Rowing machines are a great fitness tool. They build strength in most major muscle groups including the calves, thighs, arms, shoulders and back but are also a great cardiovascular workout. They are a smart addition to any home gym. However, as with most things you get what you pay for. If you are looking for a good quality machine expect to spend around $600-$800 and the best machines can cost over $2000. Before resigning yourself to that amount though it’s important to understand some of the basic components of a rowing machine.
There are 4 resistance types:
Piston – These have hydraulic cylinders and are more compact. They can often fit under beds for storage. However, they are not as smooth as some other models and are not an accurate representation of rowing.
Magnetic- Here powerful electromagnets control resistance. They are quiet and more bulky.
Air Resistance – These are most often used by off-season rowers. Resistance comes from the pace you work at and increases proportionately. However, they are quiet loud.
Water – They are a good simulation of actually rowing in water. As with air resistance, the resistance increases in proportion to your speed. They are second in noise level, and are extremely heavy because of a full water tank.
Also, before beginning research on specific models and reading customer rowing machines reviews you should know that most come with standard features such as adjustable tension, the ability to record the rowing speed, time, distance, and calories burned. Many machines have additional features but most aren’t necessary. Decide if it is something you will really use before spending the extra money.
With that background information the falling are some rowing machine reviews for three different price levels.
Budget Rowing Machine Review – If you are looking to save money the Stamina rowing machines are the way to go. They typically cost $150-$350. Most of their models feature piston resistance although there is one with air resistance. These models are also generally compact. The rowing machine reviews written by consumers mostly gave them 4-5 out of 5 stars. The lower ratings were for durability issues and complaints about being too short or too heavy for the machine (the max weight is 250 pounds). This is a great buy for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, however, if you’re planning on using it more than twice a week you may want to step up to the next level.
Mid-Level Rowing Machines Review –For the middle price range $400-$800, the Lifecore Rower comes highly recommended. The brand offers both magnetic and air resistance. All models have adjustable resistance and can store data for up to 4 users. Consumer rowing machine reviewers rated these machines highly. The only complaint from some being that the heart rate monitor is not always accurate. Concept II – This brand is very popular in the U.S. The machines can accommodate up to 500 lbs, and offer a 5 year warranty. One of the special features involves motivation games to aid in the participants’ workout. This brand consistently gets great customer reviews.
High-End Rowing Machine Reviews: For those in the high-end market ($1000 and up) the Tunturi is a good choice. It features easily adjustable resistance, silent magnetic resistance, and 3 year warranty. Other rowing machine reviews however, liked Kettler Coach better for the money. This brand offers a life time warranty on most aspects, 16 additional exercises in addition to rowing and a training computer. It also features magnetic resistance. The best of the best however is the Water Rower. It is designed for the serious rower or serious athlete, and is not necessary or practical for the average user.
Rowing machines come in many forms. These rowing machine reviews should get you started on the right track to finding the perfect solution for your fitness needs.