Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Review

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For those of you who are looking for a way to cross-train; actively prevent injury; in need of some physical rehabilitation or simply want to invest in one machine that will work their entire body at once… read on to take a serious look at the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine.

Except for those in the “know”, rowing is often overlooked and when you go to the gym, the rowers aren’t even in use.  This is mostly due to people simply not being aware of the amazing health and body benefits you can achieve from rowing!  If they were more educated on these, there would be lines waiting for these awesome machines!

Check out the Table below to read more on the Concept2 Model D Rower or if you are short on time check out this link on Amazon.

Personal Experience:

I have always been a cyclist and runner at heart, but in the past couple years was looking for ways to cross train and find an efficient way to train all the muscle groups of my body.  That’s when I discovered the rower!  After hours of research and study, I decided the Concept2 Model D was the best fit for my needs.  I have never regretted that decision!

Why Buy the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine?

  • Dependable, high quality and sturdy are all words you can use to describe the Concept2 Model D.  It is a world-wide best selling indoor machine and is considered THE standard for indoor training by professional and competitive rowers.  In my own home gym, I personally bought a Concept2 Rowing Machine from Amazon for cross training and can attest to it’s high quality performance and its ability to sculpt and tone your entire body with regular and consistent use.
  • It has a 500 pound user capacity and as rowing is also a low impact exercise, it makes this a perfect machine for people looking to lose a lot of weight.
  • Set up is easy and takes very little time. and the Concept2 also comes apart into two separate pieces for convenient storage and easy set up when you need to work out.
  • It is a very high quality machine, but if you do run into problems it includes a 5 year warranty on the frame and a 2 year warranty on any moving parts.
  • The Concept2 Model D also has a performance monitor that allows you to track your data, including your distance, speed, your pace, time, watts, and calories burned.  In addition, you can keep track of the data on your PC or Mac using a USB Flash Drive (sold separately) that allows you to upload the information.  
  • For those who like to keep track of their heart rate, the Concept2 can also be connected with a ANT+ dongle and Bluetooth, which allows you to use many compatible heart rate monitors.  

The Amazing Benefits of Rowing:

If you need more convincing, keep reading to better understand the amazing benefits rowing has on your body:

  • Rowing is a low impact, FULL BODY workout.  It’s considered a 40% upper body, 60% lower body workout.  That’s right!  It actively works 9 out of the 11 major muscle groups of the body and indirectly works the other two.  What are these nine?  Your quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, lats, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps.  In common ‘lingo’ that’s your thighs, legs, butt, abs, shoulders, your entire back and arms.  There are very few machines that can boast that range!   When you complete the full motion of rowing you have used every single of these things!  So if you are someone who NEEDS to be as efficient as possible, consider investing in rowing!
  • Because rowing isn’t high impact, this also means it is a great option for any age or weight! If you’re elderly, it’s not going to hurt your joints like running might, and if you are overweight, the sliding seat of the rower supports your weight in such a way that makes it comparably very easy to workout and drop the extra weight you carry without excessive stress to your joints.
  • It’s easy to learn!  Even if you know nothing about rowing, the technique can be learned in under 10 minutes.  Check out the short video below to see what I mean

  • YOU are in charge of the intensity of your workout.  Because of how a rower is designed, the intensity and resistance increases by how hard and fast you pull.  This makes it very easy to adjust the difficulty of your workout based on your needs and desires at the time.
  • It burns those calories!  Compared to other machines, a rower is also very comparable in calories burned!  A normal typical one hour session is  between 500-1000 calories (or even more!) depending on your intensity, speed and weight.

Other Important Points:

  1. When fully set up, it is quite long, 9 ft by 4 ft. and although it folds up easily to fit in a corner, keep this in mind for the workout space needed!
  2. I have used this machine several times in the past year and love it, however, you definitely need some type of gloves to prevent blisters on your hands.  I personally use finger less weight lifting gloves (you can find a number of options here on Amazon) and find they work very well in protecting your hands.
  3. There is no water bottle holder for the Concept2 Model D rower, but I have never found this to be a problem as you are within a foot of the ground and it’s very practical to simply put your bottle on the ground next to you.
  4. Although extremely easy to learn, it is very important that anyone who uses a rowing machine, watches a video or reads an instructional on the proper form.  The correct way is not at all hard to learn and maintain, but it is important as improper form could lead to injury in the long run!

In short:

The Concept 2 Rowing Machine is a fantastic option for those who either want an efficient total body workout or would like a way to cross train for the sport they are in.  I personally love Amazon because of their amazing customer support, free shipping and great return policies.  For the current price and more information on the Concept 2 Model D, check out their site here!  

If you are interested in rowing but the price of the Concept2 is out of your range, check out this page on Amazon, of other great rowers (with reviews!) that would fit into a lower budget.  Many of these are amazing options and will still achieve the same effect on your body for less money!

15 Replies to “Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Review”

  1. Awesome, you have helped me work out that I want the concept2 rower. The fact that it folds up easily, yet still has some similarities to the big rowing machines makes me really like it! Thanks for all the tips.

  2. Hi! Boy, rowing machines sure have changed. That doesn’t look anything like the kind I used years ago. I know it’s a really good workout. I’m wondering, though, if someone with lower back problems would be able to use it. It looks like it might be hard on the back. Any idea?

    1. I would of course recommend consulting your doctor first but depending on how severe the back problems are I think it would actually be beneficial versus not. Most people who have back problems typically have office jobs and spend a lot of time sitting. If you aren’t focused on good posture all the time (which most people aren’t) this eventually causes a weakening of the entire core (which includes the lower back). When this gets bad enough, it is very easy to tweak a muscle or throw your back out. The rower focuses a lot on building core strength and would thus be a great solution to those who not only have common back problems (I.e. Not from a severe injury) but also for those who would like to avoid them. I would personally recommend starting out gradually doing a 20-30 minute session of light intensity and REALLY focus on the right form. If necessary wear a back support/brace to keep your back in the right alignment. As you feel the muscles getting stronger you can increase intensity and workout length. Hope this answers your question!

  3. I agree that easy folding for storage is a huge consideration, so it’s great to find out you can fold this one easily into a small space in a corner. Out of all the exercise items I’ve tried, the storage space is the main reason they have each gotten relegated. Hopefully this is an answer – thanks!

  4. Thanks for the detailed review. If you have never used a rower before what duration per session do you recommend to build endurance?

    1. If you are moderately fit, I would recommend 20-30 minutes (including warm up and cool-down) to start with. If you aren’t fit at all, I would start with 10-15. If you are really fit, do whatever you feel like you can. As you find yourself getting more comfortable I would increase either the intensity or the time of your session (or both!).

      After mastering the correct form, the biggest adjustment that I found was conditioning my hands. The constant motion of the row stroke can cause a lot of blisters and hot spots in a short amount of time. To avoid this, I strongly recommend buying a pair of fingerless exercise gloves. I have some options linked at the bottom of this post.

  5. Thanks for the information on this rower. My trainer is a strong proponent of the rower used to have me use the rower in all of our sessions. Whether it was as a warm up, an interval in our sessions or for cross training. I loved it but am no longer able to go to the gym that he trains in. I am looking for one now as I do rather miss it and am slowly building my own home gym. I will definitely add the Concept 2 to my wish list.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I love my Concept2! I consider it one of the best cross-training machines out there and have never regretted purchasing it. At first glance it may seem like a bit of money to throw at a machine, but the quality and craftsmanship that the company put into it is well worth every penny and they last forever!

  6. It’s pretty amazing how these rowers can work out so many muscles at one time. I had no clue that it was mostly working out your lower body.

    I love that it’s easy to store too. Especially because it’s so big. Seems like it’d work in an apartment setting if you have a place to store it. Thanks for the great review.

  7. I hadn’t considered the benefits of rowing as a regular exercise. Thanks for the information and rowing machine review! It looks like a great workout and perfect for a home gym, being affordable and portable. Thanks!

  8. I don’t have much space in my home gym,so I would have to dismantle it after every use, is this going to be hard work and put me off using it? Apart from that I love the Concept 2, and could really do with a rowing machine in my gym. Thanks for the great article

    1. Not at all! I personally live in a pretty small space (700 sq. ft WITH my husband and two toddlers) so have to dismantle and set it up each time I use it. It literally takes less than 30 seconds each time and I can easily do it by myself without the help of another person!

  9. Though I have a universal weight machine that has rowing-motion features, I don’t have a dedicated rowing machine. This would be nice to add to my home gym. I’m also among those who are thrilled that there is a fold-up option. My treadmill folds and makes the gym roomier when things are not in use. Thanks for the detailed information.

  10. The Concept D Rower is the best! Hands down! My son does Cross fit and talked me into purchasing this rower! It is smooth to use without a bunch of jerking around. It give a great workout. You can program it to do work outs which make it more fun. The little module you watch gives you second by second up dates on what your stats are as you row. Love the Concept2 D Rower! Makes me realize I need to go to my son’s house and get back on it, now that my knees are better!!! In 5 minutes you can have a whole body workout, tabotta style!

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