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Best rowing machine for home gyms 2018

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You don’t have to be in the water — or in the gym — for an effective workout.

Rowing is an excellent low-impact exercise that’s easy on your joints but builds muscle and burns calories. The best part? You don’t need access to a boat, water or even a gym to cash in on the health and fitness benefits of rowing.

Get smooth sailing with five machines designed for first-time and advanced home rowers.

Compare best rowers for home gyms

Trainer Best for Brand Estimated price Where to buy
Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine with PM5 Bang for your buck Concept2 $945
Stamina Air Rower A durable midrange option Stamina $299
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower CHR-2001 A top magnetic rower Velocity $499
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor The high-end water rower WaterRower $1,160
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 A budget-friendly option Sunny Health & Fitness $84

Best rowing machines for home gyms

Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine with PM5

One of the best-rated rowers money can buy.

The Concept2 is continuously rated as one of the top rowers around. In fact, this is the machine you’ll find in most big-name gyms. Its PM5 monitoring system provides vital data while you row, measured in either distance and time or splits, and calculates drag factor. This rower easily comes apart into two smaller pieces for easy storage.

Perks:
  • More features for the money.
  • Advanced PM5 monitoring system.
  • Comes apart for easy storage.
Where to buy:

Stamina Air Rower

A sturdy, midrange air rower with a whole lot to offer.

You don’t need to spend $1,000 on a rowing machine to get a reliable piece of equipment for your home. The Stamina Air Rower gets excellent reviews for its durability, comfort and space-saving qualities. You can log plenty of workout time on this quality machine without emptying your wallet.

Perks:
  • Costs under $300.
  • Easy to assemble and store.
  • Durable and comfortable.
Where to buy:

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower CHR-2001

An advanced magnetic rower with computer-controlled resistance.

Magnetic rowers are praised for how quiet and smooth they can be. But many older models use a manual knob to control the level of resistance. Not this Velocity model, which comes equipped with electronically controlled resistance through its advanced system. Use it to also keep tabs on your distance, time, calories burned, pulse, strokes per minute and more.

Perks:
  • Electronically controlled resistance.
  • Midrange price.
  • Quiet and comfortable.
Where to buy:

WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor

Top-of-the-line ash and honey oak machine that looks as good as it rows.

This handcrafted wood-framed water rower is built with a water flywheel that replicates real-life rowing. Unlike other machines on the market, this rower has a beautiful natural look, thanks to its ash and honey oak construction, making it just as easy on the eye as it is on your joints. Not just good-looking, the wood also helps to absorb shock and contributes to a quiet workout.

Perks:
  • Water flywheel for a more realistic workout.
  • Handcrafted wooden frame.
  • Series 4 performance monitor.
Where to buy:

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205

Hit your fitness goals without breaking the bank.

You can find this rower for under $100 online, making it one of the most budget-friendly home machines available. Even at this stellar price, this little rower can do a body good. It’s got 12 levels of adjustable resistance, pivoting foot plates and an electronic display showing distance, time, calories burned and more.

Perks:
  • Budget-friendly option.
  • 12 levels of resistance.
  • Electronic display.

How can a rowing machine improve my health and fitness?

Incorporating a rowing machine into your workout offers a low-impact exercise that’s easy on your joints. So even if you’ve had a previous injury or struggle with stiff elbows, knees or ankles, rowing can help you stay fit and healthy without added strain on your body.

Top health benefits of aerobic exercises like rowing are:

  • Improved heart health.
  • Increased endurance.
  • Increased muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Weight loss.
  • Improved mental health.
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Where to shop for at-home rowing machines

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Bottom line

You don’t need to hit the water to reap the health benefits of rowing. With this selection of top machines for your home gym, you can build muscle, stamina and endurance in no time.

Compare your options against your budget, experience level and the size of your home gym to find the best for your fitness goals.

Frequently asked questions

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Gabrielle Pastorek

Gabrielle Pastorek writes about fashion, beauty and finance. Gabrielle loves helping people find a great deal, whether it's in their shopping cart or on a credit card. In her free time, she exercises her creative muscles by writing short stories.

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