Why You Should Row & The Best Rowers of 2017
When people head into a gym, they immediately gravitate to the treadmill. Or elliptical. Or maybe the free weights. But they rarely head over to the most underused AND undervalued piece of equipment in the gym: the rowing machine. Maybe it’s because they feel intimidated by it. Or maybe they feel like it’s uneffective. But the fact of the matter is, the rower is one of THE most effective exercises machines that you could use. About the same price as a good quality treadmill, the rower is a way more efficient and worthwhile machine to consider for your home gym.
If you don’t have much time you’ll find a short list below of the Top 5 Rowing Machines of 2017. I include a brief description on why each machine is a good rower and a link that will take you to Amazon for the current price and more reviews. If you have more time and want more information, keep on reading for some more information, workouts, how-to videos, some helpful accessories and some fun facts about rowing and all that it does for your body!
The TOP 5 Rowing Machines of 2017
- Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5:
The Concept2 Brand is considered to be the Gold Standard of Rowers. Used by professionals for its similarity to the real thing, the Concept2 Model E provides a smooth low impact and total body workout with minimal noise and set up. It easily separates into two pieces for storage and has a 500 lb. user capacity. It includes a monitor that provides accurate data for each stroke of your workout. There is also a Model D which caters to a slightly different audience. Check here for my review on the Concept2 Model D and here for my review and comparison of the differences between the Concept2 Model D and the Concept2 Model E Rowers.
- WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor: Handcrafted with beautiful real wood, this rowing machine is just as much for the aesthetic as the usefulness. It has a water flywheel that not only mimics the real rowing sound but also provides a soothing water background as you row. The monitor provides stroke rate, workout intensity, calories burned, heart rate and more. Most dedicated rowers are in either the Concept2 or the WaterRower Camp. Check here for a more detailed and comprehensive review of the WaterRower.
- Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower: This Magnetic Rowing machine allows you to program different workouts as well as adjust resistance and workout time with the touch of a button. It comes with 12 programs and a fitness monitor that tracks distance, time, calories, watts and strokes per minute. This is a perfect rower for someone on a moderate budget who wants a great machine for their home gym.
- Magnetic Rowing Machine with Adjustable Resistance by Sunny Health and Fitness: This Rower is an excellent choice for those who are on a limited budget. It uses a magnetic tension with eight (8) levels of adjustable resistance. In addition it is easily transported; has a padded seat and hand grips and has a max user weight of 250 lbs.
- Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine: Another great choice for those on a budget, the Stamina Body Trac Glider has a sturdy steel frame and a monitor that gives you all the information you need for a great workout. It has a compact foot-print and easily folds away for those tight on space. In addition, it’s budget friendly and comes in well within the $200 price range. For a more complete review, click here for why this is a great option for your home gym.
Why You Should Row
Rowing works EVERY major muscle group of your body. That’s right! Quads, butt, arms, back and core. It’s one of the only machines out there that combines cardio and strength AND is low impact. Rowing is also very popular in the cross-fit world and is a great source of cross-training for cyclists, runners and swimmers.
How-To Row: Rowing Technique
People can be intimidated by rowing because they think they don’t know how. And although it’s true that you need to learn proper technique, it is actually very easy to do so. Check the following videos for correct rowing technique and common rowing errors.
You don’t NEED any accessories beyond your rower, but there are a few that I cover below that will make your workouts more comfortable. I’ve included a link that will take you to Amazon where you can see more reviews and current prices.
- Rowing gloves – I’d actually say these are essential. Let’s just say that rowing will do a number on your hands. If you’re super hardcore and think gloves are for pansies, your hands WILL eventually adjust and harden. However, I prefer to have as much comfort as possible and avoid the blisters that come in the initial use. Rowing gloves are a easy, cheap and painless solution in keeping your hands from blistering during your workout.
- Seat Cushion – If you need some extra padding, consider buying a cushion like this one for your seat. This particular one is specifically designed for Concept2 rowers but check out these other options that can work with other type of rowers.
Top 5 Facts About Rowing That You Didn’t Know
- Contrary to what some people think, rowing is largely a leg, back and core workout. Arms definitely play a part, and if you row regularly you’ll have one pair of super toned arms. However, in order to row effectively, you’ll be using your lower body for most of the work.
- You’ll lose weight. Rowing is a great calorie torcher and depending on your weight and intensity you can burn between 400-1000 calories a hour.
- It increases your cardio-respiratory system YET is a low impact sport. So many times, we hear that cardio is essential for heart health, yet so much cardio is high impact and hard on the joints. Even young people can struggle from the effects of an injury. Rowing solves all these problems by giving you HUGE cardiovascular benefits but being low impact, making it perfect for people of all ages.
- It improves muscle and joint mobility. Because it is a fully body workout, it strengthens and uses all your joints making this an ideal exercise for those who struggle with arthritis or osteoporosis. The whole body experiences a wide range of motion which overtime will increase your flexibility and get rid of any stiffness you may have.
- Reduces stress. The constant rhythm of moving with the rower is strangely relaxing and you’ll come out of your workout feeling like you got your cardio, strength and yoga all in one go!
Where to buy
My favorite place to buy is Amazon because of their free return policy, free two-day shipping (if you have Prime), and their excellent and quick customer care service. I have used them for years now and it’s no exaggeration that I do over 80% of my shopping with them.. And I’ve never once been disappointed!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me in the comment section below. Otherwise, check back soon for more articles and reviews on health and fitness at home!