With the coronavirus here to stay, working out at home has become the new normal. Indoor workout machines, especially rowing machines, have become popular and several companies have seen their sales boost over the past 2 months, and rightly so. They are compact and you get a full-body workout from just one piece of equipment in just 20-25 minutes.
We’ve listed some of the best air rowing machines you can get in 2021. We understand how difficult it is to browse products such as these and then further narrow them down to the one that appeals to you the most. We’ve conducted the research for you, listed the top 10 products along with their key features and pros and cons.
What Is a Rowing Machine?
As the name suggests, these machines mimic the way you would row a boat in real life. You get to experience the resistance caused by water, which causes you to put in more energy. This further increases your heart rate that ultimately leads to muscle build-up.
Rowing machines are low-impact machines; this means they are easy on your joints and do not make you gasp for breath at the end of a workout. Moreover, you will gradually see your legs gaining muscles in addition to the chest and shoulder exercises.
As opposed to what it might seem, rowing is actually 80% legs. It is designed in a way that connects your body altogether – from your shoulders down to your feet. Also, this workout helps you correct your posture and aid you in sitting upright without getting tired.
How Does a Rowing Machine Work?
Rowing generally has four positions; catch, drive, finish, and recovery. For the catch position, you need to sit at the edge of the seat, and as close as possible to the handlebar. This will force you to bend your knees which further forces you to sit upright, looking tall with an elongated spine.
The drive here refers to when you push on the handlebar into your chest; this connects your back and core muscles together. Finishing means to bring your hands back to the initial positions; the catch. Although, you would need to ensure that the legs and knees are straight. At the recovery, you’ll see your body following the handlebar with the seat sliding forward to make your knees bend again.
Now that we’ve learned what rowing machines are and how they work, let’s get into the reviews. Below are the best water rowing machines for you to work out at home and stay fit.
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Top 10 Rowing Machines 2021
Best Rowing Machines 2021
1. NordicTrack RW 900 Rower
NordicTrack RW900 Rower Includes 1-Year iFit Membership
At the top of our list is a product by NordicTrack, a brand known for exceptional quality when it comes to workout machines. If you’re someone who’s looking for a product that is comfortable and comes with a lot of features within a good price range, this is the one.
- The RW 900 Rower comes with a free one-year personal trainer, iFit. With this app, you get access to workout plans created by some of the top physicians in the world. These programs have a total worth of around $396 which you get for free for the first year.
- Additionally, the rowing machine comes equipped with a 22-inch smart touchscreen installed right in front of you as your row. You can adjust the screen’s height according to your viewing angle to ensure you get a clear view. The seat on the machine has an ergonomic design which means you get comfortable while you exercise.
- Moreover, the RW 900 Rower has up to 26 resistance levels that provide you with a very similar experience to rowing a boat on the water. The exercise machine allows you the option to personalize your goals and fitness levels thanks to the endless training options.
- Furthermore, you can track your workout by measuring the distance you have traveled and the amount of power you have put in. Track your progress and motivate yourself to reach the week’s goal.
- If you find yourself living in a small apartment, this exercise machine would be a great choice. It folds into a compact size and can be stored anywhere. With wheels at the bottom, you wouldn’t have to worry about transporting it around the apartment either.
- Solid, durable build
- Easily sets up
- Free exercise courses on iFit
- Screen freezes and usually needs to be reset
- Startup takes longer than you’d expect
2. Concept2 Model D
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor
Next comes a great product by Concept2. The brand offers quality within a great price and this machine is proof of that. If you’re someone who’s looking to workout at home on a rowing machine that comes with PM5, this is the one you need.
- Along with the workout rowing machine itself, the package includes and Performance Monitor 5, a user manual, a starting guide, and assembly instructions if you chose to deny the company’s assembly service.
- The seat of the product is at a 14-in height and has the capacity to hold up to 500 pounds at once. The footrests are adjustable while the ergonomic handle provides comfort and convenience to all users.
- Moreover, it is equipped with a monitor that tracks your progress in real-time. this way you can see how much you’ve worked out the past week and set goals for the upcoming week. You can also connect wireless heart rate belts to the monitor though this has to be bought separately.
- Just like we saw in the product above, this one, too, can be stored easily. It disassembles into two pieces and has wheels underneath for easy transportation. When needed again, all you need is to put back eight screws and you’re good to go.
- Furthermore, the company has tried its best to provide users with real-life experience. They come with air-resistance flywheels that mimic the resistance you would usually feel when rowing on water. You can also change the air flow and adjust resistance levels accordingly (from 1-10). With minimal noise and a smooth, comfortable feel, this serves as one of the best hydraulic rowing machines right now.
- 5-year warranty
- Nickel-plated steel; require minimal maintenance
- Powder-coated finish that gives an attractive, elegant outlook
- Easy to navigate control panel/monitor
- Heavy and bulky
- A user manual is very brief so you need to go online for more information
3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
3 used from $225.21
This is another great commercial-grade exercise machine you can get for working out at your home. Not only does it come at a very affordable price, but it is also loaded with unique features you wouldn’t find in any other model on this list.
- Firstly – similar to the others on this list- this comes with a digital LCD monitor. It displays time, tracks the number of calories burned, and keeps a record of your achievements for you to stay motivated. You can also set weekly and monthly goals and track your progress as you move on.
- The product is considered as one of the best magnetic rowing machines in the market as of now. You can choose from up to 8 levels of magnetic resistance to challenge yourself with a harder workout every time. challenging yourself is a healthy competition; you’re bound to win every time!
- The machine comes with wheels at the bottom for your convenience. Whether you want to workout in the living room or out on the balcony in the fresh air, have no problem taking it anywhere. All you need to do is tilt it at an angle and roll it out. It also folds into a compact size in case you’re looking to store it away when you’re going on a vacation.
- The pedals are non-slip to ensure maximum safety when you’re undergoing a rigorous workout. You can place your feet on the textured pedals with the straps wrapped around. Workout, focus, and reach your fitness goals without feeling unbalanced. On the other hand, the handlebars come with a foamy grip to reduce the risk of calluses and blisters forming in your palm. The foam grip is non-slippery and provides a comfortable grip as well during longer workouts.
- With a comfortable seat and a maximum load-bearing capacity of around 250 pounds, this is going to be your ultimate companion while you decide to get a full-body workout.
- Quietly operates
- Does not take a lot of space in your room
- Economical and easily affordable
- Option to shift from a low-impact exercise to an intense session
- Does not track the distance you travel
- Monitor is small
4. Merax Water Rowing Machine
Merax Water Rowing Machine – Fitness Indoor Water Rower with LCD Monitor Home Gym Equipment (Black)
Another great home gym equipment for you is Merax’s top seller and best water rowing machine. If you’re looking for an exercising machine that does not occupy a lot of space and gives you the chance to stay fit at home, you should definitely consider buying this product.
- To begin with, it comes in a dashing blue color that goes along with just about any room. It’s built with a firm, sturdy construction and has proven to be a reliable piece of equipment. It can withstand loads of up to 330 pounds as well. In addition, you find the rowing machine comes with a water tank to offer you different resistance levels. This way, you’ll certainly get the feeling of rowing a boat in real life.
- The rowing machine quietly operates and has smooth glide that accurately mimics how professional sportsmen row in races. You’ll hear the water splashing inside the tank which will give you a relaxing sound and keep you motivated as well.
- Moreover, the workout equipment comes with a multi-functional LCD monitor installed in front of you. You can view the time you’ve spent exercising, the calories you’ve burnt, the heart rate as well as the distance you’ve traveled in a single session. The monitor gets started and stops at the push of a single button; no hassles whatsoever! You can also change the settings to ‘racing mode’ to challenge and compete with yourself.
- You can also adjust the resistance levels by adjusting the amount of water in the tank. The product comes with a funnel and a pumping siphon that would help you with the process.
- With ergonomically designed handles and a contoured seat designed for your comfort, this one’s the ideal companion if you’re looking to reach unmatched fitness levels. You get along footrest with an adjustable strap that keeps your feet steady and firm when things get intense.
- Compact size, small footprint
- Ergonomic design, comfort at every level
- Sturdy construction
- Up to six water level settings
- Quality of monitor could be better
5. Hydrow Rowing Machine
Hydrow Live Outdoor Reality At Home Connected Rowing Machine - Exercise Equipment - Full Body Workout - Live & On-Demand Classes - Subscription Required
Hydrow is known for its top-notch, high-quality exercising machines and equipment. If you think you work out better with a screen in front of you and a trainer helping you every step of the way, this one’s the best magnetic rowing machine out there for you.
- The rower provides you with 24-hour access to workout classes and trainers at all experience levels. You can join in live videos from the top, most professional trainers around the world or you can browse from over 4000 videos that come pre-installed. Get up to hundreds of diverse workout routines to choose from.
- Hydrow has certainly redesigned your workout-at-home experience with this new innovative machine. It has a drag mechanism that provides different levels of resistance so you can challenge yourself to get the best results. The mechanism is controlled by a computer and gives you the closest feeling to rowing on water.
- With the screen in front and a loud front-facing speaker, you can put on sounds of water splashing, birds chirping, rain pouring down; whatever relaxes you. Get an effective and enjoyable workout on a piece of gym equipment that brings the river to your living room.
- The HD touchscreen is both sweat and dustproof and gives you a clear image no matter what your viewing angle may be. The body, as a whole, is firmly built with aluminum and has an ergonomic design to make sure you don’t feel sore and the end of your workout. With a sleek and elegant look, this will totally go fine with the furniture at home.
- Hydrow is equipped with a webbed strap that makes sure you experience minimum friction with each stroke of the pedal. It operates quietly and smoothly. Moreover, the 10-roller system seat allows you to perfectly adjust your seat according to your comfort.
- Extremely comfortable seat
- Training videos add variety and are very helpful for beginners
- Allows you to connect with people online to increase competition
- Easy to set up, easy assembly
- Does not let your row when the internet is disconnected
6. 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 great company in this field is ECHANFIT. It really does rank in the top ten and this model certainly shows why. If you’re looking for magnetic rowing machines to get fit at home, look no further!
- This is perhaps one of the best magnetic rowing machines you could find in the market in 2021. It is foldable and gets into a small, compact size if you want to store it away while going on a vacation. Though it is low-impact exercising equipment, you get an effective workout burning calories, and gaining strength. Stay comfortable, stay fit whenever you’re up for a workout session.
- It allows you to choose from as many as 16 different levels of tension to give yourself a challenge. You’ll always find yourself an option to intensify the workout sessions, even more, when things start to get easy. The resistance force is just like how water would react when you would row in a crew.
- The machine also comes with the latest technology of Silent Magnetic Resistance. This refers to the smooth and quiet operations and workout sessions while you decide to go on indoor rowing. If you like working out early in the morning, no worries! The quiet machine will make sure no one in the house is disturbed.
- Just like many other products on this list, this one also folds into a small-sized for easy storage. It comes with wheels on the bottom that ensure easy transportation around the house. No need to go through a hassle every time you decide to work out in the living room, or out on the balcony.
- The handlebars are carefully designed so that your arm naturally holds onto them. The non-slip pedals make sure you have a firm grip and a steady ground to balance yourself on. The monitor helps you customize your workout routine, it provides you with feedback on your burned calories, calculates time, count and RPM as well as comes with an easy-to-use scan feature.
- Provides real-time feedback
- Durable build, firm slide rails
- Ergonomic seat; improves blood circulation
- Water bottle holder to stay hydrated during longer sessions
- Does not track distance
- The basic technology doesn’t come with an app
7. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor - Obsidian SF-RW5713
1 used from $362.74
Another great product by the company is the SF-RW5713. If you’re looking for someone the best water rowing machines to get in 2021 that comes with an LCD monitor as well, this one’s your best bet. The company has been producing quality gym equipment for more than 15 years and can certainly be trusted.
- This rowing machine comes with dimensions of 80x22x34 inches. The seat is on it wide and comfortable with dimensions of 10x12x2 inches. The seat is comfortable and adjustable; get the height and distance to the foot pedals just right.
- Moreover, the water rowing machine is equipped with hydro blades that increase resistance when you start pedaling. With multiple levels of water resistance to choose from, you really feel you’re rowing on a boat in the water. The blades are rust-proof and are built to last long, rigorous exercises. The faster you pedal, the higher the resistance you experience. The dynamic response will certainly give you a unique experience.
- The LCD shows the distance you’ve traveled in a single session as well as the time you’ve taken to complete it. You can also track your fitness progress and stay motivated with the results shown to you. You can also buy heart rate monitors/belts separately and connect it to the machine. This will allow you to analyze the pulse and heart rate as you exercise.
- Moreover, with non-slip foot pedals and adjustable nylon straps to tie your feet, you remain steady and firm. With stability and comfort, you get to practice without the fear of slipping and injuring yourself in the process.
- The machine itself comes with stabilizers to keep the machine steady and horizontal with the floor. In case your floor isn’t leveled, the machine would have wobbled a lot during exercise. Turn the floor stabilizers either way until you feel it’s completely leveled with the ground. Besides, it has wheels underneath that will help you transport and store it away at any time.
- Weight capacity of 300 pounds
- Works up to 85% of the muscles in your body
- Quiet and smooth operation
- Easy assembly
- Sturdy construction
- Nuts and screws on the feet are of low quality
8. JOROTO Magnetic Rowing Machine
JOROTO Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with LCD Display 250LB Weight Capacity Row Machine Exercise Rower for Home Gym
1 used from $273.92
Joroto is another top company when it comes to manufacturing workout instruments. If you’re looking for something that comes with an average weight-bearing capacity, a magnetic rowing system and that is affordable, this one should be your top choice.
- As one of the best magnetic rowing machines in 2021, this comes with the top-quality aluminum flywheel and a slide rail made of the same material. With a no-touch magnetic resistance system, you get to experience quieter and smoother workout sessions like never before.
- Additionally, the exercising unit folds into a very compact size and can easily be stored away; it only occupies 0.15 square meters. It has wheels installed on the bottom for enhanced convenience when you decide to move it around the house. However, you must make sure to keep little children away from it when it’s folded upright; it could tilt and fall onto them at any time.
- The exercising instrument is fully adjustable – from seats and pedals to the LCD monitor and resistance levels. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, there will always be a workout plan that suits you and the machine. The pedals are non-slip and are wide enough to fit every size. The straps can be tightened as well to ensure the feet do not slip our, risking potential serious injury.
- Moreover, the digital monitor installed right in front of you tracks your time, keeps a record of the total, and the number of calories you’ve burned in a single session thanks to the latest double-sensor technology. You can also place your phone next to the monitor thanks to the phone holder installed by the company. You can browse hundreds of workout videos and training sessions to learn and keep yourself motivated.
- The wide seat on the gym equipment is comfortable while the ergonomic handlebars make sure you don’t come out sore at the end of the exercise. There’s also a water bottle holder so you can keep yourself hydrated during long practice sessions.
- Easy assembly; no need to use company support
- Comfortable grip
- Runs quietly
- Sturdy construction does not vibrate even during rigorous sessions
- Heavy, not very easy to transport
9. Concept2 Model E
Concept2 Model E with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Gray
Similar to the one we saw earlier in the Mode D, Concept2 rower has also produced a better, fine version of the exercise instrument. The company believes rowing is for everyone and has made the maximum effort to make the unit convenient for new users and beginners as well.
- The seat on the Model E is roughly 6 inches above the ground. For those of you who find it hard using a control panel with too many technicalities, this might just be perfect for you. All you need is to push a button to start the machine and press the same one to turn it off. It’s got the capacity to hold up to 500-pounds worth of mass and comes with a 5-year warranty in case something happens.
- As an exercising unit designed for low-impact workouts, this one engages muscle groups like legs, arms, and the core. With constant exercising, you’ll start feeling the muscle build-up and will definitely realize why the rowing machine has made it to our list. You can also opt for the ‘high-calorie burning motion’ if you’re in the mood for some rigorous exercises.
- The Performance Monitor 5 comes included with the rowing unit and has the ability to self-calibrate and produce accurate results. Though the package does not include heart rate straps, you can buy them separately from Amazon and connect them with the monitor to precisely track your pulse. You can adjust the height and viewing angles of the monitors and have all the data you need on your fingertips
- The entire unit disassembles into two pieces. In case you’re looking to take some time off when the coronavirus ends, you can easily divide it into two parts and store it inside a closet. It comes with wheels as well so you have to hire two men to move it for you.
- Convenient; easy to get in and out of the seat
- Fan makes minimal noise
- Solid construction
- Disassembles within seconds
- A bit expensive
10. Stamina ATS Air Rower
Stamina Air Rower Rowing Machine
This air rower by Stamina will prove to be an effective unit once you begin with cardiovascular exercises. The 1399 model comes at a relatively low and provides all the high-end features you would expect at this price range. Great value for money.
- To begin with, the exercising unit comes with the latest air resistance dynamism. The air resistance will automatically adjust itself to match your space. If you’re pedaling at a low speed, you won’t feel like you’re pushing boulders. Instead, you’ll feel at ease and comfortable. As you increase the speed, you’ll feel the resistance increase.
- It is equipped with an LCD monitor as well that tracks your speed and distance. You can also see how much time you’ve spent pedaling and exercising as well as the number of calories you’ve burned while doing so. The display is large enough to see the data clearly even when you’re sitting on the seat 2 feet away.
- With the padded seats and adjustable footplates, say hello to the new, carefully-designed comfort. Relax your buttocks on the seat and come out of the workout sessions without a sore back for once. The rowing handles helps in aiding with pedaling. The wheels underneath make it easy to transport here and there while the folding frame makes sure you can easily store it away whenever needed.
- Padded seat
- Textured footplates for a firm grip
- Folding frame for easy storage
- Large, easy-to-navigate control panel on the monitor
- The fan is a little loud
- The Digital interface is too basic. Could’ve been a bit better
Read Also: Lifespan Rowing Machine Rw1000 Review
Q1. What muscles do a rowing machine work out?
Answer: Rowing machines are known to be a great piece of instrument that engages 85% of the body’s entire muscles. They are low-impact machines that can burn as much as 1,000 calories per hour.
Q2. What resistance type should I get?
Answer: These come in four types; air, hydraulic, magnetic, and water. It is generally dependent on what you find most convenient. We’ve included almost all types of exercising units; make sure to see which one attracts you the most.
Q3. Is rowing machine good for building muscle and cardio?
Answer: Yes. Exercising on this instrument will help you build lean muscles and make you forget about ever being bulky.
These were some of the best rowing machines you can get in 2021. Every product on this list was chosen because of its unique features, excellent customer reviews, and because of the fact that their benefits outweigh their cons.
All the products came with a variety of features and enough options to let you customize your exercising experience.
Which of the above ten did you like the most? Have you narrowed it down to which one you’re going to buy? Let us know, we’d love to hear your point of view.