The 9 Best Rowing Machine for Cardio Workout 2021

There are many rowers in the contemporary marketplace. They all offer different advantages and are suitable for different people. It is very difficult to find out the best rowing machine for purchase.

A rowing machine, which can also be called an indoor rower, is a device that proves handy in stimulating the actions taking place in watercraft rowing. It is used to achieve the purpose of training or exercise for rowing. It has specifically been established as a sport in its specific right. Contemporary rowing machines are referred to as Ergometers.

Apparently, an Ergometer implies a device used to determine the amount of energy absorbed in a rigorous rowing workout. Indoor rowers are calibrated to showcase the total amount of energy used by a rower while exercising on the machine. There are so many rowers to choose from, and a lot of things to look into that a poor soul can get confused.

Top 9 Rowing Machine Reviews [2021 Updated]

Here are some top rowing machines list and details that will help you to choose the best fitness machine in the market. Must read before buying any rower.

1. Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine

Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine

In our list of top rowing machines, Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine is number one. It is an excellent machine for all those who want a little bit more than a just decent workout for their abs. This machine has parts that work amazingly. You will have padded seats and handles.

Equipped with oars, which let you customize resistance levels individually. Users can configure up to 500 knurls of resistance. The display unit is one of the most efficient units on the market.

The display of this machine shows you everything that you need to know about your workout. You can have time, stroke count, stroke rate, heartbeat monitoring, and distance data at your disposal.

The machine draws power from 2 AA batteries that can be found cheaply. This easy to clean rower is silent and is suitable for the whole family. The product comes with 3 years’ warranty for the parts and a lifetime warranty on the steel frame.

Top Features

  • Provides wheel-shaped and fantastic idea for rowing training at own home.
  • The device has two hydraulic cylinders resistance system.
  • It measures time, strokes, speed of strokes, pulse rate, and so on with battery-powered computer Training.
  • It has 3 years of parts warranty and lifetime frame warranty.
  • Displays workout data in LCD Monitor.
  • Smooth and comfortable ergonomic seat roller on durable rails.
  • Dimension: 49″ length x 31″ width x 10″ Height.
  • Weight: 250 pounds.

2. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower

The number 2 in our top rowing machines is Model D Indoor Rower From Concept2. This is on the expensive side of rowers with parts built-in to protect your floors from any scratches or damages.

Chains that Concept2 machine uses are made from nickel. That makes the machine quiet when operating. The machine is flexible. This machine has textured and padded seats and handles to avoid an accident. It efficiently burns 500 units of calories within an hour.

Besides displaying all the information required for exercise (e.g., heartbeat rate, time, distance, stroke count, etc.), it gives the opportunity to store the details in a computer by saving them in a USB device that comes with it. You can store the data for weeks and then upload it to Only a cloth is required to clean the machine, and it is incredibly comfortable on your body with gliding motion when rowing.

Top Features

  • Concept2 is an indoor rower that gives full body low impact workout.
  • It has a flywheel design and smooth feel with lower noise.
  • Adjustable footrests and 14-inch comfortable seat with ergonomic handle.
  • It has 5 years limited frame warranty.
  • Available in a different choice of color.
  • Displays workout data like every stroke, speed, every row in Monitor.
  • Dimension: 96″ Length x 24″ width x 14″ Height.
  • Weight: 500 pounds.

3. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rowing Machine is rower number 3 in our Top List of rowers. The design of this machine is impressive. You can set various modes in this machine, like “In Travel or “Hill Climbing” and others to enjoy different rowing experiences.

The machine uses magnetic resistance. You can program it to suit your own needs as well. This quiet machine will give you 8 different levels of resistance.

Besides showing all the vital stats during exercise, this rower comes with a chest belt that monitors the heartbeat. You can even attach your device with it through wireless function.

There is a Pulse Reset button, which will calculate the time your heart needs to return to normal after exercise. It is a mid-range rower, and the warranty is limited in terms of years (1 year on parts and frame). The adjustment or resistance takes time. These are only the two drawbacks that this product has.

Top Features

  • Drum Magnetic Control (DMC) resistance system and electronic tension control which produce optimum friction to build muscle strength.
  • It designed by Aluminum frame with rectangular tubing support.
  • The machine is foldable to save your space.
  • It has a display monitor with heart rate monitor chest strap and heart rate for cardio training.
  • It has a 1-year frame and parts warranty.
  • Dimension: 45″ Length x 30″ Width x 11″ Height.
  • Weight: 91 pounds.

4. Stamina Air Rower Rowing Machine

Stamina Air Rower Rowing Machine

Stamina ATS Air Rower Rowing Machine from Stamina inc. makes it to our top list of best rowing machines due to some amazing features. Foam-molded seats, the oiled chains, and solid steel frame make up the construction with rowers.

Stamina Air Rower 1399 is self-adjustable. Meaning, it will calculate the time you take to exercise. The air resistance system adjusts itself and gives you an intense workout.

The sleek design makes the machine easy to store. It folds up to save 50% of your space — the perfect tool for athletes and travelers. The warranty period is 90 days on parts and 3 years on the frame. The only shortcoming that I can think of using this product is that it is on the noisy side of things.

Top Features

  • Wind resistance system that helps to row efficiently and smoothly.
  • Multi-function monitor which shows speed, time, burned calories, stroke.
  • It has adjustable nylon foot straps to hold your feet in a secure place.
  • Built-in Wheels to move quickly from one place to another.
  • The machine is foldable to store easily.
  • To do comfortable rowing workout, it has textured grips to keep hands stable.
  • Dimension: 77″ Length, 18″ Width, 22″ Height (Assembled) and 48″ Length, 18″ Width, 28″ Height (Folded)
  • Warranty: Three-Years Frame and 90-days Parts

5. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 comes to low budget rowers; this is the best; that is why it broke into our list of top machines. The rower is very popular because it’s easy to use and has good ratings on amazon.

The machine comes with hydraulic resistance. It is a small rower measuring 22.5 by 46 inches. It saves your space and gives you a decent workout. With this, you will get over your routine workout very smoothly.

The warranty period is the same as we discussed with Stamina 1399 Air Rower. People need to understand that this rower is not for gym-like exercises, and you cannot row on it for hours. Use it wisely, and it will stay fit for longer. If you use such a low budget rower extensively, there is a danger of the resistance failing. The user must sit correctly on this rower to extract its full potential.

Top Features

  • Multi-functional Fitness monitor shows time, stroke, burned calories.
  • It has a wonderful adjustable gas shock resistance system.
  • Foldable for compact storage
  • It’s designed with sturdy, steel frame construction
  • Compact footprint with 23.5 x 46 inches
  • This machine lets you row using with a unique and full range of rowing motion
  • Warranty: the 1-year frame and 90-days parts

6. Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

Featured with 5 resistance levels, this rower is number 6 in our Top Listed Rowing Machines’. It utilizes hydraulic resistance, and the first resistance is the highest one. You can row your arms separately using this machine.

The unique thing here is it is perfect for people with the unsymmetrical upper torso. The machine has a great display monitor. Turning it on is as easy as hitting the SCAN button.

It draws power from an AA sized battery. It shuts itself down after 4 minutes of inactivity. The rower is heavy and doesn’t come with wheels at the bottom. Still, you can fold it and stack it beside the wall. The machine is not exactly suitable for shorter people. If you are taller than usual, it might present you with issues. It is a low priced rower and cannot offer you gym-like performance.

Top Features

  • Compact rowing motion that mimics the water.
  • This machine has smooth hydraulic cylinder resistances.
  • It has a ball bearing rolling system and adjustable tension controls.
  • Multifunctional single-button Monitor that displays row count, speed, time, calories burnt.
  • It has a wonderful thick padded seat, which helps to row comfortably.
  • It also added extra comfort for pivoting footplates.
  • Warranty: 5 years on frame and 90 days on parts
  • Dimension: 48″ Length X 32.5″ Width X 27.75″ Height

7. LifeSpan Fitness RW1000 Rowing Machine

LifeSpan Fitness RW1000 Rowing Machine

This machine comes at number 7 on our list. It is “Fluid” when you compare the rowing action it provides with its rivals in the market.

People can experiment with the rowing machine’s functions and the maximum weight, which is 300 lbs. It has a similar price as Concept2 Model D. To be frank; good rowing machines don’t come cheap. The rower achieved the “Gears Award” for its toughness in 2008.

You will have swiveling seats. They are well padded. It comes with magnetic resistance and has a display unit broken down into three screens. You can monitor the numbers from the fair distance. The model comes with 2 years of warranty on the parts and another five years on the frame. No doubt, it is one of the best rowers that is on the market today.

Top Features

  • Smooth and quiet eddy drive system
  • The machine confined with a magnetic brake and 5 levels of resistance system.
  • It’s designed to be folded up for ease of storage.
  • It has 16.5 pounds flywheel
  • The machine can carry up to 300 pounds of weight.
  • It has a three-LCD console monitor that displays distance, calories, time, stroke, stroke per minute.
  • Dimension: 90″ Length, 18.5″ Width, 23″ Height
  • Warranty: 5 years frame, 2 years parts, 1-year labor.

8. Stamina 1205 Precision Rower

Stamina 1205 Precision Rower

The Number 8 in our top rowing machine’s List is Stamina 1205 Precision Rower. The reason we put this relatively low budget rower on our list is the ease it offers to people.

The fluid rowing motion gives the seniors a good rowing session with this rower. You will find that the seats are cushioned well. The handles are also padded well to avoid blisters on your arms.

The machine is not made for extensive rowing. It will cost you only a hundred and a few bucks. So, expect limitations. But the facilities you get in that price range are awesome. The Stamina 1205 Precision Rower isn’t portable, so to speak. It is light in weight. So, you can carry it easily and put it under the bed to store it.

Top Features

  • Precision rower with a deluxe ball-bearing rolling system
  • It has an extruded aluminum beam
  • The machine designed with smooth hydraulic cylinder
  • It has a comfortable thick padded seat & pivoting footplates
  • Has an excellent multi-functional monitor to show speed, distance, time, stroke, calories burnt.
  • Weight: 47 lbs
  • Dimension: 48″ Length, 32.5″ Width, 27.75″ Height

9. Stamina 1405 Air Rowing Machine

Stamina 1405 Air Rowing Machine

This machine makes up the last one in our list of Top 9 Rowing Machines for today. The rower comes with air resistance and belongs to the mid-range of rowers in terms of price. It is covered by 90 days’ warranty on the parts and a year of warranty on the steel frame.

The product comes with metal chains that offer durability to the machine. The rowing motions bear a low impact on the body. So, it is another perfect machine built for people of all ages.

You can either slide the rower using the front wheels and stack it against a wall or just fold the rowing arms to store it. It has built-in casters in place for that very reason. The padded seats will work best for older people. They will be able to get on and off the machine easily, as well. The six levels of resistance also come handy when operating this machine.

Top Features

  • Efficient wind resistance to get smooth rowing stroke
  • Multi-functional electronic Monitor that shows distance, calories burnt, time, speed, stroke.
  • It has smooth sliding ball bearing rollers and comfortable foam padded
  • Built-in wheels for portability and foldable frame for easy storage
  • It gives feet security to place properly by nylon foot straps
  • Oversized chrome seat rail for comfortable rowing
  • Weight: 73 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 Years frame
  • Dimension: 78″ Length, 19.75″ Width, 31.5″ Height

Rowing Machine Overview

For years now, rowing has been considered one of the most effective exercises for strengthening body muscles. For those looking forward to losing some weight, a rowing machine can be ideal as it can help shed off extra fat, particularly from the abdomen and the pelvic region.

And what most trainers or those seeking to lose weight look at mostly when purchasing a rowing machine are the ability of a given brand or design of the device to offer workouts to almost all parts of the body.

Individuals who are interested in acquiring the machine for the first time need to be aware of the essential features to look for when shopping for one online or locally. After carrying out some research, I came up with some useful information about rowing machines.

General Features of a Rowing Machine

While there are many brands of rowing machines in the market, there are fundamental similarities that customers can expect in any of them. After doing my research, I discovered that a rowing machine comes with many technicalities that go beyond just helping people lose weight or carry out normal exercises.

Some outstanding features of rowing machine include:

Efficient Resistance System

The majority of the rowing machine brands are designed with a resistance system that offers resistance to users while performing any workout. But all the same, the efficiency of using it depends on the adjustable resistance levels the users will prefer when buying the machine.

An efficient resistance system should be a major feature to consider when buying a rowing machine. While some machines can offer 5-6 adjustable resistance levels, others present 1-16 adjustable resistance levels, which offer more proficient rowing machine workouts.

Performance monitor

For an individual to accurately monitor performance, acquiring a rowing machine with a monitoring screen is important. A performance monitor basically displays onscreen, the time, speed, distance, and the calories that have been burnt during the workout. With the monitoring system, the user can be able to track performance as well as adjust workout timings properly.


One of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a rowing machine is getting a lightweight machine that occupies lesser space at the same time. Hence, rowing machines are a perfect choice for use in a home setting.

Other notable features of rowing machine include:

  • Easy to assemble the constituent parts
  • Available in a range of prices
  • Easy storage
  • Requires minimal maintenance

Pros of using a rowing machine to workout 

  • Provides for an excellent way of losing weight
  • Increases body flexibility
  • Burns body calories rapidly
  • Builds muscles
  • Strengthens the cardiovascular and immune system
  • Exercises are easy to perform


  • Intense workout required
  • The machines tend to be expensive
  • Are not perfect for conditioning lower muscles of the body

Types of Rowing Machines

A rowing machine offers you a great chance to get a full-body workout. It does so by providing a low-impact exercise without having to damage your joints. The trainee enjoys all the benefits of cardio workouts in one room. Thus, there is no high risk of getting injuries as with other kinds of fitness machines.

However, it is important first to understand the various types of rowing machines and how to use a rowing machine before buying. By doing so, you are sure of getting the best workout machine that will suit your needs. Such types include the following.

1. Piston Resistance Machine

This rowing machine contains arms that are mounted with hydraulic cylinders. It has features that make it more beneficial for use. In need to know some of these features and how useful they are? Well, here they are. It has a thin construction, and thus it can be sorted easily under the furniture. It can also be stowed away easily for storage.

2. Magnetic Resistance

This rowing machine is a bit similar to the piston resistance machine. The only difference is that it is controlled by the use of electromagnets. It operates silently due to its magnetic resistance. The resistance of the magnetic type rower can be changed easily. This machine is excellent for those who prefer adjustable workouts and have adequate space to store it.

3. Steady Rowing Machine

This is a great paced workout machine with a rating of around 18-24 strokes per minute. This is very crucial, especially to the beginners, to have a comfortable training session. It is also very vital for warming up at a lower stroke rate prior to an active session.

4. High-intensity Rowing Machine

It is yet another great workout machine that you may use. Is it not clear to you what makes it very important? Well, it is none other but its features that are associated with the following benefits. To start with, this machine is as fast and hard as you can for a pre-determined period. This stimulates the racing conditions needed. However, this one is not good for beginners.

On the other hand, it is very beneficial for both intermediate as well as advanced rowers. It is favored by the elite competition rowers for building stamina, both physical and mental.

5. Water-resistance Rowing Machine

The water resistance machine keeps on increasing its resistance as the pace of the trainee keeps on increasing. Its resistance changes as the trainee remove or adds water to the resistance tank. This gives the user more control over the workout. It operates silently since it uses water to operate. It is the best choice for those looking for a machine that they can keep in one place for long periods of time. The water resistance system is also good for those who want a real feeling of rowing on water.

6. Interval Training Rowing Machine

This is a rowing machine that involves rowing for about one or two minutes at a high stroke rate of about 30. Rowing at a lower rate follows for the same period at a rate of about 20.

Alternating between the high and low intensity helps to burn more calories compared to a steady workout. This kind of training allows the trainee to train for a longer time. This is because one recovers during the low-intensity period, thereby getting ready for the high interval. This way also keeps the heart rate of the trainee in the fat-burning zone for an extended period.

7. Air Resistance Rowing Machine

This has the variable resistance that is determined by the user’s pace. It increases the resistance naturally when the trainee is training faster, thereby challenging him or her more. Air resistance system is ideal for taller people since it has a more extended rail. It is the best rowing machine to select if you are after a machine that will give you a rowing experience similar to that of rowing on water.

In conclusion, the above are the best seven types of rowing machines that you should use. Each of them has different features and hence, different benefits. You can easily select one of them and purchase depending on your needs. Just try one of them and surely it will benefit you a lot, as seen above.

Rowing Machine Vs Others Exercise Equipment

Exercise Equipment varies from the type of exercise you enroll in. Every single workout requires a piece of specialized equipment and provides a particular benefit and or benefits. However, it is tough to have all the equipment at home to perform each type of exercise. Again, it will also cost a huge amount of money to buy all those stuff as well.

If you are thinking of purchasing a Rowing Machine and yet unknown to the major benefits of it, have a close look at the following. You will also get to know the key differences among some of the most popular exercises and the particular benefit they will provide you with.

Rowing Machine vs. Exercise Bikes

As a fitness enthusiast, you might know that exercise bikes mostly focus on the lower portion of the human body. Strengthen muscles, provides cardio benefits, takes care of metabolic options, etc. Conversely, the rowing machine involves the entire human body and provides almost the same benefits as the best exercise bike does. Though both are low impact exercises, you will get the opportunity to have a full-body workout if you choose a Rowing Machine. Rowing machines increases resistance and even burn calories when you take rest after the exercise session.

Rowing Machine vs. Treadmill and Elliptical Trainer

Like an exercise bike, both treadmill and elliptical trainers focus more on the lower body and merely involve the upper body. Yes, you will get the chance to burn more calories when running on a treadmill comparing to a rowing machine. Although elliptical trainers involve both lower and upper portion of your body, still you will miss the core workout. Yes, elliptical trainers will provide you with a full-body workout, but it will not build your core as a rowing machine does. A rowing machine will improve your resistance and strengthen your core that you will miss when exercising on a treadmill or elliptical trainer.

Important Information to Consider Before Buying a Rowing Machine

1. The Price

The first thing to consider before diving into rowing machines is the price, no doubt. You will have to set your budget first. There is no use looking for features if you don’t have the money to cover for them. Well, featured rowers usually come at a price. You can browse several online marketplaces before you buy a rower from one. It will also save you money. Look for discounts or offers as well.

2. The Exercise Pattern

Pay close attention to your exercise regime. While deciding which rower to buy, you must check and recheck your exercise needs, types, duration, and your schedule.

For example, many of the rowers above won’t offer you extensive gym-like features. You will not have good resistance levels on many. Many are suitable for 10 to 15 minutes of workout. Also, There is more rower in the market, which is matches what you need. So, choose wisely depending on your exercise needs.

3. Warranty

The third crucial thing is the warranty. You will need to consider it to make your investment in the right rower. Some rowers offer lucrative features and offer low warranty periods. If you are a novice at rowing, mistakes will come, and the rower might break down. Warranty periods will then come into play. If your product is covered with a decent enough warranty, you are a winner. If not, it might be safe to use the product cautiously to avoid accidents.


The fourth aspect which you should look into before buying a rower is “Who’s Going to Use the Rower?” If you are purchasing the rower for yourself, put your preferences to the test and see if any rower matches with the needs of yours. For example, many rowers are good fits for people who travel or are athletes. If you are buying the rower for a senior citizen, check with the vendor and the specifications of the rower so that it fits the needs of that person.

About Freddie Clemmer

Freddie Clemmer is a fitness enthusiast and is a personal trainer, life coach, blogger, and triathlete living in Santa Barbara, California. He is an expert on different types of fitness machine and exercise methods. In his free time, he loves to travel. His mission is to share all the fitness methods and tips through blogging. His vision is a world where daily acts of self-love and care are a regular part of life.

3 thoughts on “The 9 Best Rowing Machine for Cardio Workout 2021”

  1. I have used Concept2 D Indoor rower for doing workout and that’s very good for exercise. I think rowing machine is the best than other equipment machine and I am really satisfied to use that rowing machine. It burns calories and I can use it at my home. Thanks for suggesting that rower to use.

  2. Hi,
    It’s great article dear, It is very well explained, the instructions is good which is very helpful. I also think that rowing machine will save the time and give me the best performance for working out. I am going to use one of the machine for my personal use.


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