rowing machines

How to Select An Exercise Rowing Machine

When you decide to buy an exercise rowing machine, there are several things to consider, from price to construction of the machine.


Rowing machines range in price from about $100 to $2000. When you buy an exercise rowing machine, you are sure to love the total body workout, so the price is well worth it. The main types of rowing machines are air rowers and water rowers. Air rowing machines are usually more satisfying for novice purposes than water rowers. When you exercise on these machines, each stroke turns an enclosed fan and the resistance of the air provides the resistance you feel when you pull for the stroke.

When you buy an exercise rowing machine, you should consider several factors. First, look for a comfortable seat. There is no point in going out to buy an exercise rowing machine if you can’t exercise on it for long because you are uncomfortable sitting on your machine! It is possible to buy special seat cushions for some rowing machines, but don’t try to create your own as you can cause severe back damage if the improvised cushion slides off of the rower.

In the process of buying an exercise rowing machine, make sure the seat moves back and forth up the monorail smoothly. Some rowing machines use low friction materials for this purpose and better rowers use bearings. You want the power of your stroke to be used only for turning the resistance fan. Also, ensure the foot stops are solid and large enough, so that if your foot should slip, you're not going to do yourself any damage.

Before you buy an exercise rowing machine, make sure the machine’s on-board computer
has the functions you want. Some buyers may only want basic calories and distance rowed readouts. While some may want more detail like having a pace boat to keep up with or power curve readout.

Choosing the Best Rowing Machine

Rowing is a great exercise, and it is becoming increasingly popular as an at home fitness option. To choose the best rowing machine, several things must be considered.

Rowing machines once were made with cheap hydraulic pistons, that produced a dragging rather than gliding feel, and was not indicative of the best rowing machine choices. Now many units feel and sound like you are actually rowing on water, thanks to the use of flexible graphite composite and water-filled flywheel tanks. Electronic control panels will normally offer a number of pre-set program options and display elapsed time, stroke count, strokes per minute, calories burned, even tempo. When purchasing a rowing machine, consider these high end options to make sure you are getting the best rowing machine for you.

Gym rowers are likely to boast flashier electronic features than most home models and will probably come closer to duplicating the feel of rowing a boat. Still, home versions have plenty of nice features that should serve the average user well, and are the best rowing machine option if you are not going to use a gym membership. Plus, many home models fold easily for storage, which can come in handy in cramped spaces.

The best rowing machine models can be found for about $600, but quickly climb to the $2,000 range for models with lots of bells and whistles. Though cost does not necessarily indicate the best rowing machine for your needs, a very inexpensive model will be suspect as it may not be of a high quality construction.

Some rowing machines are designed to perform other kinds of exercises as well, but usually wind up sacrificing the unit's ability to mimic true rowing. For the truest feel, and the best rowing machine, stick to models that focus on rowing. Glide back and forth on the seat to make sure it moves smoothly and feels comfortable. The best rowing machine should accommodate rowers of varying heights equally well. Make sure the seat supports the lower back.