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If you’re crafting your dream home gym or hunting for cardio equipment to spruce up your at-home workouts, one of the best rowing machines should be high on your list. As a low-impact cardio machine that yields big results, stationary rowers are a head-to-toe workout. Unlike treadmills, which predominantly work the lower body and core, a rowing machine challenges major muscles during each stroke—legs, glutes, core, arms, back and shoulders included. Rather than sprinting down a track or partaking in plyometric workouts, both of which place high-impact stress on your joints, rowing is much gentler method of burning calories and developing muscles.
A myriad of brands have launched their own rowing machines recently due to an increase in popularity for at-home cardio workouts. As such, the rowing machine market is full of options to meet all of your needs—budget, space and technical capabilities included. We’ve thoroughly browsed a variety of brands and customer and expert reviews to find the best rowing machines to shake up your home gym.
How We Chose The Best Rowing Machines
When selecting the best rowing machines, we base our decisions on customer reviews, expert insights, value and overall quality. We routinely conduct research on rowing machines to find the latest models on the market that provide the best experience for the price. This includes a comparison of tech features, materials, warranties, payment options and resistance specs. As an investment piece for your home gym, a rowing machine shouldn’t be purchased on a whim. This round-up will help guide your decision to find the best equipment that suits your space and budget. This roundup is updated regularly to ensure it reflects the best options on the market and the most accurate information. It was last updated in December 2022.
Is A Water Or Magnetic Rower Better?
Rowing machines rely on resistance to help you work up a sweat, and the two most common forms of resistance are water and magnetism. Which one is right for you depends not only on your needs, but your environment as well. For instance, magnetic rowing machines are incredibly quiet which might come in handy if you live in an apartment, but the technology doesn’t mimic the rowing-on-water experience that so many enjoy. Water rowers, on the other hand, offer a unique experience that resembles the natural movement of rowing in water, but they tend to be more expensive and require a bit of maintenance. Again, the one you choose will be a matter of personal preference.
What Are Rowing Machines Good For?
A rowing machine mimics the same motion and resistance as actual water rowing. Not only is it a cardio sport that increases your heart rate for endurance, it’s a strength training workout that targets major muscles across your body. You can set the resistance and pace to increase or reduce the intensity as and when you want. One of its major benefits above other cardio machines is that it’s low-impact and places limited stress on your joints. As you get into a rowing rhythm, your body will start to naturally move through the motion. But the workout is tough—you can’t slack off without losing momentum and as a result, it constantly challenges you.
Is Rowing A Good Way To Lose Weight?
Yes, rowing is an effective form of cardio for weight loss if you want to drop some body fat. One study among 20 participants found that a 6-week indoor rowing program decreased both fat mass and total body fat percentage. This is due in part to the cardio element, which helps elevate your heart rate and torch calories. It’s also an excellent machine for boosting your lean muscle as rowing recruits around 85% of the total muscles in your body. Combining cardio and strength training exercises is especially effective at boosting and maintaining your weight loss efforts.