If you are looking to lose weight or you just want to stay in shape, a rowing machine is an excellent piece of exercise equipment to have in your home. These machines work several parts of your body, including your legs, your arms, your shoulders, and your abs. When using a rowing machine, the arms and legs work in unison, moving the body forward and backward on the machine, creating an action that is similar to rowing a boat. Rowing machines are an excellent way to burn calories while building and toning your muscles.

While rowing machines can certainly provide you with a great workout, finding one that best meets your needs can be a bit of a challenge. Since there are so many companies that manufacture them, and there are so many types of rowing machines that offer different features, it can be hard to determine which type is the best and will best meet your needs. To help you on your quest for finding the best sewing machine for your needs, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. In this guide, you will find a great deal of information that will help you choose the best rowing machine for your specific needs, including the types of rowing machines, the different features they offer, the factors that you should take into consideration when buying one, and the best brands.

Types of Sewing Machines

Rowing machines operate in different manners and offer different benefits. There are four main types of rowing machines, which include:

To determine which type of rowing machine is the best option for you, it is important to understand the difference between each of these four types, and what they offer.

Air Resistance Rowing Machines

An air resistance rowing machine uses a fly wheel to create resistance. The fly wheel, which is located in either the front or the back of the machine, makes the rowing action that you will complete on an air resistance machine feel more natural and smooth. It feels similar to what actual rowing feels like. Air resistance rowing machines are easy to use and highly efficient. Because of the fan, these rowing machines tend to be the loudest of all rowing machines.

Water Resistance Rowing Machines

Water resistance rowing machines use water pressure to create resistance. They mimic the experience of rowing on an actual boat the most closely. Water resistance rowing machines offer a great workout. They are also very quiet while they are being operated; other than the swishing sound of water, you won’t hear much noise while you are operating this type of rowing machine. These machines are preferred by those who are serious about rowing.

Magnet Resistance Rowing Machines

This type of rowing machine uses magnets to create resistance, and their resistance can be modified electronically. The electromagnetic components also allow you to keep digital tracking of various things, such as your heart rate, the calories you have burned, and the distance you have rowed; all things that are very handy for someone who is very serious about rowing or their workouts. Magnet resistance rowing machines tend to be very light weight of all rowing machines, which makes them easy to transport. They also are very quiet while they are being operated; another benefit you will enjoy.

Hydraulic Resistance Rowing Machines

If portability is an important factor for you, then a hydraulic resistance rowing machine is a great pick for you. These machines are the lightest weight of all rowing machines, which makes them very easy to transport and to store. They are comprised of oil pistons, which are similar to the shocks in your car. The pistons create a good resistance, providing you with a good workout. Usually, hydraulic resistance rowing machines fold up with ease, which makes them a great space saving option.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rowing Machine

In order to make sure that you choose the best rowing machine to meet your specific needs, there are a number of factors that you should take into consideration before buying one. These factors include the resistance the machine offers, their assembly and the noise they make while they are being operated, among other things. To learn more about the factors that we think are the most important to consider before you choose a rowing machine, keep on reading.

The Resistance

One of the most important factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing a rowing machine is the resistance that it offers. The more resistance it offers, the more intense the workout will be; however, the higher the resistance, the harder the machine will be to use. Rowing machines that offer an adjustable resistance allow you to easily modify your exercise routine and are more versatile.

Noise While Being Operated

You should also consider the degree of noise the rowing machine will make while you are using it. Quieter machines are preferred, as they don’t interrupt others in your house, and they can be used virtually anywhere. They also allow you to listen to your favorite tunes, watch TV or engage in a conversation with ease while you are working out.


Rowing machines have to be assembled, so you want to make sure that you choose one that is easy to put together. Machines that have clearly labeled components and instructions that feature easy to follow pictures and directions are the easiest to assemble.


You should also consider the smoothness of the machine while it is being operated. The smoother it glides back and forth, the easier and more comfortable it will be to operate, which means a better and more enjoyable workout for you.

Fixed or Folding

Rowing machines are either fixed or folding. In other words, they remain in the position that they are in while they are being used, or they can be folded down when they are not in use. Fixed rowing machines tend to be more durable, which means that they are usually sturdier and more comfortable to operate; however, they are also more difficult to store. A folding rowing machine is easy to store and takes up less space; however, they usually aren’t as durable as fixed rowing machines, which means that they may not be as comfortable or easy to operate.

The Size

Make sure you consider the size of the rowing machine, too. The size of the machine is important because you want to make sure that you have enough room to accommodate it. To find out what size will work best for you, measure the space you plan on using it in. Use those dimensions to select a machine that is the right size for the space.

The Seat Rail

The length of the seat rail is also an important factor to consider. The seat rail has a direct impact on your comfort level while operating the machine and how easy it will be to use. If you are taller, a longer seat rail is better suited for you, as it will give you enough room to fit your body without being cramped up. If your stature is on the shorter size, you should choose a seat rail that is more compact.

The Price

You should also take the price of the rowing machine into consideration. How much are you looking to spend? You don’t want to overextend your budget. Keep in mind that folding rowing machines tend to be less expensive than fixed rowing machines; however, they usually aren’t as durable. Fixed rowing machines are usually more durable, but they tend to be more expensive. You should also note that rowing machines that offer more features usually have higher price tags than those that offer few features.

Rowing Machine Features

Rowing machines can come equipped with a variety of features. These features are intended to make the rowing machine easier to use and provide you with a better, more effective workout. Do note, however, that the more features a rowing machine offers, the more expensive it will tend to be. It is important to understand what types of features are available and what they provide so that you can determine whether or not they are worth investing in.

Padded Seat

For added comfort, a rowing machine that features a padded seat is a great choice. Padded seats will keep your bottom more comfortable, which will allow you to enjoy longer workouts.

Non Slip Foot Pedals

Since you will be moving your feet a lot, non slip foot pedals can be a beneficial feature. Non slip foot pedals will ensure that your feet stay in place, which not only allows you to enjoy more comfort and longer workouts, but also allows improves your safety while you are working out.

Non Slip Handlebars

Another feature that you may want to consider is non slip handlebars. Your hands will also be moving back and forth a lot, and as you work up a sweat, there is an increased risk that your hands could slip off the handlebars. Non slip handlebars will help to keep them your hands in place while you are working out.

Transportation Wheels

If you plan on moving your rowing machine around, whether to work out in different areas or to store it, you may want to consider purchasing one that has built in transportation wheels. These wheels will make it a lot easier to move your rowing machine around.

LCD Console

This feature allows you to keep track of important elements of your workout, such as how long you have been working out for, how many calories you have burned, how many miles you have gone and your heart rate.

A Warranty

A rowing machine that comes with a warranty will protect your investment. Should anything happen to your rowing machine during the span of your warranty, or if you are unsatisfied with it, you could have it replaced or repaired, or you could have your money refunded. Make sure that you check the details of the warranty to determine exactly what it covers.

Best Rowing Machine Brands

When you are shopping for a rowing machine, you will find that there are a lot of manufacturers that produce them. While this is great, because it gives you a lot of options, it can also make finding the best and highest quality brands a challenge. To help you find the best rowing machine brands, we have done extensive research, comparing the different features and the quality of the machines. Our research revealed that the following rowing machine brands are the best of the best.

Sunny Health and Fitness

Sunny Health and Fitness is a highly regarded manufacturer of various types of exercise equipment. Their rowing machines are constructed of high quality materials, are easy to use and offer a wide range of features, making this manufacturer and excellent choice.

Concept 2

Another excellent producer of rowing machines is Concept 2. This company has been in business since 1976 and has designed exercise equipment for Olympic training. The rowing machines that are manufactured by Concept 2 are constructed of high quality materials and the most state of the art technologies, making them an excellent choice.


Stamina also produces high quality rowing machines. This company is highly regarded in the exercise equipment industry, and they produce various types of equipment. Their rowing machines boast an array of features, are easy to use and provide outstanding workouts.

Water Rower

Another high quality producer of rowing machines is Water Rower. This company produces excellent rowing machines that are comprised of durable materials and offer a wide range of features.