- An at-home rowing machine allows you to reap the benefits of a high-cardio, low-impact workout that helps strengthen muscle and burn calories.
- There are typically four variations of rowing machine: Water resistance, air resistance, magnetic resistance, and hydraulic resistance, each of which offers unique benefits and drawbacks.
- Our top pick, the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine, features durable construction, comfortable design, and a smooth-running air resistance flywheel.
There are few machines capable of delivering the same kind of calorie-burning, full-body workout as an at-home rower. In the span of just 30 minutes, you’re able to enjoy a low-impact, high-cardio exercise that’s fit for people of any age or fitness level. As long as you know how to properly row, this versatile workout can not only serve as a quality complement to a pre-existing routine but it can also stand on its own as a prime source of weekly exercise.
As at-home fitness continues to be the norm, rowing machines are more popular now than ever — and are increasingly becoming staples in people’s home gyms. If you don’t like running on a treadmill or aren’t particularly keen on stationary bikes, a rower is the next best thing — and to some, it’s even better.
But not all rowers are the same. Not only are there a variety of resistance types and rower sizes but there are others designed to be easily stowed as well as a newer crop of smart rowers that come with their own touchscreen and selection of on-demand, streamable classes. In other words, there’s plenty of variety.
To find the best of what’s around, we tested a number of machines that span what’s available. Our goal was to find those that delivered a serious cardio workout while proving to be a valuable addition to anyone’s home gym setup — and we came away with a strong list of favorites. At the end of this guide, we’ve included some tips on how to shop for a rower, as well as a rundown of our testing methodology.
Here are the best rowing machines:
Updated on 1/8/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the intro for relevancy, added more to the slide on our testing methodology, changed the Ergatta Rower to best motivating rowing machine, checked the availability of each recommended rower, and updated the prices and links where necessary.