Best Rowing Machine 2021 Guide

A rowing machine is one of the most complete pieces of fitness equipment available for both cardio and strength training in one powerful low impact workout. But how do you find the best rowing machine for your home gym? Read on to learn the 12 most important factors you need to consider before purchasing a rower.

Best Rowing Machine Photo

Unlike many other popular fitness machines, a rowing machine targets and tones both the upper and lower body all at once.

Working out on a rowing machine can burn fat and calories while strengthening many of your muscles. In fact, you can burn up to 50% more calories and workout your entire body from your shoulders to your calves.

When working out on a rowing machine, you engage a wide variety of muscles and muscle groups including:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Biceps
  • Forearms
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Obliques
  • Pectoral
  • Hip flexors
  • And more

Because of the combination of both strength and cardio benefits, you can see quicker results in less time than many other fitness machines that don’t offer the dual benefits.

While using a rower requires a more refined technique than an upright bike, elliptical or treadmill, it’s not hard to get down after a couple of workouts.

How to Choose the Best Rowing Machine

12-Point Checklist

Whether or not you buy a rowing machine from Diamondback Fitness, this 12-point checklist will help you find the best rowing machine for your home gym.

1. Know the Dimensions

Rowing machines are longer than other fitness machines and require considerable horizontal space. But, don’t let the sound of this stop you from buying one. Simply measure your space and then check the dimensions of the model you’re interested in.

2. Know your Budget

You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a good rower. A quality rower will typically cost between $800-$1,200.

3. Select the Proper Resistance Type

One of the biggest differences between rowers is the type of resistance it provides. There are four primary types of rowing resistance systems available:

  1. Air
  2. Magnetic
  3. Water
  4. Hydraulic

The Diamondback Fitness 910R Rowing Machine offers a dual resistance system that combines both air and magnetic resistance which gives you infinite resistance adjustability.

4. Read the Reviews

While rower review sites offer a place for you to compare rowers from different manufacturers, they typically only provide the review of one person. Be sure to also read online reviews on the manufacturers website or marketplaces like Amazon. There you will find multiple reviews telling you about the good, bad, and the ugly from actual customers who have them in their homes.

5. Check the Noise Levels

Consider how noisy a machine is before you purchase. If you live in an apartment, have roommates or share walls or a floor with neighbors, keeping your workouts as quiet as possible is important. Resistance is what creates the most noise and sound. And, each resistance system creates it’s own level of noise. Some are quiet while others are not.

In general, air and water tend to produce more noise while hydraulic and magnetic are know to be more silent.

6. Verify It’s Easy to Store

Because a rowing machine takes up a lot of floor space, you likely want to find one that you can put away between uses. Look for one that allows you to fold it up for easy storage. Note that some models available do not fold for easy storage.

7. The Console is Easy to Use

The console should be simple and easy to use. Look for one that offers in-console games that challenge and push you as you race side by side with simulated boats to get into better shape. The console should also track key metrics like strokes per minute, time, distance, and calories.

8. It Is Customizable

Look for a model that allows customization. The rower should offer adjustable resistance settings, preset and customizable workout programs, adjustable console arm so that you can properly view the console at all times, and provide articulating foot beds that adjust to your foot size.

9. It has a Heart Rate Receiver

In order to get the best workout possible, you’re going to track your heart rate. For best results, look for a rower that has a built in wireless heart rate receiver. You’ll have to purchase a chest strap separately but is well worth it. You can find a compatible one for around $50.

10. Verify the Shipping Details

Because these can weigh 100 lbs or more when shipped, look for free shipping to help save on costs. Next, verify if it will be shipped parcel or freight. Because of their typical size and weight, prepare to have a friend or relative there at delivery to help bring it into your home and get it to the room of your choice. Delivery drivers will drop it off on your driveway, not into your home.

11. Verify the Warranty

Be sure to read the full warranty and know what you can expect if your rower needs repair within the first few years of purchase. It is recommended that you find one that offers at least 3 years on parts and electronics and one year on labor should something go wrong.

12. Read the Return Policy

While you might not initially worry about returning your rower, it’s good to know what you can expect should you need to do so. Look for a 30-day money back guarantee to help make sure you made the right decision. Verify if you are responsible for return shipping charges or if they are included with purchase.

There you have it! With these 12 actionable steps, you can find the best rowing machine for your home gym.