Fight for Fitness? Here are Best Indoor Rowing Machine

Why are at-home rowing machine so popular right now? Because they offer a full-body workout in one compact piece of equipment.

Regardless of your current athletic ability and fitness, a rowing machine is a great place to start and workouts . It can be tailored to suit a complete novice to a seasoned athlete.

What is the Best Rowing Machine?

A rowing machines mimics what it feels like to row a boat, so you get the same resistance of water on a machine, increasing your heart rate and building strength. What also makes rowing more appealing to those who dislike running and other high-impact exercises like HIIT, is that it’s a low-impact workout that goes easy on your joints.

While rowing might appear to be mostly an upper-body workout, your legs and glutes are actually the main muscles driving your stroke.

Benefits of Rowing Machines

There are many benefits of rowing machines but it is important to consult with your doctor for sound medical advice specific to you and your body before starting any exercise regime.

The are many benefits to rowing such as increased cardiovascular fitness, muscle toning, and weight loss. In addition to this other benefits include (but are not limited to):

Low impact exercise 


Rowing is great for anyone with joint pain and is highly recommended as an exercise for post knee surgery patients. There is very little pressure on the joints as the rowing is performed in one fluid motion. It means no jolting or sudden pressure on the joints. Don’t confuse the word’s low impact with low intensity. Rowing can be as intense or as easy as you make it!

Upper Body Workout


The upper body is thoroughly worked out when using the rowing machine. One can expect to work the rhomboids (shoulders), trapezii (upper back), and lats (lower back) muscles. So those are the directly targeted muscles but in addition, the hands, wrists, and arms get a workout too as well as the biceps and your core.

Lower Body Workout


Many rowers consider rowing to be a lower-body or leg workout which to the average person seems strange! The quadriceps (upper front thighs), calves, and buttocks get a strong workout! As the legs are the largest muscle group one working out these muscles provides a very strong workout to help you burn more calories.

Effective Cardio Workout


Working out on a rowing machine definitely gets the heart rate up. By tweaking the resistance you have the power to essentially control the heart rate zone and your workout. There are countless benefits to cardio workouts and one can expect to see a huge jump in your overall health by incorporating cardio.

Weight Loss


A rowing machine workout is said to burn 600 calories an hour on average. If we compare the calorie burn rate this is significantly higher than many other exercise equipment. One’s weight loss goals can be assisted greatly with the use of a rowing machine.

The best rowing machines you can buy

1. Concept2 Model D

The Concept2 Model D is a personal favorite. This machine, although once of the more expensive items on the list is well worth the price.

Arguably it is the most popular rowing machine on the market.

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Key Features

  • Smooth to use 
  • Quiet
  • Performance monitor
  • Comfortable seat, large footrests
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Separates into two for storage
  • Small footprint
  • Max user weight of 500 pound
  • 5-year warranty

Pros

  • Available in light gray or black
  • A sturdy, well-built rowing machine
  • 5-year warranty
  • Easy to store
  • Many features with the monitor.

Cons

  • Price

The only negative thing we can say about the Concept2 Model D is the price and the fact that not everyone can afford to have this machine. It really is worth the money if your budget does allow!

It can handle a solid workout, the fact that it is used by athletes says it all.

2. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is a very simple design made for tight or limited spaces. Compact, this rower will fit into just about any space, schedule, and budget.

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Key Features

  • Hydraulic resistance
  • Two handles/arms as opposed to one handle
  • Full range of motion
  • Electronic monitor included
  • Comfortable seat included
  • Adjustable hydraulic cylinder resistance
  • Textured footplates
  • Foam padded handlebars
  • Space-saving
  • Steel frame construction

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Computer included
  • Ideal for compact workout spaces
  • One year frame warranty

Cons

  • Parts are only guaranteed for 90 days

This rower comes with many great Amazon customer reviews and in this price range, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is a good buy. 

3. Horizon Oxford 2

The Horizon Oxford 2 is a good, basic rowing machine without much high price tag.

The Oxford 2 is a feature-loaded rowing machine that is ideal for a home gym. The foldable design address the problem of storage for it can be folded upwards to free the floor space.

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Key Features

  • Adjustable resistance – 8 levels
  • Magnetic tension system
  • Comfortable seat
  • Non-slip, grip handlebars
  • Handle attached by webbing for smooth function
  • Large foot pedals
  • LCD console
  • Transportation wheels
  • Equipped with a wireless heart rate monitor to track your heartbeat
  • Quiet
  • Max user weight 250lbs

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Small footprint
  • Easy and fast to assemble
  • Quiet

Cons

  • LCD screen doesn’t display distance rowed.

The LCD console is adjustable and offers the user all the basic metrics of the workout.

This is a perfect machine for both novice and professional trainers. However, the machine does not come cheap, it retails for over INR 1 lakh on Amazon.

4. Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian SF-RW5713

Another Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine to make the list! The SF-RW5713 is the more upmarket rower that functions through water resistance.

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Key Features

  • Water resistance
  • Lightweight yet sturdy design
  • 3 hydro blades
  • Non-slip handlebar
  • Mesh belt
  • Comfortable seat
  • Large foot pedals with velcro straps
  • Monitor to display key information
  • Transportation wheels
  • 3-year warranty
  • Max user weight 250lbs

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Water resistance
  • Easy to transport
  • Good monitor
  • Smooth rowing

Cons

  • It is a new item that is yet to have consistent feedback

For those with a bit more of a budget, the Water Obsidian SF-RW5713 presents good value for money. In terms of water rowing and using water resistance to train this is one of the better cheaper options available.

5. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

The Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower uses a Drum Magnetic Control system as well as electronic tension control to easily adjust the resistance level.

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Key Features

  • Magnetic resistance
  • Electronic tension control
  • Comfortable seat
  • Foldable
  • Heart rate monitor chest strap included
  • Sturdy frame
  • Available in black or grey

Pros

  • Smooth and quiet to use
  • Folds up
  • Easy to assemble
  • Two colors to choose from
  • Comfortable seat
  • LCD display

Cons

  • Short time span for the warranty is a little concerning

Overall the Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower uses Drum Magnetic Control for its operation which is smooth and very quiet. A great purchase is, electronic adjustability with this unit is great.

6. Aerofit Fluid Power Neptune Challenge AR

The Neptune Challenge from the Hyderabad based company is a fine rowing machine that is perfect for users of all skill levels.

The machine offers adjustable resistance using a fluid tank. This type of resistance is much smoother than the magnetic and air resistance and offers more intricate rowing experience.

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Key Features

  • Rower can be used for upper body workouts
  • LCD display
  • Hand pulse sensor in the grips
  • Sturdy steel and aluminum construction
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Foldable design
  • Transport wheels for ease of storage
  • Frame is made of heavy-duty steel and is highly durable

Pros

  • Superior comfort even during long and intense workouts
  • Easy to assemble, transport and store
  • Magnetic resistance
  • Noise free movement

Cons

  • Does not offer a heart rate monitor
  • Also does not have option of wireless connectivity

Aerofit AF 802 D is available across the country at all major retailers. It is also available on Amazon for around INR 93,000.

7. Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air Rower

When rowing, you need to take a comfortable position, so you have less impact on the body. A quality padded seat is an essential factor to consider. The Stamina 35-1402 ATS has a sliding seat with padding to ensure comfort and safety.

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Key Features

  • Wide resistance
  • Multi-function monitor
  • Sliding seat
  • Large footplates
  • Adjustable nylon foot straps
  • Aluminum seat rails
  • Steel construction
  • Built-in wheels
  • Foldable design
  • Angles seat rail

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Variety of resistance levels
  • Comfortable seat
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • High-resolution display
  • Oversized foot pedals

Cons

  • Requires regular tightening

This rowing machine is ideal for people looking for a tool that offers a variety of resistance levels for both simple and challenging workouts.

8. First Degree Fitness Fluid Rower

The First Degree utilizes patented adjustable fluid resistance technology which allows it to control and adjust from light to challenging. This gives you a wide range of applications for different workout needs.

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Key Features

  • Multi-level computer
  • USB port
  • Height adjustable footplates
  • Padded seat
  • Improved pulley system
  • Flexible fluid resistance technology

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Provides a wide range of resistance
  • High-quality construction
  • Lightweight to carry

Cons

  • Foot straps require regular tightening

The First Degree is ideal for regular users that need a simple yet consistent machine for full-body workouts.

9. AFTON Steel Sprit CRW 800 Rower Air and Magnetic resistance

Spirit CRW800 Rower is a perfect amalgamation of high-performance features combined with a sturdy design.

Spirit CRW800 uses a combination of air and magnetic systems to offer variable resistance during workouts. It offers 16 levels of resistance, which should be sufficient to cater to the needs of even the most demanding users. 

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Key Features

  • Adjustable tension controls
  • Thick-padded seat
  • 5.5” adjustable LCD display 
  • Pivoting footplates
  • Multi-function monitor
  • Smooth hydraulic cylinder resistance
  • Foldable steel frame is highly durable
  • Maximum weight: 450 lbs.

Pros

  • Easy to put together
  • Great value for money
  • Perfect for starters
  • High-quality construction
  • Comfortable seat

Cons

  • Lays low to the floor

Spirit CRW800 rowing machine falls into the expensive category and costs almost INR 1 lakh on Amazon.

10. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639

The maximum weight capacity of a rowing machine is an essential factor to keep in mind. The Sunny Health & Fitness rower has an extended weight capacity of 350lbs to suit heavy people without compromising on the quality.

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Key Features

  • 12 resistance levels
  • Hydraulic cylinder resistance
  • LCD digital display
  • Full-motion arms
  • Fully-padded seat
  • Non-grip handlebars
  • Large anti-slip foot pedals
  • Foot Straps

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Comfortable to use for long hours
  • Sturdy construction
  • Comfortable seat
  • Variety of resistance levels

Cons

  • Cylinder gets hot after long workouts

The Sunny Health Rowing Machine is ideal for regular short exercises.

Bottom Line

There are many rowing machines on the market and they are a fantastic piece of equipment for getting fitter and stronger. There are many different features to consider before making your purchase so be sure to read through the detailed guide as well as rowing machine reviews and comparisons.

Investing in the right rowing machine for your needs will have your workout goals met in no time! Although everyone has different workout needs and styles. The overall top pick is the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine or the Stamina ATS Air Power for the budget restricted. When it comes down to it the best rowing machine is the one that suits your needs and budget!

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