What Is The Best
Rowing Machine Of 2019?
The gentle whir of of the mechanism, the slight pressure in your thighs, the incredible feeling of a fantastic workout without having to move more than a few feet.
You are on a rower.
Rowing machines were first patented way back in 1872, but only became popular in the 1980s with the advent of the Concept2 rower, a rowing machine so effective that it has barely been altered since.
My first experience with a rowing machine was back during my old Crossfit days when I saw people working hard on some contraption that obviously wasn't moving them very far.
Rowers are used in places like Crossfit gyms because they are a powerhouse exercise machine. Rowing machines work almost the entirety of the human body, are low impact, and are not weight bearing.
Anyone can use a rower to get fit without hurting their muscles or their joints.
So if you're looking to get a rower for your school, your gym, or your home use, here is a detailed guide showing you the absolute best rowing machines in the world today.
Rowing machines vary greatly in comfort and extra features, so I made sure to cover all the various price points for you. You can find the best rowing machines for any budget here.
If you're just looking to see the top ranking results, here's a neat little table formed by our fantastic graphic designer.
Who Needs A Rowing Machine?
Rowing machines are incredible machines simply because they check so many boxes when it comes to exercise.
Rowing machines are great for individual use because you can get an absolutely fantastic workout by incorporating a rower into your exercise routines.
Not only do rowers work great in routines, but they are also perfect as a standalone exercise.
Rowers pair well with people who have joint pains. Due to rowers being low impact, your knees, hips, ankles, shoulders, and elbows shouldn't give you too much trouble during or after the exercise.
The low impact of rowers also means that they serve as a great warm up or light exercise. When I had hurt my sciatic nerve in my back (in my 20s, no less), I was nearly rendered worthless inside of a gym while it healed. During this time, I used the gym's rowing machine to give my lower back some exercise without hurting my nerve.
It worked fantastic.
Someone who rows competitively (the kind of rowing that's on water!) will benefit from a rower as well. With the correct form, a rowing machine will simulate being on open water. If you aren't feeling like carrying your kayak or canoe down to the river but need a workout, an indoor rower is perfect for you.
Rowing machines make great tools for anyone who doesn't want the hassle of going to a gym, anyone who would love a full workout at home, anyone who has any joint or nerve pain, and anyone who rows competitively.
What Rowing Machines Do
Rowing machines are designed to deliver a near full body exercise within the comfort of your home.
Rowers typically work all of the muscles listed below. In the list below, I've mentioned the muscles names you'll recognize and then listed a more specific name of the muscle worked in parenthesis.
It is also worth mentioning that the chest and triceps are also worked while using a rower, but the resistance these muscles encounter is negligible so I decided not to include it.
If you'll take a moment to notice, this means that rowers engage literally every single major muscle group in the body.
Surprisingly, even though rowers work all this, they are a gentle exercise on the body. Rowing is low intensity and low impact, meaning that no particular muscle will be working extremely hard and there will not be much pressure on your joints.
Because of this, rowers serve as an exceptional workout machine while being accessible to everyone.
Rowing machines are capable of making anyone work up a serious sweat without suffering for it later in life.
How To Choose The Best Rowing Machine For You
Since there is quite a bit of variation between price, quality, durability, and different features between rowers, you will want to pick the one that suits your needs and budget best.
Some rowers, for example, are more quiet than others.
Some rowers offer different levels of resistance while other rowers use air or water to gauge their resistance levels.
All rowers reviewed here are extremely durable, but some will come with a better warranty or guarantee than others.
The perfect rower for others may not be the perfect rower for you. Choose the rower that fits your price point and has the features that you want it to have.
Our Picks For Best Rowing Machines
I've chosen five of the most popular I've chosen five of the most popular rowing machines to review based on the features of each machine, the durability, and the price point.
Let's see how they all stack up and hopefully you can find the one that best suits your needs.
Heading up this review is the powerhouse Avari Stamina.
It is not the priciest or the rower with the most perks, but it is such a powerful combination of price and features that it is probably the best value on this entire list and the one that many people can grab while not shelling out the big bucks.
As far as features go, the Stamina has a ton. It has a backlit display that includes workout programs and allows you to make your own user profile so that it can accurately judge your calorie count and fitness level.
The backlit display also shows several stats including distance traveled, energy output, and your heart rate.
But wait a second, how does this thing know your heart rate?
Well, it includes a chest strap: by far the most accurate way of measuring heart rate during exercise.
Last but not least in the feature list, this device has customizable difficulty levels since it is a magnetic rower. And since it is a magnetic rower, your workouts will be pretty much silent.
The Avari Stamina is quite a durable machine. The vast majority of reviews mentioned how this rower was built solid and as tough as nails. Many reviews on Amazon mention that they have owned this machine for months or years with no problems.
While this is not the least expensive option on the market, it is probably the one with the best bang for your buck and comes incredibly high on the value scale.
It comes with a 90 day warranty; not necessary, but always good to see companies backing their products up.
The Concept2 rowing machine has a dominant share for one reason: they consistently deliver the highest quality, feature-packed, built to last devices.
Don't believe me? At time of writing, this machine has 4.9/5 stars on Amazon.
People love this thing.
Reasons why are obvious. As with many of the other rowers, the Concept2 has a backlit display showing stats. No big deal there.
Where the Concept2 really begins to shine is in the bonus features they offer not found anywhere else. Their performance monitor (coloquially called PM5) easily connects with almost any fitness monitoring device such as a chest strap or other heart rate monitor.
This performance monitor allows you to save and store your workouts online or on a USB, download your workout stats to a spreadsheet, and check out your performance over time.
Third party software can use these workouts to build games that allow you to compete with yourself or others online and even cast the games to your tv so you can play while rowing.
Concept2 also provides a vast amount of online resources that other companies simply don't compete with.
The Concept2 Model D is also extremely durable. I have not seen or heard one negative piece of information about the build of this thing. The company is so confident in this machine that they offer a 2 year warranty on pieces of the machine such as the chain, seat, foot rests, etc. and a 5 year warranty on the frame itself.
The Model D is an air rower, meaning it is slightly more noisy than a magnetic rower, but quiet enough that you can still hear your tv across the room. It offers 10 different levels of resistance.
This machine may be out of some people's budget, but for someone looking to get the most durable, feature packed rowing machine on the market guaranteed to get you an incredible home workout for a long time, this one is for you.
Just because this rower doesn't have all the bells and whistles doesn't mean it's not one of the absolute best on the market.
The display provided on the rower is a little puny. It does show how long you've rowed for and how many strokes you've put in, but doesn't show how far you've rowed.
The display also says how many calories you've burned while rowing, but you can't input any information about your height, weight, general fitness level, and it has no way of tracking your heart rate...
Which means that however many calories this rower thinks you're burning is pretty well a worthless number: it can't possibly be accurate.
Despite the display being puny, the rest of the rower is rock solid. It is built to last and I read some good comments about the customer service offered to purchasers of this rowing machine.
And let's talk about the price of this bad boy. For the durability, the option to change workout difficulties, and an backlit display (weak as it may be), the price here is fantastic.
The weight limit on this rowing machine is 250 lbs, so be aware of that going in. A similar model with a higher weight allowance is this one, but the quality is a bit lower.
The Stamina Body Trac (not a mispelling) Glider is the rowing machine for you if you are looking to most accurately simulate a rowing experience on the water.
It is also the machine for you if you are looking to get a bottom dollar device with top dollar quality.
The Body Trac Glider has a backlit display showing distance traveled, time, and calorie count. As with the previous rowing machine, the Body Trac Glider has no way of attaining information about your height, weight, fitness level, or heart rate so the calorie count won't be accurate.
This is overall a pretty tough machine, but many people had problems with the footrests, so some points were lost there.
This machine does come with adjustable resistance and a 90 day warranty on the parts with a 1 year warranty on the frame.
At its price point, this machine is perfect for budget shoppers looking to get some home exercise equipment.
The Stamina ATS is one of the best rowers in the world, but doesn't quite match up to many of the other rowers on this list.
It does include a display that shows speed, distance, time, and calories burned. Once again, the calories burned feature is largely useless.
This is an air rower and is more quiet than most air rowers, but a little more noisy than the other options on this list.
It does not have adjustable difficulty settings, but for those who have used an air rower in the past, this isn't too big of an issue since air rowers naturally adjust to your speed.
Many customers on Amazon mentioned great customer support, but many reviews say that this is hardly the most durable rowing machine on the market.
At its price point, this is an incredible beast of a rower and one of the best in the world, but better ones can be found in this review.
The ATS includes a 90 day warranty on the parts with a 3 year warranty on the frame.
Based on the packed in features, the incredible durability, and the fantastic value, I recommend the Avari Stamina as the best rowing machine in the world today.
This rower packs in a ton of features into a price point that creates what is probably the best value for price in the entire rower market. This is a machine that will challenge you, strengthen you, and help you build the body that you want to have all from the comfort of your home.
This rowing machine is perfect for those who are looking to get in great workouts from home, tone your body, lose fat, build muscle, or who have pain in joints or nerves.
Tell us in the comments below: What's your favorite piece of home exercise equipment? What would you like to see a review of?
Thanks for reading!
Stay awesome. Have a great day.
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