Today, working out at home has become more common and easier than ever before. Indoor workout machines such as rowing machines have become popular primarily because of the huge variety they’re available in. They come with either magnetic, hydraulic, air, or water resistance; choose what you find best and spend some quality time exercising. All of these exercising units are compact and provide you with a full-body workout in just 20-25 minutes.
On the same note, we decided to list some of the best budget rowing machines in 2021. We’re aware of getting yourself a new gym exercise unit can be a daunting and tiring task, so we conducted the research for you. We’ve discussed every product briefly, listing their key features, as well as their pros and cons to help you decide which one best suits you. Before we get to the list of the best rowing machines under $1000, let’s discuss what it is and how it works.
What Is a Rowing Machine?
The machine is primarily designed in a way that gives you the rowing feeling when you’re on an actual boat. The resistance you feel by the water waves is mimicked artificially and offers you a more intense workout session. The low-impact exercising machine is great for your heart rates and will gradually tone your body into shape.
“Low-impact” generally means that the machine won’t put too much pressure on your knee joints or ankles. You will certainly not be gasping for breath once you reach the end. Over time, you will see yourself build up leg muscles as well as chest and shoulders.
Rowing is known to connect your entire body together. This way, when you’re on the machine working out, you’ll feel the entire body stretching. It will help correct your posture and you’ll be able to sit upright for longer periods of time.
How Does a Rowing Machine Work?
Rowing has four positions you need to know about; catch, drive, finish, and recovery. In the catch position, you’re sitting at the corner of your seat in a way that you’re closest to the handlebar. Sitting this way will force you to bend your knees and as a result, you’ll be sitting upright with a straight spine.
The drive is when you push the handlebar to your chest; this links your core muscles with the back. The finishing position means to bring your hands and knees back to where they were when you started off. By the end of the finishing position, you need to make sure your knees and legs are straight.
Recovery refers to your body following the handlebar. The seat will slide forward and you’ll notice the knees are bent again.
Now that you know what rowing machines are and how you can effectively work on it, here are the reviews you’ve been waiting for.
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Top 10 Best Budget Rowing Machines
Best Budget Rowing Machines
1. Concept2 Model D
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor
One of the best rowing machines under $1000 is a great product by the Concept2 Rowers. The company is known to offer quality at affordable prices and the Model D is certainly proving our point. If you’re out in the market looking for a budget rowing machine that comes with high-end specs, this is our (and should be yours, too) top choice.
- In addition to the workout machine itself, you get a Performance Monitor 5, a user manual with a starting guide and simple assembly instructions for you to put it all together.
- The seat on the exercising unit is 14 inches above the ground and has the capacity to bear almost 500 pounds at once. The footrests of the machines are adjustable and can fit almost any size of feet. The handles are ergonomically designed to ensure comfort and convenience to everyone who buys it.
- The Performance Monitor 5 tracks your progress while you work out. You can keep a record of the number of times you’ve workout out previously and set new fitness goals for the next few days. Though the package does not include a heart rate belt, you can buy one separately and connect it to the monitor to track your heart rate.
- The machine can be disassembled into two smaller pieces. If you’re looking to go on a vacation any time soon, you shouldn’t be too worried about where to store it. The wheels underneath the machine allow easy transportation.
- The machine’s resistance is air-based. It mimics how you would feel if you were actually rowing on a water body. The airflow can be increased or decreased (levels range from 1-10). The exercising unit runs smoothly, quietly and you get a comfortable experience that is pretty close to the real-life experience.
- 5-year warranty
- Nickel-plated steel ensures that you don’t need to spend much on maintenance
- The powder-coated finish gives the machine an elegant outlook
- User-friendly control panel
- Heavy and bulky
- User manual should’ve been more detailed
2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
3 used from $180.68
This brand is known for high-quality gym equipment no matter what it is you’re looking for. You fin features and specs you wouldn’t see on other products on this list and this is primarily why we believe it is one of the best rowing machines under $500 in the market right now.
- Just like the other products we’ve listed in this post, this one, too, comes with a clear LCD monitor. It tracks the time you’ve spent on the machine, the calories you’ve burned in a session, and keeps a list of your achievements that keeps you motivated to regularly workout. Moreover, you can set both weekly and monthly goals and reach new fitness heights.
- The exercising unit is currently considered to be one of the best magnetic rowing machines in this list. It offers up to 8 different levels of resistance so you never run out of an option to further increase the challenge. We all know the best competition is the one we have with ourselves.
- In addition, the product also comes with wheels underneath for easy transportation. If you’re tired of working out in the living room all week, push it out on the balcony and relax in the fresh air. Tilt the machine at an angle and roll away. It’s also smaller than usual rowing machines so you don’t need to worry about storage either.
- The pedals on the machine are made of rubber that is non-slip. You definitely don’t need to worry about your feet slipping and injuring yourself during an intense workout. The straps wrap around your feet provide exceptional balance and make you feel like you’re glued to the machine. The handlebars are made of a foamy material to ensure comfort as well as a firm grip. the foam is soft so you certainly don’t need to worry about blisters and calluses forming in your palm.
- It can hold around 250 pounds of mass at once. The seat comes with paddings that further boost the comfort level. This will certainly be your full-body workout companion.
- Quietly operates
- Compact size; does not occupy a lot of space
- Can shift to a rigorous workout session from a low-impact one
- Does not measure the distance you’ve covered
- Monitor could’ve been bigger
3. Merax Water Rowing Machine
Merax Water Rowing Machine – Fitness Indoor Water Rower with LCD Monitor Home Gym Equipment (Black)
Next on this list is Merax’s top seller and one of the best water rowing machines to get under $1000. It is small, compact, and gives you the perfect opportunity to shift your workout routine from the gym to your home.
- Starting off, the dashing blue color this machine comes in goes perfectly well with any room. Whether you’re buying it for your living room, the balcony, or the gym room you’ve recently set up at home, this will go well with it. It is firmly built and is a reliable piece of equipment when it comes to exercising units. It can hold up to 330 pounds of mass at once and keep you perfectly balanced at the same time. the water tank attached allows you to alter the resistance levels and challenge yourself.
- It smoothly operates and makes minimal noise when in motion; you’ll certainly feel like you’re a professional rower on water. The water splashing inside the tank gives out a relaxing feel and keeps you motivated at the same time.
- Along with this machine, you get a multi-functional LCD monitor installed right in front of you while you row. You can see how much time you’ve spent working out, the calories you’ve burned over time, and the distance you’ve traveled. The monitor switches on and off with a single button and can monitor your heart rate in real-time as well. if you’re bored and looking to turn things up a notch, you can select the “racing mode” to compete with yourself.
- The resistance levels can be adjusted by maintaining the water level inside the tank. You can use the funnel and the pumping siphon provided with the machine and to ease the process of pouring water in and out of the tank.
- The handlebars on this machine are ergonomic while the seat is contoured as well for enhanced comfort. if you’re out in the market for something that is comfortable and offers intense workouts at the same time, this one’s going to be your top choice. The footrests come with adjustable straps that tightly hold your feet in place in case things get intense.
- Does not occupy a whole lot of space
- Ergonomic design; the company certainly thought of comfort to be the utmost priority
- Sturdy construction
- Six different water-resistant levels
- Quality of monitor not at par with the rest of the machine
4. ECHANFIT Foldable Rowing machine
ECHANFIT Rowing Machine Foldable Indoor Rower w/LCD Monitor with 16 Levels Silent Magnetic Belt System and Adjustable Console Angle for Cardio Exercise Workout at Home and Studio
Another top company when it comes to gym equipment like rowing machines is ECHANFIT. It ranks high in our top-ten list and proves that you do not need to spend more on better quality items. If you’re out in the market looking for some of the best magnetic rowing machines under $500, this one’s going to rank high above.
- The machine is smaller than usual ones you would see; it is compact and is foldable in case you want to store it away while you’re on vacation. Even though the machine is labeled as “for low-impact workout sessions”, you find yourself burning a lot of calories and gaining a lot of strength when you become a regular. With this as a workout companion, you stay comfortable and fit at the same time.
- It comes with 16 different tension levels for you to intensify the workout. Whenever you feel like things are getting easy, there will always be a level available to turn things up a notch. The resistance you experience is pretty much the same as you would feel when you’re rowing on water.
- The machine is equipped with a new technology called Silent Magnetic Resistance. This allows you to carry out a smooth workout session and so quietly that you don’t disturb the others in the house.
- Just like the previous products you read about on this list, this one also folds into a small size. This helps you put it away for storage in the closet. With wheels at the bottom, you can transport it around the house very easily. Whether you exercise in your room or you want to move into the living room for a change, have no problem with transporting it anywhere.
- The handles bars are ergonomically designed and come with a non-slip grip to ensure you hold on tightly. The textured pedals ensure you have a steady grip and a firm base to balance yourself on. The monitor further allows you to customize your workout by setting goals yourself. You receive feedback on the number of calories you’ve burned and the time you’ve which later helps you in setting objectives more effectively.
- Provides real-time feedback
- Durable build
- Ergonomic seat with paddings for extra comfort
- Water bottle holder to ensure you stay hydrated
- Distance is not measured
- No app to connect the monitor too.
5. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor - Obsidian SF-RW5713
Another great low-impact rowing machine by the same company is the SF-RW5713. If you’re on the web looking for the best water rowing machines for the money that are also equipped with high-end specs and an LCD monitor, this one might be your best bet. The brand has a high reputation and is known for producing high-quality equipment for the last 15 years.
- The dimensions of this machine are 80x22x34 inches. The seat is wider than you’d find on traditional exercising units and is more comfortable as well. The height can be adjusted according to your convenience as well as the distance to the foot pedals.
- The rowing machine is equipped with new, innovative hydro blades that offer resistance when you start pedaling. The quicker you pedal; the more resistance you will face. This way, you absolutely feel like you’re rowing on water. The blades are rust-proof which means they’ll last longer than usual rowing machines.
- The LCD monitor displays the time you spent exercising as well as the distance you covered over the time period. You can keep track of your progress and set future goals accordingly. Though the company does not offer a heart rate belt along with the product, you can buy one separately and link it with the monitor. This way, you can keep track of your heart rate and analyze the patterns when you’re exercising.
- The pedals are made of non-slip materials and the straps tighten around your feet to make sure you’re steady when working out. With enhanced stability and more comfort, you’ll be working out without the fear of injuring yourself.
- It comes with screws at the bottom which you can loosen or tighten according to the floor levels. This allows you to keep the machine steady at all times if you’re in a room with uneven flooring. If the machine isn’t stable, you be wobbling during a workout and you could end up hurting yourself. Moreover, the wheels underneath also allow for easy transportation anytime, anywhere.
- Can hold up to 300 pounds of weight
- Engages 85% of your muscles
- Quietly operates; smooth
- Easy assembly; no need for expert help
- Firmly built
- Nut and screws that go at the bottom should’ve been of better quality
6. JOROTO Magnetic Rowing Machine
JOROTO Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with LCD Display 250LB Weight Capacity Row Machine Exercise Rower for Home Gym
Joroto is another top company known for producing valuable workout instruments within a budget. It has an average weighing capacity, comes with magnetic resistance, and can be easily afforded by just about anyone.
- As one of the best magnetic rowing machines under $500, both the flywheel as well as its slide rails are made of top-quality aluminum. The magnetic resistance system provides users with smoother and quieter operations than traditional gym equipment.
- Additionally, you can fold it into very small size in case you’re looking to put it away for a while; it only takes up 0.15 square meters in area. The wheels underneath are for your convenience when you decide to move it across the room. However, make sure you don’t allow children near the machine when it’s folded upright; if it’s not supported by something else, it can fall on them sooner or later.
- Moreover, the exercising instrument is adjustable at all levels. You can adjust the seat’s height from the ground and the distance from the pedals; can also adjust the LCD monitor’s angle so you’re looking directly at it; you can vary the resistance levels to give yourself a challenge. The LCD monitor comes with pre-installed workout plans for both beginners and professionals. The textured pedals make sure you have a firm grip and avoid any kind of injuries due to slipping.
- The monitor installed tracks your time and the number of calories you’ve burned in a single session (as well as the total number of calories you’ve burned on the machine). Also, there is a phone holder right next to the monitor so you can stay in touch with your friends while you work out. Browse from hundreds of videos uploaded by professional trainers and stay fit at home.
- Furthermore, the wide seat on this is also ergonomically designed for your comfort. Say goodbye to sore muscles you used to have at the end of workouts.
- Easily assembles
- Comfortable grip
- Runs quietly
- Firmly built with good balance
- Heavy and bulky
7. Stamina ATS Air Rower
Stamina Air Rower Rowing Machine
This air rower by Stamina is another great rowing machine under $500. Investing in this piece of low-impact gym equipment will certainly prove to be beneficial when you start with cardiovascular exercises. The 1399 model comes equipped with top-notch specs and features and is certainly of the best rowing machines for the money on this list.
- Starting off with resistance, this machine comes with the latest technology of air resistance dynamism. This means the harder you pedal – or the faster you pedal – the more resistance you will experience.
- The LCD monitor installed records your speed and distance. You can also view the amount of time you’ve spent on the machine and its contribution to the overall calories you’ve burned. The display is large and clear enough to be seen even when sitting 2 feet away.
- The padded seats and the adjustable footplates take your comfort zone to the next level. The handlebars are also ergonomically designed so that your shoulders stay relaxed when you come out of the gym room. The handlebars are also connected with the footplates and help with pedaling.
- The wheels on the bottom – just like all others on this list – allow you to transport the unit anywhere while the fact that it’s foldable makes it easy to store away when not in use.
- Padded seat
- Textured footplates
- Folding frame for compact storage
- User-friendly interface on the monitor
- Fan should’ve been quieter
- Digital interface could’ve been equipped with enhanced features
Read Also: Refurbished Concept2 Rowers
8. Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine
Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine, Folding Rower with LCD Display and Adjustable Resistance, Exercise Cardio Fitness Equipment for Home Use
Though not a very famous company, Goplus’s magnetic rowing machine has still managed to make its way on our list of best budget rowing machines in 2021. The brand is known for manufacturing quality gym equipment and this exercising unit has blown us away.
- The company has surely focused on providing its customers with comfort and durability when designing this product. It comes with top-quality aluminum beams that are thicker and harder than its predecessors. It comes with six wheels inside that ensure you experience a smooth rowing experience while you intend to burn a few calories in the summer.
- This, too, comes with adjustable resistance; you can choose up to 8 levels of magnetic resistance and see which one suits you best. The foot pedals are wide enough for you to place your feet firmly while the straps are long enough to make sure your feet don’t slip during intense workouts.
- The LCD monitor displays every number clearly. It counts the calories you’ve burnt in a session, the count, total count, and the time you’ve spent. With everything being tracked, you can keep yourself motivated and set fitness goals for the upcoming week accordingly.
- The machine is equipped with wheels at the bottom for easy transportation. It is also foldable so that you can save space when it’s not in use. Moreover, the seat comes with paddings and the handlebars come with a non-slip grip to ensure safety.
- You can use it for aerobics, cardio, and other low-impact exercises. You can lose weight effectively and tone your body muscles gradually as well. With so many features at a relatively low price, we definitely think this is one of the best rowing machines under $500.
- Folds away for easy storage
- Quiet operation
- Slide rail is tilted 15 degrees for enhanced comfort
- Weight capacity of 220 pounds
- Textured foot pedals
- Ergonomic rower handles
- No workout programs installed on the monitor
9. Efitment RW025
EFITMENT Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower for Home Exercise w/Digital Monitor, 250 LB Weight Capacity, 40 Inch Rail Length - RW025
Efitment is a top company when it comes to producing gym exercising machines on a budget. This product has a 250-pound weight capacity and since it offers users magnetic resistance, you get a quiet and smooth workout session.
- The heavy-duty, nylon cord is an effective piece in this machine that offers magnetic resistance. You get a smooth, quiet workout session and get to experience resistance similar to the one you would feel when rowing in a water body.
- The low-profile slide rails keep you closer to the ground, eliminating any kind of risk of injuring yourself by falling. The steel rail moves to and fro by 40 inches so you can perfectly adjust yourself as you begin your exercise.
- The low-impact exercising machine offers you effective cardio sessions and an excellent aerobic workout. You will certainly see your heart’s function improve and the circulation of blood better once you become a regular. The digital monitor installed in front you tracks the amount of time you’re spending in each session as well as count, RPM, calories burnt and distance covered.
- The product, unlike most on this list, is non-foldable. However, because of its small, compact size, you wouldn’t find it coming on to the room. In case you’re looking to store it away for a while, you can sit it upright and conveniently put it behind your closet. This certainly is one of the best magnetic rowing machines for the money.
- On this, all you need to do is get a firm grip on the handlebars, pull them towards yourself, and stretch your legs straight. You’ll feel the rhythmic motion as if you’re rowing a boat and will also feel the muscles getting sore. That’s how you’ll know the muscles are building up and you’re increasing your endurance threshold.
- Small footprint, does not take a lot of space
- Quiet and smooth
- Comes with transport wheels
- Should have been foldable
- May be too compact for taller users
10. Stamina Trac Glider 1050
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
2 used from $110.30
This is another great rowing machine you can get under $500. The Trac Glider 1050 is equipped with top-notch features and provides users with comfort and the ultimate experience.
- The rowing machine offers different resistance levels so that it provides you with the feeling of rowing on actual water. It is specifically designed in a way that engages major muscle groups of the body including abs, arms, legs, glutes, and the back. The low-impact exercise machine will quite certainly improve cardiovascular health and help you burn fat.
- It comes with a multi-functional electronic monitor that tracks your workout time, the calories you’ve burned, the stroke count, and the total number of strokes. When you look at the numbers you’ve reached, you’ll be motivated and ready to set the next goal for yourself.
- The arms, or handlebars, are foldable. This is specifically helpful when you decide to store the unit away or you’re just not using it for some time. the footplates are textured for a better, firm grip while the handgrips come with foam paddings to ensure comfort. The seat is also ergonomically designed for your convenience.
- Natural rowing motion
- Hydraulic resistance offers smooth workouts
- Healthy challenge for the beginners as well
- Does not offer higher-intensity exercises
- Could have been build with better materials
Note: While using the rowing machine you must wear rowing gloves to keep your hands safe.
These were some of the best budget rowing machines you can find in 2021. Every product here is because they had a few things in common; they came with exceptional features at a low price, excellent reviews from customers, and because they had more pros and cons.
Let us know which product you found to be the best. We’d love to know what you look for when looking for products such as these.
Q1. What muscles do a rowing machine work out?
Answer: Rowing machines engage 85% of the body’s entire muscles. Although they are known as low-impact workout units, they can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour.
Q2. What resistance type should I get?
Answer: There are four types of resistances you can choose from; hydraulic, air, water, and magnetic. What you should get largely depends on your preference. This post includes rowing machines with different types of resistances; see which one attracts you most and go for it.
Q3. Is rowing machine good for building muscle and cardio?
Answer: Yes, the low-impact workout machines are great for toning your body and building lean muscles.