6 Affordable Rowing Machines Noone Should Miss

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Some of the fantastic rowing machines can be found in almost every gym, and it’s easy to understand why. Using these devices helps you to work out your entire body without placing any pressure on your joints; it gets your heart pounding and tones your musculature in a low-impact manner. Rowing machines may be used by anybody, regardless of whether they have ever rowed before; they are frequently prescribed as exercise during injury recovery.

Rowing machines, although prominent in gyms, are sometimes disregarded in home gyms because of the increasing use of treadmills and cycles. Rowing Machines vary in price, specification, and quality, and appeal to a wide variety of rowers, from beginners to talented rowers.

Check 6 Amazing Rowing Machines Within Your Budget

The six highly suggested rowing machines that you must have are:

1. Concept2: Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Rowing Machines

Concept2 rowing machines are widely regarded as some of the perfect rowers made and are often used by professional sportspeople in their daily workouts. The Model D is no exception: it’s well-built, easy to maintain, and offers a plethora of stats and workout options.

Specifications of Concept2 Rowing Machines:

  • Powered by air resistance
  • Flywheel design with 10 adjustable damper settings
  • Performance 5 Monitor (PM5) displays a range of stats including speed, distance, time, calories burned, stroke rate, and split. Plus preset exercises
  • Central rowing handle with nickel-plated chain
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Separates for storage with wheels on the bottom for easy moving

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What’s good in Concept2 Rowing Machines:

  • The Concept2: Model D is powered purely by air resistance, meaning the harder you pull, the more resistance the machine will offer you, giving a more satisfying, dynamic workout. This type of resistance most accurately mimics an outdoor rowing experience.
  • The adjustable damper settings on the flywheel allow you to choose the optimum amount of air to let into the machine to make your workout comfortable, much like choosing a gear on a bike.
  • The PM5 displays a comprehensive number of stats including stroke rate, split time, and time/500m.
  • Extensive workout options, allow you to customize your own time/distance settings, complete a pre-programmed session or follow preset games.
  • A USB port at the back of the PM5 allows you to plug in and download your workout data, making it easy to track your progress.
  • The flywheel design and nickel chain are hard-wearing and provide a smooth, comfortable ride, and the chain can continue for years without needing to be oiled.

What’s not in Concept2 Rowing Machines:

  • Can be separated into two parts, but the machine is still quite bulky once it’s been folded up and so may require a bigger space for storage.

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2. Stamina: ATS Air Rower

Rowing Machines

The Stamina Air Rower is powered by air resistance too and is often thought to be a high-quality and extremely cost-effective option for anyone looking for a rowing machine. The screen and programs are basic, but the frame is sturdy and will provide a good workout. This is a perfect machine for your garage or home studio daily workout. Perfect to pair with a leg press machine, for leg workouts as well as the upper body a rowing machine offers.

Specifications of Stamina Air Rowing Machine:

  • Powered by air resistance
  • Multi-functional, monitor screen displays speed, distance, time and calories burned
  • Central rowing handle with chain belt
  • Large, adjustable footplates
  • Upholstered, padded seat and angled seat rail
  • Floor protectors
  • Compact and foldable, with built-in wheels for easy transportation

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What’s good in Stamina Air Rowing Machine:

  • The Stamina ATS Air Rower is easy to assemble, with most customers putting it together in around 30 minutes.
  • Like the Concept2, it’s powered by air resistance, and so gives you a more dynamic workout that adjusts to the amount of effort you put in.
  • The angled seat rail makes for an easy seat return and smooth workout.
  • Stamina has used a chain rather than fabric to connect the handle to the mechanism on the ATS Air Rower, so it’s likely to last longer than other fabric belts.
  • The machine’s included floor protectors make skidding less likely and protect your floor while you work out.
  • The machine is highly compact and portable and can be folded away for easy storage.

What’s not good in Stamina Air Rowing Machine:

  • The ATS Air Rower doesn’t have any damper setting options, so there is no way to adjust how the resistance feels during your workout.
  • The screen and programs are fairly basic, showing a limited number of stats (not including time/500m or split), with no option to save or look at workout history and no preset exercises.
  • Anyone over 6’4” may struggle to fully extend on the ATS Air Rower.
  • Some users have found the seat uncomfortable, especially during long workouts.

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3. Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Rowing Machines

The Body Trac rowing machines are also made by Stamina, but instead of air resistance, it employs adjustable hydraulic resistance. The machine is made up of two, separate arms whose resistance can be adjusted, and occupies a small footprint. It would be perfect described as a very basic but easy-to-use machine that would be great for occasional, light workouts.

Specifications in Body Trac Machines:

  • Powered by hydraulic resistance
  • Two, adjustable rowing arms
  • Monitor displays time, stroke count, and calories burned
  • Adjustable footplates
  • Steel frame with sliding seat
  • Folds for easy storage

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What’s good in Body Trac Machines:

  • The Body Trac is very quiet, especially in comparison with an air resistance machine.
  • Resistance is adjustable and unique to each arm.
  • It’s small, compact, and easy to use, making it great for lighter, occasional workouts in smaller spaces.

What’s not in Body Trac Machines:

  • The Body Trac is a very basic machine and is unlikely to be suitable for anyone who practices rowing professionally or who needs a heavy workout.
  • Some users have experienced problems with the resistance of the Body Trac, reporting that it can become too easy to row after about 15 minutes of use.
  • It can be difficult to actually change the resistance of the Body Trac machine, especially when it comes to getting the correct balance across both levers.
  • Like the Stamina Air Rower, the Body Trac’s monitor screen is very basic, offering only a limited amount of stats, no workout history, and no preset exercise programs.
  • Anyone over 6’4” may struggle to fully extend on the Stamina Body Trac.
  • The seat can be uncomfortable and feet may slip out. Check out our guide on waist trimmers for more great fitness items.

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4. SF-RW1205 12 Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

Rowing Machine

Another Sunny Health & Fitness rowing machine, the SF-RW5515 is powered by magnetic resistance. Like the previous Sunny Health machine, it has one central rowing handle and a range of adjustable resistance levels, making it ideal for all levels.

Specifications of Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machines:

  • Powered by magnetic resistance
  • 8 resistance levels
  • Monitor display which shows time, stroke count (both per workout and across all workouts), and calories burned
  • Central rowing handle with nylon strap
  • Adjustable footplates

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What’s good in Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machines:

  • The magnetic resistance strikes a good balance, offering users a smooth, realistic, and challenging workout while keeping the noise down.
  • The SF-RW5515’s adjustable resistance levels give good room for growth and mean the machine is suitable for beginners or experts. It’s also easy to adjust the level – you just have to turn a knob.
  • The machine is very comfortable, with a padded seat, large footbeds, and a non-slip handle.
  • Accommodates tall rowers, allowing full stretch for anyone up to 6’7”.

What’s not in Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machines:

  • Rowers who are used to using air resistance models may find the magnetic resistance odd as it remains constant throughout the workout, rather than adjusting to the effort being put in.
  • Fairly basic monitor with no option to record distance rowed and no preset exercises. Some users also find the monitor’s text difficult to read.
  • If the machine isn’t packed away, it takes up quite a lot of space.

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5. SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Rowing Machines

Another Sunny Health & Fitness rowing machine, the SF-RW5515 is powered by magnetic resistance. Like the previous Sunny Health machine, it has one central rowing handle and a range of adjustable resistance levels, making it ideal for all levels.

Specifications in SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machines:

  • Powered by magnetic resistance
  • 8 resistance levels
  • Monitor display which shows time, stroke count (both per workout and across all workouts), and calories burned
  • Central rowing handle with nylon strap
  • Adjustable footplates

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What’s good in SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machines:

  • The magnetic resistance strikes a good balance, offering users a smooth, realistic, and challenging workout while keeping the noise down.
  • The SF-RW5515’s adjustable resistance levels give good room for growth and mean the machine is suitable for beginners or experts. It’s also easy to adjust the level – you just have to turn a knob which is present in the rowing machine.
  • The machine is very comfortable, with a padded seat, large footbeds, and a non-slip handle.
  • This superb rowing machine accommodates tall rowers, allowing full stretch for anyone up to 6’7”.

What’s not in SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machines:

  • Rowers who are used to using air resistance models may find the magnetic resistance odd as it remains constant throughout the workout, rather than adjusting to the effort being put in.
  • Fairly basic monitor with no option to record distance rowed and no preset exercises. Some users also find the monitor’s text difficult to read.
  • If the machine isn’t packed away, it takes up quite a lot of space.

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6. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

Rowing Machines

The WaterRower Natural is made entirely from hardwood, making its appearance vastly different from the other rowers we’ve looked at; if you’re looking for a rower that looks good, this is the perfect by far. It’s powered by water too but doesn’t sacrifice electronic features to achieve its natural finish.

Specifications in WaterRower Natural Rowing Machines:

  • Powered by water resistance
  • Monitor displays workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, zone bar, duration, and distance.
  • Compatible with PC/laptop for additional features
  • Handcrafted from solid ash and honey oak
  • Central rowing handle
  • Compatible with heart rate monitor
  • Adjustable footplates
  • Can be stored upright

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What’s good in WaterRower Natural Rowing Machines:

  • The water flywheel that powers the WaterRower Natural creates resistance in a similar way to air-powered machines, meaning that it will adapt with you depending on how much power you put in.
  • The wooden makeup means this is probably one of the perfect-looking machines available, and it will last too – there are no moving parts that will ever need lubricating or replacing.
  • The machine provides a smooth, stable, and quiet ride, with the wood absorbing a lot of vibration and the water providing a gentle ‘whoosh’.
  • The option to plug your machine into a PC/laptop using the monitor provides a host of additional options. For example, you can track your boat on the larger screen, race a computer-generated boat, or even a past version of yourself. Plus, it allows you to store your workout data and can help you plan future sessions.
  • The seat is very comfortable, even for long workouts.

What’s not good in WaterRower Natural Rowing Machines:

  • Those who are used to rowing on the water, or even air resistance rowers, may need some time to get used to the ride of the WaterRower Natural.
  • The monitor’s position makes it a little difficult to reach.
  • The footplates are quite basic and may not be comfortable for tall people.

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Closing Thoughts

An indoor rower, often known as a rowing machine, is a device that simulates the movement of aquatic rowing for the purposes of fitness or rowing training. Contemporary indoor rowers are sometimes referred to as ergometers (abbreviated ergo and ergo) since they quantify the labor exerted by rowing specialists. We hope this webpage has proven to be useful to you. You can check all the detailed highlights with regard to the pros and cons of every rowing machine which are stated here. Be it the computerized one or be it the magnetically guided one, the rowing machines are great equipment for all watercraft rowers. 

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