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The BEST Rowing Machines 2024

Updated: Nov 20

One of the staple movements in Functional Fitness and CrossFit, Rowing has serious bang for the buck for a total body cardio movement and here are our top picks for the best rowing machine.

Indoor rowing using rowing machines is a great way to activate your quads, back and biceps whilst firing your core and being a low-impact movement (saving those joints!). But don't let this fool you, it's a serious workout too.

If you're looking to invest in the best rowing machines for your home, gym or to add to your wish-list, we've picked the best from the best and found the top 6 rowing machines for you.

Overall Best Rowing Machine

concept 2 best rowing machine

RowERG Model D Indoor Rowing Machine


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Best Budget Friendly Rowing Machine

sunny health best rowing machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

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Quietest Rowing Machine For Home Use

echanfit best rowing machine

ECHANFIT Magnetic Rowing Machine

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Best Smart Rowing Machine

echelon best rowing machine

Echelon Smart Rowing Machine

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Best Water Rowing Machine

srunow best rowing machine

SRUNOW Water Rowing Machine

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Rowing can be one of the best but toughest workouts you can do, and in my opinion is not seen enough in workouts either in CrossFit gyms or in functional bodybuilding. The movement of rowing hits all the major muscle groups as well as jacking the heart rate sky high to get in a supreme cardio workout.

Whether you're getting stuck into rowing intervals or using rowing as part of a circuit workout, you can be sure that an indoor rowing machine should be your next addition to your gym setup.

Best Overall Rowing Machine

concept 2 best rowing machine

RowERG Concept2 ModelD Rowing Machine

There is no doubt in our mind that the Concept2 Row Erg Rowing Machine is the BEST rowing machine out there at the moment. There is a reason why this machine is so popular among functional fitness athletes, professional rowers and CrossFit athletes around the world. It relies on a variable resistance flywheel that provides constant resistance. Originally designed from a bicycle wheel and some fans, the Concept2 rower has become the platinum standards for rowing.



✅ Constant resistance for a smooth row

🚩 No built in apps for phones

✅ Easy to use and store

✅ The Industry standard around the globe

✅ Calories, Wattage, Metre feedback monitor

Best Budget Friendly Rowing Machine

sunny health best rowing machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine

The Sunny Health & Fitness Budget Rowing Machine has a great range of functionality, competing with those almost triple in price; a digital monitor with time, calories and metres, extra long slide rail at 48 inches and adjustable resistance. At only $249, this rowing machine is definitely the cheapest with the best functionality for the price.



✅ Magnetic resistance for a quiet row

🚩 No built in apps for phones

✅ Easy to move with wheels

🚩 Small monitor & limited feedback

✅ Long slide rail for tall athletes

🚩 8 levels of resistance

Quietest Rowing Machine For Home Use

echanfit best rowing machine

ECHANFIT Magnetic Rowing Machine

Not only is the ECHANFIT Magnetic Rowing Machine easy to set up, adjustable and comfortable to use, but it's also foldable and quiet, so perfect for any home rowing athlete who wants a rower they can use at home. The ECHANFIT rowing machine also comes very highly recommended on Amazon with over 1000 ratings at 4.5 stars avg.



✅ Very quiet magnetic resistance

🚩 No built in apps for phones

✅ Easy to store and adjust

🚩 Limited Monitor

✅ Highly Recommended on Amazon

Best Smart Rowing Machine

echelon best rowing machine

Echelon Smart Rowing Machine

The Echelon Smart Rowing machine is the elite smart rowing machine on the market today. With a built in 21.5" HD Touchscreen you can enjoy daily live classes with world class Echelon instructors both on and off the rower. The rower itself is one of the best magnetic rowers on the market, with 32 silent magnetic resistance levels, ergonomic design features and bluetooth connectivity.



✅ Live, instructor led classes

🚩 Expensive with Echelon Membership

✅ 21 inch screen & connectivity

✅ Ergonomic design with 32 levels

Best Water Rowing Machine

runow best rowing machine

RUNOW Water Rowing Machine

The RUNOW Water Rowing Machine is easy to use and easy to store with the ability to be stored upright and moved with its wheels. The Mini LCD display shows a range of metrics that athletes will find useful as well as being fairly quiet for a water rower. The RUNOW rowing machine also comes in a wooden design that actually looks good for a piece of fitness equipment.



✅ Great reviews on Amazon

🚩 Water rowers can be inconsistent with resistance

✅ Easy to store and to use

✅ Good Functionality

Why is Rowing So Good For Fitness?

Rowing is a full-body, endurance-based exercise that provides a number of fitness benefits. It works out your cardiovascular system, improves endurance and stamina, and builds muscle strength in the legs, core, back, and arms.

Additionally, rowing is a low-impact exercise that places less stress on your joints compared to other activities like running or weightlifting, making it a good option for people of all ages and fitness levels. Rowing can burn a significant number of calories in a short amount of time.

It also helps with overall balance and coordination by engaging multiple muscle groups, for an integrated workout. It is also a great calorie burner, it allows you to burn a lot of calories in a relatively short amount of time.

Why Buy a Rowing Machine?

Rowing machines are typically one of the most expensive pieces of equipment in a home gym but there are plenty of benefits to adding one to your home gym!

  • Rowing Machines require little maintenance or cleaning.

  • The best rowing machines will typically hold their value if you want to re-sell in the future.

  • Rowing machines give one of the best fitness gains for any fitness machine out there because it is low impact and targets the key muscle groups.

  • Rowing machines are a lot easier to store than a treadmill or static bike and can be moved a lot easier.

  • There are a load of rowing machine workout ideas online and classes that you can follow along with in real time.

best rowing machine you should buy

How to row with the best technique?

Rowing is a fantastic full-body exercise that can be done both indoors and outdoors. Indoor rowing is a great way to get a cardiovascular workout in the comfort of your own home or at a gym. However, it's important to have the correct technique when using an indoor rowing machine to prevent injury and to maximize the benefits of the exercise.

Step 1: Adjust the machine

Before you start rowing, adjust the machine to fit your body. Most indoor rowing machines have adjustable footrests and straps that you can adjust to fit your feet. You should be able to comfortably reach the handles without straining your back or arms. Sit on the machine with your feet in the footrests, and adjust the seat so that it is in the correct position for your body.

Step 2: Sit with good posture

Sit on the seat with good posture, keeping your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Your knees should be bent and your feet should be flat on the footrests.

Step 3: Grip the handles

Grip the handles with an overhand grip, keeping your hands about shoulder-width apart. Your thumbs should be on top of the handles, and your fingers should be wrapped around the bottom.

Step 4: Extend your legs

To begin the rowing motion, push off with your legs, keeping your arms extended. As you push off, keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed.

Step 5: Lean back

Once your legs are fully extended, lean back slightly, pulling the handles towards your chest. Keep your elbows close to your body and your wrists straight.

Step 6: Pull the handles towards your chest

As you lean back, pull the handles towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Focus on using your back and arm muscles to pull the handles towards you.

Step 7: Return to the starting position

Once the handles are close to your chest, slowly return to the starting position by extending your arms, leaning forward slightly, and bending your knees.

Step 8: Repeat the motion

Continue repeating the motion of pushing off with your legs, leaning back slightly, pulling the handles towards your chest, and returning to the starting position. Focus on maintaining good posture and using your back and arm muscles to pull the handles towards you.

Step 9: Monitor your stroke rate

As you row, monitor your stroke rate, which is the number of strokes you take per minute. Aim for a stroke rate of between 24 and 30 strokes per minute, and try to maintain a consistent pace throughout your workout.

Step 10: Cool down and stretch

Once you have finished your workout, cool down by rowing at a slower pace for a few minutes. Then, stretch your muscles to prevent injury and improve flexibility.

In summary, the best rowing technique for the indoor rower involves adjusting the machine to fit your body, sitting with good posture, gripping the handles with an overhand grip, extending your legs, leaning back slightly, pulling the handles towards your chest, returning to the starting position, monitoring your stroke rate, and cooling down and stretching after your workout. With the correct technique, indoor rowing can be a fantastic full-body exercise that provides an effective cardiovascular workout.

What muscles does rowing work?

Rowing on a rowing machine is primarily a pull movement but because of the way you pull with your arms, you actually push away with your lower body, meaning that rowing is a full body movement.

The full movement of a row actually starts with the legs. You push your body away with your legs, working your quads and hamstrings, using the biggest muscles in your lower body to your advantage.

The second part of the pull uses your core to tilt your torso back in preparation for moving your arms. This second part relies heavily on your core.

Then comes the pull with your arms (which up until this point have been straight). You then fire your biceps and upper back like your lats and traps to finish the pull off.

Rowing is one of the ultimate full body movements and is actually fairly low impact on your joints in comparison to running!

the best rowing machines

Tips for Maximizing Your Rowing Machine Workouts

Now that you've chosen your ideal rowing machine, let's explore some tips to ensure you get the most out of your indoor rowing workouts:

1. Master Your Technique:

  • Before diving into intense sessions, spend time perfecting your rowing technique. A solid foundation ensures efficiency and reduces the risk of injury.

2. Set Realistic Goals:

  • Establish achievable short-term and long-term goals. Whether it's increasing your rowing distance, improving your split time, or conquering more challenging resistance levels, having clear objectives keeps you motivated.

3. Vary Your Workouts:

  • Keep your workouts exciting and target different fitness aspects by incorporating various rowing workouts. Experiment with intervals, endurance rows, and sprint sessions to challenge both your aerobic and anaerobic systems.

4. Utilize Rowing Apps:

  • Leverage technology to enhance your rowing experience. Many rowing machines offer compatibility with fitness apps that provide real-time metrics, guided workouts, and performance tracking. These apps can add a competitive edge to your sessions.

5. Monitor Your Progress:

  • Regularly assess your performance and track key metrics such as distance, time, and stroke rate. Monitoring progress not only motivates you but also helps identify areas for improvement.

6. Incorporate Cross-Training:

  • Supplement your rowing routine with cross-training exercises to ensure a well-rounded fitness regimen. Include strength training, flexibility exercises, and other cardiovascular workouts to enhance overall fitness.

7. Stay Hydrated:

  • Rowing is a dynamic, full-body workout that can lead to significant sweating. Ensure you stay hydrated before, during, and after your sessions to optimize performance and aid recovery.

8. Prioritize Recovery:

  • Intense rowing workouts can strain muscles. Allow adequate time for recovery by incorporating rest days into your routine. Stretching and foam rolling can also aid in muscle recovery and flexibility.

9. Join a Rowing Community:

  • Connect with fellow rowers through online communities, social media groups, or local rowing clubs. Sharing experiences, tips, and challenges can foster motivation and a sense of camaraderie.

10. Mix in Outdoor Rowing:

  • If circumstances permit, consider taking your rowing workout outdoors. Rowing on open water provides a different experience and engages additional stabilizing muscles.

11. Focus on Breathing:

  • Pay attention to your breathing pattern during rowing. Coordinate your breath with the rowing strokes to optimize oxygen intake and energy efficiency.

12. Consult a Fitness Professional:

  • If you're new to rowing or fitness in general, seeking guidance from a fitness professional can be immensely beneficial. They can provide personalized advice on technique, workout plans, and goal setting.

By incorporating these tips into your rowing routine, you'll not only elevate your fitness journey but also ensure a sustainable and enjoyable workout experience. Rowing is not just about physical endurance; it's a holistic approach to fitness that encompasses both mind and body.

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