Have you ever thought about upgrading your exercise? If you do, how about taking on a rowing jouney? In this article I will introduce some of the best rowing machines on the market.

You can also read the buying guide to help you choose the rowing machine worth buying.

Table of contents

  • Top picks of best rowing machines
  • Workout programs on rowing machines
  • Upgrade your rowing experience

Top picks Rating
Hydrow magnetic rowing machine 4.7/5
Concept 2 rowing machine 4.9/5
WaterRower natural rowing machine 4.8/5
Aviron rowing machine 4.8/5
Ergatta water rowing machine 4.6/5
Nordictrack rw700 rowing machine 4.5/5
Lifecore fitness rowing machine 4.5/5

Hydrow Magnetic Rowing Machine

This premium magnetic rower is seen as the Peloton of rowing machines. It is one of the best rowing machines that will blow your mind away.

The machine itself is a stunning piece of equipment with a streamlined commercial-grade aluminium body, looking as if it is a spacecraft.

hydrow magnetic rowing machine – one of the best rowing machines

Rating 4.7

Technical specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 86.0″ x 25.0″ x 47.0″ (L x W x H)
  • Storing dimensions: 25.0″ x 33.0″ x 86.0″
  • Weight: 145 lbs (assembled)
  • Maximum user weight: 375 lbs
  • Price: $2,245.00


When it comes to assembly, the Hydrow is “more difficult” to assemble.

However, Hydrow does offer an assembly video on their website if you choose to purchase. Due to the heaviness of some parts, you might need some help from others during your assembly.

Build design & quality

Design features
Frame Non-foldable
Rail Monorial
Seat Hard and contoured
Footplates Fixed with sliding footpads
Space between housing and footrests Big

It has an aluminium frame, with a high-quality plastic shell. All the bearings, footrests, handle, seat, etc. are made from commercial grade material.

There is also a nylon belt used to attach the handle to the magnetic drive system that is similar to seatbelt material.

One more important feature is that space between housing and footrests are big enoush so that rowers can complete a full rowing stroke. This means you are able to have your knees bent, a slight lean forward, and your arms can fully extend forwards.

Full rowing strokes are hard to get on some lower cost rowers. Read the article of buyer beware to avoid design flaws.

Another critical feature is its sliding footpads on footrests, which allow users to adjust footplacement in accordance with their needs For example, for those who have belly or are pregnant, lowering the footpads might provide more comfortable rowing posture.


seat of hydrow magnetic rowing machine

Hydrow promises an awesome shopping experience.

Users enjoy a comfortable seat, with their hands gripping an ergonomic handle.

The footrests or footbeds are adjustable and can accommodate any shoe size.

Therefore, comfort is not a problem for Hydrow.


Hydrow features “computer-controlled, electromagnetic resistance system″.

Its awesome 22” HD sweat-proof touchscreen controls the resistance, an edge that help Hydrow stand out from its competitors. This provides one of the smoothest, quietest rowing strokes on the market!

You can easily adjust the resistance by sliding a “resistance” bar on the touch-screen monitor.

Monitor / Control Panel

monitor of hydrow magnetic rower

Monitor Specs
Data SPM, Calories, Time, 500m Split, Avg Split, etc.
Heart rate feature √ Work with most Bluetooth heart rate monitors like the Polar H7 or Wahoo TICKR.
Preset programs
Preset workout √ Live and on-demand rowing workouts delivered by world-renowned athletes on the water. even includes yoga, pilates, and strength training sessions.
Software/Apps ×
PC connectivity ×
Family sharing √ unlimited user profiles
Requirements Memebership fee / a standard WIFI connection / a standard outlet plug

Monitor data

The Hydrow is a smart connected rower, with its focus on recreating the on-water experience.

The monitor on the Hydrow is probably the most sought-after feature. It tracks all the necessary rowing data, including SPM, Calories, Time, 500m Split, Avg Split.

The monitor offers more than data.

Advanced function

It is Bluetooth enabled, meaning it can work with most Bluetooth heart rate monitors like the Polar H7 or Wahoo TICKR.

Being WIFI enabled, Hydrow is the first ( probably the only one) offering a Live Outdoor Reality™ experience consisting of live and on-demand rowing workouts delivered by world-renowned athletes on the water.

You can listen to your virtual instructors and follow along with the program while listening to high-energy music that will pump you up.

There is also “journey” mode by which you can enjoy serene river rowing and navigate your way through scenic routes at whatever pace you are comfortable with.

One more thing about Hydrow is they keep adding more and more sessions with each update!

That being said, the monitor requires a standard WIFI connection to stream the in-app rowing sessions and a standard outlet plug to operate the screen and resistance.

monitor screen of hydrow magnetic rower

Sounds awesome! But, it doesn’t come free.

After paying a nice price for the Hydrow Rower, $38 per month Hydrow Membership is required to have access to our premium workout content. Hydrow makes continued improvements to its one-of-a-kind platform and to add to its growing library of over 1,900 — filming live rows on the water each week with our athletes — some of whom are national team members and medaled in the most elite competitions internationally — and in locations that include Boston, Miami, London, Scotland, New York, and many more. Hydorw’s membership allows for unlimited user profiles, which means every member of your household can enjoy Hydrow.

Besides price, another letdown is that there isn’t much flexibility. If you choose not to follow along classes, there isn’t “Just Row” function, nor can you program your own workouts.


hydrow magnetic rowing machine tilted into an upright position

While the Hydrow itself isn’t compact, it is easily storable.

You can tilt the machine into an upright position. There is an upright storage kit (sold separately) that locks the product into the wall for safety.

One complaint might be that it takes some effort to move Hydrow around as it is a little bit heavy.


  • Structural Frame & Upright Storage Kit: Five Years
  • All-Parts: 2 Years
  • Labor: 1 Year


One letdown of this machine is that it’s expensive even without considering the ongoing membership fees.

But one thing worth mentioning is the brand’s philanthropic efforts.

When you row 60 days with Hydrow, they donate to Water.org in your name to grant long-term access to safe water for an individual in the developing world.

This demonstrates how the brand has considered the user’s whole experience of being part of the Hydrow community.

Donation is a great way to upgrade your rowing workout. BUt there are more ways to bring your rowing exercise to a high level. Read this article to find out.

You can also watch the video to have a look at this well-designed machine.

Pros Cons
Quiet, electromagnetic resistance Not easy to move around
Very solid and well-made construction Needs to be plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi to work
22.0″ touchscreen monitor Expensive price tag
Adjustable resistance adequate for beginner to advanced Ongoing cost for membership
Newly added workouts with each software update
400+ rowing sessions with membership

Concept2 Model D Air Rowing Machine

Concept2 model D air rowing machine

It is one of the best rowing machines because it provides durability, unlimited resistance, and engaging programming and games at a manageable price point.

Model D are used in gymnasiums all over the world and therefore built to last.

They’re also the first choice for the majority of rowing clubs and serious rowers.

Rating: 4.9

Technical specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 96.0″ x 24.0″ x 14.0″ (L x W x H)
  • Folded dimensions: 25.0″ x 33.0″ x 54.0″ (L x W x H)
  • Weight: 57 lb (26 kg)
  • Maximum user weight: 500 lb (227 kg) as tested by Concept2.* / *300 lb (135 kg) as tested per European Stationary Fitness Equipment Testing Standard EN 20957-7.
  • Price: $500 – $999

Build design & quality

Design features
Frame Foldable
Rail Monorial
Seat Hard and contoured
Footplates Fixed with sliding footpads
Space between housing and footrests Big

This rowing machine is of commercial-grade quality. The construction is very solid and will put up with years of regular use.

The machine has a powder coat finish and comes in both black and light grey hues. Its front legs are aluminium, its rear legs are steel, and its chain is nickel-plated steel.

When it comes to design, Concept 2 is professional. One importance feature is the space between footrests & housing and footrests. This room is where users keep their shin vertical, maintain their body straight and stretch their arms. On Concept 2, this space is large enough.

Sunny health and fitness sfrw 5515 rowing machine

However, some lower-cost rowing machines have design flaws. On Sunny Health Fitness SFRW5515, the housing & handlebar are almost right above the footrests, preventing users to be fully compressed. Read the article of buyer beware to learn more.

Another good feature is that the footrests feature sliding footpads. Such design allow users to adjust footplacement according to their specific needs. For example, for those who suffer knee pains, raising footpads up a little bit might a good idea. This will relieve strain on the Achilles tendon. Read the article of rowing machine specific features to learn more.

One beef of Concept 2 is its monitor arm. The arm on the Model D is plastic, and therefore not particularly durable.


The Concept2’s seat is made from firm rubber. Since it is a ‘training’ rowing machine and it makes sense to have a seat that is optimized for shorter, faster sessions. The seat height of 35.5 cm is enough to provide a comfortable fit for people of different heights.

The footrests are adjustable, which shows user-friendliness design, and the handle design is also ergonomic.

Because of such design, after you jump onto this machine and exercise for a long session, you still feel quite comfortable.


The Concept2 is an air resistance rower, which means it’s action is smooth and closely replicates rowing on water without any lag throughout the rowing stroke.

The resistance level is determined by your rowing intensity. Differently put, the faster you row, the more intensity you feel.

This automatically adjusting resistance is know as ‘variable’ resistance. This is perfect for HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercises because you can row fast or slow and the resistance adjusts to your speed without having to stop and change any settings.

But a little warning, air resistance is noisy. It will be a problem if you prefer a quiet and peaceful rowing experience.

If you prefer quiet rowing machines, this article of reviewing noiseless rowing machines might be what you need.

Damper settings

damper settings of Concept2 air rowing machine

Besides adjusting resistance, users can also adjust the “feel” of the rowing stroke with the damper setting.

Users can change the damper settings from level 1 to 10 (as seen above).

Instead of representing different resistance levels, they represent the amount of air going into the flywheel, which effects the “feel” of the rowing stroke. The higher settings (6-10) give you the feeling of a slower, heavier boat, whereas the lower settings (1-5) give you the feeling of a sleeker, faster boat.

Concept 2 truly brings the on-the-water feeling into dry land and into your home.


monitor of concept 2 rowing machine

Monitor Specs
Data Distance, 500m split (speed), Time, SPM, Calories, Watts, etc.
Heart rate feature √ The PM will show your heart rate, if you are using compatibale heart rate equipment
Preset programs
Preset workout
Software/Apps √ ErgData, asensei, Rowpro, Regatta among other apps
PC connectivity

Basic function

Its performance monitor is where users lavish praises on Concept 2.

The top section provides data as follows: total time, number of strokes per minute, distance achieved and 500m split time.

You can choose from five different graphic displays for the bottom section:

  • All Data (shows additional data)
  • Force Curve (shows a graph for how force varies between your legs, back, and arms during the driving motion of your row [it basically tells you if your rowing motion is smooth or not])
  • Paceboat (shows graphic display of your boat against a pre-programmed boat; you can also set a previous workout of yours as the paceboat so you can race against yourself)
  • Bar Chart (shows graphic display in a bar chart format of the total watts of power generated during each phase of the workout)
  • Large Print (shows data with larger font)

If you’re looking to save your data and compare it with past or future sessions, don’t worry—the PM5 automatically stores your information in its internal memory.

Wireless connectivity makes transferring workout data easy. You can also save the data to a flash drive for use. If you are a data nut and love tracking progress, then the Model D is a fantastic choice.

Advanced function

PM5 features heart rate feature as it can connect to heart rate monitors for easy tracking.

To spice up rowing exercise, there are also some games, such as the fish eating game, included in it to lighten up your rowing.

Additionally, PM5 is not only bluetooth enabled but also provides ANT+ connectivity as well. This gives you the freedom to connect wirelessly to fitness apps, including ErgData, asensei, Rowpro, Regatta among other apps.

Backlit is also featured on PM5 to make reading easy on your eyes.

These top-of-the-line features do come with a top-of-the-line price. However, its smart design and an impressive set of features totally worth it.


Concept2 air rowing machine tilted into an upright position

The Model D Rowing Machine has a large footprint when in use, but the size is basically cut in half when it is separated and stands up.

Yes, you read it right! All you have to do is separate the monorail and the flywheel portion of the rowing machine. Then rest the flywheel portion of the rower on its “head” and make the monorail section “stand up”.


All in all, Concept 2 is known as the golden standard in the rowing industry. This video also gives you an idea of the top 3 reasons why you should buy a concept 2.

Pros Cons
Accurate performance monitor Pricey
Diverse functions and options Noisy-ish fan
Easy to customise Rough rubber handle
Great warranty and service

WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

WaterRower rowing machine

Waterrower is designed to resemble the glorious vessels found spearing down the Thames during the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. This video may give a clear idea of elegant Waterrower.

Rating: 4.8

Technical specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 83.0″ x 22.0″ x 21.0″ (L x W x H)
  • Storing dimensions: 21.0″ x 22.0″ x 83.0″ (L x W x H)
  • Weight: 117 pounds [53 kg] (full water tank) / 73 pounds [33 kg] (empty water tank)
  • Maximum user weight: 250 pounds
  • Price:$1,000 – $1,499


According to WaterRower, assembly should take no more than 30 minutes.

Assembly instructions are provided to help users assemble. There are also plenty of YouTube videos walking through the WaterRower assembly.

Build design & quality

Design features
Frame Non-foldable
Rail Dual rial
Seat Slightly cushioned
Footplates Fixed with sliding footpads
Space between housing and footrests Big

It looks robust, well-constructed out of quality wood, exuding a sense of nature. With a water flywheel, it mimics the feel of rowing on the lake.

The WaterRower Natural frame is built using solid Ash wood, sustainably sourced from the Appalachian mountain range. Stained in honey oak and finished with a light Danish oil, this sleek machine is the company’s flagship offering.

Such delicate construction absorbs sound and vibration, making rowing smoother and quieter.

This rowing machine features sliding footpads on the footrests, allowing rowers to adjust footplacement according to their needs. Otherwise, the lack of such design might even encourage bad rowing form.

However, Waterrower is not perfect. As a rowing machine with dual rails, the space between footrests are narrower than that on rowing machines with monorail. That would be a problem if you have big legs.


The molded seat has an ergonomic design and comes with extra padding to provide superior comfort while rowing.

A few users commented that this seat was the most comfortable they’ve experienced. So smooth in fact that many users don’t realize how hard they have been working out until they get off the machine!

Aluminum-made, the handle is durable and light. Its tear-drop shape makes it easy to grip and also minimizes any development of wrist problems.

However, the footrests are where Waterrower gets mixed comments.

Some uses find the footrests are too straight and close and would be better if adjustable. If you have ‘big’ legs (muscular or otherwise) you may find your knees and thighs knocking together.


As its name indicates, it uses water resistance.

It works your muscles with a flywheel spinning in water. Unlike other rowing machines you don’t have the option to select the resistance level. The faster you row, the greater the resistance of the water – just like rowing on a lake.


monitor of WaterRower rowing machine

Monitor Specs
Data Time, Distance, Intensity, SPM, Heart Rate Monitor, etc.
Bluetooth √ with ComModule
Heart rate feature √ Option is available when optional heart rate monitor is used
Preset programs
Preset workout
Games ×
Software/Apps WaterRower Connect App, CITYROW Go App, Coxswain App, and SmartRow App, etc.
PC connectivity
Backlit ×

This rowing machine is more than just a pretty face!

Another feature is its easy-to-read Series 4 (S4) monitor.

Series 4 performance monitor tracks workout’s watt/intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, and more.

Additionally, WaterRower Natural provides six preset workouts.You can set simple time/distance goals using the workout button. You could also set distance interval and target mode workouts to spice up your workouts a bit.

On top of this, S4 features PC connectivity and you can turn S4 Performance Monitor into a Bluetooth enabled device with ComModule. There are several commercially available software products for the WaterRower, including WaterRower Connect App, CITYROW Go App, Coxswain App, and SmartRow App. With apps, you can store training data, race online against others, or try better times from previous training sessions.

But a little notice: ComModule is not included in the original package – one letdown to some potential customers.


WaterRower rowing machine tilted into an upright position

Despite the assumptions that it will be too heavy to move around after your workout, it is surprisingly portable with its wheel at the front on the rower. It is also an elegant fitness furniture, which can be stored upright when not in use.


It provides three-year-warranty on all components, excluding touchscreen electronics, electronics accessories and rechargeable batteries, and five-year-warranty on the structural frame by registering the Product within the first year of purchase.


Waterrower rowing machine is pleasing to the eyes and the ears and it works up to 84% of your muscle. Overall this piece of beautifully tuned, hand-crafted, water-resistance workout equipment sits at the high end of the water rowing machine spectrum.

Pros Cons
The whoosh sound is soothing The monitor is not easy to reach
Very solid and well-made construction The foot rests may not be comfortable if you’re tall
Natural wood looks elegant Lacks backlit
Monitor can be plugged into your PC for additional features
Fairly accurate monitor
Easy to store upright with transportation wheels

Aviron Rowing Machine

Aviron dual resistance rowing machine

Rating: 4.8

Technical specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 97.0″ x 22.0″ x 43.0″ (L x W x H)
  • Folded dimensions: 54.0″ x 22.0″ x 62.0″
  • Weight: 93LBS / 42KG
  • Maximum user weight: 397LBS / 180KG
  • Price:

Build design & quality

Aviron features a design that looks quite futuristic.

It is constructed with a reinforced, anodized aluminum rail that ensures both stability and durability.

The maximum inseam length that comes with this rowing machine is 97”. This is incredibly long, so Aviron is suitable for tall people.

One good feature is its fixed footrests with sliding footpads. Fixed footrests spare users from finding the angle for feet – a good design especially for beginners.

Sliding footpads help to accommodate feet of different sizes. What’s more, such design allows uers to adjust footplacement according to their specific needs.

For example, for those who have big belly or are pregnant, lowering the footpads might provide more comfortable rowing posture.

One more point worth mentioning is its monorail, which may provides bigger space between footrests compared with rowing machines with dual rails. This is particulary good for rowers who have big legs.

However, there is one letdown – the space between the housing and handlebar is not as big as that on the Concept 2.


The rowing position is very comfortable.

Durable and easy to grip, its handle features its ergonomic design. One innovation of its handle is that it rotates during your rowing workout. This design may force users’ hands and wrists into a proper position.

One drawback of the handlebar is that it is a little short.

The footrests secure your feet while rowing and the nylon straps can be quickly adjusted to secure or loosen your feet.


Aviron combines 16 level dual air resistance with magnetic one. There is big intensity difference between level 1 and level 16. With such a resistance design, users can get more intensive workout. However, after level 10, the stroke feeling gets insanely difficult, which is probably unnecessary.


monitor of Aviron rowing machine

Console is one of Aviron’s biggest features.

This monitor is bluetooth-enabled. When synced with Bluetooth heart rate device, it helps you stay in your peak target zone for a more efficient workout.

It comes with a 22” 1080P touchscreen. This monitor has 6 primary workout functions to motivate and guide your training.

One function is that it offers videos, teaching you proper exercise technique to maximize your workouts. You can also set your goals and select personalized workouts to improve cardiovascular performance or increase strength, speed, and muscles.

Another feature is that you can add, follow, and challenge your friends. This monitor can also spice up your rowing workout at it also has several rowing games.

This monitor also features engaging and interactive games to spice up your rowing workout. There is no need to worry that you will feel bored during rowing.


Aviron rowing machine tilted into an upright position

Although can’t be seperated apart, Aviron features a foldable design.

It also features transport wheel, so you can easily wheel it out of your way.


This rowing machine comes with a 2-year limited warranty.


With advanced monitor, high quality and good design, it does cost a lot. But you will get what you pay for.

The video by Training Tall may give you a more detailed idea of Aviron rowing machine.

Ergatta Water Rowing Machine

ergatta rowing machine

Rating: 4.6

Technical specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 86“ x 23” x 40“
  • Storing dimensions:
  • Weight: 103 lbs, 76.5 lbs without water
  • Maximum user weight: 500 pounds
  • Price: $2,199.00


Assembly isn’t something you’ll have to worry about with the Ergatta.

If you decide to purchase one, a $199 shipping fee will be added to your bill. That shipping fee covers the shipping of your rower, but it also covers professional assembly.

So, your Ergatta will be assembled and installed by a professional, ensuring that your rower is put together in accordance with WaterRower guidelines and safety protocols.

Build design & quality

Design features
Frame Non-foldable
Rail Dual rial
Seat Slightly cushioned
Footplates Fixed with sliding footpads
Space between housing and footrests Big

Like WaterRower, Ergatta comes with a solid wood frame. To be exact, the Ergata is hand made out of American cherry wood.

Not only does this give this rower a very distinctive look, but it also makes it quite durable. These rowers look more like pieces of art or furniture than exercise machines.

Another thing worth mentioning is its dual rail. Such design definitely contributes to the overall sturdiness of the Ergatta (and be another factor that allows this rower to hold 500 lb safely).

It also features sliding footpads, which make adjustment of footplacement possible. For example, if you are a barefoot rowing lover, raising your footpads higher is advisable as you don’t have the cushion or sole of shoes getting in the way.


The machine has adjustable footboards and a comfortable seat with four small wheels on the bottom that allow it to roll on two rails.

But some customers and rowing machine reviewers complain that the leg space is too close and the footpads don’t feel right, affecting catch position.


interfaces in the monitor of ergatta rowing machine

Monitor Specs
Data Calories, Distance, Stroke rate, Heart rate, Average split, etc.
Heart rate feature
Preset programs
Preset workout
Software/Apps ×
PC connectivity ×
Backlit ×
Family sharing √ unlimited user profiles

As one of the best rowing machines, Ergatta comes with a gaming-inspired connected monitor. The monitor has a 17.3″ HD touchscreen display which is bluetooth and wi-fi compatible (you actually need wi-fi to use it).

The monitor tracks progress and metrics, making it easier for users to work towards goals.

One big feature of this monitor is its gaming-inspired system allows you to compete against yourself and other rowers, pushing you to meet goals and challenge yourself to more intense workouts.

At first use, you complete a 2,000 meter row to determine your level of performance allowing the software to personalize your workouts so they’re not too easy, or too hard.

This calibrates what they call ‘Intensity Zones’, that is, representing your speed and endurance at paces of paddle, steady, race, and sprint.

Workout programs

There are hundreds of workouts to choose from, most with a game-like set up. Ergatta offers 4 different workout types:

  • Push programs- this section contains workout programs designed to help you reach a certain goal (improve endurance/power/or technique)
  • Interval workouts- these programs are designed around HIIT workouts and other interval based workouts and can be selected based on time, difficulty, or distance.
  • Race workouts- these programs allow you to compete against other Ergatta users that are at your skill level (your skill level is determined by the calibration workout you do at the beginning)
  • Open row- with open row you can simply row at your own pace, using either a time or distance as your goal

Unfortunately, there aren’t any instructor-led courses on Ergatta quite yet. Nor does Ergatta have live races.

According to some customers, customers particularly like the idea of personal calibration.

Ergatta is a more analytical performance based approach. As compared to the Hydrow, they would prefer this as it is geared towards a more data based and customized training program.

However, for some customers, Ergatta is a little pressuring. Ergatta is a world full of metrics and pressure to perform, and some customers can’t enjoy a less connected and more meditative rowing.

Prefer a rowing machine with an advanced monitor? Read the article introducing rowing machines with well-functioned monitors to pick your favourite.


ergatta water rowing machine placed against a wall beside a window in a bedroom

Like Waterrower, Ergatta can’t be folded for storage (it’s solid wood after all), but it can be stored vertically. And, you don’t have to take the water out of the tank to store.

When vertical, it only takes up a floor space of 23″ x 22.5″, which is less than 2′ x 2′.


The Ergatta comes with the following warranty:

  • 5 year frame
  • 3 year parts
  • 1 year labor


Pros Cons
Support Bluetooth headphones and heart rate monitors Expensive
Attractive design is compact, lightweight No instructor-led workouts
Gaming-inspired monitor system No live races
Good warranty
Store vertically

NordicTrack RW700 Dual Resistance Rowing Machine

nordictrack rw700 rowing machine

Rating: 4.5

NordicTrack rower is also one the best rowing machines around $1000. If you wanna a really advanced and fancy rowing machine, read this review.

Technical specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 87″ x 22″ x 47″ (L x W x H)
  • Folded dimensions: 52.4″ x 22.0″ x 47.2″ (L x W x H)
  • Weight:
  • Maximum user weight: 250 pounds
  • Price: $1299

Build design & quality

The build quality is excellent and it’s backed by a great warranty.

The RW700 frame is constructed of steel track, which is long but secure to support a smooth, sturdy rowing stroke.

A strap is used instead of a chain on the pull mechanism to reduce noise, but the strap is made to last and shows no signs of fraying or breaking from extended use.

As you can see from the picture, it features a monorail, which provides a little wider space between footrests compared with dual rails.

RW700 features wide footrests with sliding footpads. I cannot say enough the importance of sliding footpads. This design can allow users to adjust foot placement according to their needs. For example, for those who suffer knee pains, raising footpads up a little bit might a good idea. Check the article of rowing machine specific features to learn more.

Although sliding footpads are of great importance, some lower-cost rowing machines lack such design. The writing of buyer beware may give you a warning that you need before buying an indoor rower.

Now, this rowing machine is not perfect, to be honest. The room between housing and handlebar is not as big as that on Concept 2. The space is where users stretch their arms to get a fully compressed position.


handle, seat, and pedals of NordicTrack RW700 rowing machinet

Its “SoftTouch” ergonomic handle allows for longer rowing routines without hand fatigue.

The ergonomic, molded seat is comfortable enough to use for long rowing sessions, although some people do say their butt starts to hurt a bit.

The pedals are reinforced with a solid foot surface underneath and a molded overlay that holds your shoe securely. The double layer provides stability underfoot while still allowing for a gentle flex and give as you row.


air and magnetic settings of NordicTrack RW700 rowing machine

The NordicTrack RW700 Rower features a combination of air and magnetic resistance. With such dual resistance setting, users can enjoy the high-end benefits of air resistance and the low-end benefits of magnetic resistance.

The NordicTrack RW700 Rower offers 10 different air resistance settings and 26 different SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance settings.

It features a damper. It does not control the “resistance” but controls the “feel” of the rowing stroke. Damper settings allow more or less air into the flywheel, which makes the rowing stroke feel lighter or heavier.

On the other hand, the magnetic resistance adjustment is a bit easier, which is controlled by pressing a “+” or “-” button on the console (shown in the photo below).The resistance will automatically change if you are using any of the iFIT workout programs.


monitor of NordicTrack RW700 rowing machine

Monitor Specs
Data Watts, Strokes Per Minute, Total Strokes, Time, Calories, Distance, Speed, Heart Rate, 500m Split
Heart rate feature ×
Preset programs
Games ×
Software/Apps √ iFIT training program
PC connectivity ×
Requirements The monitor does need to be plugged into an outlet and be unplugged after each session

Nordictrack RW700 is affixed with a 14-inch rotating Smart HD Touchscreen. The adjustable screen makes for a nice touch for fitness fans who like to mix up their rowing with yoga or other floor exercises.

The monitor tracks necessary data, including Watts, Strokes Per Minute, Total Strokes, Time, etc.

Each resistance has one corresponding touch button flanking on both sides of the screen along the sides of the console. This makes it very convenient to adjust resistance quickly.

Plus, when you buy this rowing machine, it comes with a one-year membership of iFit, an interactive online training program. You need to, or correctly, must, sign up for the ifit.

And iFit app gets mixed comments. If you are new to rowing, it might be helpful to give you some basic idea of rowing.

What’s good is that The iFIT membership gives you access to over 12,000 workouts, many of which are rowing specific. This means you can follow along as world-class trainers take you through a rowing workout or follow them as they row down famous rivers.

You can even use Google Maps to “row” down different streets or rivers around the globe! When following these courses, your magnetic resistance is controlled by the course instructors.

Another innovation is the Interactive Personal Training, which allows the RW700’s resistance levels to be changed automatically by the trainers so that you aren’t distracted making manual adjustments.

But, if you are an advanced rower, this app might be too basic for you, for it doesn’t have some progressive instruction.

And after 1-year you don’t want to use iFit app, you can simply don’t renew and use the 30 pre-loaded workouts that come on the monitor. This is better than Proform rowing machine. To get Proform rower works, you need to continue to pay your iFit membership.

Another letdown is that this model also doesn’t come with a heart rate monitor, so one will need to be purchased separately if you want to utilize that feature.


A woman in black skin folds a NordicTrack RW700 rowing machine

The RW700 does have a patented SpaceSaver® design. You can fold the RW700 by following these two very easy steps:

  1. Lift the center handle and allow the seat rail to fold inward.
  2. Tip the rower forward and allow the seat rail to fold in and clip into the front support bar.
  3. The folded dimensions are roughly: 52.4″ x 22.0″ x 47.2″ (L x W x H)


It offers 10 years on frame, 3 years on parts and 1 year on labor.


Pros Cons
14-inch rotating Smart HD Touchscreen Low weight capacity
Great warranty
Foldable design

LifeCore R100 Rowing Machine

lifecore r100 rowing machine

Technical specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 92.0″ x 19.0″ x 36.0″ (L x W x H)
  • Folded dimensions: 52.0″ x 19.0″ x 67.0″(L x W x H)
  • Weight: 96 pounds (44 kg)
  • Maximum user weight: 600 lbs
  • Price: $1,000 – $1,499


Assembly of the Lifecore R100 Rowing Machine is fairly straightforward.

The assembling instruction of the LifeCore R100 Power is quite easy to read. The whole process requires no deep electrical or mechanical knowledge. Some users even commented they were able to put it together in under 10 minutes with the included allen wrench!

Build design & quality

Design features
Frame Foldable
Rail Monorial
Seat Slightly cushioned
Footplates Fixed with sliding footpads
Space between housing and footrests Big

Every part on the rower is made to last.

It’s coated with black semi-gloss paint and has an extruded aluminum frame with solid steel supports. The aluminium frame and solid steel supports give a rock solid feel and Lifecore claim it will handle a user of up to 600 lbs!

Also, the machine’s stabilizers have rubber pads, in order to deliver a superior grip onto the floor.

The gliding rail is long enough to be suitable for tall people, up to 6’6″ (198 cm), promoting a complete leg extension.

The footrests on the Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine are angled, wide.The footrests also feature sliding footpads, allowing users to adjust footplacement according to their needs.

One more important feature is enough space between housing and footrests, allowing users to perform a good rowing posture.

Read the article of rowing machine specific features ro learn more.


The LifeCore R100 has a ton of great comfort features that allows people to row for hours (seriously, people have rowed marathons on this machine).

The machine’s seat is fairly large, approx. 16″ (40.6 cm) wide, featuring a contoured, ergonomic surface. It’s built on a heavy-duty PVC frame.

The handle has an ergonomic design and a slight angle, which allows users to have a comfortable grip. The handle is attached to a heavy-duty nylon strap, not a chain, which results in a smoother and quieter operation.


The Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine combines the smooth, ‘variable’ air resistance and the strong, ‘adjustable’ magnetic resistance.

The R100 has 16 different levels of adjustable resistance, which makes this rower ideal for people of all fitness levels.

One great benefit of air & magnetic resistance is the overall resistance strength. If you want to row slowly but still have strong resistance, you can set the resistance to level 16. If you want light resistance but still want to row fast, just turn the magnetic resistance to level 1 and rely on the air resistance.

The R100 resistance level can easily be changed by pressing buttons on the performance monitor.

The noise level on the Lifecore R100 Rowing Machine is also not nearly as loud as an air-only rower because the fan does not need to spin as fast due to the added magnetic resistance.

Another great feature of the Lifecore R100 Rower is the adjustable cooling air vent. The vent allows users to point the air created by the rower towards them while working out, which can help keep them cool!


console of LifeCore R100 rowing machine

Monitor Specs
Data SPM, Calories, Time, 500m Split, Avg Split, etc.
Heart rate feature
Preset programs
Preset workout
Games ×
Software/Apps ×
PC connectivity ×
Family sharing √ unlimited user profiles

The Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine comes with a multi-function performance monitor that has a large LCD blue/green backlit display.

It only has 5 buttons, which makes it super easy to use! It is attached to the front part of the frame through an angle adjustable arm, giving you the possibility to tilt it as you like, in order to benefit from the perfect view of your workout metrics.

The monitor tracks various fitness data and all data is displayed simultaneously on the main screen.

It also shows pulse since it comes with a built-in heart rate receiver and includes a FREE wireless chest strap to record your pulse during workouts. However, here comes one letdown. The heart rate monitor really needs to be wet or smeared with electrode gel. If you don’t get sweaty during the workout and the electrode dries up, it won’t give you a proper reading.

The Lifecore R100 Rowing Machine monitor allows users to create unique user profiles for 4 different users. Certain user details such as gender information, age, weight, and height are requested and is used to calculate workout data more accurately and to provide better experiences with future workouts.

All user data is saved including historical workout data until the users manually erase profile information.

Workout programs

Out of all the monitor features, users rave about the workout programs the most! The Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine offers 15 different workout programs, including manual program, White Water & Ramp Programs, Manual Program, Pacer Program, Interval Programs, WATTS Control Program, Heart Rate Control Programs.

Manual Program
  • A quick start program where users select their resistance level
  • User then choose a target distance and time
White Water & Ramp Programs
  • These programs “simulate” rowing on white waters and ramps
  • The resistance levels will change as you go through the program and you can increase or decrease the resistance at any time
  • Users choose a target distance and time
Pacer Program
  • Allows user to race against or row beside a pace boat
  • User determines the speed/pace of the pace boat
  • Boat icons on the monitor show where you are relative to the pace boat
  • The monitor will let you know how many meters you’re behind or ahead of the pace boat
Interval Programs
  • Users can set a time to row or a distance to row
  • Then you select the amount of rest period between the sets
  • These are great for tabata or HIIT exercises
WATTS Control Program
  • Allows user to determine watt (power) goal
  • Resistance level changes automatically according to your rowing speed (manual selection of resistance is disabled)
  • User chooses a target distance, time, and watt level
Heart Rate Control Programs
  • Allows user to keep training at their desired heart rate level
  • Programs are based off of individual user profiles
  • Three heart rate level options: 60%, 75%, 85%
  • User chooses a target distance and time


LifeCore R100 rowing machine tilted into an upright position

The Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine folds up in seconds by simply unscrewing a knob underneath the rower and standing up the seat rail.

When folded, the rower has the following dimensions: 52 x 19 x 67 inches (L x W x H)

The Lifecore Rower has dual caster wheels that make moving the rower around manageable.


Residential Warranty

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Labor: 1-Year
  • Parts: 5-Years

Light Commercial Warranty

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Labor: 90-Days
  • Parts: 2-Years

Workout programs

a man wearing black clothes gets ten muscles engaged in indoor rowing

Rowing machine is a lifelone investment. Reading reviews and buying one rowing machine is only one step. More important step is to do workouts for your preferences and specific goals.

If you wanna lose weight, the article of guide of weight loss is helpful.

How about getting beautiful muscles? The article of workouts to tone muscles on rowing machines is what you need.

Upgrade rowing experience

a man wears a pair of Topiom rowing gloves

Rowing gloves can certainly help you from getting blisters, upgraing rowing workout to a more comfortable level.

Wanna bring picturesque lake scene to your home? VR rowing of Holofit provides total immersion in exceptional environments and a unique experience where wonder, change of scenery do not leave any place to boredom.

Do you know you can make a difference just by rowing at home? Rowing for charity is now on the swing.

Here are some ways to upgrade your rowing experience.