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The Top 10 Rowing Machines for Your Home Gym

Introduction to Rowing Machines for Home Gyms

If you’re looking to amp up your home gym experience and boost your fitness and endurance levels, rowing machines are the way to go. They provide an incredible full-body workout that targets all major muscle groups while enhancing cardiovascular health. 

In this article, I’ll walk you through the top 10 rowing machines on the market and share my thoughts on each one to help you find the best fit for your needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rowing Machine

When selecting the perfect rowing machine, consider factors such as resistance type, size and portability, features, and your budget. 

It’s essential to choose a machine that provides the right level of resistance for your fitness goals, fits comfortably in your space, and offers any desired features, such as performance tracking or virtual coaching.

Top 10 Rowing Machines for Home Gyms

1. NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine

The NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine is a game-changer for home gym enthusiasts who crave an immersive, interactive workout experience. 

One of its standout features is the impressive 22-inch HD touchscreen that offers a vast library of iFit workouts, including on-demand and live sessions led by professional trainers.

As you row, the machine’s live resistance control automatically adjusts to match the workout, allowing you to focus solely on your technique and performance. 

The RW900 also boasts a space-saving folding design, making it ideal for those with limited space in their home gyms. 

I personally love the seamless blend of technology and convenience the RW900 offers, as it caters to users who want to combine the excitement of virtual coaching with the efficiency of a well-designed machine. 

The build quality and smooth rowing motion make this machine perfect for everyone, from beginners to advanced athletes. 

However, it is important to note that the NordicTrack RW900 is at the higher end of the price range, which may be a consideration for some potential buyers.

Pros:

  • 22-inch HD touchscreen for interactive workouts
  • Live resistance control
  • Space-saving folding design
  • Suitable for users of all fitness levels
  • High-quality build and smooth rowing motion

Cons:

  • Higher price point
  • iFit subscription required for the full experience

2. ProForm 440R Rower

The ProForm 440R Rower stands out as one of the best rowing machines for home gyms, offering a perfect balance of functionality and affordability. 

Its combination of air and magnetic resistance provides users with a highly customizable workout experience, allowing them to fine-tune their rowing sessions to meet their fitness goals. 

The integrated strength station sets the ProForm 440R apart from its competitors, enabling users to engage in versatile upper-body workouts, which I find to be a fantastic bonus feature. 

The space-saving design and transport wheels make it convenient for any home gym, especially where space is limited. 

In my opinion, the ProForm 440R is ideal for beginners and intermediate users who want to improve their fitness without breaking the bank. 

It is also a great choice for those seeking a rowing machine that can accommodate multiple types of workouts.

Pros:

  • Combination of air and magnetic resistance for customizable workouts
  • Integrated strength station for versatile upper-body exercises
  • Space-saving design with transport wheels
  • Excellent value for money

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for advanced users seeking a more professional-grade rowing machine
  • The LCD screen is relatively basic compared to higher-end models

3. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is an exceptional piece of equipment that stands out among its competitors. 

Widely regarded as the gold standard in rowing machines, it’s no surprise that it’s a favorite among professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. 

The Model D features a reliable air resistance system that is easily adjustable to suit your desired level of intensity. 

Additionally, it boasts an advanced Performance Monitor 5 (PM5), which provides accurate workout data, Bluetooth connectivity, and compatibility with various fitness apps. 

This feature-rich rower is perfect for individuals who want a tried-and-tested machine that delivers a seamless rowing experience. 

As a fitness enthusiast myself, I truly appreciate the durability and top-notch performance that the Concept2 Model D offers. The smooth rowing motion and robust construction make it an absolute pleasure to use during my workouts. 

Furthermore, its easy assembly and convenient storage features make it ideal for home gyms. 

I think the Concept2 Model D is a fantastic investment for anyone who takes their fitness journey seriously and is looking for a high-quality rowing machine that will stand the test of time.

Pros:

  • Reliable air resistance system
  • Advanced Performance Monitor 5 with Bluetooth connectivity
  • Durable construction for long-term use
  • Easy assembly and storage
  • Trusted by professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to other rowing machines
  • Requires ample space for usage and storage

4. WaterRower A1 Studio Rowing Machine

The WaterRower A1 Studio Rowing Machine is an exceptional addition to any home gym, offering a unique blend of style, functionality, and durability. 

Crafted from premium quality ash wood, this rowing machine is not only visually stunning but also incredibly sturdy. 

One of its standout features is the water flywheel resistance system, which accurately simulates the feel of rowing on water, providing users with a more authentic and engaging workout experience. 

The soothing sound of water in motion further enhances the overall atmosphere, making each workout session a calming and enjoyable experience. 

I personally love the fact that the WaterRower A1 Studio is designed for all fitness levels, making it a versatile choice for both beginners and seasoned rowers. 

Its simplicity of use, combined with the smooth, natural rowing motion, truly sets it apart from other rowing machines on the market. 

Moreover, the A1 Studio comes equipped with the A1 Performance Monitor, allowing users to track essential workout metrics, such as distance, time, and calories burned. 

In my opinion, the WaterRower A1 Studio Rowing Machine is an excellent investment for those who prioritize aesthetics, seek a realistic rowing experience, and require a reliable, high-quality machine.

Pros:

  • Beautiful ash wood construction
  • Authentic water flywheel resistance system
  • Suitable for all fitness levels
  • A1 Performance Monitor for tracking workout metrics
  • Smooth, natural rowing motion

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to some alternatives
  • Larger footprint, may not be suitable for smaller spaces
  • Limited advanced features compared to other high-end rowing machines

5. Life Fitness Row GX Indoor Rower

The Life Fitness Row GX Indoor Rower Rowing Machine is a remarkable piece of equipment that stands out as one of the best rowing machines for home gyms. 

Designed with the user’s comfort and performance in mind, this rower features a fluid technology resistance system that mimics the feel of real water rowing, providing a smooth and natural rowing experience. 

Its sleek design and durable build quality make it an excellent choice for those looking to invest in a long-lasting rowing machine. 

The Row GX boasts a large, easy-to-read console that displays essential workout metrics such as time, distance, strokes per minute, and calories burned. 

The machine’s 16 resistance levels cater to a wide range of fitness levels, making it suitable for beginners and seasoned athletes alike. 

In my opinion, the Life Fitness Row GX Indoor Rower offers a fantastic balance of performance, durability, and user experience, making it a worthy investment for anyone seeking to enhance their home gym.

Pros:

  • Fluid technology resistance system for a smooth, natural rowing experience
  • Sleek design and durable build quality
  • Large, easy-to-read console
  • 16 resistance levels for various fitness levels

Cons:

  • May be slightly more expensive than other rowing machines on the market
  • Occupies more space compared to foldable rowing machines

6. Gym Gear Blade 2 Rower

The Gym Gear Blade 2 Rower is another exceptional rowing machine that truly stands out among the best for home gyms. 

This versatile machine offers a combination of air and magnetic resistance, providing an incredibly smooth and realistic rowing experience. With 16 resistance levels, it caters to a wide range of fitness levels, making it ideal for both beginners and advanced users. 

The Blade 2 Rower also features a backlit LCD console that tracks essential workout metrics, such as time, distance, and calories burned, keeping you informed and motivated throughout your workout. 

Personally, I appreciate the Gym Gear Blade 2 Rower’s sturdy and durable construction, which ensures it can withstand years of rigorous use. The comfortable ergonomic seat and adjustable footrests further enhance the rowing experience, making it an absolute pleasure to use. 

I believe this rowing machine is perfect for individuals who want a reliable, well-built machine that delivers a versatile, challenging, and enjoyable workout.

Pros:

  • Combination of air and magnetic resistance for a smooth rowing experience
  • 16 resistance levels to accommodate various fitness levels
  • Backlit LCD console for tracking essential workout metrics
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Comfortable ergonomic seat and adjustable footrests

Cons:

  • May not have as many advanced features as some other high-end rowing machines
  • Occupies a larger footprint compared to some compact, foldable models

7. Spirit CRW900 Water Rower

The Spirit CRW900 Water Rower is a remarkable rowing machine that stands out as one of the best options for home gyms. 

This premium machine boasts an elegant and sleek design, featuring a durable steel frame with an aluminum monorail, ensuring longevity and stability. 

What sets the Spirit CRW900 apart is its water resistance system, which provides an exceptionally realistic and smooth rowing experience, closely simulating the sensation of rowing on water. 

The soothing sound of water splashing in the tank adds an extra layer of enjoyment and relaxation to your workout. 

The CRW900 is equipped with a user-friendly console that displays essential workout metrics, such as time, distance, and calories burned, while also offering heart rate monitoring capabilities. 

In my opinion, the Spirit CRW900 is an ideal choice for those who appreciate a natural rowing experience and demand top-notch build quality. It’s particularly well-suited for users seeking a low-impact, full-body workout that is both challenging and enjoyable. However, this high-quality machine comes at a premium price, which might not suit all budgets.

Pros:

  • Realistic and smooth water resistance system
  • Durable steel frame and aluminum monorail
  • User-friendly console with heart rate monitoring
  • Elegant and sleek design

Cons:

  • Premium price may not suit all budgets

8. BH Vario R350 Light Commercial Rowing Machine

The BH Vario R350 Light Commercial Rowing Machine is another fantastic option for those looking to enhance their home gym experience. 

This rowing machine truly stands out due to its versatility, featuring an impressive 12 resistance levels and a highly customizable workout experience. 

The BH Vario R350 is designed with an air and magnetic resistance system, providing users with a smooth and quiet rowing experience. 

I appreciate the built-in LCD console that offers real-time workout feedback, including distance, time, calories burned, and more, allowing users to monitor their progress and stay motivated. However, it looks rather basic and there’s better on the market. 

It’s best suited for individuals who desire a lower budget workout experience which is without all the bells and whistles. 

Its light commercial classification also means it’s perfect for users who require a more robust machine to withstand frequent use. 

In my opinion, the BH Vario R350 is an excellent addition to any home gym and is worth considering for its excellent performance and user-friendly features.

Pros:

  • 12 resistance levels for a customizable workout
  • Air and magnetic resistance system for a smooth, quiet rowing experience
  • LCD console providing real-time workout feedback
  • Light commercial classification for increased durability
  • Cheaper than others on this list

Cons:

  • Not as many features as others on the market.
  • Basic looking screen

9. Hydrow Rower

The Hydrow Rower is undoubtedly one of the best rowing machines for home gyms, offering an unparalleled, immersive workout experience. 

What sets the Hydrow Rower apart from the competition is its 22-inch HD touchscreen, which brings live outdoor reality rowing workouts right into your home gym. 

The instructors are world-class athletes who make each session engaging, motivating, and enjoyable. 

I’m personally impressed by the electromagnetic and computer-controlled resistance system, which delivers a smooth and realistic rowing motion that closely mimics the sensation of rowing on water. 

This high-tech rower is ideal for those who crave an interactive and immersive experience that goes beyond just physical exercise. 

It’s perfect for individuals who are looking to invest in a top-of-the-line rowing machine that offers more than just a workout but also a full-fledged community of rowers and trainers. 

The Hydrow Rower’s sleek design and exceptional build quality make it an attractive and durable addition to any home gym.

Pros:

  • Immersive 22-inch HD touchscreen with live outdoor reality rowing workouts
  • World-class instructors providing engaging and motivating sessions
  • Smooth, realistic rowing motion thanks to the electromagnetic and computer-controlled resistance system
  • Sleek design and exceptional build quality
  • Strong sense of community with other rowers and trainers

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to other rowing machines
  • Requires an ongoing subscription to access the full range of interactive features
  • May not be suitable for those seeking a more basic or budget-friendly option

10. Sole SR500 Rower

The Sole SR500 Rower is a fantastic choice for home gyms, and its stellar combination of air and magnetic resistance sets it apart from other rowing machines. With 16 resistance levels to choose from, the SR500 caters to a broad range of fitness levels, making it perfect for both beginners and seasoned rowers. 

Its sturdy construction and comfortable design allow for smooth, enjoyable workouts. The backlit LCD console tracks essential workout data, such as time, distance, and calories burned, while the built-in programs add variety to your routine. 

Personally, I am impressed by the overall quality and performance of the Sole SR500. 

Its smooth and quiet operation ensures a pleasant workout experience, and the foldable design offers easy storage when not in use. I believe this rowing machine is best suited for individuals who value reliability and seek a durable machine that can grow with their fitness journey.

Pros:

  • Combination of air and magnetic resistance for a versatile workout
  • 16 resistance levels suitable for various fitness levels
  • Durable construction and comfortable design
  • Backlit LCD console for tracking workout metrics
  • Foldable for easy storage

Cons:

  • Slightly higher price point compared to some other rowing machines
  • The LCD console may not offer advanced tracking features found in more high-tech options

Comparison Table of the Top 10 Rowing Machines

Rowing MachineResistance TypeKey FeaturesDimensions (L x W x H)Price Range
NordicTrack RW900 Rowing MachineMagnetic22″ HD touchscreen, iFit workouts, live resistance control86.5″ x 22″ x 50.4″ (unfolded)$$$
ProForm 440R RowerAir & MagneticIntegrated strength station, 8 resistance levels76.6″ x 20.5″ x 38.3″$$
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing MachineAirPerformance Monitor 5, reliable & durable build96″ x 24″ x 44.5″$$$
WaterRower Natural Rowing MachineWaterSolid ash wood construction, water flywheel resistance82″ x 22.25″ x 20″$$$$
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic RowingMagnetic8 resistance levels, foldable design, budget-friendly78″ x 19″ x 23″ (unfolded)$
Stamina ATS Air RowerAirCompact folding design, built-in LCD monitor77″ x 18″ x 22″ (unfolded)$$
Velocity Exercise Dual Motion RecumbentMagneticCombines recumbent bike & rower, compact design60″ x 25″ x 36″$$$
Echelon Row Smart RowerMagnetic32 resistance levels, Echelon United app compatibility84″ x 20″ x 47″ (unfolded)$$$
Hydrow RowerElectromagnetic22″ HD touchscreen, live outdoor reality workouts86″ x 25″ x 47″$$$$$
Sole SR500 RowerAir & Magnetic16 resistance levels, backlit LCD console, durable build97″ x 18″ x 38″$$$

Please note that the price range categories are approximate and may vary depending on retailers and current promotions:

  • $: Budget-friendly

What Is A Rowing Machine Good For?

Senior citizen using a rowing machine looking up at the camera

Rowing machines are excellent for improving cardiovascular health, building strength, and increasing endurance.

They provide a low-impact, full-body workout that targets all major muscle groups, including the legs, core, back, and arms. Additionally, rowing machines can help with weight loss, improve posture, and increase flexibility.

How Do I Choose The Best Rowing Machine For My Gym?

To choose the best rowing machine for your home gym, consider the following factors:

  1. Resistance type: Rowing machines typically offer air, magnetic, water, or hydraulic resistance. Each type has its pros and cons, so choose one that aligns with your fitness goals and preferences.
  2. Size and portability: Ensure the rowing machine fits comfortably in your space and can be easily stored when not in use. Foldable designs and transport wheels are convenient features for home gyms.
  3. Features: Look for features that will enhance your workout experience, such as performance tracking, interactive coaching, or customizable resistance levels.
  4. Budget: Determine your budget and select a rowing machine that offers the best value within your price range.

What Types Of Workouts Can I Do On A Rowing Machine?

Rowing machines are versatile, allowing you to perform various workouts, including:

  1. Steady-state workouts: Maintain a consistent pace and resistance level for an extended period to build endurance and aerobic capacity.
  2. High-intensity interval training (HIIT): Alternate between short bursts of high-intensity rowing and rest periods to increase calorie burn and cardiovascular fitness.
  3. Sprint workouts: Perform short, intense sprints with rest intervals to build power and speed.
  4. Pyramid workouts: Gradually increase the intensity of your rowing intervals, followed by a decrease in intensity, to challenge your endurance and strength.
  5. Recovery workouts: Utilize lower-intensity rowing sessions to promote active recovery and maintain fitness on rest days.

Best Rowing Machines FAQ

Rowing machine in a conservatory home gym

What are the main types of rowing machine resistance?

There are 4 main types of rowing machine: Air, magnetic, water, and hydraulic. Be sure to see which one will work best for you. 

How much space is needed for a rowing machine?

Most range from 7-9 ft in length and 2-3 ft in width. Consider foldable designs for storage like the NordicTrack RW900. 

How often should I use a rowing machine for optimal results?

You can use the rowing machine 3-5 times per week for optimal results. Use various workout types and allow for adequate recovery. 

Can I lose weight with a rowing machine?

Yes, combined with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, rowing can help shed excess pounds. But remember, fat loss only happens when you’re in a calorie deficit (eating less calories than you burn). 

Are rowing machines suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! Start with lower resistance and shorter workouts, increasing intensity as your fitness improves.

Do rowing machines put stress on joints?

No, rowing machines are low-impact, making them suitable for those with joint issues or injury concerns.

How much should I expect to spend on a quality rowing machine?

You should expect to spend around £1000 on a quality rowing machine. Although they range from £200 to £2,500+. Try not to be too cheap, you want a machine that’ll last.

Conclusion: Which Rowing Machine is Best for Your Home Gym?

The ideal rowing machine for your home gym ultimately depends on your fitness goals, available space, budget, and desired features. 

By considering these factors and exploring the top 10 rowing machines I’ve discussed in this article, you’re well on your way to finding the perfect rowing machine to improve your fitness and endurance. 

Happy rowing!

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