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BodyReviews

What’s The Best Rowing Machine Under $500? We Have 11 Recommendations

Best Rowing Machine Under $500 At A Glance

Premium Water Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge

This rowing machine has high-density hydro blades, a large digital monitor, and a weight capacity of 300 lbs.

Water Rowing Machine With Bluetooth

Fitness Reality 3000WR Bluetooth Water Rower

This rowing machine has 6 water resistance levels, Bluetooth capability, and a 300 lb weight capacity.

More Affordable Water Rowing Machine

XTERRA Fitness ERG600W Water Rowing Machine

This is one of the most affordable options we’ve come across for water rowing machines. It features 6 resistance levels and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.

Premium Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Magnetic Rowing Machine Smart Rower

This rowing machine has Bluetooth capability, 16 levels of resistance, an upper-body row section, and a weight capacity of 285 lbs.

Lightweight Magnetic Rowing

Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

This rowing machine has 16 adjustable resistance levels, only weighs 49.6 lbs, and has a weight capacity of 285 lbs.

Affordable Magnetic Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing Rower

This rowing machine is Bluetooth compatible and has 14 levels of resistance, a 48” slide rail, and a 250lb weight capacity.

Magnetic Rowing Machine With Eye-Level Display

JOROTO MR35 Magnetic Rowing Machine

This rowing machine features a digital monitor that can be adjusted to the most comfortable angle for the user and has larger text than most other brands.

Magnetic Rowing Machine With High Weight Capacity And Long Slide Length

YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine

This rowing machine has a weight capacity of 350 lbs and supports users who are up to 6’6″ in height with its 49.2″ slide length.

Foldable Turbine Rowing Machine

Marcy Foldable Turbine Rowing Machine

This air-based rowing machine comes with 8 levels of resistance, has a weight capacity of 300 lbs, and easily folds for smooth transport.

Highly-Rated Hydraulic Rowing Machine With Coaching App

Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

This rowing machine has full-motion rowing arms and its resistance can be easily adjusted using the hydraulic cylinder. It only weighs 38 lbs and has a weight capacity of 250 lbs.

Incredibly Compact Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine

This rowing machine is very similar to the Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050. The two main differences are that it’s slightly more compact and it weighs a few lbs less.

These days, achieving your dream body is much easier than you might think as there are numerous tools available to help you reach your fitness goals. Gone are the days when your workout options were limited to going for a run or hitting the weights.

Now, there is a vast array of machines for every workout imaginable, and the best part is that you can use many of these machines at home. One machine, in particular, has become increasingly popular over the last few decades – the rowing machine.

Rowing machines incorporate muscles in the upper back, shoulders, core, and legs making them incredible for full-body training. The only drawback to buying a rowing machine is that many of them exceed $500 which can be a bit difficult for most people to afford outright. Luckily, we’ve found several brands that offer rowing machines under $500 and have everything you need for a challenging workout or even just a relaxing evening stride. 

Here, I’ll provide guidance on what to look for when buying a rowing machine for your home and review the best rowing machines under $500 in-depth. I’ll also answer some of the most commonly asked questions about rowing machines and compare rowing machines to other forms of cardio.

What To Look For When Buying A Rowing Machine

When buying a rowing machine, you should consider the following factors:

  • Type Of Resistance: Rowing machines have different resistance methods: hydraulic, air or flywheel, magnetic resistance, and water rowers. Some athletes may prefer water-based resistance models to simulate water rowing, while others prefer hydraulic rowers for their portability.
  • Performance Monitor: You’ll want to have an easily visible performance monitor on your rowing machine that displays information like speed, distance, time, and calories burned.
  • Weight Capacity: Does the rowing machine you’re considering support a wide range of users? Definitely check to see what your rowing machine’s weight capacity is and whether or not it’s high enough for everyone in your household to use.
  • Comfort: How does the seat feel? Are the handles and foot pads comfortable? You definitely don’t want to be stuck training in a rowing machine that’s uncomfortable.
  • Size: Rowers are typically long and take up a lot of floor space, so if you live in a smaller area, you may want to consider a more compact model.
  • Assembly: How long is it going to take to set up your rowing machine? If you live alone you may want to consider buying a rowing machine that comes partially assembled.
  • Durability And Reputation: What do customers say about the product’s performance and durability? Only purchase a rowing machine that has overwhelmingly positive reviews and is made with the most durable materials possible.
  • Storage: Does the rowing machine easily fold? You’ll want to find something that’s relatively easy to store when you need more room in your house.
  • Warranty: Check to see if your rowing machine has a decent warranty. You never know when something might break or run into issues.
  • Price: Last, but not least, ensure that you can afford the rowing machine you’re planning to buy. Is it worth spending a few hundred dollars more for certain features? Or should you go with the cheapest rowing machine you can find as you only need it for basic use?

Our Reviews Of The Best Home Rowing Machines Under $500

Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge

Best Water Rowing Machine Under 500

Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge

The Obsidian Surge tops off our list as the best water rowing machine under $500.

Its hydro blades are designed to withstand vigorous rowing strokes while maintaining multiple levels of water resistance. It also includes an R2 fitness meter that is compatible with ANT+ heart rate technology, allowing you to accurately measure your pulse and track the effectiveness of your workout.

The machine’s digital monitor is able to track the following parameters: calendar, calories, clock, distance, HRC/pulse (optional), SPM, strokes, temperature, time, time/500M, total strokes. You’ll also have access to 15 built-in racing programs and can connect with Bluetooth to pair with the SunnyFit App.

You’ll never feel like you have to strain while training on this water rowing machine as it comes with non-slip foot pedals with durable nylon velcro straps and a wide-padded seat. It’s also incredibly durable due to its heavy-duty steel frame and can support up to 300 lbs.

The Obsidian Surge weighs 91.9 lbs and its dimensions are 78.90″ L X 22.30″ W X 32.67″ H. Despite being the largest rowing machine on our list, it folds up easily and has high density, non-marking rubber wheels for smooth transport.

It’s covered by a 3-year warranty for the frame and a 180-day warranty for parts.

Customers who have purchased this rowing machine on Amazon have rated this water rowing machine 4.4 out of 5 stars from among 2,455+ reviews. Due to the size of this product and its lengthier assembly process, we highly recommend having two or more people present for setup.

Features

  • Simulates rowing in water better than other machines on our list
  • Impressive performance monitor metrics
  • Bluetooth compatible and 15 built-in racing programs

But be aware of…

  • Just under $500
  • Other water rowing machines may have more advanced blade system
  • Must adjust the water level for resistance

Lighter Weight Water Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality 3000WR Bluetooth Water Rower

The Fitness Reality 3000WR Bluetooth Water Rower is another incredible option if you want to use a water rowing machine and it happens to be one of the lighter weight options available today.

It features 6 water resistance levels and comes with an angled water tank that slows down water faster between pulls.

It also comes with a large 4. 5” LCD display that has 3 customizable HIIT intervals, 5 standard preset workout goals, 13 level race options, and 3 workout target goal settings of time, distance, and calories burned.

Its 19″ slip-resistant wide-grip handlebars and cushioned seat are very comfortable to use and the machine has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.

This water rower weighs 71.9 lbs and has dimensions of 77.3″ L x 20″ W x 34″ H. It’s covered by a 3-year limited warranty.

Customers on Amazon have rated this water rowing machine 4.6 out of 5 stars from among 180+ reviews. Despite being a water rowing machine, customers report that the Fitness Reality 3000WR Bluetooth Water Rower is not difficult to assemble and usually takes less than an hour to set up.

Features

  • One of the lightest weight water rowing machines available today
  • Large LCD with great metrics and training programs
  • Relatively easy assembly

But be aware of…

  • Just under $500
  • Heaviest rowing machine on our list
  • Must adjust the water level for resistance

More Affordable Water Rowing Machine

XTERRA Fitness ERG600W Water Rowing Machine

The XTERRA Fitness ERG600W Water Rowing Machine is one of the most affordable options we’ve come across for water rowing machines, yet it still comes with all the key features you need to simulate an in-water experience.

It has 6 resistance levels and comes with 7 workout programs that include options like 500M, 1000M, recovery, and target distance. The digital display is 5. 5″ which is much larger than those found on most water rowing machines under $500 and has an easy height and angle adjustment so that you can obtain a perfect viewing angle.

Additionally, it has a weight capacity of 300 lbs and can fit users up to 6’1”. It’s made with a durable, solid-steel frame and has dual aluminum slide rails.

This water rowing machine weighs 87 lbs and has dimensions of 80.7″ L x 22″ W x 33″ H. Its warranty includes 5 years for the frame, 2 years for parts, and 90 days for in-home labor.

Customers on Amazon have rated this water machine 4.3 out of 5 stars and state that it comes mostly already pre-assembled, making it fairly easy to put together.

Features

  • One of the most affordable water rowing machines available
  • Large LCD that’s easy to adjust
  • Relatively easy assembly

But be aware of…

  • Fewer training programs than other water rowing machines on our list
  • Somewhat heavy compared to other rowing machines
  • Must adjust the water level for resistance

Smart Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Magnetic Rowing Machine Smart Rower

The Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Magnetic Rowing Machine has Bluetooth capability and allows you to follow workouts from expert trainers on the Sunny Health & Fitness SunnyFit App.

It comes with a digital monitor that displays parameters like time, total count, and calories, and has 16 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance. Additionally, this machine features an upper-body rowing section on top near its device holder.

This machine incorporates a unique volute spring system which results in a smooth rowing experience and it has non-slip foot pedals with straps to keep you safe while training. It can support users up to 285 lbs.

This smart rower weighs 53.4 lbs and its dimensions are 80.7″ L X 22.6″ W X 22.4″ H. It’s covered by a 3-year warranty for the frame and a 180-day warranty for other parts and components.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Magnetic Rowing Machine was just released, so there are currently no reviews on Amazon. It appears that its assembly is not too complicated as it only requires 5 steps.

Features

  • Bluetooth capability and pairs with app
  • 16 levels of resistance
  • Has upper body row area

But be aware of…

  • Digital monitor is not placed at eye-level
  • Tracks fewer metrics than other machines
  • Device holder is somewhat small

Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

Lightweight Magnetic Rowing

Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

The Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine is our top pick for the best magnetic rowing machine under $300. It’s difficult to find a rower with so many features that don’t sacrifice performance at this price point and it weighs lighter than other magnetic rowing machines.

It features a digital monitor that tracks your performance and comes with 16 adjustable resistance levels. It also has ergonomically designed pedals and oversized seating and can support users up to 285 lbs.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine only weighs 49.6 lbs and its dimensions are 77″ L X 23″ W X 22.5″ H. It’s covered by a 3-year warranty for the frame and a 180-day warranty for other parts and components.

Customers on Amazon have rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 3,216+ ratings and have stated that assembly is easy and only requires 1 person.

Features

  • One of the most affordable options on our list
  • 16 levels of resistance
  • Lightweight and easy to assemble

But be aware of…

  • Digital monitor is not placed at eye-level
  • Tracks fewer metrics than other machines
  • Device holder is somewhat small

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing Rower

Affordable Magnetic Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine

If you’re tech-savvy and religiously follow a workout routine, this is one of the best magnetic rowing machines you can buy at this price point.

The Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine has Bluetooth and comes with the free mycloud fitness app for iOS and Android, which allows you to track your workout results. Its LCD shows your total calories burned, rowing count, and more, and there are 14 resistance levels available.

It also comes with stabilizer front pads that allow you to do additional exercises like curls, upright rows, triceps extensions, and more and can support users up to 250 lbs.

It weighs 63.6 lbs and has dimensions of 88.5″ L x 21.5″ W x 21.5″ H. This machine is covered by a 1-year limited warranty.

Customers have rated the Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 6,632 ratings. Based on reviews, this machine is easy to assemble and can be set up within an hour.

Features

  • One of the most affordable options on our list
  • 14 levels of resistance
  • Bluetooth compatible and comes with free mycloud fitness app

But be aware of…

  • Digital monitor is not placed at eye-level
  • Longer than other magnetic rowing machines on our list
  • Device holder is somewhat small

Magnetic Rowing Machine With Eye-Level Display

JOROTO MR35 Magnetic Rowing Machine

The JOROTO MR35 Magnetic Rowing Machine features a digital monitor that can be adjusted to the most comfortable angle for the user and has larger text than most other brands.

It also comes with 10 levels of adjustable resistance and you’re able to track time, count, calories, and more. It’s made with a high-quality solid aluminum flywheel, aluminum slide rail, and no-touch magnetic resistance which result in high durability and a smooth ride.

The JOROTO MR35 Magnetic Rowing Machine has a max weight capacity of 300 lbs, it weighs 52.9 lbs, and its dimensions are 71″ L x 21″ W x 36″ H. It comes with a 1-year warranty.

Customers have rated it 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 859 ratings. It’s easy to assemble and can be set up within an hour.

Features

  • Digital monitor has large text and is located at eye-level
  • More compact than other magnetic rowing machines
  • Lightweight compared to other machines

But be aware of…

  • Not as many resistance levels as other machines
  • Small cup holder
  • Does not have Bluetooth

Magnetic Rowing Machine With High Weight Capacity And Long Slide Length

YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine

It’s incredibly hard to find a magnetic rowing machine that not only has a high weight capacity but also supports taller users. However, the YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine manages to check off both boxes as it has a weight capacity of 350 lbs and supports users who are up to 6’6″ in height with its 49.2″ slide length.

This machine is equipped with a 10 lb flywheel and has 8 levels of resistance. It also comes with an easy-to-read LCD display that tracks parameters including distance, time, count, and calories.

The YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine weighs 60 lbs and has dimensions of 74.8″ L 19.3″ W 27.55″ H. It’s covered by a 1-year warranty.

Customers have rated this machine as 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 393 reviews. It also appears to be one of the easiest machines to assemble as it only requires 20 minutes for most people.

Features

  • Digital monitor is located at eye-level
  • High weight capacity and supports taller users
  • Very easy assembly

But be aware of…

  • Not as many resistance levels as other machines
  • Small cup holder
  • Does not have Bluetooth

Foldable Turbine Rowing Machine

Marcy Foldable Turbine Rowing Machine

If you prefer a more traditional rowing machine, then you may want to consider the Marcy Foldable Turbine Rowing Machine Rower.

This air-based rowing machine has 8 levels of resistance and comes with a display that keeps track of speed, distance, time, calories burned, and RPM.

Its seat is made with high-density foam padding and its non-slip handles are also foam-based making your entire ride very comfortable. The machine can support a total weight capacity of 300 lbs.

The Marcy Foldable Turbine Rowing Machine weighs 77 lbs and has dimensions of 85″ L x 20.5″ W x 36.25″ H. It’s covered by a 2-year warranty.

Customers have rated it as 4.3 out of 5 stars and report that it takes an hour or less to set up.

Features

  • Air-based which is great for those who love a challenge
  • Durable ergonomically designed seat for maximum comfort
  • Very easy assembly

But be aware of…

  • Not as many resistance levels as other machines
  • Small digital monitor
  • Does not have Bluetooth

Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Highly-Rated Hydraulic Rowing Machine With Coaching App

Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

If you’re looking for the most affordable option for an at-home rowing machine, then a hydraulic rowing machine is your best bet. If you want a hydraulic rowing machine that’s loved by many, then you should consider the Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050.

It features full-motion rowing arms and its hydraulic resistance can be easily adjusted using the cylinder. It also has an easy-to-use LCD monitor that displays your workout time, stroke count, and calories burned. 

To top it all off, its purchase includes müüv which is an intelligent audio coaching app that offers personalized training, a follow-along assembly video, and custom workouts tailored to your fitness goals.

The Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 can support users up to 250 lbs and is covered by a 1-year warranty for the frame and a 90-day warranty for parts. It weighs only 38 lbs and its dimensions are ‎58.25″ L x 42.5″ W x 18.13″ H.

Customers have rated it a 4.3 out of 5 stars based on 5,146 reviews. Assembly is easy and only requires an hour or less.

Features

  • One of the most affordable options on our list
  • Incredibly lightweight and doesn’t take up much space
  • Purchase includes free coaching app

But be aware of…

  • Not as many resistance levels as other machines
  • Somewhat small digital monitor
  • Display does not track as many metrics as other machines

Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Incredibly Compact Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine

The Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine is another great option if you want a hydraulic rowing machine due to its low cost and compact size.

It comes with an easy-to-read LCD monitor that displays time, row count, and calories burned and its resistance can be adjusted by turning its cylinder.

The Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine supports users up to 250 lbs, has dimensions of 50″ L x 36.22″ W x 20″ H, and only weighs 34 lbs.

Customers have rated it a 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 5 reviews and state that it’s easy to assemble and can be set up within an hour.

Features

  • One of the most affordable options on our list
  • Lowest weight option on our list
  • Most compact option on our list

But be aware of…

  • Not as many resistance levels as other machines
  • Somewhat small digital monitor
  • Display does not track as many metrics as other machines

Best Rowing Machines Under $500 Comparison Chart

Product NameResistanceDimensions (L” x W” x H”)Weight (lbs)Weight Capacity (lbs)StorageWarranty
Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian SurgeWater (difficulty based on water level)78.90 x 22.30 x 32.6791.9300Foldable3-year frame, 180 days parts
Fitness Reality 3000WR Bluetooth Water RowerWater (difficulty based on water level)77.3 x 20 x 3471.9300Stands3-year limited
XTERRA Fitness ERG600W Water Rowing MachineWater (difficulty based on water level)80.7 x 22 x 3387300Stands5-year frame, 2-year parts, 90-day in-home labor
Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Magnetic Rowing MachineMagnetic – 16 levels80.7 x 22.6 x 22.453.4285Foldable3-year frame, 180-day parts
Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing MachineMagnetic – 16 levels77 x 23 x 22.549.6285Foldable3-year frame, 180-day parts
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing RowerMagnetic – 14 levels‎88.5 x 21.5 x 21.563.6250Foldable1-year limited
JOROTO MR35 Magnetic Rowing MachineMagnetic – 10 levels71 x 21 x 3652.9300Foldable1-year
YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing MachineMagnetic – 8 levels74.8 x 19.3 x 27.5560350Foldable1-year
Marcy Foldable Turbine Rowing MachineFan – 8 levels85 x 20.5 x 36.2577300Foldable2-year
Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Rowing MachineHydraulic – 12 levels58.25 x 42.5 x 18.12538.7250Foldable1-year frame, 90-day parts
Lanos Hydraulic Rowing MachineHydraulic – 12 levels50 x 36.22 x 2034250FoldableNot specified

Rowing Machine Benefits

While most cardio machines primarily target the lower body, rowing machines come the closest to providing a full-body workout. According to the American Council on Exercise, rowing is an excellent way to lose weight while conditioning and strengthening your arms, shoulders, legs, back, and cardiovascular system. 

Several studies have substantiated the above benefits:

  • A 2015 study examined the effects of indoor rowing on the body composition and degree of scoliosis of visually impaired people. 20 subjects completed 6 weeks of rowing machine training involving 5 days per week. It was found that fat mass and total body fat percent decreased significantly, back strength and trunk flexion scores increased significantly, and there were significant increases in serum protein and albumin along with decreases in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
  • A 2018 pilot study examined the effects of indoor rowing on body composition, blood glucose, and lipid profiles among 11 obese subjects. 6 of the participants were assigned to the rowing machine exercise group and were required to train three times per week over the course of 12 weeks. The results showed significant changes in BMI within the experimental group.
  • A 2014 study examined basal physical fitness and muscle function in relation to muscle balance pattern using rowing machines. 24 subjects participated in this study in which they used 3 different rowing machines and performed rowing exercises twenty-five times a set, four sets a day, 3 days a week, for 8 weeks. The results showed that all aspects of basic fitness increased significantly, and the most improvement was observed in muscle strength from the joint torque results. In fact, there were improvements as high as 30% in the joint torques of the elbow, shoulder, lumbar, and knee.

Potential Compromises For Spending Less Than $500 On A Rowing Machine

While you can certainly purchase a high-quality rowing machine for under $500, there are a few potential drawbacks to not purchasing a higher-end machine.

Less Sophisticated Performance Monitoring

One potential drawback to purchasing a less expensive rowing machine is that you may have a less advanced performance monitor that tracks fewer features and is smaller. Intermediate to advanced athletes typically want more than just the basics when it comes to tracking performance metrics and it’s much easier to know when you need to step up your training intensity when your performance monitor is larger and comes with a back-lit screen.

Fewer Bells And Whistles

Another potential drawback to purchasing a rowing machine under $500 is that it may lack special features like Bluetooth capability. Bluetooth capability can be extremely helpful when your rowing machine pairs with its respective app to track your performance so that you can keep track of your progress.

Fewer Resistance Levels

Finally, rowing machines under $500 typically have fewer resistance levels available which can be an issue if you need more of a challenge. Some higher-end models may include 25+ resistance levels along with smart technology that is able to auto-adjust your resistance for an optimized workout.

In short, while the general population wouldn’t be affected too heavily by the above comprises, athletes who are more serious about their training might be.

What To Avoid When Purchasing A Rowing Machine Under $500

Perhaps as important as factors to consider when purchasing a rowing machine under $500 are factors to avoid.

Don’t Buy A Rowing Machine That’s Too Big For Your Space

For starters, most people who plan to purchase a rowing machine in this price range generally do so not just to save money but also to save space. As such, it’s important to choose a rowing machine that’s relatively compact and doesn’t weigh a lot so that you can transport it more easily. We recommend avoiding most rowing machines that weigh over 90 lbs and that have a length that extends 90″ in most cases.

Make Sure To Get A Rowing Machine With Performance Monitor You Can Actually See

Another thing to keep an eye out for is small performance monitors. While it may not seem like a big deal at first, the more you train your rowing machine, the more important your performance monitor will become to you. So, you’ll definitely want to avoid performance monitors that are too small to view performance metrics easily on and that aren’t positioned optimally.

Get A Rowing Machine With A Warranty

Finally, you’ll want to avoid rowing machines under $500 that don’t come with a warranty. You never know when something might break and it can be helpful to have a warranty for worst-case scenarios even if they’re limited.

FAQs About Rowing Machines

How Long Should You Use A Rowing Machine?

Everyone has different fitness goals and time frames for achieving their target. However, the most important aspect of losing weight is consistency.

Most people who are trying to lose weight should aim for at least 30 minutes per day on a rower at a frequency of four to six times per week, or more. Some people do high-intensity workouts for 15 minutes every day instead which can be just as or even more effective for weight loss.

What Is A Magnetic Rowing Machine?

Magnetic rowing machines are one of the most popular types of rowing machines due to their relatively compact size, ease of use, and low noise level. In order to change the resistance level for training, you must adjust the distance between the magnets and spinning flywheel, rather than add more water to the machine or rely on airflow. They’re a great option for those who want to use a rowing machine for general workout purposes and aren’t concerned about simulating rowing on water for race preparation.

How Much Does A Rowing Machine Weigh?

Rowing machines vary in weight, but they typically weigh anywhere from as low as 35 lbs up to 90 lbs. Hydraulic rowing machines typically weigh the least (usually less than 40 lbs) whereas water rowing machines are generally the heaviest (70 lbs+).

Which Is Better: An Elliptical Or A Rowing Machine?

The elliptical machine outperforms the rowing machine when it comes to ease of use. The elliptical is your best bet if you have osteoporosis because it is a light, weight-bearing activity. 

Learning how to use a rowing machine correctly requires some instruction from a certified trainer for you to complete exercises correctly. This is because the bar you pull is not fixed in place and can move up, down, and side to side, so you need to use proper technique in order to avoid injury.

However, once you’ve mastered the proper technique, the amount of calories burned in an hour-long session is greater than that of an elliptical.

Both of these machines can burn calories, but they train different parts of the body. If you need a good arm and back workout that also trains your lower body, the rowing machine is the best option. On the other hand, if you need a more gentle form of exercise, an elliptical trainer might be a better option.

Which Is Better: A Treadmill Or Rowing Machine?

Rowing machines provide a full-body workout, whereas treadmills are designed to strengthen lower-body muscles, such as the glutes, hamstrings, and calves, but do not work upper-body muscles directly. 

Although rowing machines can be used for highly intense workouts, they are low-impact in nature, making them ideal for overweight people who may experience joint strain from weight-bearing activities, such as walking or running on a treadmill. 

Some treadmills fold up for easy storage but given their weight, you won’t be able to move them around the house as easily. Rowing machines are the same length as treadmills but tend to be narrower and some can even be folded up when not in use, making them much easier to move around and reassemble.

Which Is Better: A Rowing Machine Or Bike?

Rowing machines and stationary bikes have one thing in common: they’re both excellent aerobic fitness machines. They offer non-weight-bearing, low-impact cardiovascular workouts that burn calories and aid in muscle building. 

However, according to one study, using concentric-only hydraulic-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise for 30 minutes increased caloric expenditure, heart rate (HR), and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) compared to running, biking, or lifting weights. 

With that said, rowing machines are the overall best choice. However, if you have back problems, a smart bike is a better option because rowing machine workouts, while low-impact, can still be taxing on your joints.


Rowing Machine Training Resources

Need some ideas on how to train with your new rowing machine? Here are several resources we found on YouTube to help get you started.

10 Min Rowing Machine Drills For Beginners From Sunny Health & Fitness

The following rowing machine drills can be used as a part of your warm-up prior to training or can be thrown in at any point of your workout to mix things up. Drills are crucial for rowers of all levels as they help you perfect your form and reduce the risk of injuries.

20 Min Beginner Full Motion Rowing Machine Workout From Sunny Health & Fitness

Once you’ve completed your drills, you can try out this 20-minute rowing machine workout. Although it’s designed for beginners, this training session can be enjoyed by athletes of all levels.

30 Minute Advanced Rowing Machine Workout For Weight Loss From Dark Horse Rowing

If you’re feeling more comfortable with your training and want to take it up another level, then this 30-minute advanced rowing machine workout is worth a try. This training session is interval-based and is great if you’re using your rowing machine for weight loss purposes.


Studies And Research Related To Rowing Machine Training And Its Caloric Expenditure


Editor’s note: we are regularly updating this review. If you see any problems, weird interpretations of the data, or just want to say hi, please reach out to hello@the-unwinder.com.

Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels

About the author

Vella is a freelance content writer specializing in health and wellness, fitness, lifestyle, and CBD, among others. She worked as a journalist for a radio station before venturing into freelance writing. In her free time, she travels and explores nature and beaches. She can be reached via email at vellagonzaga@gmail.com.

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