Rowing Machine Buying Tips - Better Health Solutions

Rowing Machine Buying Tips

If you’re looking for an effective cardio machine that also builds upper body strength, rowing machines are an excellent choice. A moderate session on the rowing machine burns 500+ calories an hour and also tones your arms and upper back. Unfortunately, with all the different types and brands of rowing machines on the market, choosing one to buy can be very difficult. In this article I aim to simplify the buying process and help you make your decision by providing you with three effective rowing machine buying tips.

1) Determine How Much You Can Afford To Spend

When you’re buying any type of exercise machine, the first thing you need to decide is how much you can afford to spend on it. Whether that amount is $100, $500 or $1,000 or more, it’s important that you get a specific figure in your head. This will ensure that you don’t spend lots of time looking for the perfect rowing machine, only to discover it’s out of your price range.

2) Choose The Type Of Rowing Machine Resistance

Another key thing to consider is the type of resistance you need for your rowing machine. There are four main types; air resistance, hydraulic resistance, magnetic resistance and water resistance.

With air resistance, a finned flywheel sucks air in as you row and uses this to provide you with resistance automatically. The benefit of air resistance rowing machines is that you don’t need to use any levers or clamps to change the resistance. Instead, you just get on with your workout and increase the resistance by rowing faster and harder or reduce the resistance by rowing slower and with less force. The drawback of air resistance rowing machines is that they are generally larger and more expensive than other rowing machines. Air resistance is also the noisiest type of rowing machine resistance.

With hydraulic resistance, hydraulic pistons provide the resistance and you can adjust the level of resistance using a clamp or lever. This benefit of hydraulic resistance rowing machines is that you can choose the level of resistance that’s right for you and change it during your workout. Rowing machines with hydraulic resistance are also generally cheaper and more compact than rowing machines with other types of resistance. The drawback of hydraulic resistance rowing machines is that it isn’t as smooth as the other types of rowing machine resistance, so you don’t get an authentic rowing experience. Hydraulic resistance also mainly targets your arms, so you don’t get a good a full body workout with this type of resistance.

With magnetic resistance, a combination of a flywheel and electromagnets are used to provide resistance. The benefit of magnetic resistance rowing machines is that they’re a lot quieter and smoother than most other rowing machines. The drawback of magnetic resistance rowing machines is that they are generally very large, so you need a reasonable amount of workout space to accommodate them.

With water resistance, a tank of water with spinning paddles is used to provide resistance. The benefit of water resistance rowing machines is that they provide you with an authentic rowing simulation that feels like you are rowing on real water. They also provide you with the same hands free, automatically adjusting resistance that is found on air rowing machines. The drawback of air resistance rowing machines is that they are large, heavy and expensive. They are also relatively noisy and the second noisiest type of rowing machine behind air resistance rowing machines.

The type of rowing machine resistance you choose will depend on a number of factors. If you’ve only got a small amount of workout space or you’re on a tight budget, then a hydraulic resistance rowing machine will probably be the best choice for you. If you’re worried about noise, you’ll probably prefer a magnetic resistance rowing machine. If you’re looking for a rowing machine that challenges you and provides a really intense workout, then an air resistance rowing machine or water resistance rowing machine are probably your best bets.

To make the final decision on which type of rowing machine resistance is best for you, write down the five most important things that you need from a rowing machine. Then choose the type of rowing machine resistance that matches most of these requirements.

3) Check Out Existing Customer Reviews

Once you’ve decided how much you can spend and the type of rowing machine resistance that’s right for you, you just need to choose a rowing machine. To do this, check out existing customer reviews on a number of different rowing machines. Start by looking at the rowing machines with the highest amount of positive feedback as these are much more likely to be quality rowing machines. Then look at these rowing machines in detail and write down what’s good and bad about each one. Make a shortlist, review it and then choose the rowing machine with the pros that are closest to your requirements.


I hope this article has given you a good overview of all the things you need to take into account when buying a rowing machine. If you consider all the tips on this list before making your final decision, you’ll be sure to find a rowing machine that helps you achieve your fitness goals, matches your budget and meets your individual requirements.