Rowing Machine Guide

Admit it, we all want to look our best at all times.  Who doesn’t want to? We try to eat healthy food, do some exercises in our effort to keep those pounds piling up as we grow older. We can eat just a little less as we do in our 20’s but we seem to be having a more difficult time losing weight.

It looks like our metabolism is on slow mode which makes weight loss more of a challenge than ever before. We miss the times in our youth when we can eat just about anything and we never gain an ounce.

Could it be that those where the times when we lead an active lifestyle? Playing outside with a game of soccer, basketball or volleyball till we drop? Those were the times we have lots of extra-curricular activities like dancing, cheering squad and high school and college physical education, like swimming, track and field and the like.

Then comes the time when we pursue our careers which involve mostly office work that ties us to a desk job making us sit he whole day, getting up only for coffee breaks, meeting and lunch outs.

When it comes to improving your health, exercising regularly would most likely be at the top of your list. For starters, your routine does not necessarily require to be extreme and gruesome. Just a simple routine with the right tools or equipment would do.

Most people would prefer going to the gym and hire a professional trainer. However, not all people has the time and luxury to do this. Some people may even prefer working out at home because of how convenient it is.

There are a lot of reasons why many people opt to doing their exercises at home. If you are more of a gym rat, you may want to check out this list of benefits you can get from working out at home that may make you want to have a change of heart:

  • You have the ability arrange your own schedule and workout
  • You can go at it at your own pace
  • There will be no need for you to worry about your look
  • You never have to face traffic which can save you a lot of time
  • It is a lot cheaper than having a gym membership and trainer
  • You can easily rest right away after you are done be it on the couch, bed, or even the floor
  • You have the freedom to do absolutely any workout you want
  • There will be no distractions so it will be easier for you to concentrate
  • It is much more hygienic

There is no denying that working out at home is a better choice than going to a gym, pay exorbitant membership fees and getting the services of a trained gym professional.

If you are just starting out, you may want to consider the type of workout you should do and what parts of the body you want to work on. Some may simply do some basic sit-ups, pushups, and squats, while some would watch and go along with workout videos on YouTube.

However, there is a better and more convenient way for you to have an all-around workout and that is with the use of a rowing machine. Rowing machines are very effective when it comes to increasing your stamina, tone and build your muscles, and can help strengthen your cardiovascular function. It can also strengthen your core and build a strong one.

This is an overall workout as it can help with both you upper and lower body. It is also a great tool to use if you want to lose some weight. What makes rowing machines great for your home is that it does not take a lot of space and you can easily store it after your session. It is easy and very fun to use which makes it a popular equipment even in gyms.

Over the years, there are a lot of different types of rowing machines that are made available in the market. They differentiate on the materials used, the cost, size, resistance, and appearance. To make your indoor rower shopping a little bit easier for you, we have rounded up 5 of the best rowing machines.

Rowing Machine Comparison Chart

This simple chart will give you an overview of the important details of each rowing machine. You can then compare the advantages and disadvantages of each one and can help you have an idea of which will suit your particular needs and requirements. This will allow you to see what features they have and don’t have as well. Feel free to look below and compare each rowing machine:

ModelStamina Body Trac Glider 1050Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD MonitorStamina 1110 Magnetic Rowing Machine
Resistance TypeAdjustable Hydraulic ResistanceAir ResistanceAir Resistance8 Levels of Magnetic Resistance8 Levels of Adjustable Magnetic Resistance
Product Dimensions58.25 x 42.5 x 18.125 in96 x 24 x 44.5 in77 x 18.75 x 22 in82 x 19 x 23 in60 x 22 x 27.25 in
DisplayMulti-Functional Workout Monitor (shows time, calories burned, and stroke count)Performance Monitor 5 or PM5 (monitors heart rate, USB flash drive compatibility, and tracks speed, pace, and calories burned)Multi-Functional Performance
Monitor (shows speed, distance, time, and calories burned)
Electronic Display Monitor ( shows calories burned, the time, scan, and total count)Multi-Functional Performance
Monitor (shows speed, distance, time, and calories burned)
Weight Limit250 lbs.500 lbs.250 lbs.250 lbs.250 lbs.
Fold-able FrameYesSeparates into two parts for easy storage and transportYesYesStores Upright
Warranty1 Year Warranty for Frame/ 90 Days for Parts5 Year Frame Warranty / 2 Year Warranty for Moving Parts and Monitor3 Year Warranty for the Frame / 90 Days for the Parts1 Year Warranty for Frame / 90 Day Warranty for Parts3 Year Warranty for the Frame / 90 Days for the Parts
Amazon Rating4.0/5.05.0/5.04.5/5.04.5/5.04.0/5.0

Rowing Machine Reviews

Now that you had a quick overview of each rowing machine, it is apparent that you may want to know more about the details. Some of the equipment mentioned may have some similarities and differences between them.

Let this serve as your guide for more informed decision in buying your first rowing machine. Below are individual reviews of each rowing machine that can further help you in choosing the perfect one.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine: The Best Hydraulic Resistance Indoor Rower

This rowing machine is from the company Stamina Products Inc. which has been around for 3 decades. They sell one of the cheapest rowing machines in the market as well as other indoor fitness equipment. They are also known to be one of the pioneers when it comes to infomercials.

When it comes to hydraulic resistance, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine is certainly one of the best. Below is a list of its features so you can find out just how great this rowing machine is:

  • Adjustable Hydraulic Resistance
  • Includes a multi-functional workout monitor
  • Its dimensions are 58.25 x 42.5 x 18.125 which makes it fit easily into tight spaces
  • Can withstand up to 250 lbs.
  • Steel frame
  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Padded hand grips and seat
  • Textured foot plates with attached straps
  • 1 year warranty for frame and 90 days for parts

Pros and Cons

Any product, no matter what category it belongs to, will have its positive and negative qualities. This is understandable since no equipment is perfect and this would sometimes depend on a person’s preference or cup of tea. One person’s dislike may be another person’s treasure. First off, let us start with the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 rowing machine’s pros:

  • Perfect for beginners since you can start from level 1 and work your way up to level 12
  • It is very easy to assemble
  • There is minimal noise
  • It is very affordable
  • Sturdy and durable despite its weight and size
  • Compact and can be stored easily
  • You can easily watch TV while you are on this rowing machine
  • Does not take too much space
  • It is not that heavy so you can easily carry it around
  • Will give you the feel of rowing an actual boat
  • The tracking screen is easy to use and understand

Its low price tag comes with some imperfections. Despite the number of great qualities the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 rowing machine has, it still has its downsides. Below is a short list of things you should watch out for in this equipment:

  • Your foot may have a tendency of slipping out of the foot holders
  • The seat is not that comfortable especially if you plan to sit on it for more than 20 minutes
  • The seat could use a little bit more padding
  • The calorie counter is not that accurate

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5: Rowing Machine with the Best Performance

Concept2 is a very popular company in the world of rowing machines. They have been in the industry and have been producing world-class rowers since 1976. Their products are durable, sturdy, and built to last. This brand is a favorite among gyms due to its excellent performance.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 was created last 2003 to be a quieter and smoother version of the previous models. To know more about this excellent equipment, here are its features:

  • It has the latest PM5 performance monitor that has Bluetooth and USB access
  • Adjustable monitor and monitor arm
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Nickle plated steel chain
  • Air Resistance
  • Comes in 2 colors: black and light gray
  • Its dimensions are 96 x 24 x 44.5 in
  • Maximum weight is a whopping 500 lbs.
  • Separates into two parts for easy storage and transport
  • Has caster wheels on the front foot for transport and easy storage
  • 5 Year frame warranty and 2 year warranty for moving parts and monitor
  • Flywheel design
  • Spiral damper
  • Adjustable footrest
  • Includes a user manual, chain oil, and log card

Pros and Cons

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 has a lot of qualities both great and not so great. First let us start with its positive attributes that has made people rave about this indoor rower:

  • Its weight limit is very high (which is 500 lbs.)
  • Suitable for any age, gender, and even those that has disabilities
  • Easy to assemble and store
  • No tools needed to assemble this rowing machine
  • Does not take a lot of space
  • Despite of its big price tag, its performance outweighs it which makes it a great investment
  • The PM5 monitor is very helpful and has a lot of functions: tracks heart rate, pulse meter, distance covered, strokes per minute or SPM, calories burned, and Bluetooth
  • Includes a log card and a USB cable that will allow you to connect to your computer
  • Can be used by people of all ages and even those who has disabilities
  • It produces minimal noise
  • The monitor turns on automatically once you start your workout

Even the most well-known brands are bound to have some downsides. Below is a list of qualities that you may possibly need to consider before buying this indoor rower:

  • The battery for the performance monitor does not last that long
  • Too expensive for some people
  • It lacks padding on the seats which may require you to use a separate foam for extra cushion especially if you are going to use it for more than 20 minutes

Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399: Best Overall Rowing Machine

Another rower from Stamina proves just how excellent their products are. Since they have been around since 1987, they know exactly how to produce an outstanding yet affordable rowing machine. To know more about the Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399, here is a list of its features:

  • Its dimensions are 77 x 18.75 x 22 in
  • Dynamic Air Resistance
  • Includes a multi-functional workout monitor that tracks speed, time, calories burned, and distance
  • Has a weight limit of 250 lbs.
  • Its rowing beam is made out of steel
  • Its seat is padded and upholstered
  • Large footplates that can fit any size and adjustable nylon foot straps
  • 3 Year Warranty for the Frame and 90 Days for the Parts
  • Includes floor protectors
  • Has an angled and over-sized seat rail
  • Has built-in wheels for easy storage and portability
  • Foldable frame

Pros and Cons

Just like the products mentioned previously, the Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399 has its own fair share of upsides and downsides. Below is a list of the positive aspects of this indoor rower:

  • The wheels makes attached makes it easier for it to move around your home
  • Does not consume a lot of space
  • Suitable for any age
  • Easy to set up but may require a little extra help
  • You can store it easily in a closet
  • Easy to use especially for beginners
  • The rower does not move easily when it is set up thanks to the rubber grips at the bottom
  • The footrests are comfortable

The Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399 definitely has a great number of pros. Now let us start enumerating this indoor rower’s not-so-great qualities:

  • The sound that it produces can be a little loud to some
  • The multi-functional workout monitor is pretty basic
  • You do not have an option to change the resistance
  • The seat is not that big and may not fit some people
  • It includes plastic parts that are not that durable
  • Has a tendency to break even for just a few months of using it

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD Monitor: Value for Money

Sunny Health & Fitness is an importer of premier health and fitness products and they source their equipment from manufacturers in China and Taiwan which makes their price more affordable than other brands. Their headquarters are located in Los Angeles, Califonia. They offer excellent professional customer service as they aim to provide the best support to their patrons.

Aside from rowing machines, they also sell treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and steppers. To know more about the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD Monitor, below is a list of its features:

  • 8 Levels of resistance
  • Magnetic tension system
  • Its dimensions are 82 x 19 x 23 in
  • Has a large electronic display monitor that shows calories burned, count, time, scan, and total count
  • Can withstand up to 250 lbs.
  • 1 Year Warranty for Frame and 90 Day Warranty for Parts
  • Non-slip handles
  • Padded seat
  • Large anti-slip foot pedals and includes adjustable foot straps
  • Includes wheels for mobility

Pros and Cons

Every product has its own qualities that make it worth buying. That being said, it also has some attributes that may not be that pleasing to some people. To know more about these, let us start with the pros:

  • Barely takes up any space and very easy to store
  • Does not produce a loud sound
  • Easy to assemble and will only require you a maximum of 30 minutes to finish setting it up
  • It is undeniably a bargain and you will get more than what you pay for
  • Durable
  • Excellent customer service
  • Suitable for any age of any height

As great as the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD Monitor is, there are still a few things that they can develop and improve on. Below is a list of some of the attributes that they may need to work on:

  • The seat is not that comfortable and you may need to add extra cushion to it
  • The monitor’s performance is not that good as it does not track your data or progress well and has a tendency of breaking after a while
  • The buttons on the monitor does not respond that well

Stamina 1110 Magnetic Rowing Machine: Best Affordable Indoor Rower

This is the third Stamina indoor rower on our list. It has a lot of similarities and differences with the previous Stamina models mentioned. To know more about this, here is a list of its features:

  • 8 Levels of Adjustable Magnetic Resistance
  • Dimensions: 60 x 22 x 27.25 in
  • Multi-Functional Performance Monitor that tracks speed, strokes per minute, total strokes, distance, time, and calories burned
  • Maximum weight capacity is 250 lbs.
  • Can be stored upright
  • 3 Year Warranty for the Frame and 90 Days for the Parts
  • Aluminum rowing beam
  • Pivoting footplates with adjustable Velcro foot straps
  • Includes floor protectors
  • Foam rowing handle
  • Includes a water bottle or phone holder
  • Molded and padded seat

Pros and Cons

The Stamina 1110 Magnetic Rowing Machine really is a great option for those who are looking for an efficient and affordable indoor rower. Here is a list of all its positive attributes that may help convince you to buy this rower:

  • Very easy to put together and comes with all the tools you need to assemble it
  • Great for beginners of any age
  • Well-made and will not break the bank
  • Has a wide seat and comfortable as well that you rarely experience in other indoor rowers
  • Easy to store and move around thanks to its built-in wheels
  • Excellent customer service
  • Does not take a lot of space

When there are positives, then there are bound to be negatives too. No matter how great an equipment is, there are still some things that can be improved on. Below is a list of some of the Stamina 1110 Magnetic Rowing Machine’s downsides:

  • There is a beeping sound that comes from the monitor that can be annoying to some people
  • The Velcro straps can be a bit difficult to remove
  • The water holder is too small
  • Produces a squeaky sound but still bearable

Possible Alternatives

If by chance you are not satisfied with the products listed above or you are looking for something else, there are still a lot more great alternatives available. First is the First Degree Fitness Indoor Water Rower with Adjustable Resistance – Apollo Pro II Black Reserve. This rowing machine is made by one of the most popular brand of rowing machines today.

Despite being around for only 15 years, they have already made a name for themselves. The First Degree Fitness Indoor Water Rower with Adjustable Resistance includes a fluid resistance that makes it very similar to actual watercraft rowing. It emit the sensation, from sound, sight, and feel of rowing on an actual boat.

This feature is what makes them stand out from all the other indoor rowers in the market. Because of its excellent performance and features, this model comes with a pretty high price tag. Aside from its function, its appearance is very attractive as well. This can blend well in the interior of your house or gym.

If you are looking for a cheaper option, you may want to check out the Goplus Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine. This magnetic rowing machine has 10 levels of adjustable resistance. Like most indoor rowers, it has an anti-slip foot pedal that has adjustable straps, LCD monitor that tracks your speed, counts per minute, total count, and calories burned, and built-in transportation wheels.

This model is very affordable and only costs around $200. One more option is the Stamina InMotion Rower. This very simple rower is the cheapest one you can find in the market as it only costs $100. It has a pivoting foot rest with straps you can adjust and it is made of solid steel. It is easy to store and consumes very little space. It has 5 levels of resistance and also includes a multi-function monitor.

Since this indoor rower is very compact, it may not be suitable for very tall people. If you still do not find these alternatives suitable for you, you can easily do more research online. Always make sure that you read the reviews for each product so that you will be aware of what you will get.

Buyer Guide

Choosing the perfect rowing machine can be a pretty hard task. It is daunting especially if this will be your first time to shop around, compare, and test it if you will and more. There are a lot of factors you would need to consider before buying one.

For beginners, you may not be sure what to look for in a rowing machine and just how much the average price is for one. To help you a little bit in your decision making, here are some guidelines and more information about rowing machines.

How much is a rowing machine?

Like any other product, the price for a rowing machine would depend on the materials used, extra features, and performance. Due to the function the rowing machine has, it providing a full body workout, its average cost is somewhat high. But despite of this, it still gives the best value unlike other equipment that targets specific body parts like dumbbells and treadmills.

A price of an indoor rower varies significantly. For high end models like from the brand Concept2, their price ranges from $900 – $1250 while other brands like Stamina Body Trac, Sunny Fitness & Health, and Avari ranges from only $140 – $500.

Do not get caught up with the cost of a rowing machine. Just because it has a hefty price tag does not mean it is the best and the perfect one for you. A price of any product should not be your sole basis.

Different types of rowing machine

There are 4 types of rowing machines and each of them has their own unique qualities. They are the hydraulic piston rowing machine, air resistance rowing machine, magnetic resistance indoor rower, and the water resistance. They vary in sizes, weight, and performance.

Hydraulic Piston Resistance

The hydraulic piston rowing machine works by having adjustable pistons attached to the handlebars. What makes this rower great is that it is the only type that lets you adjust the level of resistance on either side of the handlebar. T

hey are mostly used by those who wants to save a lot of space since most hydraulic rowing machines are foldable and they also tend to be on the cheaper side. Due to its budget friendly price, hydraulic rowing machines are not as realistic when being used. It will not evoke the natural feeling of rowing.

Air Resistance Rowing Machine

This type of indoor rower resembles the appearance and function of a cylindrical fan blade. Its blade moves whenever you pull the handle. The harder you pull the rowing machine’s handle, the faster the blade will go.

You get to control the level of resistance of this type of rowing machine and it is smooth enough to avoid any wear and tear. The air resistance rower emits a more natural feel than a hydraulic one and it is also a bit bigger.

Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

A magnetic resistance indoor rower works with the use of electromagnets that provides resistance on a flywheel. Because of this rower’s use of electromagnets, it is easier for the user to track their specifications accurately and will be able to adjust the resistance correctly.

It will also provide you with accurate information regarding how many calories you have burned, the distance you have covered, and also your speed. This type of indoor rower tends to have smoother feel and does not produce a lot of noise because it does not create friction. They are also very compact and easy to store which is ideal for tight spaces.

Water Resistance Rowing Machine

This type of rowing machine is pretty similar to an air resistance one because you get to control the level depending on how hard or fast you row. A water resistance rowing machine gets its name from the enclosed tank where you can put water in. Inside the tank there are paddles suspended. This type of indoor rower provides an actual feel of watercraft rowing.

It also produces a very relaxing sound that resembles the sound of beach waves that many people enjoy. This indoor rower is suitable for those who has large spaces in their home since they are quite large and heavy because of the water tank. A water resistance rowing machine also requires some extra maintenance.

Space consideration

Before making a purchase, it is important that you look for a rowing machine that can easily fit in your home. Whether you have big or little space, there is an indoor rower that will suit you. Make sure that you decide on which area you want to have your indoor rower so that you know how big or small you can go.

An average rowing machine is about 2 feet wide and 8 feet long. What makes indoor rowers great is that most of them can be easily folded and stored in a closet. There are also rowing machines that has wheels attached at the bottom so it would be easy for you to move it around from one place to another. Try to look for rowers that has rubberized feet so that it doesn’t damage your floor.

For extra security, there are equipment mats that you can purchase separately. Another thing to consider is the sound a rower makes. If you live in an apartment, you may want to buy one that produces the least noise as possible so that you do not disturb your neighbors.

Recognized brands

Another surefire way to purchase the perfect rowing machine is to look at the brand. There are brands out there that has been around for almost 4 decades which make and produce high quality rowers. One of the most popular brand of rowing machine is Concept2.

Concept 2 is one of the pioneers in the world of rowing machines. Their indoor rowers tend to be on the expensive side and the price ranges for about $900 – $1250. This brand can be seen in most gyms due to its excellent performance and durability. They are also regular hosts of indoor rowing competitions.

Another great brand is Stamina Products Inc. Stamina produces one of the most affordable rowing machines in the market. Despite of its small price tag, it still gives an excellent performance.

One of the reasons why Stamina is a fairly popular brand is because of all the infomercials they have produced. Stamina not only offers rowing machines but they also produce other fitness equipment such as stationary bikes, treadmills, and trampolines.

Next is the brand Kettler. It is a German brand that produces different types of fitness equipment such as treadmills, bikes, and cross trainers. They also sell toys, sport equipment, and even furniture.

Kettler specifically designed their indoor rowers for home use. They have a total of 7 rowing machines in their line that are very compact. Their rowers are also partnered up with SIEMENS® for their workout monitor.

Lastly is First Degree Fitness. This brand has been around for 15 years and has been producing high quality fitness equipment specifically indoor rowers. Their design and development is inspired by real life. They have created a special “fluid technology” that imitates the sensation, the sound, and sight of an authentic watercraft rowing which gives it an extra feel of relaxation.

Even though they haven’t been around that long, they have already created a name for themselves globally. Their line of rowers are also easy to store and can easily fit tight spaces.

Although it is a great idea to base your decision on the brand of a rowing machine, it is still important to consider that name is not everything. There are brands out there that are not that popular yet but produces excellent indoor rowers as well.

Try to explore your options and read reviews online or watch videos so that you can see a certain rower in action. It is also a great idea to visit a gym a try out a rowing machine first before purchasing.

Extra Things to Consider

Aside from the ones mentioned above, there are still a few things you may want to check in a rowing machine. First is its comfort. Since you will be sitting on a rowing machine for around 15 – 20 minutes, you may want to check if the seat can support you properly and whether it has enough cushion.

As a matter of fact, the comfort of a seat is one of the most common issues in indoor rowers. Even the most expensive and well-known brand has this flaw. If you do find yourself getting one that has a not so comfortable seat, you can add extra cushion by placing a foam on it.

Another thing to consider is the rower’s performance monitor. If your aim is to lose weight, it is important that you get to track your progress as accurately as you can. It will also let you make adjustments on your routine if necessary like if it is advisable to increase the resistance or not.

Being able to track your progress can also be a great way to document your journey with rowing. The last thing to consider is how often you will be using your rowing machine. If you plan on using it every day, then the best type to go for is a hydraulic resistance or magnetic resistance.

Where to Buy

Most fitness equipment are either sold in physical stores, the company’s website, or online platforms like Amazon and EBay. Purchasing from a physical store is great because you will get to see the indoor rower with your own eyes. You get to inspect every nook and cranny of it. You will also get to try it out for yourself before you buy it.

However, products sold from physical stores tend to be more expensive. By buying on the company’s own website or on online platforms will save you the hassle of going out to shop. Even if you do not see it personally, you can read reviews online so that you get a better view of the rowing machine.

Products sold online also tends to be cheaper and it will be delivered straight to your doorstep. It will not only save your precious time by going out of your way, braving the terrible traffic rush, carrying it to your car or commuting in bus or taxi which is a hassle. These are just some of the disadvantages should you decide to go to a store and buy it by yourself.

Surely, you get to try it, see with your own eyes and maybe haggle for a good price if that is allowed but most stores in big malls have fixed prices. A better option is to order online and check the positive reviews on the product before you make the purchase. They have a guaranty for sure should the product falls short of your expectation.

Overall, it is really just a matter of personal preference and what works for you in finally deciding where to buy your rowing machine or any equipment for that matter.

Rowing machine FAQs

People tend to ask a few questions before making that decision to finally buy the product. They most definitely want to make sure they are getting their money’s worth and a product they will like and enjoy for years to come.

There are still a lot of things that people may inquire about a product and for this particular article, the rowing machine. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about rowing machines:

What is a rowing machine?

As great as this equipment is, there are still a lot of people that are not aware of this machine and might walk past it whenever they visit the gym. To start off, let me tell you about its history. A rowing machine or what other people might call an indoor rower was created to imitate the movement of watercraft rowing.

Watercraft rowing is a sport wherein you make use of oars in order to make the boat move. This can be done for recreational purposes or              competitively. Its main function was to serve as a way to train for people who rows either professionally or for leisure.

The first rowing machine was patented as early as the 19th century. This great equipment is also being used as a sport. There are a lot of indoor rowing competitions all over the world. The indoor rowing competitions are often segregated into sex, gender, and age.

Rowing machines mainly focuses on the cardiovascular system, muscle toning, and a great way to burn calories. It promotes well-toned arms, as it targets the muscles on both arms known as the biceps and triceps. It builds upper arm, forearm and bone strength.

It helps build a strong core which is very important in the overall body strength we all aim for. It is found in our abdominal area that helps build our muscle packs around the area. It build strong back muscle too as the motion of rowing back and forth promotes strong muscles around our back and sides.

It is known to give great results without the strain that comes from other high impact  routines that can injure the back and damage the knees. Basically, it is a workout for your entire body. It is for both the upper and lower body in one equipment. Leg muscles are exercised too, building strong leg muscles in the process.

Indeed, a rowing machine is ideal if you want an overall exercise to build and strengthen the major muscle groups in our entire body. What can be better than that? Modern indoor rowers includes a monitor that can help you track you heart rate, the calories that you burn, and the number of strokes you have done.

The rowing machines today comes with different types of resistance and made with different material. The most common material used to create a rowing machine is from steel and aluminum making it  durable and can last a lifetime, with proper use and care.

How to use a rowing machine?

Have you ever seen or watched a rowing team in action on the river, sea or ocean? It is usually a water event and a competition wherein a row or two of about ten rowers on each side hold on to each paddle and row as fast as they can usually to a beat of a drummer boy seated in front of the boat.

It is very similar to that except the rowing machine is for a single rower only. For newbies on this type of exercise machine, the rowing machine may come off as a bit intimidating and complicated at first.

You may find it odd to do this exercise since it is unfamiliar to you, being more exposed to stationary bikes, treadmills and other gym equipment. But it is actually fairly easy to use. For new rowers, here is the step by step procedure on how to use a rowing machine:

Step 1: Set the resistance on the lowest level. Later on, once you get the hang of it, you may increase the level little by little.

Step 2: Make sure that you place your feet on the foot handles and secure it with the straps. This is to ensure that your feet doesn’t slide while you are rowing.

Step 3: Put your knees up and hold the handle. Be sure not to hold it too tight. You can either do an overhand or an underhand grip to the oar.

Step 4: After that, you can proceed to pull the handle below your chest while you slide to the end of the rowing machine. Your posture should be at a 45 degree angle. Now keep repeating this step until you get used to the stroke or motion.

After these four basic steps, there are another 4 techniques that you should follow in   order to finish one stroke. These phases are the catch, drive, finish, and the recovery.

Step 5: Catch. First is to move your arms followed by your upper body. Make sure that your back is parallel to your thighs without leaning forward. Also have you shoulders back and your abs tightened. Slide your body forward by bending your legs. By now, your knees will be bent and your arms will be extended.

Step 6: Push off with your feet to slide back to your finishing position then follow with pulling with your arms.

Step 7: When your legs are fully extended and your arms and elbows are back to your sides, then this is what you call the finish.

Now that you know the steps on how to use a rowing machine, here are some more valuable tips you can follow and the common mistakes people do when using this equipment:

  • Do not arch your back or lean forward so that the work does not go all to your shoulder
  • Practice the proper posture by pushing your shoulders back and then down, and keep your back straight
  • Practice proper breathing by breathing through the nose and out the mouth
  • Do not raise your arms too high
  • Keep your knees together and avoid letting them drop to the side
  • Do not grip the oar handle too hard to avoid unnecessary tension in your forearms
  • Instead, practice using only three fingers: the pointing finger, middle finger, and ring finger
  • Place your hands on the outer part of the oar handle
  • Always use your upper back every time you pull to avoid adding pressure to your hands
  • Put the strap on correctly by placing them over the joint of your big toe to avoid your feet from flopping
  • Always check the setting before starting especially when you work out at the gym
  • Do not move your arms and legs at the same time
  • Avoid moving too fast especially when the resistance level is high because this may cause a serious injury to your back

Novices may get a bit confused when reading the steps provided above. It can get boring also if it just printed words without illustrations especially there are people who are more visual, they learn more by seeing.

If you are one of them then I highly suggest that you watch video tutorials on YouTube or other video streaming platforms. Nothing is better than learning through visuals.

You will then get to enjoy watching interesting visuals, you will also enjoy the music which may sometimes be accompanied by this videos. How cool is that? Incorporating fun with learning is a guaranteed way that you will understand and remember what you see, hear     and feel. Using almost all our senses is the way to go.

How do rowing machines work?

Like what is previously mentioned, a rowing machine works by imitating the action of  actual watercraft rowing. It mimics the movement of the paddling of the oar. A rowing machine consists of a braking mechanism that is connected to a chain or a handle.

There is a foot stretcher that is also present to keep your feet in place which enables you to keep your posture. The seat is placed on a rail that allows it to move as you bend and extend your legs. There are different types of rowing machines that works in their own way which has been mentioned earlier in this article.

Does rowing machines work on abs?

Since a rowing machine provides a full body workout, it can’t be helped for people to wonder if it can help with toning your abs as well. The answer to that would be a big YES. This is simply because rowing helps burn a lot of fat on the entire body. We all know that our abs will appear once we get rid of all the fat on top of it.

In order to achieve this though is to have a proper form and stroke, and engage your core. It is best to sit properly, tucking our tummies in, making the muscles in our abdomen firm and taut. Proper breathing exercises, targeting the abdominal area by breathing in and out in synch with the rowing motion, will ensure that we are exercising our core right.

Be sure that you perform the 4 phases of how to do a proper stroke: the catch, the drive, the finish, and the recovery. There are also a few other exercises you can perform and incorporate with an indoor rower that can help you target your mid-section and toning your abs.

These exercises are an ab rollout, mountain climbers with pushup, pikes, and obliques. Indeed, a toned abs can be achieved with consistent, regular and persistent  workout in your rowing machine.

Can a rowing machine help lose weight?

Absolutely! An indoor rower is actually known to be the most ideal equipment to use in order to lose weight especially if you are obese, with some health issues to address and have more fats in your body than necessary.

A rowing machine is the best equipment to use because it does not put a lot of strain on your body unlike other exercises like running or jogging and even by using a treadmill. There is a minimal or even no chance of acquiring injury as long as you use it correctly and have the proper form.

According to Harvard Health   Publications, 30 minutes of rowing can burn around 200 – 311 calories at a moderate pace, and 255 – 377         calories for intense rowing.

Now that is a lot for a few minutes of workout! There are more great reasons as to why an indoor rower is a great choice when it comes to weight loss.  Here are some of them:

  • Perfect for beginners or those that are very out of shape
  • Does not take a lot of space and easy to store
  • It is safe to use
  • Most indoor rowers produces minimal sound
  • Burns a lot of calories
  • Focuses on your whole body and not only on a specific body part
  • Little to no risk of acquiring a knee or back injury
  • Does not only burn calories but it can help build muscle as well

Remember, when it comes to weight loss, regular exercise means nothing if you do not have the right diet. We need to start eating sensibly, making sure we have a balanced, nutritious and healthy meal. It should have all the necessary vitamins and minerals we can find mostly in our vegetables and fruits.

We need to eat meat in moderation, avoiding too much fried foods, processed food, and sugary and refined flours and treats that are high in calories and can spike up our blood sugar leading to diabetes and other diseases. Food preparation is also very important.

Steamed, boiled, baked, and grilled foods are healthier options than deep fried ones. We need to go easy on some condiments as well like ketchup, mayonnaise laden and salty sauces and instead go for ciders, olive oils, and vinegars.

Another thing to remember is that you should have the right mental attitude if you really want to lose weight. Know your reason for wanting to lose weight. Is it to impress a loved one, to get that much coveted promotion, or to boost your sagging self-confidence? Whatever your reason may be, make sure that your primary goal for losing weight and burning fats in your body is to have a fit, disease-free and healthy body.

We should do it, not for anybody but we owe it to ourselves, most of all. Our family deserve to have a good quality of life by encouraging them also by striving to be the best version of ourselves by being fit and healthy. If they see you looking good and healthy, they will definitely be encouraged as well to do the same. It is important to keep yourself motivated.

Some great tips to help you motivated while keeping the fun of rowing is to take brakes when necessary, watch TV or a movie, or listen to music when you are on the rower, experiment with different exercises that you can incorporate to rowing, and have a goal.

Take periodic weight loss monitoring in your weighing scale and reward yourself with simple treats to keep you motivated and keep going. You can even have an exercise buddy so you can both take turns in motivating and encouraging each other to reach your weight goals and keep your ideal weight once you reach it.


As the saying goes, “Health is wealth” rings truer than ever before. Indeed, no amount of wealth can put back a very sick person hanging on to his dear life from a healthy state or condition if he neglects his health in pursuit of wealth. Isn’t it ironic?

We accumulate wealth, build our resources, estate and properties only to find out, later on, that they won’t amount to anything if they become sick, incapacitated to do anything and sadly, dying and no amount of money, the best medical care and procedure can bring back his lost health and vitality.

It is therefore our main concern to take good care of our health and should be our number one priority. We want to make sure that we can grow old and healthy enough to watch our children grow and have their own families in the future.

It is a good legacy to pass on to our children and leave behind a good foundation of a healthy lifestyle which I’m most definitely sure they will try to emulate and follow through.

Exercise and leading a more active lifestyle instead of just sitting around your office computers can also go a long way in your pursuit of good health. There are a lot of activities to choose from, you can swim, walk, jog or run and even engage in active sports of your choice.

You can join sports clubs, enroll in a gym or simply do your workouts at home. It’s really up to you to make that decision to be healthy, not only for yourself but most importantly, for you loved ones and family.

Should you decide to just do your fitness routine at home due to your busy schedule at work or our busy lifestyle, there are many exercise equipment you can choose from to help you achieve your health goals and one of them is buying a rowing machine.

Rowing machines offer a great workout for the entire body that can help burn calories, improve the cardiovascular system, and a great way to tone your muscles.

What makes using an indoor rower great is that you get to use every part of your body which means you get to build and tone each one, giving you an overall workout and exercise for the whole body. You will not only feel a good sense of being strong and healthy, it will also promote weight loss and trim excess fats in your arms, legs and most especially the stubborn fats in your midsection and love handles.

Looking good and feeling good is essential to do our everyday routine. It will boost our confidence and make us ready to face every any challenges that may come our way or face anybody, be it your colleagues, clients and potential life partners. And if you are a family man or woman, you can be sure to be the best role model for your family, relatives and children.

There are lots of gym equipment that are available in the market today. There are treadmills, stationary bikes, workstation, weights, kettles, balls and others that are equally of value to our gym experience as well as our home exercises but owning a rowing machine is something worthy to consider too.

While other exercise machines just target specific parts of the body, what is great about the rowing machine is that it provides overall body workout, which in the long run is better than buying several machines. It’s like having the convenience of buying just one machine with the value of several machines combined.

You not only save precious dollars in the process, you also get to experience one of the best in terms of how it works our total body out. So if you are looking for the most efficient, effective, and valuable fitness equipment for your home or gym, then purchasing an indoor rower is the perfect choice for you.

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