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Maybe you got a taste at a HIIT class like Eat the Frog or Orangetheory, you're a CrossFit devotee, or you just get in a rowing session when you hit Planet Fitness or another gym. Many people have a love-hate relationship with this particular piece of fitness equipment, so we applaud you if you're looking for a quality machine to add to your home gym!
You probably know all of the reasons to love rowing machines: few cardio workouts give you the total body focus that's achieved while rowing. Generally speaking, a rowing routine uses 65-75% legs and 25-35% of the upper body - strengthening legs, arms, and abs all at the same time. That's efficient!
Tuesday, January 26th
Xterra Fitness offers one-stop shopping for almost every style of rower you could want. With 6 different models to choose from, free shipping on all of them, and no rowing machine priced above $900, this is the perfect place to shop for an affordable rower. Plus, promotions like $50 discounts and free fitness accessories are worth looking for when you visit the site. Xterra Fitness earns our highest recommendation for rowing machines.
If you've ever used a rowing machine at a gym or rowing studio, chances are good that you were on a Concept2. These rowers are so well-respected that they're used for competitions around the world and for time standards in recruiting athletes! But don't let that intimidate you: all 3 of Concept2's rowing machines are quick to assemble and easy for even the most beginner users to figure out. And, if you're motivated by tracking your stats and competing virtually with people around the globe, you'll get that and much more. Concept2 is one of our favorite options for rowing machines.
Do you want a Peloton-type experience with a rowing machine? NordicTrack has you covered. Between on-demand workouts and live sessions with automatically-controlled resistance, you'll never get bored with your rower. The only question to answer is "how big do you want the screen to be?" NordicTrack offers a decent warranty and return policy, and customers have very positive things to say about the rowers and workouts. NordicTrack isn't your cheapest option, but it may be the most effective if you need some input from an actual trainer to stay motivated.
Would you like a top-notch rower for free? ProForm has you covered - but you'll have to pay for an iFIT membership for 3 years (at $39/month) to qualify. That's no deal breaker if you want options for watching rowing videos timed to your workout or, even better, live instructor-led classes that automatically adjust your rower's resistance to match the pace of the class. This company has gotten its fair share of complaints from customers, especially when trying to get warranty service, but the BBB still gives this retailer an "A+".
LifeSpan offers two rowers for home use: a basic model for under $500 and a gym-level design for about $1,200. You'll get free shipping on either one, and this retailer has a great reputation for providing responsive service if problems arise. LifeSpan gives you 30 days to return your rower if needed - just expect a 15% restocking fee.
WaterRower offers a series of 10 rowing machines that have a luxury aesthetic compared with the average equipment on the market. Handcrafted in the USA with premium materials, these rowers are often spotted at OTF studios and other boutique rowing gyms around the world. However, a higher price tag and lack of a return policy keep WaterRower from a better ranking among its rivals.
If you can use it for a workout, chances are good that LifeFitness makes and sells it - from cardio machines to weight systems and beyond. With only two rowers in their inventory, both priced well over $1,000, they may not have something for every customer. Plus, their machines are missing a lot of the bells and whistles shoppers would expect for that kind of money.
Sole Fitness started out as a manufacturer of fitness equipment for hotel fitness centers, but their machines are now available for home users. They only carry one rower, which provides a combination of air-magnetic resistance across 16 difficulty levels. Sole's return policy is almost unmatched in the industry, but their reputation with the BBB leaves much to be desired.
Net2Fitness sells just about anything you could need to outfit your home gym, from weights to cardio machines. Their selection of rowers includes 7 models from different manufacturers, but most of the machines are fairly low-tech. This store's return policy isn't as good as many of their competitors, and as a dealer for several brands, they don't offer any warranty coverage on their rowers - leaving you to fend for yourself if you need service. Because of that and having virtually no customer feedback, Net2Fitness lands near the bottom of our rankings.
Another huge reason to take advantage of rowing is its low-impact style. There's no pounding on already-sensitive joints while using a rowing machine, just a push and a pull that glides back and forth with whatever amount of effort you choose to use.
What style of rowing machine is best? That largely depends on preference. Resistance comes in four ways: air (flywheel), magnetic, pistons or cylinders, and water. If you've used a machine at a fitness center, you're probably familiar with flywheel and water rowers already. Those styles also do the best job of imitating the feel (and the sound, for tank-base systems) of rowing in open water.
So, how can you tell which rowing machine is the right one for your home gym? Here are several criteria to keep in mind as you shop for a rower:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best rowing machines available today. We hope this information helps you pick the right rower to meet all your health and fitness goals!
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