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Rogue prides itself on its made-in-the-USA rowers, and America has returned the favor by making them the hottest name in rowing machines. Especially in the Crossfit world, their Concept 2 rowers have set the standard for getting an excellent all-body workout over 10 levels of resistance. Rogue is our top pick for rowing machines for home or gym use.
As part of the Johnson Health Tech brand, Horizon Fitness has a solid reputation spanning more than 40 years and an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau. Although they're best known for other types of cardio equipment, their Horizon Oxford 5 rowing machine has an impressive 30 programs and a more generous return policy than many competitors.
LifeFitness is one of the most recognized brands for fitness equipment. Their rowing machines are well-constructed and often found in homes and health clubs alike. They offer two models of rowers, both of which include resistance using a water tank system. Their prices are on the higher side, including a restocking fee of up to $500 if you choose to return your rowing machine.
NordicTrack is a well-known name when it comes to home fitness equipment. Their rowing machine, the RW200, provides a good entry-level workout for exercisers new to rowing but may not offer enough of a challenge to experienced rowers. A 250-lb. weight limit also makes it an unsuitable option for larger individuals.
Primarily targeting the hotel workout room market, SOLE has been providing exercise equipment throughout North America for decades. Their SR500 rower is the only rowing machine we found that conveniently allows exercisers to control the resistance levels from the handlebar. However, its parent company, Fitness Equipment Services LLC, had a "D-" rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review, with numerous unresolved complaints that could mean trouble for customers.
If you're looking for rock-bottom prices on a basic rowing machine, you'll find it at Pro-Form. A 30-day money back guarantee and free shipping also make it a good deal. But, major issues with Pro-Form's outdated website will probably have you looking for your next rower with one of their competitors.
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.
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:
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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