in second place. This rowing machine folds to 1/3 of the length for easy and convenient storage. Outstandingly, it uses a hybrid resistance mechanism using both air and magnetic, with a total of 26 resistance levels.

The above list will be an ideal starting point for your search for the best rowing machines for your home gym. We are confident that you’ll find something that suits your needs and preferences.

But before you embark on your purchasing journey, you need to ask yourself some questions, including:

  • How much can you afford to spend?
  • What is the size of my storage space? (consider folding models if this is limited)
  • How often will I need to use my ideal rowing machine?

If you are sure that these rowing machines will motivate you to get fit, balanced, and into shape, then either of the five best rowing machines listed above can be excellent and safe for you. Their general purpose is to give you a more convenient and reliable workout experience in the comfort of your home.

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