You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Best Home Rowing Machines for a Total-Body Workout

Men's Journal logo Men's Journal 2/24/2022 Perri O. Blumberg

Looking for a full-body workout that benefits your ticker, tones your muscles, torches serious calories, and goes easy on joints? Then it’s time to befriend the humble-yet-mighty rowing machine—the low-impact workout we could all afford to do more often. Below, the best rowing machines to add to your home gym.

 

Top 3

Best Smart Rower

Best Compact Rower

Best Quiet Rower

 

Smart Rowers vs Dumb Rowers

First thing you need to know on this quest for home rowers is that there are basically two kinds. You got smart rowers and dumb rowers. Basically, Smart Rowers come with a screen that can track your stats and allow you to use workout apps to get training help during your workouts. Dumb rowers do not have that, basically just coming with their rowing selves for you to work with.

There are pros and cons for each one. Smart rowers can help you keep track of everything in an easier way and allows you to get professional help while you row, adding a communal aspect to the workout. But these also tend to be pricier and those apps cost money to use, which adds up. Dumb rowers don’t have the bells and whistles but they tend to come cheaper and you get a solid piece of equipment to work with.

 

Rowers For Small Spaces

Another element you need to think about is the size of your workout space. If you don’t have the biggest space in the world, you aren’t out of luck. You actually have options, since they are foldable home rowers out there. These allow you to fold them up and store them away with ease when you aren’t using them. They’re lighter and more compact, which means they may not be as sturdy as a full-size model, but you just gotta take that into account.

 

Best Home Rowers

a person sitting on a wooden table: Life Fitness Row HX Trainer  © Provided by Men's Journal Life Fitness Row HX Trainer 

1. Life Fitness Row HX Trainer

If you’re looking for something that could (almost) pass as industrial-inspired art in your living room, then here’s your best bet. Crafted with natural wood and a tempered steel frame, the Row HX makes use of a so-called Fluid Technology resistance system for a smooth rowing experience (read: consistent resistance with every stroke you take). This rower is also the featured rower for all Apple Fitness+ rowing classes, making it ideal for Apple Watch users. Relative to rowers with smart screens, it’s obviously low-tech in that regard (though a worthwhile aesthetic win for many), but it does feature a phone holder if you’d like to stream a show or workout while you crank away. Bonus: It’s less than seven-feet tall when stored vertically, and its compact design makes it easy to move on your own.

Return Policy: Within 30 Days of Delivery

Warranty Policy: 1 Year for Labor, 1 Year for the Console, 3 Years for Mechanical Components, 3 years for Tanks and Seals, and 5 years for the Frame

Subscription: None needed

Foldable: Yes, and can be stored vertically

Weight: 108.03 pounds with water, 70.99 pounds without water. Has wheels on the frame so it’s easy to move and store away

Best for: Foldable for small apartments

Get It: Pick up the Life Fitness Row HX Trainer ($1,699) at LifeFitness

Get it! a man standing in front of a computer: Ergatta Rower © Provided by Men's Journal Ergatta Rower

2. Ergatta Rower

Fitness data junkies will go bonkers for this “gaming-inspired” connected rower that’s beloved by newcomers to the sport and seasoned rowers alike. Handmade in Rhode Island with handsome cherry wood, the Ergatta creates rowing workouts based on your personal profile and fitness goals, giving you insights on your current split, intensity level, distance rowed, and more, as you follow along on a 17.3-inch touchscreen. When you’re up for a challenge, try a head-to-head race against others or try the Race of the Week each Sunday. The rowing machine uses near-silent water resistance technology and can be stored upright in seconds. Monthly membership starts at $29 a month.

Return Policy: Within 30 Days of Delivery

Warranty Policy: 1 Year for Tablet, 3 Years for Parts, and 5 years for the Frame

Subscription: $29 a month

Foldable: No

Weight: 103 pounds with water, 76.5 pounds without water. Easy to move with the wheels attached to the frame

Best for: Water Rower

Get It: Pick up the Ergatta Rower ($2,199) at Ergatta

Get it! a person sitting at a table in front of a window: Hydrow: rowing machines © Provided by Men's Journal Hydrow: rowing machines

3. Hydrow

Hydrow’s connected rowing experience makes use of a 22-inch HD touchscreen with an embedded camera, a microphone, and HiFi speakers, as top-notch athletes take you on guided rides around the world. (Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and stingrays—yes, really.) Beyond rowing workouts, Hydrow members can partake in a host of challenges, races, and special events. In addition, you can do yoga, Pilates, strength training, and other disciplines. For those living in tight quarters, we also love that the electromagnetic brake makes the machine practically silent, so you won’t disrupt roommates or family members. When not in use, the Upright Storage Kit allows you to store your Hydrow vertically. Worth noting: There’s a $38 monthly subscription fee for Hydrow’s content.

Return Policy: Within 30 Days of delivery

Warranty: 1 Year

Subscription Cost: $38 a month

Foldable: No, but can be stored vertically

Weight: 145 pounds

Best for: High End

Get It: Pick up the Hydrow ($2,295) at Hydrow

Get it! a man sitting on a chair in front of a computer: CITYROW GO Max © Provided by Men's Journal CITYROW GO Max

Gallery: 12 Rowing Machine Deals: Sail Through Your Goals on a Budget (Men's Health)

4. CITYROW GO MAX

Your fully immersive fitness experience is just a few taps (on a 19.5-inch sweat-resistant touchscreen) away. Complete with a diverse roster of classes and instructors who always keep your rowing sessions fresh, choose from multiple class formats, lengths, and levels, with real-time metrics displayed as you row. The high-tech rower also lets you track your progress, set weekly goals, and log personal records. Ready to switch things up? Dabble in off-rower classes like yoga, stretching, and strength training. When not in use, store your machine upright to save space. Try the app out with a 14-day free trial; monthly app subscription run from around $24 a month if you buy the yearly subscription, or $29 a month if you prefer to subscribe on a monthly basis.

Return Policy: Within 30 Days of Delivery

Warranty: 1 year for the tablet, 3 years for non-electronic components, and 5 years for the frame

Subscription Cost: $29 a month

Foldable: No but it can be stored upright

Weight: 98 pounds with water, 61 pounds without

Best for: High End Runner Up

Get It: Pick up the Cityrow Go Max ($2,195) at Cityrow

Get it! a person sitting in a room: ProForm 750R Rower: rowing machines © Provided by Men's Journal ProForm 750R Rower: rowing machines

5. ProForm 750R Rower

This may be a budget buy, but it’s by no means a cheap rower. Expect a first-rate rowing experience that’s virtually silent while in action thanks to the Silent Magnetic Resistance technology, a folding design for compact storage, and iFit connectivity for a slew of instructor-led workouts filmed around the globe, both on the rower and off, such as yoga, strength training, meditation, and more. P.S. The ergonomic, padded seat is one of the most comfortable.

Return Policy: Within 60 days of purchase

Warranty: 1 year for parts and 10 years for the frame

Subscription Cost: None needed

Foldable: Yes

Weight: 22 pounds

Best for: Smart Rower Without Needing A Subscription

Get It: Pick up the ProForm 750R Rower ($600) at Academy

Get it! a person sitting on a bench: NordicTrack RW900 © Provided by Men's Journal NordicTrack RW900

6. NordicTrack RW900

This iFit-connected rower enables automatic adjustments to resistance during your workouts so you don’t have to waste time futzing around with changing it manually. Enjoy the 22-inch HD touchscreen for immersive workouts around the world—like endurance work on Lake Bled in Slovenia, a multi-session English Channel crossing series, or sweating it out along the Charles in Boston. Or, pivot the screen to face a yoga mat or hand weights so you can follow along for off-rower classes. The rower includes a one-year iFit Family membership for up to five user profiles. It’s a $468 value—which is quite the deal considering you’ll have Olympic gold medal-winning rowers among your teacher roster. Fold in half and store upright when you need it out of the way.

Return Policy: Within 30 days of delivery

Warranty: 1 year for labor, 2 years for parts, and 10 years for the frame

Subscription Cost: $14.99 a month

Foldable: Yes and it can be store upright as well

Weight: 131 pounds

Best for: Magnetic Rowing

Get It: Pick up the NordicTrack RW900 ($1,599) at NordicTrack

Get it! Schwinn Crewmaster Rower © Provided by Men's Journal Schwinn Crewmaster Rower

7. Schwinn Crewmaster Rower

An Amazon’s Choice selection, this rower has a basic LCD screen to track your time, strokes, calorie, recovery, and pulse. It has an adjustable console, a comfortable seat, and an ergonomic handle. This rower may not have the bells and whistles of higher-end models, but it more than gets the job done. The easy-fold design makes it a breeze to stow the rail vertically when you’re not working out.

Return Policy: Within 90 days of delivery

Warranty: 1 year for labor, 3 years for mechanical parts, and 10 years for the frame

Subscription Cost: None needed

Foldable: Yes

Weight: 99 pounds

Best for: Under $700

Get It: Pick up the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower ($694) at Amazon

Get it!   Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower © Provided by Men's Journal Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower

8. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower

You may want to get a rower for the house but you’re working on a budget. Lucky for you guys that this model from Sunny Health & Fitness is here for your budgetary and fitness needs. Sized to work well for most rowers with the kind of magnetic resistance you need to get a good workout in and an LCD monitor to track your workout, you won’t have any problem moving this around the house.

Return Policy: Within 90 days of delivery

Warranty: 3 Years through the manufacturer

Subscription Cost: None needed

Foldable: No

Weight: 60.9 pounds

Best for: Affordable

Get It: Pick up the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower ($225; was $399) at Amazon

Get it!

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine © Provided by Men's Journal Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

9. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

When it comes to picking up a new home rower, you really can’t go wrong with one of the best-selling rowers in the world. And that’s what you get here with this bad boy from Concept2. This is an incredibly lightweight model, the second lightest on our list. But that lightweight design doesn’t indicate that it’s made with any less craft than the others. It sells so well because it’s so high quality in its design. A design that is also foldable so you can store this away with ease when the time to workout is done. You get a screen here that’ll track your progress during a workout and that screen has a slot for you to put your phone or tablet so you can stream your workout app of choice while you row. You’ll get quite the full-body workout with this killer machine in your home.

Return Policy: Within 90 days of delivery

Warranty: 2 and 5-year warranty included

Subscription Cost: None needed

Foldable: Yes

Weight: 57 pounds

Best for: Compact Foldable Rower

Get It: Pick up Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine ($1,004) at Amazon

Get it!

Check out the Daily Deals over at Amazon

Check out the great products and gear we recommend to Men’s Journal readers

AdChoices

More From Men's Journal

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon