A Guide To Choosing Between Top Rated Rowing Machines
Rowing machines are a great tool for anyone looking to build cardiovascular fitness and tone at home.
The motions and resistance from the machine allow for a complete body workout, one that goes far beyond the potential of many treadmills or exercise bikes.
- Check Out The Top 11 Best Rated Rowing Machines in 2021
- 1. Wonder Core 2
- 2. V-fit Tornado Air Rower
- 3. JTX Freedom V2 Air Rowing Machine
- 4. Body Sculpture Rower
- 5. Concept 2 Model D
- 6. SportPlus Indoor Rower
- 7. Marcy RM413 Henley
- 8. WaterRower Classic
- 9. Skandika Elite Pro
- 10. Concept 2 Model E
- 11. Sportstech RSX500
- Related Posts:
|Wonder Core 2||Read Reviews|
|V-fit Tornado Air Rower||Read Reviews|
|JTX Freedom V2 Air Rowing Machine||Read Reviews|
|Body Sculpture Rower||Read Reviews|
|Concept 2 Model D||Read Reviews|
|Sportplus Indoor Rower||Read Reviews|
|Marcy RM413 Henley||Read Reviews|
|WaterRower Classic||Read Reviews|
|Skandika Elite Pro||Check Price|
|Concept2 Model E||Read Reviews|
|Sportstech RSX500||Read Reviews|
The other appealing thing is that there are just as many accessible models for newcomers as there are gym-ready rowers. This means great choice for those new to exercise.
The problem is that this vast choice can lead to some difficult decisions. Which brand and style of machine is really the best option?
Check Out The Top 11 Best Rated Rowing Machines in 2021
What should consumers look out for when considering the best of these top rated rowing machines.
The first consideration here is the style of the machine. There are many rowers that rely on a pretty traditional resistance system with adjustable tension.
The choices come down to the amount of options and the intensity of the workout. Then there are those classed as air rowers.
This combines the chain drive with air fans for a different approach. Other consumers like water rowers for a more realistic approach. Finally, there are those that use different shapes and motions for a less conventional approach.
Once users know what style of machine they want, and how intense it needs to be, they can take a closer look at the features on board. Some will be more interested in the shape and ease of portability.
This is important for apartment users storing the machine away. Does it fold into a compact shape? Does it have wheels and handles?
Others will be more interested in entertainment features, such as music systems and app connectivity for more interesting workouts.
Then there are the newcomers that simply want a secure, understandable machine with some helpful extras. What is the manual like? Does the machine come with a workout chart or DVD?
The following top rated rowing machines show that there really is a varied selection of machines out there.
1. Wonder Core 2
Another model that is less conventional, but winning over fans, is the Wonder Core 2. This device doesn’t really look like any rowing machine that most users are familiar with.
This is sold as a “next generation” model that will work the core in a new way. This all comes down to the range of motion, which goes further than most machines.
It takes users beyond 180 degrees for what the designers call a 12-in-1 approach to fitness. The combination of the frame, rower resistance bands and swivelling seat works key muscle groups in different ways. The reverse crunch resistance doubles the impact immediately.
This therefore makes this product appealing to those that have reached their limit with traditional machines, or that want to target key muscles.
Added bonuses here are the folding frame for storage and the workout DVD. This DVD is the perfect aid for those that want to create a strong full body routine.
2. V-fit Tornado Air Rower
Then there are the air rowers such as the V-fit Tornado Air Rower. This model uses an air system with a speed-proportionate fan for different resistance levels. The name “tornado” suggests something quite intense, but this is a nice mid level bike.
The designers claim that it is suitable for everyone from experts to beginners, so there should be plenty of room for progression. This is clear from the different programmes and the data.
Users can choose between 6 functions and while 2 pages of data sounds extreme, the information is helpful. This, plus the smooth motion and strong 115kg capacity frame allow for a great session.
On top of this, there are some nice elements to the design for further comfort and support. This is said to be “anatomically designed” so that users get the best experience.
This means more than a good length and padded seat. There is also a contoured handle, pivoting footplate and toe straps.
3. JTX Freedom V2 Air Rowing Machine
Going back to another of these air rowers we have this machine from JTX. JTX is a brand that has a good following with its consumer base, thanks to its great features and workouts.
The JTX Freedom Air Rowing Machine V2 is all about dual resistance for a better result. Users get two different systems with magnetic and air resistance to create a more tailored experience.
The metal fan sits on top of the rower, with a clear view of the blades spinning to increase the pressure. On top of that, there is also the opportunity to change the magnetic system manually for a lighter session on HIIT.
There are 8 levels to choose from. From there, users can take advantage of the goal tracking and data feeds on the console to improve their performance.
All of this comes in a machine that is also comfortable and smooth with adaptable features. The monorail is strong enough to hold people up to 135kg and has a gliding padded seat.
The pedals also have 7 adjustment points for the best posture while rowing. This should help users of different sizes. At the end of the session, uses can fold the machine up into a more compact shape and wheel it into another room.
Additional features of note here include the inbuilt receiver for a Polar heart rate monitor, self-powered approach, and the competition training mode against the computer.
4. Body Sculpture Rower
The size, shape and general design of the machine are often just as important as the settings and workout. Users need to know that they are using a comfortable, stable machine that works well in an apartment setting.
This slim, compact model does just that. There isn’t much to this frame, which means that it folds up neatly for storage after use. Even so, it is still strong and has a smooth enough rail that users can really get into their workout.
That workout is just right for novice to intermediate users. There are enough settings with the adjustable resistance to allow users to push themselves a little further.
All the data from these sessions – included calories burned – is clearly displayed on the console. There is also a DVD with exercises to help those that want to improve their form. It is built for the home-gym, but still holds up as a helpful aid.
5. Concept 2 Model D
Finally, we have two models from Concept 2. The first is the Model D machine, which is sold as the company’s more “dependable” machine. This sounds as though users should get a stable, reliable model with just enough settings and features.
In fact, the company promises that this is a product used by Olympic-level athletes. The reason for this popularity is the blend of great hardware and software.
This strong frame and smooth motion mean that users can enjoy regular workouts at their own pace. They can then monitor progress on the backlit Performance Monitor 5.
In addition to this, the Model D has great connectivity features, with ANT+ and Bluetooth to connect up to apps and mobile tech.
There are also games and interesting settings on the console. This helps to diversify the workout and take this machine to a different level than some other options.
6. SportPlus Indoor Rower
The first model to consider here is more traditional in its design and approach. This Sportplus Indoor Rower looks like the sort of model you would expect to see in an apartment.
It isn’t anything weird or over the top, but it isn’t the most basic model either. This is a nice place to start this guide because of the accessibility and general appeal.
This is a standard resistance system with 8 different levels. Users can work through this at their own pace, but there is the additional benefit of the data readout and the 5 kHz pulse receiver.
This means that newcomers can track progress without choosing a high-end, intimidating machine.
There are also other details to the build of this rower that are great for apartment use. The machine has a folding frame and transport wheel, for improved storage capabilities. There is also a quiet, smooth motion to the rail and enough padding on the seat.
7. Marcy RM413 Henley
The Marcy RM413 Henley, meanwhile, is one for newcomers. The models above are all great for those with plenty of experience, or that need something a little broader in terms of workout options. This model is for all those that need something a little more accessible for their first time.
Rowers can be intimidating if they have too many features and settings. This model has 8 resistance levels via a small 4kg flywheel and some basic settings. The data from the session appears on a basic LCD display with no complex readings.
Users will also appreciate the smooth motion and comfort from the seat and rollers on the aluminium rail. There are also some nice extras with the swivelling pedals and padding.
This is definitely a low-end model for first timers, and perhaps doesn’t have much room for progression. Yet, it is also a budget model that is ideal for those not yet committed to their new regime.
8. WaterRower Classic
This water rower is something of a cult classic now. It was quite the oddity when it comes out, but it much-loved by users. It is one of those models where once users try water, they can’t go back. Water rowers are appealing for two key reasons.
First of all, they use the natural motion of the water for a more realistic approach. This realism continues into the sound of the water lapping against the container.
This sound is often therapeutic and allows for a focused, almost meditative state as users work hard on their fitness.
Then there is the fact that this is such a simple, natural machine. It is crafted from American black walnut wood, which gives it a nice look and feel.
There are also new electronic elements, aside from a battery operated console. This is perfect for those that hate all the beeps and setting from gym-ready models. It also allows users to place the rower wherever they need it within the home.
9. Skandika Elite Pro
This model from Skandika has all the right words in the name to appeal to people after a gym ready machine. Not only is it a pro model, suggesting a higher performance level, it is also elite. This means that buyers now expect the very best from the features and workouts.
The main focus here is the resistance from the turbine technology. There are only 8 levels, but users can switch between them with ease to push their intensity and fitness goals.
This is an impressive looking piece of kit with a strong frame and good weight allowance. The rails are a little longer for taller users and can handle users up to 130kg. It is isn’t the slim option below.
Even so, there are still features that make it portable to a degree. That frame does fold and there are transport wheels. It is also cushioned in all the right places for a comfortable session and minimal impact on the joints.
10. Concept 2 Model E
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the Model E is a step up from the Model D in regard to the tech and other features. This isn’t a next generation model.
Instead, this targets a different demographic with different aims. Here the focus is on a workout with low-impact in an at-home, compact machine.
It is all about appealing to the apartment owner – hence to the quiet motion, small footprint and portable nature. Instead of folding away, this rower actually separates into two pieces so that users can wheel it away and store it with ease.
This means that this isn’t as smart as the model above in terms of features and connectivity. Yet, there is still that Performance Monitor 5 for great data and controls.
It is also just as comfortable and sturdy, with high weight capacity, adjustable elements and ergonomic handle.
11. Sportstech RSX500
The Sportstech RSX500 Rowing Machine is a high-tech rower with a focus on a personalised workout. There are 12 pre-set training programmes that cover various aspects, such as heart rate training modes and the 500m competition mode.
The former is made possible via a free pulse rate rather than sensors in the handlebar. All the data appears on a 5.5’’ console so you can see how far you have come and where to make improvements.
From there, the choice of 5 user profiles means that users can log their progress, save settings, and allow other members of the household to have a go.
The intensity of those workouts is adaptable thanks to the 16 resistance levels. The 7kg flywheel and smooth rail should also help users find the right rhythm for longer sessions.
Meanwhile, the length of the rail and the extra-long cord could allow for improved freedom of movement and leg extension for any taller users. At the end of the session, users can fold the rower up and use the transport wheels to move it into storage.
Additional features of note here include the tablet holder, large footplates for a more sturdy feel, and the 120kg weight allowance.
Choosing the best option out of these top rated rowing machines.
There is a lot to consider when choosing the right model for the home. Clearly experience levels come into play in a big way. Some of the gentler machines with minimal resistance levels aren’t going to offer much room for progression.
Others with more increments of electro-magnetic resistance and air jets could push users further. Many try and cater for a wider group with great data, settings and user-friendly features. Then there are those that are clearly focused on either pros or beginners.
From there, consumers need to balance the hardware and software. There are those with wireless chest straps, fancy consoles and/or Bluetooth connectivity to enhance the session. On the other side is the simple, charming water rower with none of that.
Choices always come down to personal preferences and needs from the workout, as well as the space in the apartment. Find a machine that ticks all the right boxes and put it to work every day.