Table of Contents
- Top 10 Best Rowing Machines:
- Category Breakdown
- Benefits Of Rowing
- It Hits Your Entire Body
- Low Impact Cardio
- It’s Extremely Fun
- Choosing The Right Rower
- Resistance Systems
- Magnetic Rowing Machines
- Water Rowing Machines
- Piston or Hydraulic Rowing Machines
- Display Units
- The Ver(ve)dict
Rowing is one of the best fitness activities you can do at home. The benefits it offers are just too good to ignore. Because of all this, rowing machines have pretty much been incredibly popular ever since they first appeared on the market. However, due to that popularity we have an overwhelmingly saturated market that is sometimes really hard to navigate or even understand. Today we are going to show you our picks for the top 10 best rowing machines out there. When we get done with that, we are going to talk about rowers and how to choose one.
Top 10 Best Rowing Machines:
Magnetic rowers represent the most of rowing machines on the market. This type of resistance is one of the most popular choices in the fitness world in general. The main reason for this is the fact that magnetic resistance is easy to produce and pretty affordable as well. However, magnetic resistance isn’t a synonym for cheap fitness machines. There is plenty of range to this segment of the market. Some of the absolute best rowers out there are magnetic. We will discuss other benefits of this system further down in the text.
Compared to magnetic models, piston rowers are nowhere nearly as popular. However they do offer a whole of awesome benefits of their own. Low entry cost is definitely one of the main ones. Hydraulic cylinders are something we as a society are very good at designing and building. It just so happens that a hydraulic piston offers a very linear resistance, which is essential for rowing. This segment of the market includes some of the most interesting rowers on the market. If you need a silent machine that is compact and reliable, hydraulic rowing machines might be your best bet.
Rowing fitness machines have always been a great way to get a good workout on a daily basis. While they do offer a fairly authentic rowing motion, they aren’t generally too authentic on average. You aren’t getting a high level of emulation with most. That changes when you step into the water rowers category. These were designed to simulate the resistance you get when an oar hits and moves through water. Naturally, these platforms are more complex and often times more expensive than your average magnetic rower. However, the benefits you get are tangible.
Usually when people are just getting into rowing, they think that you have to sink a large amount of money in order to get something decent. That might have been the case in the past. However, these days you can really get a good deal at a very reasonable price. Rowers under $300 are going to be basic in nature but rest assured that you will get solid core performance. On a similar note, most of these will be magnetic in nature with a few piston rowers in there as well.
Expanding your budget up to around $500 opens up a few new options. This is where you can find lower mid range machines which offer more than your average basic rower, all while still being reasonably priced. This is a great place to start with rowers if your budget allows for it. Not that budget models are inherently bad, but you are definitely getting a much better bang for your buck. Another thing to consider is that this segment is where you start seeing different resistance systems coming into play, so you definitely get a better choice.
Lastly there are rowers which cost around $1000. These are mainly among the top mid range or lower top range. Up until $1000 is where you are still getting a very good return on your investment. There are much more expensive rowers out there for sure, however those are already pretty niche designs and as such require a more specialized approach. One of the main benefits of investing this kind of money into a rower is the fact that you get to choose just about everything. We are talking various resistance systems, a whole different set of features and more.
Benefits Of Rowing
It Hits Your Entire Body
Low Impact Cardio
It’s Extremely Fun
Choosing The Right Rower
Now that we know what makes rowing so popular, lets discuss what makes a good rower and how to find one. There are definitely a few things you should keep in mind during your search. Even though ti might sound like a daunting task right now, answering a few simple questions will narrow things down considerably. In this segment of our guide we will go over the most important questions that need to be answered and how your choices affect your options.
Lets face it, budget is going to be one of the first things you will have to figure out. It is a huge factor that won’t necessarily stop you from finding something good, but being less than honest with yourself when it comes to your budget can limit you in a few uncomfortable ways. The thing with rowers is that you can find a really awesome selection of models at very reasonable prices.
If you look near the top of our guide you will see links to three different price ranges. Although there will naturally be differences in features, quality and resistance systems, it is important to understand that you won’t have too much trouble finding a rower that offers solid core performance. No matter what, you will be able to get that cardio done consistently, day in and day out.
Magnetic Rowing Machines
Magnetic rower are the most popular, easy to make and prolific type of rowing machines on the market. They are generally reliable, easy to use and fairly affordable as well. Those are also some of their main benefits. Magnetic rowers usually feature variable resistance control which you can adjust either by operating the resistance knob or by using the built in computer module.
One thing to keep in mind with magnetic rowers is that they are not that authentic when it comes to the sensation of rowing. Sure, you are getting the same body movement, but if you are going for full authenticity, you will need to check out water rowers
Water Rowing Machines
Water rowers are pretty unique in a sense that they designed to closely emulate the sensation of actual rowing. With water rowers, you are getting much more than just exercise. Those who have done actual rowing will find them to be pretty spot on in terms of the way they feel during use. The secret is in a submerged flywheel which sits in a water tank.
Many will say that water rowers have a fixed resistance but that isn’t completely true. You can control the resistance of most water rowers simply by adding or removing water from the tank. Best of all, since you are compressing water and water has same properties whether it is in a tank or a river, you are getting a very similar experience. The only issue with water rowers is that they are often times expensive and feature full frames. If neither of those are an issue for you, going for a water rower is literally the best way to experience dry rowing.
Piston or Hydraulic Rowing Machines
Hydraulic piston rowers are the least popular of the three despite offering some pretty interesting benefits. Piston rower are often times affordable, which makes them a great choice for those who are just getting into fitness and don’t want to commit to an expensive machine. However, their true value comes from their ability to be super silent during use, as well as the fact that these are most often compact in nature.
Small framed piston rowers are about the only way to go if you are dealing with limited space and need something that can easily be stowed away. Here’s the thing, though. Some piston rowers come with fixed seats. In other words, they lock out your lower body and remove it from the equation. Not all piston rowers do this, but some definitely do. All you have to do is figure out whether which one better suits your needs and your preferred style of rowing.
Rowing machines are definitely one of the best and most interesting ways of getting into home fitness. As seen in our guide, these come in a whole variety of shapes and forms with a bunch of different features included. We did our best to arm you up with all the info you could possibly need. By doing most of the legwork for you, we’ve made the process of selecting the right rower that much easier. All you’re left to do is figure out which model from our list best fits your needs and go with that. You won’t be disappointed.