When it comes to cardio machines, it definitely feels as if treadmills and exercise bikes get all the glory, while rowing machines are often overlooked.
But in all honesty, rowing machines are a superior cardiovascular exercise.
Not only does the rowing machine work the lower body (just like the treadmill and exercise bike) but it also works the upper body, making this a full-body cardio workout rather than just a lower-body one.
In this article we are going to look at five of the best rowing machines that are currently available to buy, helping you to pick the right one for you.
Rowing Machine #1: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
We’re starting off with the most expensive and highest quality rowing machine on our list, the Concept2 indoor rowing machine.
This rowing machine is gym quality (meaning it could be used 20 times per day by a variety of people and show no signs of wear and tear).
It is powerful, is adored by professional athletes, and uses an air-resistance flywheel which can respond to every stroke.
This is a ridiculously high-quality machine, which explains why it is a premium price.
For your money you are getting peace of mind that this machine can handle anything that you can throw at it.
The seat is comfortable, the display screen is efficient and well lit.
This is the type of indoor rower that commercial gyms purchase, and that’s as high praise as you can get.
Rowing Machine #2: Circuit Fitness Deluxe Foldable Rowing Machine
On the other end of the spectrum you have this budget-friendly rowing machine from Circuit Fitness.
This rower may not be as durable as the gym-quality Concept2 model, but then it doesn’t really need to be.
If you are looking for a rowing machine for your home, it will probably be used once or twice a day as a maximum.
Gym-quality rowing machines are often used 20+ times per day, sometimes double that! They need to be more durable.
The Circuit Fitness Deluxe foldable rowing machine can (as you may have guessed) fold up when not in use, making it a great choice for those of you with a lack of space.
It provides a digital display panel which allows you to track your distance and progress.
The rower has foam-covered handle bars and a surprisingly comfortable seat which allows you to row for long periods of time without getting uncomfortable.
Don’t expect the most powerful rower on earth, this is a great indoor rower that ticks a lot of boxes and is being sold at a very affordable price.
It’s durable enough to handle day to day use, and it can be folded away easily when not in use. What more could you ask for?
Rowing Machine #3: ATIVAFIT Magnetic Rowing Machine
At first glance, the ATIVAFIT Magnetic rowing machine is almost identical to the Circuit Fitness Deluxe rowing machine that we just reviewed.
But there are some small differences, for starters the ATIVAFIT model is quite a bit more compact.
This may reduce the durability and performance slightly, but not noticeably so.
On the plus side, it is even easier to store away after use and takes up less space once folded.
Like the Circuit Fitness rower, the ATIVAFIT rower provides an LCD display so that you can track your progress, has a padded handlebar and cushioned seat to provide comfort during long rows, and offer adjustable resistance.
One benefit that isn’t often mentioned is how quiet this rower is, most rowers are very loud and can be heard throughout the house, but the ATIVAFIT rower is whisper-quiet.
A great all-round rower that is being sold at a great price. A worthy addition to this list.
Rowing Machine #4: Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
This next rower is nothing like the rowers we’ve looked at previously.
It is the best priced, the smallest, and the most innovative rower thus far.
Where as a normal rower has a handle attached to a chain that you pull towards yourself, the Stamina Body Trac Glider provides large handles that you hold onto, pulling forwards and backwards as you row.
This helps to cut down on the size of the rower while still allowing you a smooth rowing motion.
The action required is going to take some getting used to if you’ve been brought up on regular rowing machines, but you should be able to pick it up within a few minutes.
This rower takes up almost no space whatsoever, it is so compact compared to regular rowers.
The price is an absolute steal too! The machine also provides a display screen, cushioned handles and seat, and a hydraulic cylinder, for a superior rowing action.
If you don’t mind using an unconventional technique, then this is the rower for you.
Rowing Machine #5: Mr Rudolph Oak Wood Water Rowing Machine
Don’t let the whimsical name fool you, this is the most impressive rowing machine on our list.
When we started researching this article we knew that we had to include at least one oak wood water rowing machine.
They are a seriously cool bit of kit. However, we expected that whichever one we chose would be much more expensive than the rest of the list.
Amazingly, we found this one by Mr Rudolph which is an absolute bargain!
Oak Wood water rowing machines are such fun. Instead of using hydraulics or wind resistance, they use actual water for resistance.
Instead of being made from metal, they are made out of good quality wood.
This means that they are by far the closest you will ever get to a real water rowing experience (without leaving your home).
Amazingly, you can also purchase a set of paddles to use instead of the regular handles. This helps you to recreate being in a kayak.
Obviously, this is a different movement than traditional rowing.
You won’t be able to generate as much power, but there is a lot more work on the obliques, and it’s pretty cool if you fancy a change.
We absolutely LOVE this.