Best Rowing Machines in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 22, 2021
Millions of people are suffering from cardiovascular diseases worldwide and if you care about your health, you should certainly perform regular exercises. A rowing machine is the best fitness equipment for this purpose! We have selected and reviewed 5 best rowing machines for you! ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Design
Resistance levels
Displayed information
Maximum user weight
Extras
Unit weight
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

Owing to Bluetooth, the machine can be synced with a smartphone or tablet. By dowloading the Concept2 ErgData app, you'll be able to save your workout results and track the progress.

CONS

The wheels to move it around don't work well on carpets.

OUR VERDICT

For those looking for a high-quality rowing machine that will be able to handle the most demanding workouts and serve you for a long while, the Concept2 Model D will be a solid investment. It's very robust and reliable.

detailed parameters
Type
Mechanical
Design

Flywheel + Damper

Resistance levels
10
Displayed information
Distance, Speed, Pace, Calories
Maximum user weight
~ 230 kg
Extras

LCD monitor, Bluetooth Smart technology (compatible with Concept2 ErgData app), Low-Profile design, Wheels for easy transport

Unit weight
26 kg
Dimensions

244 х 61 х 36 cm (assembled)

Warranty
5 years on frame, 2 years on other parts
PROS

Thanks to the unique double aluminium railway and a shock absorber underneath the sliding rail, this machine works ultra smoothly and quietly, even on the highest resistance level.

CONS

Foot straps are lacking in quality. 

OUR VERDICT

Fitted with a 3-kg flywheel and 15 resistance levels, the Dripex Magnetic Rowing Machine is an ideal pick for those who'd like to gradually improve their fitness level. It offers medium-intensity training and can suit beginners and professionals alike.

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic

Design

Flywheel

Resistance levels

15

Displayed information

Time, Distance, Count, Total count, Calories

Maximum user weight

120 kg

Extras

Non-slip handlebar, Adjustable straps & pedals, Rear stabiliser, LCD monitor, Adaptable monitor holder, Unique shock absorber & double sliders

Unit weight

27.5 kg

Dimensions

179 х 76.3 х 52.8 cm (assembled)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The unit doubles as a mini gym for muscle toning and strengthening of your arms, chest, shoulders, lats and abs. Great for gentle, full-body workouts. 

CONS

It's not very compact when folded.

OUR VERDICT

The Body Sculpture BR 3010 is an excellent entry-level rowing machine with added workout capabilities that can help you strengthen your whole body. Great for those who are at the beginning of their fitness journey.

detailed parameters
Type

Mechanical

Design

Flywheel 

Resistance levels


Displayed information

Scan, Time, Count, Total count, Calories

Maximum user weight

110 kg

Extras

Large pivoting footplates with secure strap, Built-in gym, Ergonomic seat, Free complimentary DVD, Foldable construction

Unit weight

~ 16 kg

Dimensions

120 x 32 x 19.2 cm

Warranty

1 year

PROS

A tablet/smartphone holder allows you to watch different videos during your workouts and, thus, stay more motivated. Air vents with the inbuilt self-generating fan create a comfortable airflow.

CONS

The assembly process is a bit tricky. 

OUR VERDICT

The JLL Ventus 2 rowing machine is widely used by professional athletes. It's an innovative model that combines Magnetic and Air resistance, meaning the harder you row, the greater the resistance. 12-function monitor displays all the important data. 

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic with air

Design

Flywheel + Magnetic, combined with air resistance

Resistance levels

8

Displayed information

Time, Time 500M, Calorie, Distance, Strokes, Strokes per minute (SPM), Pulse, Total strokes, Date, Clock, Calendar, Temperature

Maximum user weight

120 kg

Extras

LCD monitor, Padded handlebars, Wide platform pedals, Padded seat, Tablet holder, Air vents, Built-in wheels at the front, Folding frame design

Unit weight

34.7 kg

Dimensions

214 x 54 x 115 cm (assembled)

115 x 54 x 142 cm (folded)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This rower with a single hydraulic piston allows you to choose the preferable resistance from 12 levels so that you can adjust the intensity of your workouts.

CONS

The seat can be a bit wobbly.

OUR VERDICT

Whether you need an affordable rower for warming up or getting some exercising throughout a day, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 is a perfect choice. For less than £90, there's a lot of going for it.

detailed parameters
Type

Mechanical

Design

Hydraulic cylinder

Resistance levels

12

Displayed information

Time, Count, Total count, Calories burned, Scan

Maximum user weight

100 kg

Extras

LCD display, Steel slide rail, Pivoting foot pedals with adjustable straps, Wide padded seat, Floor levellers, Non-slip grip handlebars

Unit weight

9.3 kg

Dimensions

137 x 50.8 x 54 cm

Warranty

3 years on structural frame, 180 days on other parts and components

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Concept2 Model D

What Could Be Easier?

The Model D is a great rowing machine produced by Concept2, which remains the best-seller on the market. Let's see what makes it so popular.

First things first, the Concept2 Model D is a conventional mechanical rowing machine with a flywheel. The resistance of this model is created by the air and propeller. It has a simple design yet it's very convenient and allows users to benefit in multiple ways.

For starters, the machine doesn't require any special maintenance nor does it need filling with water or plugging in the mains. It is ready to use out of the box. Secondly, it has user-friendly and simple controls, making it a breeze to use. Thirdly, it features 10 resistance levels, so you can progress gradually once you feel you're ready for that. Finally, the Concept2 Model D comes with a damper which changes the resistance of the machine by controlling the amount of air.

Speaking of build quality, the unit has a robust and durable steel frame that is able to withstand the maximum weight up to 230 kg. This makes it suitable for almost anyone, even if you're somewhat on a heavy side.

Review of Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower with PM5 Monitor

Smart Workout Performance Monitoring

Another perk of this rower is that it's compatible with several monitor types. The model on hands is featured with a PM5 workout monitor: a straightforward and easy-to-use screen with eight buttons. The display has backlighting and can be well seen in different light conditions, so you can place it in any room. The data shown on the screen include the distance covered, speed, pace, and the number of calories burned. Yet, the perks don't end here.

What is also great about the PM5 monitor is that it's Bluetooth-compatible, meaning you can sync it with your mobile device to keep your progress handy. All you need is to download the ErgData app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, and the app will save the important information in the memory of your gadget so you can check it and compare results. What's more, the PM5 is also compatible with a Bluetooth heart rate sensor, a feature especially useful for those who control their pulse while exercising.

Though we've already mentioned ergonomics, we'd like to dwell on it more. The rower has a comfy, ergonomically-shaped seat with a rubber-coated handle and adjustable footrests allowing you to work out with greater comfort. What's more important is that while looking rather bulky the rower is more on a compact side and when folded can be easily stored under your bed or even in a drawer. This makes it a practical choice for confine and large spaces alike. Speaking of assembly, it's simple and quick. Supplied with a user manual, it will hardly take you longer than 10 minutes to put it together.

In all, if you need an effective, functional, and reliable rowing machine, the Concept2 Model D can be the best choice.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower with PM5 Monitor in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B00NH9WEUA

VIDEO
Concept 2 Model D rowing machine (A Miss Info Review)
 

Dripex Magnetic

Ultra Quiet

If you're looking for a budget-friendly magnetic home rower, you can't go wrong with the Dipex machine. While many other models with the magnetic type of resistance are rocketing up in price, this one is a really welcome sight. Yet, despite its low retail price, it's a sturdy piece of equipment with strong triangular support and adjustable metal floor pads. Fitted with a double sliding rail and shock absorber, it also remains very quiet no matter how hard you’re working out. Even on the highest resistance level, there will be little noise. With that, your ride will be not only extra quiet but smooth too.

As far as the design is concerned, the Dipex rower has a 3-kg flywheel, making it great for individuals up to 120 kg. The dual-rail length is generous and can fit people of different builds comfortably without the fuss of changing multiple heights. The foot straps are also easy to adjust between users. The seat is comfortable and ergonomic, while the handlebars are fairly soft but retain their grip well.

Overall, the Dripex machine looks solid with a sleek and elegant profile. It's also quite lightweight compared to its peers, and whatever your physical level, you won't have problems with moving it around your home. When not in use, the machine can stand upright and takes up minimum space, which makes it excellent for smaller city apartments.
Review of Dripex Magnetic Rowing Machine

15 Levels of Resistance

The most prominent feature of this machine is its wide range of resistance levels, making it ideal for new users who would like to improve their fitness performance at a slow pace. Namely, the Dripex rower offers 15 magnetic resistance levels, which is a lot more than you would expect from this sort of fitness equipment. So, whatever physical level you’re at, you'll be able to hit your goals with this rowing machine. Basically, 1-5 levels will let you exercise aerobically, 6-10 levels can help you get into the fat-burning zone and increase your heart level, and 11-15 resistance levels can help you work out your body and tone your muscles. The built-in LCD console will show you such stats as time, distance, and calories burned to keep you motivated.

Wrapping things up, the Dripex is a high-quality rower that offers multiple resistance levels to help you begin your exercise journey and firm your body. Equipped with a 3-kg magnetic flywheel, it offers medium-intensity training and would make a great entry-level home rower. Plus, its operation is smooth and quiet, so it's unlikely to disturb people around you.

Dripex Magnetic Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £359.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B08JJFLGQQ

 

Body Sculpture BR3010

2-in-1 Machine

If you are a beginner who wants to learn fitness basics but are short on time or money to pay gym subscriptions, the Body Sculpture BR3010 rowing machine might be the best fit for you. The thing that appeals about this model is that it's not just a basic rowing machine like most entry models are but a whole mini gym that can be used for full-body workouts. That has become possible owing to additional cables that allow converting the BR3010 from a cardio rower to a machine for resistance workouts within just a couple of minutes.

Since the Body Sculpture BR3010 is a rowing machine first and foremost, before going into details let's focus first on its rowing capabilities. The rower has 3 tension cords that can be set to low, medium, or high resistance depending on your fitness level. Users note that the machine gives a low-impact cardio workout that is safe for beginners, old users, people with ailments, and just for everyone else who wants a very gentle dose of home workouts. And while rowing itself can deliver you a full-body aerobic workout, you can switch to the cables and lock the seat at one of the preset positions to isolate individual muscle groups. The carabiner clips attached to the straight bar and handle attachments make it easy for users to switch between rowing and weight training.

On this rower and gym, you can do a great number of different exercises to strengthen your arms, lats, chest, shoulders, back and even the abs (seated rows, bicep curls, pec flys, standing lateral raises, and more).

Review of Body Sculpture BR3010 Rower and Gym

Some Nifty Extras

For those who are just starting their fitness journey and not sure how things work, the manufacture supplies this rower with a DVD disc which contains detailed instructions on its assembly and use, as well as precautions and useful tips on how to get the most out of 15+ exercises that can be performed on this combo machine.

Another useful feature is the built-in computer that monitors and displays your time, calories burned, stroke count, total, count, and scan. This way, you will easily keep track of your progress.

The BR3010 is foldable in half and convenient to store. You'll be able to lift it by yourself and transport wherever you need. Yet, take note that it takes reasonable space even when folded.

Overall, this rowing machine with added workout capabilities is a great bargain you just can't miss. It can bring you versatile full-body workouts in the comfort of your own home.

Body Sculpture BR3010 Rower and Gym in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B002EEP21C

 

JLL Ventus 2 Air Resistance

Innovative Model

The Ventus 2 is more advanced than many other rowing machines, however, its price is very conservative, which makes it a perfect mid-range home rowing machine with a top-level spec.

Taking a closer look at the rower, it has been recently improved and sports a number of novelty features such as the "dual resistance" setup, a type of resistance, which can be rarely seen in trainers like this. Furthermore, whereas most other rowers offer either magnetic or air resistance, the Ventus 2 has them both. This allows it to provide ultimately smooth and consistent motion, giving the rower a feel of a commercial-grade gym machine. The principle of work is simple: the harder you pull, the more air will be allowed into the flywheel, and the higher overall training resistance will be. Such combo allows for a more challenging row when you reach the top of the resistance levels (there are eight of them), which makes it suitable for novice users and for more experienced rowers too.

To check your progress, the Ventus 2 features a large, well-readable LCD monitor. It sits nicely at your eyes level and shows such key data as strokes, strokes per minute, total strokes, time per 500 metres, calories burned, overall distance, pulse rate, date/time and even temperature. Plus, there is a tablet holder right about the display, a handy addition which can be used to hold your mobile gadgets while you row. It is shaped as a simple curved cradle and has generous arms to fit anything from small phones to full-sized tablets. Besides, unlike most other rowing machines, it doesn't block the console, so you can watch videos on YouTube and keep an eye on your fitness performance at the same time.

Review of JLL Ventus 2 Air Resistance Home Rowing Machine

Nice Ergonomics

When it comes to construction, the Ventus 2 has a solid V-shaped base that gives it stability and allows it to support a maximum user weight of 120 kg.

Overall, each part feels weighty, well-built and quality. The seat here is padded but the padding is not squishy, as is often the case in cheaper machines, so you will not be sinking in it. As far as the handlebars go, they are made from sweat-resistant, non-slip plastic material that feels comfortable to the touch and doesn't irritate the skin. But the biggest standout of this model giving it the edge over its rivals is the inclusion of a self-generating fan. Thanks to it, even during the most intense sessions, you’ll stay comfortably cool.

To conclude, the Ventus 2 is the model that can provide you with maximum comfort as you train. The details like the padded seat, large console, and built-in fan will make your workouts more enjoyable, while dual resistance ensures the extra smoothness of each rowing stroke.

JLL Ventus 2 Air Resistance Home Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £519.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07ZJMR6JK

 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205

The Best Seller

Sunny Health & Fitness is a respectable company that has its made by providing high-quality fitness equipment at very affordable price tags, and the SF-RW1205 isn't an exception. It's definitely one of the most budget-friendly and popular rowing machines not only in the Sunny Health & Fitness lineup but in the whole industry. Due to its simplicity, effectiveness, and affordability, the machine has a nearly 5-star rating and more than a thousand positive reviews on Amazon. Most customers report that this rower has passed their expectations and actually offers more than its retail price. Let's check what you get.

The SF-RW1205 has a single hydraulic piston to provide enough resistance for your workouts. The cylinder attaches to the front part of the frame and the pulling bar, and at the point where it connects to the pulling bar, there is a simple knob for adjustment. In total, the machine offers 12 resistance levels to choose from, which should give you good control over your workouts. But take note that you should adjust the height of the piston rather than turn a handy dial to set the resistance level.

As for other parts, the seat on the SF-RW1205 rower is well-padded and generally not less comfortable than the rest of the competition. The footplates here are also quite large and can keep your feet in a comfortable position. They pivot a little back and forth as you row.

When it comes to the monitor, it's quite basic and only tracks time, calories, the number of rows per workout, and total rows. There’s also a scan feature that will cycle throughout all monitored values if you prefer. Nothing fancy but for the price, we're surprised it comes with a monitor at all.

Review of Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

Compact and Light

What also comes as a surprise is that the machine at sub-£100 range is so well-built and sturdy. The rower features a thick steel frame and all of its parts are coated with silver, anti-corrosive paint. Overall, the construction is pretty simple and is composed of four main bars (front and rear stabilisers, seat rail, and the pulling bar). That's why it comes almost entirely assembled and requires users to take only four steps after delivery.

Dissimilar to many higher-end rowers, the frame here doesn't feature a folding design. Yet, it doesn't take a lot of space due to its 135 x 51 cm footprint, making it a popular choice for small homes. It’s also far from being too heavy (only 9 kg), so almost anyone will be able to lift it and move to the storage location. But the tradeoff for its modest dimensions is a bit limited weight capacity, which is only 100 kg.

In all, considering the good resistance levels and the great asking price, we think that the Sunny Health & Fitness rower can be a smart buy for smaller users on a tight budget. If you’re looking for a basic rower with sturdy construction, it's surely the one to put on your list.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £89.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B009QXP77I

 

What Is a Rowing Machine?

Whether you are an inexperienced user on the hunt for a home rowing machine or you'd like to improve your fitness level by adding rowing activity to your workouts, we offer you our pick of the best indoor rowing machines that you can purchase right now. All of these models come in styles that are comfy to use at home and quick to disassemble after training, and all of them can bring value to your workout and add more dynamics to it.

Rowing offers plenty of benefits. For one, it ensures that the force is equally distributed between all your muscle groups, making it easier to develop a beautiful and well-trimmed body. For two, it can greatly improve your stamina. Featuring numerous built-in programs and various resistance levels, these machines allow everyone to achieve different goals and make workouts more engaging. Thus, if you're looking for a way to add diversity to your home workouts and contemplate an idea of approaching rowing technique, go for it. In this article, you can find the best rowing equipment produced by popular brands.

Along with a home rowing machine, you may want to equip your home gym with one of these treadmills. Also, you should get a jump rope and dumbbells.

What Features to Compare

Type

Generally, there are two types of rowing machines you can choose from - mechanical and magnetic. However, they can differ in styles, as well as in the number of features that can be included so it's worth checking them out as well. Speaking of styles, here are the most common you can find on the market today:

  • Flywheel rowing machines are the most widespread. They have a propeller rotating due to the motion of a flywheel. The more effort you apply, the stronger the resistance will be.
  • Water rowing machines have a similar operating principle, however, the resistance is created by the water poured in a water tank. Your every stroke makes the propeller move inside the tank so you can feel the effect of resistance on your muscles.
  • Finally, hydraulic rowing machines work due to two pistons creating the resistance by means of special liquid.

As for magnetic rowers, these can be magnetic and electromagnetic.

  • Magnetic rowing machines create the resistance by means of two magnets moving at a certain distance from a flywheel.
  • Electromagnetic rowing machines have the same operating principle but also use an electromagnetic field while working.

In general, magnetic rowing machines are less noisy as there is no friction between their internal components.

Machine Components

The rowing machine consists of several parts. All of them perform their own functions to make the process of exercising as effective as possible. The frame can be made of wood or stainless steel. A sliding seat is designed to train your feet while your arms are strengthened thanks to a handle attached to a hawser. Depending on the type of a machine, there is also a flywheel or pistons generating the resistance. A monitor displays the speed, time, burned calories, and the distance for you to understand how your progress is going. The majority of rowing machines have special straps to fix your feet for greater convenience and safety.

Usability

This feature is of the utmost importance, too. Since a rowing machine is a relatively large and heavy piece of equipment, it has to be convenient and easy to use. Consider its principle of operation and make sure it will be easy to set a machine in motion. Take note that rowing machines with flywheel work less smoothly than magnetic ones and may jerk slightly every time you make a stroke. However, this doesn't make them worse and many customers prefer them over magnetic models. Also, check the storage options. It will be good if a rower can be folded so it doesn't take up a lot of space and can be tucked under the furniture. Built-in wheels are another advantage, letting you move the rower with ease.

Exercises You Can Do

Although a rower looks like a basic piece of fitness equipment, it allows you to vary your workouts making them more effective and challenging.

Simple Rowing

First of all, we would like to help you get the technique of simple rowing right. The basic exercise includes 3 positions:

  • Catch. Sit on the rowing machine, bend your knees, and put your feet in the hold. Then, stretch your arms and grab the handle of the rower firmly. Your abs should be tight and your back mustn't be hunched.
  • Drive. Push with your legs and pull the handle with your arms simultaneously. Don't straighten your legs until they are completely unbent.
  • Finish. After straightening your legs, lean back at approximately a 45-degree angle. Keep your arms extended.

Reverse and return to the original position.

Power Curls

By doing power curls, you can tone and strengthen your biceps. This type of exercise also challenges the core muscles more.

Do basic rowing 3 times and then bend your elbows and bring the handle of the rower towards your chin. Uncurl.

Repeat the exercise 8-10 times.

Side Curls

Side rows can help you work out your arms and cinch your waistline. Also, this variation of rowing can tone your chest a bit.

Catch the handle, making sure your back is completely erect.

Push whilst straightening your legs. Pull the handle to your left side and lean back.

Repeat the same for the right side. Do the exercise 8-12 times for each side.

Sprints

This variation is also called Extreme Rowing because it involves increasing of the rowing speed. It can help you achieve a better cardio effect and burn more calories.

You simply need to do the regular rowing but you shouldn't take the handle all the way back. Do the exercise as quickly as you can. Begin with 1 minute and then gradually increase this time and speed of rowing.

Long Distance

This exercise can help you improve your stamina and overall health accordingly. In this exercise, you need to increase the resistance and lower your pace.

Do the simple rowing but at a bit slower than usual pace.

When you reach the Finish position, bend your arms and pull the handle back towards you. Try not to hunch your back and lean back as much as you can.

Useful Tips

Always keep in mind that the right breathing technique is the key to successful workouts. Inhale while you're in the Catch position and exhale while you're pulling the handle. Inhale once you get back into the original position.

Begin a rowing workout with a warm-up and end it with a good stretching session.

To stay motivated, make your personal fitness plan that you'll enjoy. Increase the resistance step by step to challenge yourself more.

Sources:

1. Todd Maternowski How to Choose a Rowing Machine, Healthy Living Fitness.

2. How to Row on a Rowing Machine, wikiHow.

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