4 Best Rated Rowing Machines On The Market Reviewed

best rowing machine for the money feature

Getting a rowing machine for home use can be an excellent decision. They make the workouts more enjoyable and give visible results in a very short span of time. However, you should make sure that you are getting the best rowing machine for the money.

Since there are a number of models available in the market, making a choice will not be easy unless you have a good idea about their features and working mechanism. This content will provide you with vital information concerning rowing machines as well as review of a few of the top rated products.

Things to consider before buying the best cheap rowing machine

Folding or fixed

There are namely two types of rowing machines, fold and fixed. The folding machines can be easily installed into tight spaces while the fixed machines tend to be more durable and convenient while working out. However, the folding types are most commonly preferred for indoor use.


There are mainly four different types of rowing machines based on their working mechanism. These are air, water, hydraulic and magnetic rowing machines.

1.    Air rowing machine

Air rowing machines use flywheels for providing resistance. They are highly efficient machines. However, they also produce a very loud noise while being operated.

2.    Water rowing machine

Just as the name suggests, water rowing machines use water for providing resistance. They are very smooth as well as very efficient. However, the drawback is that these machines are heavier as compared to others and require a greater degree of maintenance since the water contained in cylinders require frequent replacement.

3.    Hydraulic rowing machine

Hydraulic rowing machines have hydraulic cylinders which are to be fitted with oil for providing resistance. These machines are highly efficient and lightweight, which makes them very convenient for home use.

4.    Magnetic rowing machine

These machines are fitted with magnets which are used to produce the required resistance. Magnetic machines can be very lightweight and highly efficient. Since the resistance can be adjusted as per the requirement, the workouts become more effective. If you are looking for the best rowing machine regarding efficiency, you would definitely want to consider magnetic rowing machines.

Rower, seat and sliding track

These are the most important constituents of the rowing machine and determine their reliability and functioning. Make sure the rowers are made of durable material and offer a strong grip for the ease of operation. The seat and the slide track should also be made of durable material and have proper alignment so that you do not face inconveniences while working out.


It is always advisable to go for well-established brands. You may have to spend more money, but you will be given an assurance of quality. Also, these machines have many unique features absent in the ordinary rowing machines. Good brands also offer a long warranty and good customer care service.

Hence, you will be getting the returns for every penny you have spent. Concept 2, Stamina, Kettler, velocity Fitness, Schwinn, HCI Fitness and Roger Black are a few of the highly reliable rowing machine brands.


It is normal to have a warranty of about 2 years in rowing machines. Also, make it a point to check if the companies provide quick servicing in case of maintenance issues.

Top Rated Inexpensive Rowing Machines in 2017 – 2018

Rowing machines are an investment for health. If you make the right choice, you will be able to reap a lot of benefits. This section reviews four of the best cheap rowing machines so that you can have a good idea about what is the best rowing machine for the money.

1. Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment

This rowing machine has six simultaneous displays consisting of time, distance, strikes, pulse rate, frequency, and energy consumed. This, along with a recovery feature which allows it to provide a cardio wellness grading from 1 to 6 in terms of rack index grading makes it one of the best rowing machines under $400. It has two hydraulic pistons for producing resistance.

It is also possible to readjust the resistance by repositioning the piston clamps. There are 50 knurl marks, and the resistance can be adjusted to any of these levels. They also have biomechanically correct footplates which help to provide a very smooth pivoting action. The eats are thickly padded and sealed with ball bearings. It runs with the help of two AA batteries and has a total weight capacity of 285 lbs.

2. Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

This rowing machine uses a magnetic tension system to produce resistance which can be adjusted to 8 different levels. It has a large LCD to how the time, count, scan and total calories burnt. With the fully padded seat and nonslip grip handlebars, they are very comfortable and quite easy to operate.

The rowing machine also has wide anti-slip foot pedals complete with foot straps that can be adjusted according to convenience. The machine can hold a maximum weight of 250 lbs and also has built-in wheels for the ease of transportation. It belongs to the best rowing machine under $300.

3. Goplus Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine Row Machine

This rowing machine belongs to one of the best rowing machines under $200. Its magnetic tension system can be adjusted to 10 different levels of resistance. It has thickly padded seats for optimal comfort and nonslip handlebars to offer a strong grip while working out.

The machine also has a large LCD which shows time, count, scan, and calories. The foot pedals are large and bear straps for a customized adjustment. It also has built-in wheels for the ease of transportation. This machine helps to exercise the full body and targets all the major muscles in the body.

4. Sunny health and fitness 

This rowing machine can be adjusted to 12 different levels of resistance. It is highly comfortable and runs very smoothly. It also has pivoting footplates and straps to add to the comfort. The electronic monitor inbuilt present on it displays count, time, scan and the total number of calories burnt.

It uses hydraulic cylinders and is, therefore, able to provide very good resistance. The seat is well cushioned, and the handlebars are designed to be nonslip. The weight limit for this machine is 220 lb. All of these features naturally make it a notable inclusion in the best rowing machine under 100 dollars.

Benefits of using a rowing machine

  • Rowing machines allow you to have a highly effective cardio session. Exercising on a rowing machine requires you to use all the major muscles, thereby increasing the heart rate and improving oxygen intake.
  • Regular exercises on the rowing can help the obese people to lose weight. It also helps to increase the energy levels and tone muscles.
  • Since rowing machines utilize the upper back, shoulders, and lats, they are very ideal for upper body workout and give you a strong core
  • They are also very effective for lower body workout and builds strong legs and glutes. They help to add strength to the muscles while also increasing their balance and flexibility.
  • The machine does not put too much stress on the joints. Hence, they are ideal for a low impact workout for the overweight people
  • It increases endurance and provides a better cardiovascular functioning
  • It is a very convenient option for working out
  • Rowing machines do not burn a hole in your pocket
  • Unlike most other training equipment, rowing machines are very easy to use

Tips for using a rowing machine

    • Learn different techniques on how to isolate the muscles for leg exercises
    • After you are done working out the legs, work out the arms separately
    • For maximum effectiveness, maintain the correct posture while working out
    • Do not hunch your back while rowing
    • You are not required to make scooping motions while rowing
    • Raising the arms too high does not make the exercises nay more effective
    • Do not let the knees drop to the side
    • It is okay to hold the handlebar with only three fingers instead of gripping it for life


How many calories can you burn on a rowing machine?

Working out for one hour on a rowing machine can burn approximately 1000 calories.

Can you rely on the rowing machine for cardio and muscle development?

Yes, rowing machines are one of the most effective machines for improving the cardio sessions and assisting in muscle development and toning.

Are there height limitations on the rowing machines?

If you are too tall or too short for the rowing machines, working out can become pretty difficult. Therefore make sure to check the height limitations before you make a purchase.

Is a rowing machine more effective than a treadmill, elliptical machine, step machine or a bike?

A rowing machine can be more effective than these, especially for cardio sessions.


This review is inclusive of all the important and notable aspects of rowing machines. With this information in mind, you will easily be able to choose a top rated inexpensive rowing machine with the highest levels of efficiency. You will be able to reap all the benefits of a good body workout while also enjoying the process.

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