The Best Home Rowing Machine: Top Brand Comparison

Best Home Rowing Machine

Why Buy a Home Rowing Machine?

Rowing Machines will give you some of the best bang for your buck. For those of you used to more traditional gym equipment and wondering “is rowing a good way to lose weight?” there are some surprising answers. Rowing Machines burn 700–1100 calories per hour. Compare this to Treadmills (600–1200), Stationary Bikes (500–1000), and ellipticals (a mere 600–800 calories per hour) and you’ll see why so many people are turning to rowing to help reach their fitness goals.

In addition to being an excellent calorie-burner, rowing is a low impact exercise. This means it’s easy on your joints unlike popular alternatives like running, ensuring you’ll be able to stick to your routine without missing a workout.

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Rowing Machine Benefits

Rowing is a full body workout that engages your legs, core, back, and arms in one motion. The laundry list of muscles used in rowing often surprise beginners since most cardio exercise focuses so heavily on the legs. Don’t worry—you’ll feel the burn in your legs when you’re rowing, but that’s not the only place you’ll feel it!

Good rowing machine form requires you to start with your legs bent, shoulders forward, and arms extended. As you straighten your legs, you will simultaneously lean back and pull your hands to your chest.

Once you’ve gotten the knack of how to use a rowing machine, you’ll understand why it’s a great way to lose weight. You’ll also see that when using a rowing machine muscles targeted include the arms, abs, and back muscles.

Engaged leg muscles while using a cardio row machine

The Best Rowing Machine

There are more than a few companies producing top quality rowing machines for home use. When deciding on the indoor rowing machine that’s best for you, there are a few factors to consider. Namely, features, price, type, ease of storage, and durability. Additionally, several top rowing machines are available at very affordable prices!

Now that you’re wondering which rowing machine to buy. Let’s dive right in with a few of our handpicked examples so we can find the best home rowing machine for you.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine SF-RW5515

Quite possibly the top magnetic rowing machine on the market, the Sunny SF-RW5515 provides everything you need to get started. Users love the way the easy-to-read LCD screen tracks the calories you burn and the count of your rowed strokes.

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We personally find the adjustable resistance knob has some of the best placement on any home rowing machine. This makes it easy to change the difficulty of your workout on the fly, so you can transition from a gentle warm up to a high-resistance sprint without breaking rhythm.

One of the benefits a magnetic resistance rowing machine like the Sunny SF-RW5515 has over other styles, such as water resistance rowers, is the ease of portability. You can easily move the Sunny out of the way for storage when not in use. Not that you’ll want to put it away! The foam grip handlebars, cushioned seat, and extremely comfortable pedals make even the longest rowing machine workout a joy.

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Best Rated Home Rowing Machine

Several rowing machines this list have gone through a series of iterations, as manufacturers respond to customer needs. Let’s take a deeper dive on a machine that has earned the top spot.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

It’s no surprise the Concept2 found its way onto this list. This versatile, durable machine is a favorite at all levels. From beginners to collegiate crew teams, the Concept2 consistently finds itself as one of the top-rated rowing machines on the market.

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The Concept2 has reliable, easy to use features that can take you from setup to your first workout in a few minutes. The preset workouts, pace count, and calorie tracker all help you mix up the routine and stay engaged. Combined with this, the Model D with PM5 connects wirelessly with heart rate apps to make it easy to track progress whatever way you want.

Adjustability and durability are synonymous with the Concept 2—both without sacrificing convenience. There’s a reason you’ll see this machine in gyms across the country. It’s lightweight, easy to move, adjusts to almost any user’s height, and can handle workout after workout without skipping a single one of your heartbeats.

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Best Budget Home Rowing Machine

For those looking to give rowing a try without investing much up front, there are several options on the market. We’ve boiled these down to target what we believe is the best affordable rowing machine for your home.

Sunny Health & Fitness Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine SF-RW1205 12

Sunny makes their second appearance on this list with the SF-RW1205 12. Don’t let the compact appearance fool you—this machine gives a big response to the question “Are rowing machines any good?” With an LCD display that displays time spent rowing, the count of strokes, and calories burned it provides you with a level of insight you’d usually expect from a much more expensive home rowing machine.

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Add in the fact that this machine offers 12 resistance levels and you have one intimidating machine for a bargain price. For out-of-the-box usability, ease of assembly, and competitive price point it’s hard to beat the SF-RW1205 12 as the best rowing machine for the money.

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Best Home Rowing Machine for Beginners

For those new to rowing there a lot of questions. What does rowing work out? Can I row every day? How long should you row on a rowing machine?

Those questions do not all have simple answers and depend on your personal fitness goals. However, once you get your own rowing machine and have a chance to review a quick guide to rowing workouts, you’ll be confident about jumping into the seat. All you need is a beginner-friendly machine that will progress with you.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

A departure from the single-handle entries on this list, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 features dual handles that mimic the natural motions of rowing. A common question for those looking to find the best indoor rowing machine for their home is “Is the rowing machine good for abs?” The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 answers this question with a resounding “YES!” The twin handles require users to engage their core fully with each stroke, providing a great abdominal workout.

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One of the undeniable pros of the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is that it offers a strong entry point for beginners. Whether you’re looking to learn proper rowing form, or you need a clear display to track your work rate and the number of calories burned, the 1050 delivers. Factor in the adjustable resistance and you’ll see why it landed on this list as one of the top quality rowing machines.

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Best Home Rowing Machines: Summary

Whether you’re looking for a home rowing experience that mimics what you’ll find in the gym or on the water, you’ll find plenty of options. With price points and features that vary, there are several ways to add a home rower to your personal gym in a way that works best for you. Time tested adjustable resistance rowing machines can be found in several different styles, and any choice on this list will have a big impact on the number of calories you burn, as well as your progress on your fitness journey.

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