Rowing Machine

Regardless of the goal you want to reach, whether it is health improvement or shedding extra weight, physical exercise is what you must take up. If you have ever gone to a gym, there is one piece of equipment you certainly noticed as trainers recommend it no matter the end goal of the gym goer – the rowing exercise machine.

Muscle building and toning, stamina increase, and improved cardiovascular health are only some of the direct benefits to reap after a hearty rower workout session. Its importance in a home gym is incommensurable, so if you plan on repurposing a room to train in it, a rower is compulsory. Find out what are the top picks at the moment and more about rower workouts in the following.

Top 5 Rowing Machines Comparison

1. Concept2 Model E with PM5 2. Concept2 Model D with PM5 3. WaterRower Ash S4 4. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205
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General Info

Manufacturer Concept2 Concept2 WaterRower Stamina Sunny Health & Fitness
Dimensions (L x W) 96″ x 24″ 96″ x 24″ 82.25″ x 22.25″ 46″ x 21″ 53.2″ x 20″
Weight 65 Pounds 57 Pounds 66.5 Pounds Dry; 103.5 Pounds with Water 39 Pounds 20 Pounds

Technical Specifications

Maximum User Weight 500 Pounds 500 Pounds 1000 Pounds 250 Pounds 220 Pounds
Seat Height 20″ 14″ 20″ 23.5″ 21.5″
Monorail Length 54″ 54″ 82.3″ 74″ N/A
Resistance Type Air Air Water Hydraulic Hydraulic
Resistance Adjustable Levels 12 12
Workout Monitor Performance Monitor 5 Performance Monitor 5 S4 Performance Monitor Multi-Function Electric Monitor LCD Monitor
Displayed Data Distance, Speed, Pace, Calories, Watts Distance, Speed, Pace, Calories, Watts Intensity, MPH, Duration, Kcalories per Hour, Stroke Rate, Heart Rate, Distance, Watts Speed, Distance, Duration, Stroke Rate, Calories Burned Time, Count, Total Count, Scan, Calories Burned


Adjustable Footrests
Seat Padded Padded N/A Padded Ergonomic; Fully Padded
Handles Ergonomic Design; 10-Degree Bend Ergonomic Design; 10-Degree Bend Ergonomic Design Foam Padded Cushioned; Non-Slip
Other Features
LED Backlight LED Backlight Self Regulating Resistance Scan Mode Scan Mode
USB Flash Drive Compatibility USB Flash Drive Compatibility Sustainably Eco-Friendly Automatic Shut-Off Automatic Shut-Off
Wireless Heart Rate Monitor Wireless Heart Rate Monitor PC Interface
Adjustable Monitor Arm Adjustable Monitor Arm AutoStore
Flywheel and Damper Flywheel and Damper Zone Feature
Quick-Release Frame Lock Mechanism Quick-Release Frame Lock Mechanism


Parts 2 Years 2 Years 3 Years 3 Months 3 Months
Frame 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years 1 Year 1 Year
Customer Support
User Manual

Rowing Exercise Machines Reviews

1. Concept2 Model E with PM5

The Model E rower measures only 96 inches in length and 24 inches in width, making for a perfect at home exercise equipment. It condones use by people who weight up to 500 pounds, thus being highly unlikely for anyone to not be able to use it. This is a flywheel and damper rower which allows you to adjust the airflow to the flywheel with ease to customize the workout session as you like.

It comes with the top tier Performance Monitor 5 which displays crucial workout data like the distance that you have covered, the speed at which you row, pacing, and the number of calories burned. As the rower is foldable, it will be extremely easy to get it out of the way when you are done using it to free up the area it normally occupies. Therefore, it is a magnificent solution even if you live in a small condo. The padded seat and the ergonomically designed, 10-degree bend handles make the experience of working out with it extremely comfortable for you to not get tired too soon after you start the exercise routine.

The nickel-plated chain it features adds in terms of convenience in use as the machine rarely requires oiling. It comes with innovative features like the USB flash drive compatibility of the monitor, and wireless heart rate monitoring that allows you to keep an eye on your cardiovascular health when you are working out. Additionally, it is covered by a 2-year warranty for the parts and a 5-year warranty for the frame.



Wireless motorization of your heart rate during workouts PM5 does not allow workout data sharing through mobile apps
Easy airflow adjustment to the flywheel for a customized workout session
Quick-release framelock mechanism for two-piece storage of the machine
10-degree bend of the ergonomic handle allows a natural arm and hand position when rowing


Beyond a doubt, the Concept2 Model E is the right choice for any health or fitness freak looking for a hearty workout session at home. Designed to withstand intense daily use, this rower will not fail you as time passes. The numerous highlights of the machine make it an irresistible purchase, but the ultimate feature it provides is definitely the adjustable resistance as it allows you to customize rowing sessions as you please and feel.

2. Concept2 Model D with PM5

The Model D ranks as the second-best rower on the market as it is very similar to the better performing Model E, the differences between the two being minor. It can be used by those who weigh a maximum of 500 pounds, so even heavy individuals are able to use it. This air resistance rower allows you to customize resistance as you like, the adjustment depending on the intensity at which you want to row.

As it comes with the Performance Monitor 5, it allows users to track important data like distance, calories burned, pace, and speed. The quick-release frame lock mechanism allows an easy folding, this process not requiring the use of any tools. Also, due to the fact that the exercise machine can be folded after use, it is perfect even for those who live in small apartments. The seat is padded and the handles have an ergonomic design and a 10-degree bend, ensuring a comfortable and convenient operation.

The LED backlight featured by the monitor ensures the data shown on the display is easy to read no matter the lighting conditions in the room. It offers you the possibility to monitor your heart rate as you row to ensure that the workout is not putting too much stress on this important organ. Also, it is backed up by a 2-year warranty for the parts, and a 5-year warranty for the frame.



Almost maintenance-free as nickel plated chain endorses rare oiling A few customers have had issues when connecting the monitors to their PCs
Tool-free separation into two pieces for a convenient storage
Flywheel design maximizes comfort in use while minimizing noise output
PM5 monitor allows you to wirelessly track heart rate


As close to perfect as rowers get, the Concept2 D is an unsurprising recommendation we make. Its desirability is increased not only by the durable construction, but by its allowance of workout session customization. Adjustability does not end with rowing resistance as it allows you to accommodate its size to your height, ensuring a smooth and relaxing experience when using it. Created to suit your needs and defy your expectations, it is a shame not to give it a try.

3. WaterRower Ash S4

The water resistance rower can accommodate users that weigh up to 1000 pounds, which is more than what most machines on the market have to offer, catering to heavier individuals perfectly. On the S4 Performance Monitor, important data like intensity, miles per hour, Kcalories per hour burned, heart rate, stroke rate, and distance will be displayed.

The handles have an ergonomic design, ensuring that using it will be as pleasurable and as comfortable as possible. The self-regulating resistance allows you to decide the precise level of resistance you desire, thus fully customizing the workout experience with ease. One of the most important features it comes with is AutoStore, a feature that ensures the previous 9 workout settings are automatically saved for you to have an easier time when selecting the preferred setting for your current exercise routine.

Additionally, there is the useful Zone feature to be enjoyed with it, a feature that allows you to set the stroke rate, intensity, or heart rate in order to be announced when you are going below or over the limit that you have set. This feature makes a big difference especially for those who have cardiovascular problems. Also, it comes with a 3-year warranty for the parts, and a 5-year warranty for the frame.



Monitor features quick-selection buttons, ensuring ease of use Compatible heart rate chest strap and receivers must be purchased separately
Wood used for manufacturing the rower absorbs vibration and sound
Frame can be flipped upright to endorse easy storage
Dual rail design increases stability while reducing sweat buildup


Water rowers are renowned for their ability to withstand intense use, so you should not be surprised by our recommendation – the WaterRower Ash S4. After thoroughly reviewing it, we definitely conclude the machine is worth every cent required to purchase it as it is built to pass the test of time, endorsing a convenient, comfortable, and benefit exercise routine when used properly on a regular basis.

4. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

The Trac Glider comes at a low price when compared to most rowers on the market, being a more affordable option to go with. It can be used by people who weigh up to 250 pounds, so it is not the best choice for you to go with if you are on the heavier side. This hydraulic resistance rower offers 12 different resistance levels to manually choose between in order to customize your workout experience to your fitness level.

The multi-function electric monitor it features displays the speed you are rowing at, the distance covered, the duration of the workout session, the stroke rate, and the number of calories burned. It is foldable, so you can rest assured knowing that it is perfect even if you have limited free space in your home. The seat and handles are padded with foam to ensure comfort in use. It features a steel frame that is strong and sturdy, guaranteeing the rower will perfectly withstand intense use.

After 4-5 minutes of inactivity, the monitor will automatically shut off to make sure that the battery does not run out of power. When it comes to warranty, it is covered for 3 months for the parts, and 1 year for the frame. This is not the best warranty out there, but the quality construction it boasts ensures that there is no need to worry about issues appearing with it for a long time.



Compact design makes it a cinch to store the rower away after workout sessions Short duration of warranty period/td>
Quiet operation ensures a peaceful experience when using it
Solid steel frame can withstand regular intense use
Comes at an affordable price


This budget machine might not be as filled with features as other top of the line rowers are, but it boasts a strong profile, allowing intense regular use. Despite its compact design, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is a force to be reckoned with, its ease of use, reliable performance, and fair asking price making it a definite customer favorite.

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205

The SF-RW1205 is the most affordable top of the line rower on the market. It can support users who weigh a maximum of 220 pounds. The rower itself weighs only 20 pounds, so it will be a cinch for you to store it in a different location after you finish the workout session. It has a durable construction that ensures it is a long-lasting investment. This hydraulic resistance rower offers no less than 12 levels of resistance for you to choose between in order to customize the workout session as desired.

The LCD monitor it comes with displays important workout data like time, strokes count, scan, and the number of calories burned. It is foldable, ensuring that the space it occupies when it is in use can be freed up after the exercise routine. For your comfort and convenience, it features adjustable footrests, an ergonomically designed fully padded seat, and cushioned non-slip handles.

It comes with the automatic shut-off feature, ensuring battery power will not be lost as it will shut off on its own after 4-5 minutes of inactivity. The 31-inch slide rail length makes it very convenient to use even by tall people. In addition, the manufacturer offers a 3-month warranty for the parts and a 1-year warranty for the frame. As long as you use the rower as instructed in the manual and avoid damage due to improper use, the manufacturer will fix or replace it free of charge if the warranty period is still active.



Easy storage ensured by flat folding design of the rower Short duration of warranty period/td>
12 levels of adjustability make it ideal for beginner and intermediate users Console does not provide many workout session information
Simplistic design makes it easy to use
Cheap asking price makes it affordable


Despite the first impression this rower leaves due to the lack of extra features that more expensive machines bring to the table, it is a fine addition to any home gym as it can withstand heavy use and it allows you to customize your workout experience as you like. After all, these are the key elements to a quality rower, so you should not overlook it and more seriously consider this rower as your final option.

6. Stamina X Air

This air rower provides various intensities based on how hard or slow you work out with it. Thus, you can control the resistance of the machine and choose how intense you want the rowing session to be. It is an averagely sized rower that will not take up too much space, measuring 77″ long by 18″ wide by 22″ high, and weighing 54 pounds. Best of all, you can fold it to 48″ long by 18″ wide by 28″ high in order to save more space when you are done using it. It is equipped with wheels for easy transportation, so you can move it from one room to another without putting too much effort into this task.

Aside from allowing you to correct your posture and work out all muscle groups, it will also help you relax and relieve tension. The sliding seat is upholstered and padded for you to sit comfortably, and the footplates feature large straps to keep your feet in place during the workout. Also, the footplates are pretty large, ensuring they can accommodate people with various shoe sizes. It adapts to many user heights, so it is designed for the entire family.

To help you monitor your progress during the rowing session, a device has been mounted to measure your speed, the time, the distance you have gone, and the calories burned. Note that the device is not a heart rate monitor, so you will not be able to rely on it to fully check your cardiovascular health. Furthermore, the 3-year warranty that covers it will replace or repair it free of charge as long as you use it properly.



High profile allows people with limited mobility to easily get on it Some customers have complained about bar length – their knees were hitting the bars
Monitor can be tilted to have an easier time reading workout data Hard to read off of monitor in poor lighting conditions
Large footplates accommodate use regardless of shoe size
Hassle-free assembly and lightweight design


If the price of this rower was not enough to convince you to purchase it, the plethora of features it comes with definitely did. Although it is simplistic in design, the machine has convinced us that it is deserving of a spot among the best rowers at the moment as it encourages a healthier lifestyle by putting to your disposal everything you need for a hearty workout session. Durable and reliable, it is indeed an investment you will not regret making.

5 Rowing Mistakes You Must Avoid

When using any type of fitness equipment, it is mandatory that you know how you should proceed with your movements and overall motions in order to avoid injuries. In the following, we will show you what are the 5 common mistakes that people make when using the rower so that you will know to avoid them and stay safe.

  • Mistake #1 – Using Your Arms Only

  • A vast majority of people who use the machine practice with the help of the fitness equipment in the idea that they will build strong upper bodies. As they are eager to see results fast, they tend to pull the handles of the rowers using only the strength in their arms, shoulders, and back. This can lead to serious injuries fast as strain inevitably occurs. The correct way to proceed when pulling the handles is to use the power that comes from your legs, from the core, and from the arms. About 60% should come from the legs, 20% from the core, and 20% from the arms in order to stay clear of any unwanted accidents.

  • Mistake #2 – Hunching Your Back

  • Unfortunately, most people have the bad habit of hunching their backs. This habit sticks even when using the rower as the user feels most comfortable in the dangerous position. If you row while sitting with your back hunched, your spine is inevitably going to be affected as you will put a large amount of pressure on it while keeping it in an unhealthy position. What you should do is to sit tall with a stacked posture when using the rower, engaging the core and relaxing the shoulders while pulling them back and down.

  • Mistake #3 – Rushing

  • Another common mistake that beginners make is that they rush, jerking their bodies forward in an uncontrollable manner. The proper way to row is by following a 1:2 count stroke ratio. More precisely, you should expend a lot of energy at the drive in a quick manner as the arms are pulling and the legs are pushing. During the second half of the stroke, you should relax, calmly recovering to prevent the seat from smashing into the rower’s front side.

  • Mistake #4 – Setting the Damper Too High

  • This is a common mistake among newbies, beginner users being tempted to set the damper level too high, which leads to an increased difficulty of the exercise and a more rapid exhaustion. If you have just started using the fitness equipment, it is best that you start with a middle setting and move up as time passes and you start to feel more comfortable when rowing.

  • Mistake #5 – Mixing Up the Operation Order

  • What most people are tempted to do is to fire their arms and legs at the same time when rowing, putting unnecessary strain on their bodies by mixing up these operations. The proper way to work out with the rower is to first focus on pushing with the legs, then pivoting backward at the hips, and finally pulling the arms into the chest.

Rowing Health Benefits

Rowers, like all other fitness equipment out there, offer users a wide range of benefits that they enjoy if they work out with them. But they stand out from the rest by having certain advantages that differentiate them. If you are curious to find out exactly what makes them a great choice to go with when it comes to the multitude of advantages that they offer, read this section of our article.

  • Full Body Workout

  • One of the most important advantages that come with exercising on a rowing machine is the fact that you will get a great full-body workout when you use it. This benefit does not come with a lot of fitness equipment, most of them only exercising your upper or lower body. By providing this amazing full body workout, it ensures that you will achieve the goals that you have set much faster than you could ever imagine.

  • Weight Loss

  • An obvious advantage that comes with using this fitness equipment is the fact that it helps in the process of weight loss. What makes it more effective from this point of view is the fact that it works out both your upper and your lower body at the same time as you use it. Therefore, you will lose weight in a harmonious way, without having to switch between various exercise equipment.

  • Improved Cardiovascular Health

  • This fitness equipment helps increase heart function when the tension is set at a low level and the resistance is not high. As you work out with it and maintain a high-speed rate, you will manage to reach an aerobic state, improving your heart’s health, blood circulation, and lung functions. All in all, it will provide an amazing cardio workout that will improve the state of your health considerably.

  • Increased Muscular Strength and Endurance

  • The muscular strength represents the amount of weight that a particular muscle group can lift in a single effort, and the muscular endurance represents the number of lifting repetitions a particular muscle group can perform. By using the rower, you will increase both your muscular strength and endurance, this fitness equipment providing both the necessary resistance and repeated motion that will help you have a strong and fit body.

  • Low Impact Exercise

  • The fact that rowing is a low impact exercise is a benefit that cannot be overlooked, especially considering how harsh certain workout routines can be in the joints. With it, you will be able to reach your fitness goals easily, all without affecting the health of your joints in any way. This makes it a great option to use even by those who have suffered injuries in the past and who cannot afford to take risks anymore, and for those who have led a sedentary lifestyle for a long time and that is completely out of shape.

  • Stress Reduction

  • As you exercise with this fitness equipment, you will notice a major difference when it comes to your mood as well. The positive change that you will notice is all due to the fact that as you work out, the endorphins are stimulated and released, giving you an overall “feel good” sensation. This is especially helpful for those who are faced with anxiety issues, overwhelming stress, and depression.


?What muscle groups are worked out when using the rower?
This complex fitness equipment is praised by professionals as it works out all major muscle groups – biceps, triceps, back muscles, core muscles, lats, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and shoulders. Thus, you get a full-body workout by using just one piece of equipment.

?On average, how many calories are burned when using the machine?
While the estimated burn is approximately 1000 calories per hour, the value varies depending on the intensity of your workout session. This high calorie burning value makes the rower an ideal partner for weight loss, the only other exercise machine that equals it is the treadmill.

?Does my height count when making the purchase?
Yes, if you do not make sure that the rail length of the rower suits your height, allowing you to comfortably move when you are working out, you will be faced with the unpleasant surprise of not having the capability to perform exercise routines properly.

?Could working out with the rower result in injuries?
There are a few circumstances where you will get injured while working out with the rower. One of these circumstances that favor accidents are taking an improper posture. Sit with your back straight, and you won’t suffer lower-back injuries that will take you away from your workout routine. Another factor is your technique, so we recommend that you learn from YouTube tutorials or by asking a professional help to learn how to row correctly.

?Can it be integrated into strength training?
Yes, as it works out all the important muscle groups in your body, the rower is one of the best fitness equipment to integrate into a strength workout routine. Using it intensively results in quick muscle growth, an ideal scenario for those who want to bulk up.

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