TOP 21 Best Rowing Machines for Your Home Gym [Beginner’s Guide & Reviews 2021]

Jeff Baldelli
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NameCategoryProduct
First Degree Fitness Fluid RowerBest OverallFirst Degree Fitness Fluid Rower
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD MonitorBudget PickSunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
BodyCraft VR500 RowerUpgrade PickBodyCraft VR500 Rower

1. First Degree Fitness Fluid Rower

Our rating: 9 / 10

First Degree Fitness Fluid Rower

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Pros:

  • Magnetic resistance for smooth and silent operation
  • Comfortable and very smooth rowing
  • Folds quickly for easy storage
  • Easy to transport
  • Sturdy construction
  • Smooth finish
  • The handle is adjustable and padded
  • Smoothly transitions between rowing movements

Cons:

  • Not built for large people
  • Need to dissemble the machine to store; the wheels and legs take up a lot of space when folded.

The First Degree Fitness Rower is a workhorse among home rowing machines. It has a smooth, efficient flywheel and a sliding seat rail so you can adjust your position as you wish.

You can adjust the distance of your rowing stroke to accommodate various exercise types, and the rowers are also highly durable. It has a wide range of weight resistance options that allow you to make use of it for both high-intensity cardio exercises and in-home strength workouts if you choose.

It also has a small footprint and is lightweight, so you can easily store it and take it with you if you’re traveling. It folds up so you can store it in a small space.

2. Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

Our rating: 8 / 10

Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

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Pros:

  • Includes an integrated 18-inch LCD display
  • Measures stroke rate, number of strokes, time per 500 meters, 500M split time, total strokes, total meters rowed, and calories
  • Handle can be adjusted from 16.5 to 21.5 inches
  • Easily folds for storage

The Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower offers a rowing stroke that is smooth and comfortable. It has a water flywheel to create resistance. This allows you to have a smooth and quiet rowing stroke.

This rowing machine also has an 18-inch LCD display to tally your distance, speed, time, strokes per minute, and the calories you have burned.

It also has an adjustable resistance, giving you the ability to easily control the intensity of your workout.

3. Merax Water Rowing Machine

Our rating: 8 / 10

Merax Water Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Price point is accessible.
  • LCD monitor with different reading options
  • Quick mounting assembly
  • Some parts are metal.

Cons:

  • Plastic parts
  • Expensive seat
  • Noise

The Merax Rower is the one of the highest rated indoor rowing machine and it is definitely one of the best rowing machine for seniors too. It is absolutely good value for money and if you want to get a full body workout from home, then this is the best rowing machine for you.

Features:

  • Equipped with a sliding rail for effective workout, and a height-adjustable seat 2.5” anti-slip roller, making it convenient to use and ensures the safety of the equipment
  • Comes with a sturdy, ergonomic handle which for a realistic rowing experience
  • An LCD monitor to help you keep track of the stats you can read time, speed, distance, and calories
  • Not only is it quiet but also smooth and less-impactful on your joints
  • It folds down for easy storage
  • It can hold upto 250 lbs. of weight

4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor

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Pros:

  • Easy to assemble; simple instructions.
  • Can change the stroke to fit your preferences
  • Smooth movement

Cons:

  • May tend to squeak a little when in use, could get annoying after awhile.
  • Not good for taller people

What we like:

This Sunny Health & Fitness Rower is a great entry-level machine. Not as noisy as some more expensive models

It has a quiet chain drive mechanism.

5. First Degree Fitness Viking II Black Reserve Indoor Rowing Machine

Our rating: 8 / 10

First Degree Fitness Viking II Black Reserve Indoor Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Schwinn-approved
  • Smooth action with higher stroke than other rowing machines
  • Features dual-sided pedals with a storage shelf underneath
  • USB charger
  • Large LCD display screen keeps you on track with alerts on time, speed, distance and calories

Cons:

  • The lack of sound is limiting
  • The seat is not comfortable
  • The foot pedals are non-adjustable
  • The fly wheel is quite noisy

The First Degree Fitness Viking II Black Reserve Indoor Rowing Machine is a budget-friendly, residential rower intended for use in everyday life. While it has a few drawbacks, the good far outweighs the bad.

This is a budget-friendly rowing machine with an attractive black frame, brown seat, and handles. The dark colors blend well with other furniture in the home. Its design is simple while remaining sleek.

This rower is designed to accommodate a broad range of skill levels including those looking for a high intensity workout and those just beginning. It features a center-mounted flywheel with fast-spinning resistance. This provides smooth, efficient rowing. It also features a workout partner tracking system as well as a two-button monitor that lets you keep track of your performance.

6. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Our rating: 7 / 10

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Good variety of features
  • Sturdy construction
  • Comfortable handle
  • Excellent manufacturer’s reputation
  • Great warranty

Cons:

  • Does not fold for easy storage
  • Heavy

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is one of the best rowing machines for home use. It is extremely popular, having sold more than three million machines worldwide and having received the Masters Award for Product Excellence in 2012.

This is a popular rowing machine because of its excellent combination of a sturdy design, low price, and great performance. It is strong enough for a full range of workouts and it is designed around the needs of serious rowers. It allows you to adjust the resistance to suit your needs. It has a hefty steel frame, a built-in screen to analyze your workouts, and a wide range of accessories, including wheels for easy storage and transport.

7. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor

Our rating: 7 / 10

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor

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Pros:

  • Water resistance is very low impact.
  • Handles are easily adjustable
  • Good for all fitness levels
  • Quiet operation
  • Long warranty period

Compared to the previous model, the RW1000 has made its way to our top pick for best water rowing machine. This is mainly due to the inclusion of the iRow G2 S3 Monitor. This is a heart rate monitor that is similar to the high end Kettler models.

It is a very important factor when it comes to our pick for the best water rower. Monitoring your heart rate ensures that you have a good pace at all times. It also ensures that your body stays at the right level of oxygen consumption. This is what ensures that you’re going to get a good cardio workout.

Another important change is the fact that the frame has been increased in size. This makes the workout more comfortable for the user. You can also get a better range of motion when you’re rowing.

8. Merax Magnetic Exercise Rower Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

Our rating: 7 / 10

Merax Magnetic Exercise Rower Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Adjustable resistance via magnets.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great for sitting or standing exercise.
  • Very strong and sturdy built.
  • Monitor measures time, calories, distance, and heartbeat.
  • Aids in complete body exercises.
  • Cover for working out on rainy days.

Cons:

  • Noisy.
  • Floor requirements include a 3-inch elevation.
  • Takes up a lot of room.

Merax has created a very good magnetic rowing machine that has a quiet operation, sturdy construction, and a decent set of features at a low price point. This is a terrific choice if you are shopping for a rower on a budget, as it will definitely get the job done.

The Merax Magnetic Rower promises to ���earn your sweat’ and to be an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health. It features eight adjustable magnetic levels as well as a built-in monitor to keep track of your rowing stats.

While this rower does have a few flaws, it also has several positive aspects that have made it quite popular with people that really like to row and get an excellent workout.

9. Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine

Our rating: 7 / 10

Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Enhance your fitness level
  • 100% US customer service
  • Highly rated by previous users
  • Easy to fold and store
  • Promise of lifelong durability

Cons:

  • Only able to accommodate a user up to 6’4
  • Some users find it hard to store and use
  • Weight limit of 500 pounds is among the lowest

When it comes to searching for the best cheap adjustable dumbbells, one of the greatest options to consider is this set from Bowflex.

These dumbbells have a maximum weight of 52.5 pounds each, so they’re heavy enough for you to make progress on your compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, chest presses, etc.). They also feature 15 different weight increments and a unique dial system that allows you to adjust the weight with only a few clicks.

The Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells have a classic, rounded shape as well. When you hold them, they feel just like the dumbbells you use at the gym, so there’s not much of an adjustment period when you start incorporating them into your workouts.

10. BodyCraft VR500 Rower

Our rating: 6 / 10

BodyCraft VR500 Rower

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Pros:

  • Excellent for cardio and calorie burning
  • Lightweight for easy transport
  • Durable design and quality construction
  • Easy to assemble
  • No noise or jerking when using
  • Affordable compared to many of its competitors

Virtually everyone loves a quality cardio workout … but not everyone wants to run or workout for long periods at a time. If that’s you, then consider the BodyCraft VR500. It’s like the Cadillac of rowing machines, and offers excellent cardio workouts at home with ease. It’s a perfect addition to any cardio, strength, and power training program.

The BodyCraft VR500 is a unique design, because it provides you with a full-body workout but with less than two percent of the impact compared to other exercise regimens. It also features a floor and flywheel dampening system to protect your floor or carpet from premature wear.

With a footprint that’s well under 50-inches when fully assembled and a maximum weight capacity of 325 pounds, this is the perfect rowing machine for men and women of all shapes and sizes. You can also adjust the resistance to meet your individual needs.

11. Get RXd Xebex Air Rower Conditioning Pack

Our rating: 6 / 10

Get RXd Xebex Air Rower Conditioning Pack

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Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Affordable price point
  • Double-sided footplate
  • Heavy flywheel for smooth movements
  • Fully adjustable

Cons:

  • Manual resistance adjustment
  • Static handlebars

Is there anything more frustrating than buying a piece of home exercise equipment, taking it home, and then having to spend numerous hours trying to assemble it? Well, we don’t think so.

Thankfully, this rower includes a self-assembly option, and the good news is it’s really easy to put together. So you can get to rowing quicker than you think!

Other nice things about this machine: it’s adjustable, can handle up to 500 pounds, and has a very smooth 20-pound flywheel. The price is good and the warranty is decent.

12. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

Our rating: 6 / 10

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

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Pros:

  • It is made from high quality aluminum.
  • Maximum user weight capacity of 375 pounds.
  • It has a large seat with the dimension of 12 x 20 x 4 inches.
  • The seat is padded for your comfort.
  • The footrests can move from the front to the back with just the push of a button.
  • You will find wheels under the cord.
  • The rower folds up easily to be stored.
  • The rower comes with instructions for you to follow.
  • The steel frame of this rower will assure you that it is sturdy and stable.
  • The rower has a dimension of 46 x 20 x 12 inches when it is fully assembled.

Cons:

  • Some users remarked that the rower is not powerful enough.
  • The display panel can be easily scratched by the user.
  • Some of the buttons do not work properly.
  • For maximum effectiveness, you should use this rower in a room that is well lit.

13. WaterRower GX Home Rowing Machine

Our rating: 6 / 10

WaterRower GX Home Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Compact, quiet machine
  • Easily foldable
  • Smooth rowing action
  • Easy to store
  • Excellent warranty

Cons:

  • Only one resistance setting
  • Does not track your performance

If you’re in the market for a rowing machine with adjustable resistance, then you can’t go wrong with this one from WaterRower.

This machine is designed with a carbon fiber frame for stability and a unique lever adjustment mechanism in which you use the levers to adjust the tension of the flywheel.

The flywheel swings around its axis at a steady speed, allowing you to use it for low-impact cardiovascular training. This machine is super quiet, so you don’t have to worry about bothering someone while you’re using it. It’s also very compact, which makes storage easy and it’s nice to be able to fold it up and take it with you when you travel.

14. Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Coach E Rowing Machine

Our rating: 6 / 10

Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Coach E Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Great, neutral rowing experience
  • Solid, stable, piece of equipment
  • No impact on joints and knees
  • Tracks performance and stores results via the computer
  • Operates quietly
  • Mat is very comfortable… it feels like memory foam
  • Can be adjusted to your height
  • Comfortable throughout during entire rowing motion

Cons:

  • Computer screen/monitor not very attractive
  • Assembling the machine pretty tedious
  • Adjusting resistance not intuitive
  • Monitor readings can be inaccurate

Thi s compact and very energy efficient rowing machine from Kettler is ideal for the fitness guru who wants to keep their workout productive in little time and space.

This can be accommodated by the easy assembly and the smooth rowing motion, which is better than many other pricier models. It is compact in size which makes it highly portable and it can be adjusted to accommodate any user.

The Kettler Home Exercise Equipment: Coach E rowing machine operates quietly and provides you with a comfortable rowing experience.

15. LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine

Our rating: 6 / 10

LifeCORE Fitness R90 Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Beautiful and sleek rower
  • Quiet operation
  • Sprints and long strokes are comfortable
  • Provides a solid low-impact workout that’s good for the joints.

Cons:

  • Uses air resistance system, and air resistance is noisy.

When it comes to cheap rowing machines for home use, you’re best off considering this model from LifeCore. It’s made by a reputable manufacturer and it’s sturdy enough for being used in a home setting.

It has a 2-tone black design with black metal handles, but the part of the rails is finished with a silver coating. It features molded blades which keep the handles in place and provide an ergonomic grip with the handles while rowing.

The air resistance system uses Precision Digital Resistance. The system uses aluminum rollers for smoother and quieter rowing and can be adjusted for faster speeds or slower speeds depending on your workout needs.

16. Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine

Our rating: 6 / 10

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Exercise variability and beginner-friendly
  • Doesn’t require a lot of space
  • Provides a comprehensive workout
  • Can be set up for indoor or outdoor use
  • Draws very little electricity
  • Has a low noise range

Cons:

  • Chains need to be replaced periodically
  • Leak can occur
  • Air leakage can cause problems

This is an excellent buy for anyone looking for a very robust rowing machine. It’s affordable and has a full-body workout.

It sets up easily and provides a complete workout for your muscles. It uses virtual kinetic chain simulation, which helps you to build strength while you do your rowing. It’s also easy to use with a water resistant display that tells you everything you need to know during and after your workout.

It’s a quiet machine, so it won’t disturb your neighbors when you’re rowing. It has a low noise record, ranging from 25-55 dB. It also has a comfortable workout area of 72.5 inches in length, 20 inches in width, and 82.5 inches in height.

17. Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower 1405 Rowing Machine

Our rating: 5 / 10

Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower 1405 Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Foldable
  • Has wheels
  • Many exercise options
  • Affordable
  • Compact for tight spaces

This rowing machine by Stamina includes an LCD monitor that displays time, distance, speed, and calories burned. It is really lightweight and is a great machine to have for homes with limited space.

The flywheel is a decent size, so it gives a realistic rowing experience. It is by no means a perfect rower, but a lot of people have said that they like it, and it is nice that it folds up for storage.

18. Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Favorit Rowing Machine

Our rating: 5 / 10

Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Favorit Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Economical machine with great features.
  • Long handle is comfortable and easy to grip.
  • Good for tall users.
  • Low maintenance and lightweight.

Cons:

  • Seat is hard.
  • No fan or water bottle holder.

If you are low on cash and still want to do flexible work-out exercises, the Favorit indoor rowing machine from Kettler is the best option. Whether you are a beginner trying rowing for the first time or an experienced athlete looking for something new, the Favorit is a great option.

19. Body Xtreme Fitness ~ Tri-Base Heavy Duty Rowing Machine

Our rating: 4 / 10

Body Xtreme Fitness ~ Tri-Base Heavy Duty Rowing Machine

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Pros:

  • Super affordable price
  • Backrest and seat cushion is much more comfortable than what you find in other rowing machines
  • Very smooth rowing stroke
  • Has a convenient water bottle holder
  • Quad-Balanced resistance system
  • Comfortable rowing experience

Cons:

  • The monitor is small
  • Not very quiet (~65db)
  • The resistance of the water is dependent on the height of the water you’re working with so it requires some manual resistance adjustments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is the best rowing machine for home use?

In our opinion, there are only two excellent home use rowers, both made by Concept 2, and they are both the Model D. It is also the only one that gives you the complete range of adjustments you need to do different types of workouts effectively. There are plenty of less expensive rowers on the market too, but the Model D doesn’t have many direct competitors in this price range.

It’s also worth noting that if you decide you want to upgrade in the future, a lot of Concept 2 models can be used for commercial rowers. So if you find that you enjoy rowing and want to take it up as a real hobby, you can.

Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

Yes. Rowing will engage your quads, glutes and hamstrings which are key to building a flat tummy. A lot of people make the mistake of doing too much time on the rowing machine and too little time on the exercises that actually do the work, like squats and lunges. This can make you look disproportionate, making your curves more noticeable the flatter you get.

Is a rowing machine or cross trainer better?

If you're short on space and want a single piece of equipment in your home to do both, a rowing machine is probably the better option. However, if you are a larger person (over 6'2" / 1.85m) or want a more challenging workout, a cross trainer (rowing machine) may be a better option.

Is a rowing machine a good all around workout?

Yes, it is but you need to be realistic with yourself. If you are a beginner, 15 minutes on the rower 5 times a week is really not enough to see any significant changes. To make significant changes in your health you really need 40-60 minutes per day.

If you moved from 15 minutes to 25 minutes on the rower, burned an additional 350 calories, you would lose about 12 pounds in one year (probably more if you ate better).

Assuming a caloric deficit of 2000 calories per week (40 minutes x 4 days x 7 calories / 1000), you would lose 1 pound per week. Do that 7 weeks straight then take a week off and you will lose 7 pounds. At that rate you won't lose much more than 50 pounds in the year.

Conclusion

Are you looking for an awesome list of the best rowing machines for your home gym?

If so, your on the right place.

I have collected the best 15 rowing machines that any beginner can cater to their needs and wants.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
First Degree Fitness Fluid RowerBest OverallFirst Degree Fitness Fluid Rower
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD MonitorBudget PickSunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD Monitor
BodyCraft VR500 RowerUpgrade PickBodyCraft VR500 Rower