Do you want an affordable exercise machine that works your entire body? I mean, who doesn’t? It sounds way too good to be true because most cardio machines only work the lower or upper body. Also, they are way too expensive. Enter, rowing machines; burn fat and get in shape by exercising your back, hamstrings, and glutes. In our list, we have compiled the best rowing machine for home. Before we get to that, let’s look at why should you get one?
Well, the rowing machine basically takes the dynamics of rowing on a boat without water. In fact, the resistance that created can fire up your muscles and make your heart race like no other. Compared to the treadmill or elliptical; the rowing machine is much more convenient, and also full-body workouts are more rewarding. Adding to that, compact full-body workout equipment is better than having a bunch of expensive machines at home, which makes you feel like you are living inside of a GYM! On the contrary, rowing machines are convenient, and also rowing exercise improves your cardiovascular strength and builds muscle. If you are looking for an exercise type that doesn’t pressure your joints, getting a rowing machine could be the best investment you can make for yourself. Let’s expand on the benefits of the rowing machine.
Benefits of The Rowing Machine
- Full Body Workout
The dynamics of this exercise make it seem like an upper body-only workout, but in fact, your legs and glutes benefit most out of it. Besides exercising your legs, it also, strengthens your core and cardiovascular strength training is the icing on the cake.
- Low Impact
If you have problems with your joints, rowing exercise is the best cardio you can do. In fact; joint, bone and muscular health won’t be affected negatively because you’ll be sitting while you are exercising.
- Easier Weight Loss
Rowing exercise targets mostly your legs, glutes, and abs. Most fat in your body is stored in these areas, which means the whole movement is focusing on making you lose fat and get you in shape. An hour of rowing can burn more than 500 calories. According to Harvard Health, if you weigh around 155 pounds, for only half an hour of workout, you can burn up to 260 calories. (1)
- Corrects Posture
You probably experience back pain in some way because you spend a lot of time sitting. Rowing strengthens your upper back muscles, also don’t forget that, while you are rowing, you should be upright and not slouch.
If you want to learn more, check this article on “9 Wonderful and Remarkable Benefits of Rowing Machine”.
How to Use a Rowing Machine?
First, keep your back straight, engage your core, and with your feet held in straps; push yourself back by using your legs.
Second, as you push yourself with your legs, also use your upper back to pull handles to your chest.
Third, release your arms and bend your knees to glide back into position.
We hope we make the dynamics of this exercise clear; let’s see what are the common mistakes you can do while rowing;
- Hunching your back
Instead of this, sit upright.
- Uncontrolled rowing motion by leaning back
If you lean way back, you can lose control of the movement.
- Raising your arms way too high
That can seriously hurt your shoulders, keep your hands at the level of your core.
- Opening your legs wide
Don’t put your knee joints in danger by widening your legs at the end.
What Muscles Does a Rowing Machine Work?
One of the most asked questions about rowing machines is; where do rowing machines work exactly? This exercise seems like it works the upper body the most; however, it actually works legs and the glutes more than your back, arms and core.
A rowing machine works muscles in each stroke:
Hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, glutes.
Abs, obliques, pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, upper back, lats, and wrists.
Which Rowing Machines Are the Best?
The rowing machine gives you a low-impact cardio experience that helps you lose fat without even making you get up. There are some important elements to choosing a rowing machine;
First, size is important. If it’s way too be big, it would be ugly to have a rowing machine like that in your home. However, if it’s smaller than average, it could be harder to contain the rowing machine in its place.
Second, how much weight the rowing machine can support? The optimum amount of weight support would be ideal for you to keep your balance.
Third, is the rowing machine you are looking for is foldable? Some rowing machines that have magnetic or hydraulic resistance are easy to fold up. Also, usually, air or water resistance rowing machines are not foldable!
Before we get to our list of rowing machines, let’s take a look at the 4 rowing machine types:
- Water resistance
The spinning flywheel creates resistance by pushing against the water in the container.
- Air resistance
The spinning flywheel wind creates drag.
- Magnetic resistance
Electromagnets slow down the erg’s flywheel.
- Hydraulic resistance
Hydraulic fluid in a piston creates resistance.
So, what is the best rowing machine for home that’s convenient for you?
If you want to start your own home gym check our guide here: “The Essential Home Gym Guide 2021”
8 Best Rowing Machine for Home
The first entry in our list is a best-selling air resistance indoor rowing machine. In fact, there are two big reasons for that: First, it works noticeably quiet. Second, you can easily store this rowing machine in two pieces once you are done with your workout. Also, it tracks; how many meters you’ve rowed, your split time, and stroke rate. Well, if you want to, you can follow the pre-set workouts and also play games.
Besides that, you can connect your ANT+ and Bluetooth products to monitor your heart rate wireless, Concept2 Model D should be your go-to rowing machine for cardiovascular development.
No matter what’s your fitness level, you can even be an athlete; this is the best rowing machine for home.
Sunny Health rowing machine has magnetic resistance and compared to others on the list it is quite affordable. Also, it has eight resistance levels, which means you can be a beginner or an advanced lifter; this rowing machine will be enough for you. Level two is good for a warm-up, three and four are for more tough workouts. Levels five to eight are for an intense endurance-building workout. Indeed, Sunny Health & Fitness rowing machine will up your cardio game.
This rowing machine tracks your progress from its LCD monitor that displays calories, time, and count. Besides that, it’s important to note that this rower is able to support up to 250 pounds and you can fold up it and conveniently store it away.
This is the first hydraulic resistance rowing machine on our list. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is compact, quiet, and reasonably priced. In contrary to other rowers in the list that have only one handle attached; this one has two arms that give you a full range of motion realistic rowing experience.
This rower supports up to 250 pounds. Also, you can put this away too because it’s foldable.
Moreover, if you are looking to shed fat in 30 minutes effectively, Stamina Body Trac could be the best choice you can make with its hydraulic resistance.
This rowing machine comes with a 22-inch touchscreen and a free iFit membership for a year; this is super cool because a regular membership for iFit is $468 per year. Adding to that, the training regime aligns with 26 coach-controlled resistance levels, which means you will feel like you are working out with a personalized coach.
Like other rowers on the list; it works quietly, and it’s foldable. However, different from the other rowers, NordicTrack rowing machine has two resistance types integrated into it. First, your coach can adjust the resistance digitally, depending on what they think is appropriate to you. Second, you can also manually change the air resistance levels.
The stat track system shows you; how long you row each week, how many calories you burn and more data, that’s going to help you understand your progress better.
If you are a true rower, Sunny Health Water Rowing Machine has 16 fan blades enclosed in a water tank, which will make you feel like you are actually rowing. In fact, the resistance you’ll feel from this rowing machine can’t be compared with the rest.
The rower has an LCD screen that shows the calories burned, stroke count, and distance; with this data, you can adjust your training regime.
Yes, another Sunny Health & Fitness rower but this one is a bit different. If you are looking for a compact, simple and affordable rower; you can’t choose anything different. However, don’t think simple is bad, this rower has 12 adjustable resistance levels which will definitely give you a hard cardio experience. Also, you can track calories burned and how long you’ve rowed.
This rower is for people who want to start their cardio journey, but if you’re already pretty good at cardio, you need to look at other options.
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus rowing machine has magnetic resistance and is very quiet. Also, you can fold this rower up and put it wherever you want once you are done with it. The rower offers 14 levels of magnetic resistance, and by using the knob under the monitor, you can select your resistance level.
This is a Bluetooth Rower that helps you track your progress on your smartphone through the free MyCloudFitness app. Besides the app, if you don’t want to download this app, the rower displays; distance rowed, stroke count, workout time, calories burned, and stroke count per minute.
We are ending our list of best rowing machine for home with a water resistance rowing machine. Choosing a water rowing machine can be meditative for you with the water moving around in the tank.
You need to add or remove water from the tank to change the resistance level. Also, we recommend you change the water every two months.
The LCD monitor tracks and displays data like; time, strokes, stroke per minute, 500m Split Time, calories burned, distance, watts, pulse and the race mode. You might be wondering, what is the race mode? Well, this feature lets you set a goal and then race against the computer; this is going to help you burn extra calories with your competitive spirit.
In our guide of 8 best rowing machine for home; we’ve talked about various subjects related to rowing machines. Also, hopefully, you were able to find a suitable rower catered to your needs while reading our guide.
Start investing in your health by getting a rowing machine, no matter what’s your selection, starting is always better than not doing anything. Indeed, your cardio game will get better, because a rower is much more dynamic than let’s say a treadmill.
Which rower do you think is the best? Let us know in the comments. Thank you for reading and your feedback.
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