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The Best Water Rowing Machines In 2022

Great Quality, Beautiful Design

IronCompany Natural Water Rower

The IronCompany Natural Water Rower is a great option if you want a rower that also serves as a beautiful piece of furniture. The machine is made from solid ash wood that is stained with a honey oak finish, which not only looks great but also helps to absorb sound and reduce vibrations. The patented water flywheel resistance system is gentle on joints and the teardrop handle is designed to prevent wrist torquing. The rower is easy to store vertically and comes with a performance monitor to track your key stats. Keep in mind that the rower doesn’t fold and doesn’t come with Bluetooth connectivity, but high-rise leg attachments and a Bluetooth CoModule are available for purchase separately.

Awesome Aesthetic, Solid Machine

Mr. Captain Water Rowing Machine

The Mr. Captain Water Rowing Machine is a great option for those looking for a customizable and comfortable workout experience. The rower features adjustable footplates and straps, as well as a Bluetooth monitor that allows you to choose manual, interval custom, or target mode. The rower is also made with beautiful and durable zebrawood, and can be stored vertically to save space. Customers rave about the smooth and quiet operation of the rower, as well as its comfortable seat and handles. One thing to keep in mind is that some users have had to replace parts sooner than expected, but many still believe the rower provides excellent value.

Budget Friendly Without Sacrificing Quality

Merax Water Rowing Machine

The Merax Water Rowing Machine is a solid option for those looking for a basic, no-frills machine at an affordable price point. It features an LCD screen for displaying key metrics, including duration, calories burned, strokes, distance, and heart rate. It also offers a race mode for added challenge and quick start and stop buttons for convenience. The rower includes a contoured, padded seat for comfort and foot pedals with Velcro straps for security during intense workouts. However, the handle is not as ergonomically designed as other options and does not have pulse sensors, so a fitness tracker or chest strap may be necessary for tracking heart rate. Additionally, the water tank must be adjusted manually to adjust resistance levels during a workout. Overall, this is a good option for beginners looking for a simple, affordable rowing machine.

For Beginners And Experts

XTERRA Fitness ERG650W Water Rowing Machine

The XTERRA ERG650W Water Rowing Machine is a top choice for those looking for a high-quality, full-body workout. With 15 pre-programmed workouts and six levels of resistance, this machine is suitable for both beginners and experts. Its solid steel frame and dual aluminum slide rails make it durable enough to withstand intense workouts, and its ergonomic handlebar, padded seat, and adjustable pedals ensure comfort during use. One downside is that you need to manually adjust the resistance level by changing the amount of water in the tank. However, overall, the XTERRA ERG650W is an excellent value for the money and offers a great rowing experience.

Beautiful Design / Space Saver

The Trunk Water Rowing Machine

The TRUNK Water Rowing Machine is a great option for those who want a compact and stylish piece of fitness equipment that can be easily stored away. The machine is made from high-quality real solid wood and provides a realistic rowing experience with its transparent water flywheel. It also comes with an LCD screen for displaying key metrics, including time, distance, and number of strokes per minute. The machine’s ergonomic design and functionality make it a good choice for those with joint problems or heavy weight. However, some users may find the LCD screen to be basic and the stretcher straps may not be as durable as others. Overall, the TRUNK Water Rowing Machine is a good option for those looking for a compact and stylish rowing machine.

Sleek, Modern Aesthetic

CITYROW Classic Rowing Machine

This water rower has some distinct advantages over other models. The single-track design allows for a more natural hip-width distance, which is much more comfortable than the footboard on a dual-track rower. The CITYROW monitor provides real-time feedback, including split time, which is great for tracking your progress. The built-in bluetooth is also a major plus, as it means you don’t have to deal with a separate battery that can die mid-workout. You’ll also love that CITYROW offers live and on-demand workouts led by instructors, which motivates you to push yourself and get a full body workout.

Compact And Efficient

SNODE Wood Water Rowing Machine

The SNODE Wood Water Rowing Machine is a unique, foldable wooden water rowing machine that provides a real-life rowing experience with its water resistance system. The large LCD monitor and the FitShow App allow users to track their progress and stay motivated during their workouts. The machine is sturdy and durable, with a max weight capacity of 287 lbs and a max user height of 6’5″. It also has adjustable foot straps and foam-covered handlebars for a superior grip and stability. The compact design allows for easy storage and portability, making it a convenient option for home workouts. Overall, this rowing machine offers a low-impact yet powerful whole-body workout.

Minimal Design, Good Reviews

Stamina Elite Wave Water Rowing Machine

The Stamina Elite Wave Water Rowing Machine is a high-end exercise machine that emulates the feeling of rowing on water. It features adjustable water resistance and a wireless heart rate monitor, allowing users to customize their workouts and track their progress. The machine also includes access to the muuv fitness app, which offers personalized training and coaching. The Elite Wave Water Rowing Machine is made with a sturdy steel frame and includes comfort elements such as a padded seat and adjustable foot straps. It can be easily folded and stored when not in use.

Great Value

Marcy Pro Water Resistance Rowing Machine

The Marcy Pro Water Resistance Rowing Machine is a sturdy and versatile rowing machine that offers a realistic rowing experience. It has an adjustable water resistance system that allows users to customize their workouts and a user-friendly LCD monitor that tracks progress. The rower also has safety features like large textured pedals and adjustable loops, and it can be easily stored with its compact, space-saving design. Many users report that it is a great value for the price and recommend it for home workouts.

American Made, Great Value

WaterRower Club Water Rowing Machine

The Water Rower Club Rowing Machine is a high-quality rowing machine that offers a realistic rowing experience in the comfort of your own home. It is made of hardwood and is sturdy and stable, with a padded contoured seat for added comfort. The machine also has a pulley handle with a foam padding for a good grip and adjustable footrest straps for a secure workout. The parts are labeled and easy to assemble, and the machine is easy to store. It also features an onboard computer that tracks your time, distance, calories burned, and workout session. It is a great option for anyone looking for a low-impact, full-body workout.

Budget Friendly, Good Reviews

TOPIOM Water Rower Rowing Machine

The Water Rower Club Rowing Machine is a high-quality rowing machine made of solid wood. It has a padded contoured seat for comfort and a foam-padded pulley handle for a good grip. The footrest has straps for a secure workout, and the parts are labeled and easy to assemble. The machine is also easy to store. It is suitable for light commercial use and is practically maintenance-free. The patented water flywheel provides a natural rowing experience and is suitable for users with joint concerns. The included monitor tracks time, distance, calories burned, and other metrics to help you track your progress.

Water rowing machines are a unique and effective addition to any home gym. Similar to real water rowing, these machines provide a full-body workout that targets multiple muscle groups, including the abs, shoulders, upper back, arms, glutes, and legs. Despite working nearly all major muscle groups, water rowing machines are low-impact and suitable for all fitness levels.

These machines can be used for strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or traditional rowing workouts. In addition to the physical benefits, the rowing experience also offers numerous cardiovascular benefits. Plus, water rowing machines provide a realistic, water-like experience, making them a popular choice among rowing enthusiasts.

When shopping for a water rowing machine, there are several things to consider. First, consider your budget and the features you want in a machine. Next, think about the size and weight of the machine. If space is limited in your home gym, you may want to consider a compact model. Additionally, consider the weight capacity of the machine and whether it will be suitable for your body weight.

Once you have purchased a water rowing machine, it’s important to take proper care of it. Regularly clean and maintain the machine to ensure it continues to function properly. This includes cleaning the water tank, checking for any loose or damaged parts, and lubricating the moving parts as needed.

How We Chose The Water Rowing Machines In This Review: Our Must-Have Criteria

To help you choose the best water rowing machine for your home gym, we considered a few key factors:

  • Size: The best water rowing machines don’t take up too much space and can be stashed upright when not in use. We considered the footprint of each machine and how it would fit in your home.
  • Build quality: The best water rowing machines are built to last, with sturdy construction and a high weight capacity. We looked for machines with a 300-pound or higher weight capacity.
  • Console: It’s helpful to view stats while rowing, such as speed, time, and calories burned. We looked for machines with an easy-to-read console that displays these metrics.
  • Design: We considered the aesthetic appeal of each machine and how it would look in your home. We looked for machines with a sleek, modern design.
  • Ease of use: The best water rowing machines are easy to use, with a simple way to change resistance levels. We also looked for machines that are suitable for both beginner and advanced rowers.
  • Handle design: Some water rowing machines have one handle, while others have two. We included options for both.
  • Storage and portability: We looked for water rowing machines that are easy to store and transport.
  • Price: We considered the price of each machine, as well as any additional costs, such as shipping and assembly.
  • Customer reviews: We considered the online reviews of each machine and looked for mostly positive feedback.

When choosing the best water rowing machines for our list, we took these factors into consideration and selected options that are easy to use, have comfortable seats and handles, and offer convenient performance tracking. We also included options at various price points to suit different budgets. Happy rowing!

Using The Rowing Machine Dashboard: What All The Numbers, Terms, And Acronyms Mean

Typical rowing machine timer
  • Strokes Per Minute (SPM): This is the number of strokes you perform in one minute. Keep your SPM below 30 for a more effective workout.
  • Split Time: This is the amount of time it takes to row 500 meters. It is affected by speed and power.
  • Timer Button: Use this button to set a timer.
  • Distance Button: Use this button to set a distance goal.
  • Time: Shows how long you have been rowing or how long is left in a timed workout.
  • Meters: Shows the distance covered or remaining in a distance-based workout.
  • Total Meters: Shows the total distance covered in a given session.
  • Total Time: Shows the total time spent on the rower.
  • Total Calories: Shows the force exerted on the machine.

The Unique Experience Of Using A Water Rowing Machine, As Opposed To Any Other Type Of Rowing Machine

Credit: Sandro Halank

Water rowing machines are known for their aesthetic appeal, which sets them apart from other types of rowing machines. Many people prefer the look of water rowing machines because they have a sleek, natural design that resembles the real thing. The wooden construction of water rowing machines also gives them a classic, sophisticated look that blends in well with a variety of home decor styles.

Another reason why water rowing machines are aesthetically nicer than other types of rowing machines is that they offer a more realistic rowing experience. As you row, the water inside the tank creates resistance, simulating the feeling of actually rowing a boat on the water. This added level of realism makes water rowing machines more engaging and immersive, which can make your workout more enjoyable.

In addition to their aesthetic appeal and realism, water rowing machines also offer a unique sound experience. As you row, the sound of splashing water can be soothing and meditative, providing an added level of sensory stimulation that other types of rowing machines can’t match.

Why Use A Rowing Machine, As Opposed To Working Out Some Other Way?

Rowing machines are a great option for a full-body workout that targets multiple muscle groups at once. Unlike other forms of cardio equipment, such as stationary bikes or treadmills, rowing machines provide a low-impact workout that is gentle on the joints. This makes them suitable for people of all fitness levels and ages. Rowing machines also offer a variety of resistance levels, so you can adjust the intensity of your workout to suit your fitness goals. Additionally, using a rowing machine can provide a meditative and enjoyable experience, as the smooth, rhythmic motion can be relaxing and therapeutic.

Cardiovascular benefits

Rowing machines provide a low-impact, full-body workout that can improve cardiovascular endurance and heart health. By using a rowing machine, you can work your abs, shoulders, upper back, arms, glutes, and legs, all while getting your heart rate up and improving blood flow. In addition, rowing machines are suitable for people of all fitness levels, making them a versatile option for cardio exercise.

Strength training benefits

Rowing machines can provide a full-body strength training workout. By using the machine’s resistance, you can target and strengthen various muscle groups, including the back, arms, shoulders, glutes, and legs. Rowing machines can also help improve muscular endurance and overall body strength. Additionally, because the rowing motion is low-impact, it is a good option for those looking to avoid joint strain or injury.

Age-related benefits—people over 70 years old

Rowing machines can be a great workout option for people over 70 years old. Here are a few benefits:

  • Low-impact: Rowing machines provide a full-body workout without putting excessive strain on the joints, making them a suitable option for older adults who may have mobility issues.
  • Cardio: Rowing machines can provide an effective cardiovascular workout, which is important for maintaining heart health and overall fitness.
  • Strength training: Rowing machines can also be used for strength training, helping to build and maintain muscle mass, which can be beneficial for older adults who may be at risk of losing muscle mass with age.
  • Flexibility: Rowing can help improve flexibility and range of motion, which can be beneficial for maintaining mobility and overall physical function.
  • Convenience: Rowing machines can be used in the comfort of your own home, making them a convenient option for older adults who may have difficulty getting to a gym or outdoor rowing location.

Careful! How To Avoid Injury If It’s Your First Time Using A Rowing Machine

To use a water rower without getting injured, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Good posture is essential to avoid injury. Avoid rounding your shoulders and engage your abdominal muscles during each stroke to take pressure off your spine.
  • Overuse or overdoing your workout can lead to injury, so always listen to your body and take rest days when needed.
  • To minimize rowing machine dangers, warm up and stretch before each workout, and keep your wrists and arms straight throughout each stroke.
  • Proper posture is crucial to avoid lower back pain. Imagine you have a rod in your back to keep your spine straight and avoid curving or arching your back.
  • Avoid letting your arms carry the weight, and push off with your legs instead to put the resistance on your legs, particularly your thighs.
  • Use proper technique when rowing, and avoid leaning too far back or curving your back to grab the handlebar.
  • Don’t overexert yourself and always adjust the resistance level to match your fitness level.
  • Take breaks and stretch if you feel pain or discomfort, and stop immediately if you experience sharp pain.
  • Consult a doctor or physical therapist if you have a pre-existing injury or chronic pain.

Taking Care Of Your Machine: 10 Water Rowing Machine Maintenance Tips

To properly maintain a water rowing machine, you should:

  1. Regularly check and tighten all bolts and screws to ensure that the machine is properly assembled and stable.
  2. Keep the water level in the tank at the recommended level, and make sure to clean the water regularly to prevent algae and bacteria growth.
  3. Clean and lubricate the chain, pulleys, and other moving parts on a regular basis to ensure smooth operation and prevent wear and tear.
  4. Use a soft cloth and a mild detergent to clean the seat and handlebars, and make sure they are dry before using the machine again.
  5. Keep the machine in a dry and well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  6. Regularly check the condition of the footrests, pedals, and straps, and replace them if they show any signs of wear or damage.
  7. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using and maintaining the machine, and contact them if you have any questions or concerns.
  8. Avoid overloading the machine, and always use it within the weight limit specified by the manufacturer.
  9. Avoid using the machine if it is making strange noises or showing other signs of malfunction, and contact the manufacturer for assistance.
  10. Store the machine in a safe and secure location when not in use, and make sure to lock it if necessary to prevent unauthorized access or damage.

Bonus Section! The Fun History Of Rowing Machines

From a text-book on physiology for high schools, academies and normal schools (c1910)

Rowing machines, also known as indoor rowing machines or ergometers, were developed in the early 1900s. They were originally used by rowers as a way to train during the off season or when the weather was too inclement to be on the water. These early machines were large, heavy and expensive, and were primarily used by professional athletes and in military training.

In the 1960s, rowing machines began to be used more by the general public as a form of low-impact exercise. These machines became smaller, more affordable and more accessible, and were often found in gyms and fitness centers.

In the 1980s and 1990s, advances in technology led to the development of electronic monitors and resistance systems on rowing machines, allowing users to track their progress and adjust the resistance during their workouts. This made rowing machines even more popular as a form of exercise, and they continue to be a popular choice in gyms and home fitness centers today.

NOTE: We also have an in-depth review of the best magnetic rowing machines. One of the main advantages of a magnetic rowing machine is that it is quiet and smooth to use, making it a good option for use in a home gym or a shared living space. It is also relatively low maintenance, as there are no moving parts that can wear out over time. Additionally, magnetic rowers are generally more affordable than air and water rowers.

Feature image credit: sportsandsocial

About the author

Holden Desalles is a journalist in the new wellness space, covering topics such as CBD, adaptogens, and nootropics. He was formerly a staff writer at the millennial lifestyle website Thought Catalog.
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