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Choosing the Right Rowing Machine

If you love the full-body workout of a rowing machine and are ready to invest in one, you probably have questions about what to look for.

Below you’ll learn about the steps to take when buying a rowing machine to make sure you make the right choice.

Know How Much Space You Have

Although rowing machines are relatively compact, it’s important to make sure you have enough space to use one comfortably. Rowing machines are usually around the size of a love seat, so have these dimensions in mind as you think about the best place to put your machine. Also keep in mind that hydraulic piston rowing machines are usually smaller while water and air resistance rowers are larger.

Determine Your Budget

The price of a rowing machine can range from less than $100 to more than $4000. Before you start shopping, know how much you can afford to spend, keeping in mind that higher priced models will usually be higher quality. This will narrow down your choices and make the buying process less stressful. Determining your budget before shopping will also keep you from buying a model with all the bells and whistles that you don’t really need.

In general, rowing machines under $400 are low-end, while those over $700 are high-end, but there are always exceptions. Do your research by reading reviews before you settle on one.

Consider Your Needs

An off-season rower looking for a machine to train on will have very different needs than a beginning rower.
If you are a competitive rower or usually row in water, you’ll want to choose a machine that best simulates those conditions. Air and water resistance rowers are good choices.

If you’ll be sharing the machine with other members of your household, you’ll want to choose one with adjustable resistance so it will work well for a variety of fitness levels. Also review the machine’s weight and height capacity to make sure it’s right for everyone.

Understand Resistance Types

Understanding the different resistance types, including air, hydraulic piston, water, and magnetic is an important part of choosing the right rowing machine for your needs.

Air resistance machines determine their intensity based on how hard you row, creating more resistance if you row harder and less resistance if you row at a lower intensity. Their motion is smooth but the fan blades can create noise.

Hydraulic Piston resistance machines are extremely compact and easy to stow away. The pistons used to create adjustable resistance are quiet and these types of machines are usually lowest in price.

Magnetic resistance rowers use a quiet magnetic braking system and provide smooth motion with adjustable resistance. You’ll get less resistance with this type of machine than you will with an air or water rower. They are also highly durable and don’t require much in the way of maintenance.

Water resistance machines create a realistic rowing motion that sounds and feels like you’re on the water. Similarly to air resistance, your intensity determines the level of resistance. The oar blades on the water make noise, but it’s similar to what you’d hear outdoors. These machines are usually the highest in price.

Read the Reviews

Now that you’ve determined some of the rowing machines you’re interested in, you can start reading reviews to find out which models are most in line with your preferences. Look for specifics, including what the machine is made of, the comfort level of the seat, handles, and footrests, the noise level, how easy it is to store, and others’ experiences of the machine.

Now that you know what to look for in a rowing machine, download this month’s promotion to save on rowing machines and other fitness equipment.