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      August 12, 2020

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Xterra vs Pro Form

To help you find the Best Rowing Machines, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Xterra and Pro Form.

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Buy Your Rowing Machine with Xterra Today! Where can you find the best rowing machines? 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!

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Best Reviews

2020

Rowing Machine Reviews

5 stars
Xterra

XTERRA

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Cost:

From $349.99 to $899.99

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Xterra Fitness has spent more than 30 years helping both amateur and professional athletes to reach the top of their performance. Every fitness product they sell has been designed to deliver an exceptionally comfortable workout, with advanced training programs and attention to the details that make a cardio machine fantastic.

Water, air, or magnetic

Xterra has the widest variety of options among rowing machines. Whether you prefer your resistance to be delivered in a water, air, or magnetic system, you'll find a rower to match.

Equipment overview:

  • Rower Type: Air, Magnetic or Water
  • Price Range: $349.99 - $899.99
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Return Policy: 30 days, 10% restocking fee + return freight charges
  • Warranty: depends on the model, ranging from 1-5 years on parts, 1-2 years on frame, 0-90 days on labor
  • Shipping: Free

16 resistance levels

The most expensive rowing machine sold by Xterra Fitness is the ERG700 - but still reasonably priced at $899.99. This rower combines air and magnetic resistance, and a 20" frame height makes it easier to get on and off (compared with models that sit almost flat on the floor). It has 16 resistance levels and 10 programmed rowing workouts. The display may be a little old-school, but it gives you a clear idea of your strokes per minute, total distance rowed and time elapsed, calories, watts, heart rate, and resistance level. Fold it up for quick storage when not in use. We were impressed by the customer reviews on this model: several users compared it to higher-priced competitor rowing machines and said that this one meets and beats expectations.

Best Rowing Machines

Foldable design

The most economical rower that Xterra carries is the ERG220. Even though the price is lower, you'll still get a decent set of features: magnetic manual resistance across 8 levels, a simplified console for tracking your workout data (including a built-in HR receiver), and a foldable design.

Discounts offered

During our most recent visit to the Xterra site, there was a pop-up offer of a $50 discount for first-time visitors to the site. We had to enter our email address to get the code via email, and it was valid only for 48 hours and for orders of at least $799. There was also a promo featured at the top of the site offering a Total Fitness kit worth over $200 for free with the featured code. This kit included six popular fitness items, including a small foam roller, exercise ball, ab roller and jump rope. And, free shipping on all rowing machines makes this retailer even more appealing.

30 day returns

If you get your rower and decide you want to return it, you'll have 30 days from the date of delivery to request a Return Authorization number from Xterra's customer service team. Be aware that you'll have to pay a restocking fee of 10%, and you're responsible for the return freight shipping costs.

Highest rating

Xterra Fitness does an excellent job of putting well-constructed rowing machines within reach of most customers. Although their rowers don't have the most cutting-edge features you'll find with some rivals' machines, you'll get enough features to deliver a calorie-burning, muscle-building workout right at home. Xterra Fitness earns our top recommendation for rowing machines.

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3.5 stars
Pro-Form

PRO-FORM

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Cost:

From $349 to $1,403

ProForm carries a wide range of in-home cardio equipment: treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and even HIIT trainers. When it comes to rowers, they offer two options: the 440R and 750R.

Equipment overview:

  • Rower Type: Digital or Magnetic
  • Price Range: $349 - $1,403
  • Different Models: 2
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Return Policy: 30 days, restocking fee of 10% and return shipping fee of $250
  • Warranty: Frame - 5 or 10 years, Parts/Labor -90 days or 1 year
  • Shipping: Free

3-year term

We thought it felt a little gimmicky that ProForm was advertising their 750R rower as being "free". Yes, but only technically: you'll have to pay a $39/month iFIT membership fee to get it. If you do the math, that means that the rower is actually about $1,403 (and the iFIT membership is free for the 3-year term). But really, if you like trainer-led workouts, that combo of rower + iFIT could feel like a bargain.

Best Rowing Machines

Resistance controlled remotely

The crazy part about an iFIT workout is that your resistance is controlled remotely to match the pace of the session. Plus, you can stream videos to "see the world while you row", or join a live studio class and row together. If you're the kind of person who wants some external motivation to get the most out of your workout, this is definitely worth considering.

24 levels of resistance

Other benefits of the 750R are the ability to access 24 levels of resistance, a space-saving "lift-and-fold" design, and a secure tablet holder if you want to follow your trainer-led workout on your iPad instead of your TV or other screen. Be aware that the weight capacity for the rower is only 250 pounds (while some competitors' machines have a capacity of 300-500 lbs.).

Entry level rower

The 440R is much more basic in comparison. Don't expect any of the electronic bells and whistles, but you'll still get 8 resistance levels, expanded strength training options with the ability to use the rower handle as a low pulley station, and an LCD monitor for watching your distance/time/calories/total strokes/strokes per minute. This model can also be easily folded and moved when not in use, and also has the 250 lb. weight limit.

Warranty issues

ProForm (also known as ICON Fitness) has some mixed results when it comes to customer experiences. While the retailer had an "A+" rating from the BBB at the time of our most recent visit, we weren't thrilled to see that they had more than 500 complaints over the last 12 months - and over 1,200 closed in the last 3 years. The biggest source of frustration for customers seems to be warranty issues: getting replacement parts, refunds for defective equipment, etc. Their warranty is decent overall (5-10 years on the frame, up to a year on labor and parts), but that's not helpful if customers can't actually get service.

Expensive to return

On the other hand, getting a cutting-edge workout for $39/month (for 3 years, no interest fees) could be pretty attractive, especially when looking at other retailers who offer less at a higher cost. You can return your rower within 30 days if you wind up not liking it, though you'll pay shipping fees of $250 to send it back and lose 10% of your refund as a restocking fee. After seeing that, you may determine that it's not worth it to return it.

Could be right

ProForm gets our attention with their trainer-led classes, which are gaining steam across a variety of cardio machines on the market today. And spending under $40 per month could be a lot more affordable than what you're paying for that gym membership you aren't using. We recommend keeping an eye on things if you need customer service, but this retailer's flawless rating from the BBB means that they're doing fine despite the complaints they've received. ProForm could be the right rowing machine choice for many home fitness enthusiasts.

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Continued from above

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:

  • Price. Rowing machines can range from ultra-affordable (less than $300) to top-of-the-line (over $2,500). While spending more usually puts more features and cutting-edge technology in your hands, you don't have to break the bank to get a rower that delivers a terrific workout.
  • Features. Make a list of the must-haves for your rower. Does it need to fold easily for storage? Do you want the capability of following a live class, Peloton-style? Should your rowing machine have a certain look to match your other home gym equipment?
  • Returns and Warranty. What if your rowing machine doesn't fit the space you had planned out? Or you realize that you'd actually prefer the resistance of a water rower instead of a flywheel system? Most retailers of rowers allow returns, but watch out for restocking fees and return shipping fees. What kind of warranty coverage does the company give you for the frame, mechanical components, and any electronics?
  • Reputation. What do other shoppers say about the company? Can you expect good service if something goes wrong during shipping, installation, or day-to-day use? A rowing machine can be a significant investment, so you want to know that your purchase is from a business that has your back.

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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