Best Rowing Machines - Reviews 2019 - 2020

[product_list cat="Recumbent bikes"]

Top 5 Rowing Machines

Concept2 Model D Review - Our Number 1

concept-2-model-d-indoor-rower-with-pm5-monitorConcept2’s Model D indoor rower is the bestselling indoor rower in the world. We’ll just leave that little fact there to resonate. And it consistently sells for a very good reason: this is an exceptional rowing machine. Built to train Olympic standard athletes and to endure same the punishing training regime they follow, efficient engineering give the Concept2 Model D the assured longevity you would expect from the unabashedly high price tag accompanying it.

  • The onboard Performance Monitor 5 efficiently tracks and clearly displays comparable workout data results in distance, speed, pace, calories burned and watts to motivate users
  • The backlit display illuminates automatically when it detects motion, so you’re good to go
  • It is Bluetooth enabled and USB compatible for further personalization of your workout
  • An easy to operate menu showcases the huge range of preset workouts and games
  • Adjustable footrests allow quick, easy sizing for optimum rowing posture
  • The flywheel has a spiral damper for smooth resistance alteration and an adaptable stroke
  • A quick release mechanism divides the frame into two for simple storage
  • The 10 degree bend to the ergonomic handle encourages natural positioning of hands and arms as you row, maximising the potential for a deep and effective upper body workout

A prestige product comes at a prestige price but Concept2 have absolutely crammed the Model D with compensations for those who are prepared to make the stretch. Body beneficial tweaks throughout the design allow this machine to feel bespoke, so good is the fit for the user. The integrated technology gives unprecedented access to athlete level programmes and add ons without excluding less experienced users who have made the commitment to get in shape.


Features: Performance Monitor 5 - Huge array of workouts - Adjustable footrests - Olympic level design standards - Bluetooth enabled and USB compatible

Pricing: High end



York Fitness R700 Review - Number 2

york-fitness-r700-platinum-rowing-machineFollowing the professional physique of our Olympic option was never going to be an easy feat and, it would be fair to say, the R700 looks a bit average by comparison. But who among us wouldn’t when put beside an Olympian? Though a very different proposition, this mid level machine can stand proud on its own merits. The smooth pulling action action and compact design allow users to row in comfort and focus on the intense workout that prolonged rowing offers.

  • 8 resistance levels from a combination of magnets and air for super smooth rowing action
  • Adjustable handle height allows users to find the position which most suits them
  • Large padded seat for comfort
  • Pivoting footplates with velcro straps encourage correct foot positioning
  • Retractable seat offers the flexibility to easily store the rower
  • The onboard computer displays time (per 500m), distance, calories and strokes per minute

The York Fitness R700 is a workable alternative to a pricey gym membership. It has sufficient resistance to keep users working hard through the 8 resistance levels and its ease of use allows you to focus on building muscle and elevating your cardiovascular fitness undistracted. We have taken a big step down in terms of quality and this machine does look undeniably cheaper. The aesthetic won’t affect performance but the lower quality materials will impact longevity.


Features: 8 levels of resistance - Smooth rowing action - Pivoting footplates - Padded seat

Pricing: Mid range



Bodymax Infiniti R90 Review - Number 3

Bodymax Infiniti R90 ReviewWith the inclusion of closer footrests for the feel of rowing on water, the imaginative design of the Bodymax Infiniti R90 brings a real world rower’s experience to a home exercise platform. The onboard computer allows multiple user profiles to be set, making this a machine particularly well suited to family use or sharers.The fullness of stroke suits taller users while an extra strong aluminium beam lends welcome stability.

  • Hi-spec LCD console with a wide variety of programmes help users get creative
  • Feedback provided on time, speed, distance, strokes per minute, calories and torque
  • Robust frame for machine longevity and workout stability
  • The heart rate controlled programme is a motivating feature
  • Remote control integrated into the handle
  • The auto controlled air resistance system offers a truly smooth rowing action

This is mid range done right. An exceptionally smooth rowing action and easy fold action also make it a great choice for users rebuilding strength and endurance after injury. The dual colour LCD console is equipped with 12 programmes, offering new challenges across a range of abilities.


Features: Easy fold system - Dual colour console - Magnetic resistance - 12 programmes

Pricing: Mid range



Skandika SF-1140 Review - Number 4

skandika-sf-1140-regatta-pro-5-neptune-rowing-machineFor general whole body fitness and toning, heart health and endurance, the Skandika SF-1140 is an affordable and reliable choice. Perhaps not a hardcore athletes machine, this rower presents achievable levels of difficulty for newcomers to static rowing machines and users on their way back from injury. The clever addition of interchangeable handles allow users to experience and benefit from a variety of rowing techniques and postures aboard a single machine.

  • Onboard training computer tracks time, speed, strokes and calories
  • New training goals can be easily integrated to the system
  • Adjustable and interchangeable handles allow for a refreshingly varied workout
  • A smart built in receiver can be paired with a chest strap to monitor heart rate as you move
  • This machine folds simply and transports easily
  • The polyfibre pull system offers low to moderate intensity for intermediate rowers


Features: On board computer - Easy to set training goals - Smart receiver - Fold-able design

Pricing: Affordable



Skandika SF-1150 Regatta Review - Number 5

Skandika SF-1150 Regatta ReviewThe second of our Skandika machines - the SF-1150 Regatta Poseidon - again offers that interchangeable handle option. A lovely add on to give longevity of use to a lower priced, lower challenge, machine. It is the cheaper of the pair and has sacrificed a couple of features to the price point drop but retains the Skandika solidity and quality for an effective full body workout.

  • Onboard training computer tracks time, speed, strokes and calories
  • Personal training targets can be easily integrated to the system
  • Interchangeable handles allow for a refreshingly varied workout
  • The simplicity of build makes this a low maintenance option
  • This machine folds in two quick steps for ease of transport
  • Three resistance levels can be set by adjusting the bungee cord system

The running length on the SF-1150 is only 70cm so taller users would have to consider whether this presents an obstacle. This machine offers comparatively light resistance so, once again, is a piece of equipment better suited to home users seeking to achieve gradual health, strength and endurance goals rather than powerful rowers looking to be put through their paces each day.


Features: On board computer - Personal targets - Easily fold-able

Pricing: Affordable




The numerous shoppers who combined their buying power to make our top pick a worldwide bestseller certainly chose wisely. The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower With PM5 Monitor wins first place by a mile. Which is apt, considering its Olympic pedigree. Experience, thought and care has gone into every inch of this beautiful, user friendly machine. From the moveable tilt of the LCD display - with that motivating range of features - through the sympathetic design of the ergonomic handle, adjustable footrests and beyond. The Model D deservedly takes gold.

If your main exercise priorities are bodybuilding and fat burning, stationary rowing is the workout for you. Designed to replicate the action of rowing a boat across water, this is a low impact high-results way to get fit. Minimal stress through knees, hips and ankles ensures those lower body joints are well protected. While the effective pulling movement through arms and upper body really builds strength and engages the core.

The quality and variety of indoor rowing machines, for home use, has never been better. There are now a wide range of seriously impressively machines on the market with professional level gadgetry and sleek, ergonomically impeccable, looks to tempt you into leaping onboard. But we’re going to suggest that you set your awe aside and be realistic about your abilities, budget and end goal. Different sources of resistance will alter the rowing feel and, ultimately, when the lure of good looks has abated, the machine which feels right for you will be the one you persevere with.

The types of resistance you’ll most commonly encounter are: hydraulic (or piston) resistance, magnetic resistance, water resistance and air resistance. Each type has its own attributes so, if you’re new to rowing machines or have experience of only a single model, it would be sensible to take the time to get familiar with which resistance type best suits you and your body type. A good rower will be adjustable, to a greater or lesser extent, but taller users need to consider their stature and reach before committing to a purchase.

Take a realistic look at your home before you buy, too. Rowers are generally narrow but they have a long footprint and will require dedicated floor space that you can comfortably move around and within. Having a rowing machine accessible for you in the home will be a real asset to your health and well being, as long as you use it regularly. The better the fit for you the rower is the more likely you are to enjoy and  benefit from it. If budget is a consideration consider your priorities before automatically opting for cheap and cheerful. Often a small financial stretch can pay dividends in terms of the quality of materials and longevity of use a higher end rowing machine brings. Click here to check out our reviews on recumbent exercise bikes.

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