Best all-in-one rowing machine reviews

Welcome to visit my blog of all-in-one rowing machine reviews! I’m honored to help you find the perfect rowing machine.

My mission is to simplify the searching of a rowing machine by recommending exactly what you want and fast!

It all began after looking for a perfect fitness equipment for my father who has knee problems. Being new to exercise equipment, it took me forever to research different exercise machines before finding the knee-friendly one. Retailer websites don’t offer answers to questions such as the seat comfort level, the level of noise, whether or not the rower is ideal for beginners, etc.. Customer reviews can also be confusing, bias, and vague. After finally deciding to buy a rower, it took me another ‘forever’ to find the perfect one after visiting numerous sites and comparing different brands.

With a goal to spare you what I went through, I thus create this all-in-one review blog where you can quickly find all the information you need in ten minutes!

Now, let’s get started.

How I investigated rowing machine reviews?

rowing machine reviews research

To make sure to spare you from the trouble of choosing a rowing machine, I read the instruction manual, visit the manufacturer’s website, read all online product reviews, examine feedback in discussion forums, watch videos, and demo the product when it’s available.

I am here to help you make it easier to select the best rowing machines by categories, including classes, price tags and resistance. Plus, each review has been broken down to a standard format. The standard format on all reviews makes it simple to read about each detailed area of a rowing machine and compare different models. More importantly, all of the information is compiled in an unbiased rowing machine review.

Following are the all-in-one reviews that come in handy when buying a rowing machine. Happy reading and rowing!

What’s the difference between rowing machines and other common aerobic exercise machines?

Before buying a rowing machine, you might be curious about the difference between rowing machines and other common aerobic machines. Still struggling to figure out which piece of cardio equipment is right for you? Is rowing machine worth the money? If you have such questions on mind, having a look of following reviews is a good idea. Following are the comparisons between rowing machines and other common aerobic exercise machines. Comparison is made in terms of two important goals–muscle tone and weight loss.

1.1 rowing machines vs elliptical trainers

elliptical trainer

In terms of muscle gain and muscle tone

Rowing machine’s intensity comes from repetitively alternating an exertion of strength with a brief moment of recovery. The movement used on a rowing machine is 2 dimensional, with a distinct pushing of the legs and a pulling of the core and arms. Therefore, by using a rowing machine, you will fire up muscles in back, arms, legs and core. The rowing machine is a recipe for all-round exercise.

The movement on an elliptical trainer, meanwhile, is more circular. The continuous stepping movements don’t ever start, stop and reverse. An elliptical machine with handles can provide you with both an upper- and lower-body workout. The key to maximizing the upper-body benefits is to distribute your weight and resistance evenly. In other words, pump your arms just as fast as you’re moving your legs. By doing so, the elliptical can target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, back, biceps, triceps, and core muscles.

In terms of weight loss

According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, an elliptical is more effective in burning calories than a rowing machine. The researchers compared that for a person weighing 155 lbs, an elliptical could burn 670 calories per hour whereas a rowing machine could burn 520 calories per hour.

1.2 rowing machines vs treadmills

rowing machines and treadmills

In terms of muscle gain and muscle tone

Running on a treadmill is centered around your legs. Running means that you’re making explosive muscle contractions in your legs to drive you forward at speed. In particular, it’s the big hitters in your leg that are generating the driving force behind you. Because of how hard your legs are working to generate this force, you’re building up a lot of muscle in your lower body. Your quads, hamstrings, glues and calfs will feel the burn.

Unlike the treadmill, rowing machines work the whole body – upper, lower and core. You can work up to 84% muscle during rowing exercise.

In terms of muscle gain there is no question about it, rowing machine is the winner.

In terms of weight loss

While a rowing machine will work your entire body, a treadmill will focus on your lower body. When you run on a treadmill, however, burning calories is simply difficult to beat. You would burn between 600 and 1,200 calories per hour.

You will be able to burn calories on a rower as well, but unless you are rowing at the highest levels of resistance, you probably won’t burn as many as you would on a treadmill. So a rowing machine has the advantage of giving you a full-body workout, but a treadmill is better for burning the maximum number of calories per hour.

1.3 rowing machines vs stationary bikes

In terms of muscle gain and muscle tone

By now we know that rowing allows almost all of your muscles to shine.

First and foremost, the exercise bike works out the most important of all muscles, namely your heart! But of course, the most visible part of muscular work is the lower body: all leg muscles – as well as the glutes – get solid attention. The muscles used while cycling include the quads, hamstrings, groin and glutes. But that’s not all: when you’re pedaling, your abdominal and lumbar muscles contract to maintain balance and your arms pull on the handlebar.

In terms of weight loss

Calories burned on rowing machines and exercise bikes depend on your intensity. A study published in a 2001 issue of “Medicine and Science in Sports and Medicine” compared calories burned while using different cardio machines. The research found that for a 155-pound person, a moderate-intensity cycling or rowing session burns 260 calories. But when it comes to a vigorous pace, cycling racking up greater numbers per same time spent on the machine. In high intensity, cycling burns 391 calories in 30 minutes while rowing burns 316. But because a rowing machine uses more resistance during your workout, you are likely to experience fat-burning even after your workout.


So how good is a rowing machine workout for your body?

According to Women’s Health Magazine, ‘The major muscles in your legs, arms, back and core all must activate, providing a total body workout that will increase your body strength as well as your cardiovascular capacity.’ ‘With a rowing machine you can work at the highest intensity you like, with the lowest impact on your body,’

Rowing machines are suitable for time-starved people. Short on time? A quarter of an hour is all you need. ‘Make sure you are working consistently at about 80% of you maximum intensity over the course of those 15 minutes for fat burning results.’

According to Healthline, rowing is meditative. There’s a mind-body connection with rowing. While you might find the most calming benefits by rowing outside on the water, you can still achieve some level of this indoors. This comes from the smooth, gliding motion on the rowing machines, and the repetitive movements that allow the mind to go on autopilot.

Rowing is also great for the heart and lungs. As a cardio exercise, rowing strengthens the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart, blood vessels, and blood. It’s responsible for transporting important materials, such as nutrients and oxygen, throughout the body.

According to Concept 2, the full body nature of rowing makes it a huge Calorie burner: in a few minutes a day, you’ll burn more Calories on the indoor rower than you would on a machine that doesn’t engage as many muscle groups.

Those are some of the rowing benefits. Interested in knowing more rowing benefits?

How to choose a rowing machine?

It’s time to switch the treadmill for the rower.As well as your lower body, a rowing machine exercises your upper body. The rowing stroke is made up of 65-75 percent leg work and 25-35 percent upper body work. Even more intriguing is that indoor rowing workout is low impact, which means it lacks the impact that is experienced when doing other aerobic exercise. When you’re jogging outdoors or using a treadmill machine, there is orthopedic trauma placed on your knee every time you take a step. Luckily, that is not the case with indoor rowers. Another amazing fact is that, according to, around 1.3 million people are rowing at home in 2020. Come and join us!

But before buying a rowing machine, you might be curious about the difference between rowing machines and other common aerobic machines. You might wanna learn more about rowing machines and wonder which is best for you. Plus, you might have some worries. Does the rowing machine cost too much? Will it take much room space?

Having such questions is quite common. So here comes a list that you need to take into consideration when choosing a rowing machine.

indoor rowing machines

(a) Figure out your budget

Rowing machines range in price from under $100 to over $3,000! With such a large price range on the market, first of all, you need to figure out how much you are gonna investing on the rowing machine or how good a rowing machine you would like to get?

here’s a quick estimate of quality and price:

  • ~$400 and under – “Low-End”
  • ~$400 – $700 – “Mid-Range”
  • Over $700 – “High-End”
  • Sticking to your spending budget is very important because it prevents you from overspending on a model you “all of a sudden” fell in love with because it has the “latest and greatest technology”.

    (b) Figure out if you have adequate space

    compact rowing machines

    If you have searched about rowing machines by now, you might notice that rowing machines generally take much space when in use. To prevent from buying a too-much-larger rowing machine, it’s always good to pay attention to the dimension when you are browsing rowing machines. Generally, hydraulic-piston machines have the smallest footprint. Although water and air resistance machines have the largest in use, most of them are still space savers when not in use since they can be stored upright.

    (c) Consider the noise level

    One of the frequently asked questions is ‘Is this rowing machine too noisy? If I row in the morning, will I disturb neighbors?’ So if you are worried about causing trouble to your family or neighbors, the noise level shouldn’t be ignored. Of four resistance types, air resistance rowing machines are generally the loudest.

    (d) Consider monitor functions

    Most exercise equipment today allows you to keep track of your workout routine.

    With a basic monitor, you are able to keep track of data like distance, strokes, calories burned, time, and more. By tracking your power, speed and other detailed data about your performance on the water or on the erg, you can spot problems, and track changes over time.

    Some monitors are well-functioned, letting you cycle through various workout modes or games to spice up your day-to-day routine. Advanced functions on monitors include PC connectivity, preset programs, games and bluetooth connectivity, which enables you to connect wirelessly to fitness apps. Some advanced monitors also provide videos. Video is a great tool to help improve your rowing.

    Additionally, some even feature backlit, which makes reading easy on your eyes.

    But, those rowing machines with well-functioned monitors do cost more.

    (e) Learn about rowing machine resistance

    Rowing machines on the market can be mainly available in to 5 kinds of resistance: Water resistance, air resistance, magnetic resistance, and hydraulic resistance and the combination of air and magnetic resistance. Different resistance type translates to different rowing experience. Therefore, you need to do some research and choose the one that you are mostly attracted to.

    rowing machine resistance

    (f) Consider your health condition and your age

    If you are advanced in age, or have some health issues, it’s always advisable to consult doctors before jumping onto the exercise journey.
    Plus, if you are taller than average, you might need to consider the design feature such as the rail length, footrests.

    (g) Start reading detailed rowing machine reviews

    Above-mentioned information might give you a general idea of some. In need of more specific and detailed comparisons? Start reading detailed rowing machine reviews in my blog.