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      June 17, 2019

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Horizon vs Life Fitness

To help you find the Best Rowing Machines, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Horizon and Life Fitness.

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Buy Your Rowing Machine with Rogue Fitness Today! If you’re looking for a great all-body workout that won’t kill your joints, a rowing machine may be exactly what you need. Although rowers aren’t usually as popular or well-known as treadmills and ellipticals, they are an excellent choice for virtually every type of exerciser.

In fact, rowing machines have seen a rise in popularity lately, largely due to their use in Crossfit workouts. Why? First, using a rowing machine allows you to work on cardio and strength at the same time - which saves YOU time as well. As you push with your lower body and pull with your upper body, your heart rate increases while building strength in your legs, abs, and arms. And, using your whole body means that you’re easily burning the same amount of calories as a workout on a treadmill or stair climber.

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Best Reviews

2019

Rowing Machine Reviews

4.5 stars
Horizon

HORIZON Visit Site

Cost:

$899 sale price, $1499 regular price

Looking for a rowing machine from a reputable manufacturer with a long history of well-designed fitness products? If so, you’ll want to take a look at the Horizon Oxford 5. Horizon is a brand of Johnson Health Tech, which has been providing solidly-engineered fitness equipment and other products for more than four decades. While their focus has been predominantly on more popular types of cardio equipment, such as treadmills and ellipticals, their single model of rowing machine is a product worthy of the brand name.

Equipment overview:

  • Price Range: $899 sale price, $1499 regular price
  • Different Models: 1
  • Vertical Storage: Yes
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance Type: Air
  • Resistance Levels: 30 programs
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 lbs.
  • Return Policy: 30 days, no restocking fees
  • Warranty: Frame - 10 years, Parts - 2 years, Labor - 1 year
  • Shipping: Free

Although most of the Oxford 5’s features are comparable to other rowers on the market, the 30 available programs stand out. These programs include interval workouts, variations in resistance, calorie-targeted workouts, and a fun “race boat” setting to race against the machine. Also, this rowing machine is the only one we found that includes a chest strap for monitoring your heart rate - a nice perk not offered with most fitness machines in general.

Pricing on the Oxford 5 is comparable with other rowing machines. Also, at the time of our review, there was a pop-up on the main page offering a discount of 5% for signing up for Horizon’s email list. Horizon does offer financing through their partner, FuturePay; click on the box above the price to find out more.

We were also impressed by the return policy on this rowing machine. Most retailers will charge restocking fees up to $500 for a return, and some don’t allow returns for any reason. Johnson Health Tech will allow you to return the Oxford 5, no questions asked, within the first 30 days - and without charging any restocking fees. This is very generous, and shows a genuine understanding that some customers may not feel that a rowing machine is a good fit after they’ve had the opportunity to try it for a few weeks.

While we would have liked to find more customer reviews on the Oxford 5, Johnson Health Tech’s “A+” rating with the BBB and a 40+ year history of satisfied customers is enough to conclude that it’s a solid choice for a home gym.

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3.5 stars
Life Fitness

LIFE FITNESS Visit Site

Cost:

From $1,699 to $2,219

LifeFitness equipment can be found almost anywhere there’s an indoor workout facility. From treadmills and ellipticals to strength and rowing machines, they’ve made a huge impact on the fitness industry for many years.

Equipment overview:

  • Price Range: $1,699 - $2,219
  • Different Models: 2
  • Vertical Storage: Yes
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance Type: Fluid (Water Tank)
  • Resistance Levels: 4 or 16, depending on model
  • Maximum User Weight: 330 lbs.
  • Return Policy: 30 days, 25% restocking fee (up to $500 maximum)
  • Warranty: Frame - 5 years, Tank and Seals - 3 years, Mechanical - 2 years, Console - 1 year, Labor - 1 year
  • Shipping: Free

You have two main options for rowing machines on the LifeFitness site: the Row HX and the Row GX. Which should you choose? That depends on what you need. As you’ll see when looking at the two rowers side-by-side, the lower-end HX has a more spa-like appearance, with wooden rails, while the GX is all silver, black and red and looks more modern. As you’d expect, the more expensive GX has four times the number of resistance levels available on the HX. Both models can easily be stored upright when not in use.

Unfortunately, across all types of fitness equipment, LifeFitness tends to be the most expensive on the market. With other types of cardio machines, this is usually because of the more advanced technology available in the console; however, with rowing machines, the console is a basic screen that tracks workout stats and not much more. Another costly aspect of buying a LifeFitness rower is the return policy: if you decide you want to return it within the first 30 days after purchase, expect a 25% restocking fee of up to $500.

On the other hand, LifeFitness is one of the few retailers we found that offers a payment plan through their financing partner, Affirm: look for the “”or as low as” pricing information below the rower’s price in order to see more details. At the time of our review, Affirm was offering interest rates from 10-30% APR with repayment plans of 3, 6, and 12 months, depending on your credit history.

Customer reviews of the LifeFitness rowing machines were somewhat mixed but generally positive. We found several comments from users who said that the motion of the water-based resistance system, particularly the HX, did feel much closer to what it feels like to row on water than other brands they’d tried. If you have experience with rowing, the LifeFitness models may be a great fit based on that alone.

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Continued from above

Also, rowing machines give you a low-impact workout. Whether you’re an avid exerciser looking to mix up your training routine or you’re new to working out, you’ll find that rowers don’t pound your knees and ankles like many forms of cardiovascular exercise. Rowing is also a common choice for people recovering from an injury, specifically because it offers an all-body workout while still being gentle on the joints.

Rowing machines provide resistance in one of three ways: air, fluid (water), magnetic, and hydraulic. Air resistance is the most common: your workout will turn a flywheel, which creates the resistance you need. These tend to be somewhat noisy compared with other kinds of resistance. Water resistance rowers can provide a quieter, smoother workout; instead of turning a flywheel against the air, you turn paddles in a water tank. Many people find that the action of using this type of rower more closely imitates the feel of rowing on an actual body of water. On the other hand, magnetic resistance rowing machines don’t replicate the feel of rowing on water, but they tend to operate even more quietly and to be more compact than water resistance models.

As you shop for a rowing machine, you’ll find quite a range of options and price points among the available retailers. What should you keep in mind as you compare rowers? Consider the following:

  • Cost. Does the retailer offer a rowing machine that fits in your budget?
  • Resistance. Does the machine use air, water, or magnetic resistance? Do you need a rower that closely imitates the feel of rowing on the water, or are you just looking for a good workout? How many levels of resistance are provided?
  • Storage. Can the rowing machine be stored vertically, saving you floor space when it’s not in use?
  • Return Policy. Does the retailer allow you to return the rower? If so, will you get a full refund or will you be charged a restocking fee?
  • Warranty. How long will the company cover the machine - parts, labor, console, and so on - if something breaks?

TopConsumerReviews has reviewed and ranked the best rowing machines available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best rower to help you achieve your fitness goals!

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