A Guide to Buying a Home Rowing Machine
There are only a few exercises that help you burn calories and tone many muscle groups at once. Jogging will develop your legs, while weight lifting will develop your core and upper body. But a rowing machine allows you to exercise 84% of your muscles at once, and improve your cardiovascular system! It will tone the muscles in your buttocks, legs, abdomen, arms, and back! Although it can be high-intensity, burning a lot of calories, it can also be low-impact, since you do it while sitting. It thus helps you avoid getting injured or straining yourself. A rowing machine is great for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.
But there is still a wide range of rowing machines. You’ll have to make sure that it suits your height and weight. Since rowing alone can become monotonous, you also will want something that will let you increase the challenge as you become more fit. And you’ll want to be able to stash it away when it’s not in use. We’ll go through some of the offerings in the Best Deals Today list of home rowing machines.
Types of Home Rowing Machines
You’ll notice that we can distinguish between rowing machines by the resistance mechanism against which you have to row. The resistance mechanism will determine how you adjust for difficulty when rowing:
Magnetic resistance mechanism: This uses a dial that allows you to select the level of resistance between two magnets, by moving the magnets closer or farther from the metallic flywheel. The Jkangfit Rowing Machine uses magnetic resistance, where you can select from among 16 levels of tension.
Jkangfit Rowing Machine
Elastic cord resistance: This uses an elastic cord to provide resistance. You can tighten the cord for a greater level of resistance. An example is the Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine (Model No. SF-RW5606).
Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine (Model No. SF-RW5606)
Hydraulic resistance: In this design, you drive the flywheel through a viscous liquid, such as oil. Experts notice that rowing generates heat, making the oil less viscous. This means you may have to adjust the resistance to keep it challenging. An example is the Stamina BodyTrac Glider Hydraulic Rowing Machine.
Stamina BodyTrac Glider Hydraulic Rowing Machine
Air resistance: These have a cylindrical fan-based flywheel. The faster you try to row, the faster the flywheel turns, putting up even more resistance! So, if a particular level of resistance is too much, you simply slow down your pace. You can also adjust how much air gets to the flywheel. More air will mean more resistance as well.
Water resistance: There are also water resistance rowing machines, where the flywheel goes through a tank of water. As with the air resistance rowing machine, the resistance increases as you try to go faster. But, the water tank dampens the noise of the flywheel’s movement. This gives you a very quiet rowing machine. An example is the Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine.
Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine
What reviewers say
Here are some impressions of customers regarding the home rowing machine that they chose:
Noise level: As we mentioned, some rowing machines are quieter than others. The Jkangfit Magnetic Rowing Machine is a magnetic rower that produces a noise level of 74 dB. That’s about the level of noise in an open office setting. People won’t be able to sleep in the room while you’re exercising, but it won’t disturb someone in another room.
Even good for someone after heart surgery: The great thing about a rower is that you can take it as easy or as hard as your like. One customer who recovered from open heart surgery said that he was able to exercise on the Stamina BodyTrac Glider Rowing Machine for an hour at a time, for some 1000 strokes!
Here are some tips about selecting a home rowing machine:
Check maximum weight and height: There is a weight limit assigned to each rowing machine. A heavy-set customer noticed wear on the machine even though they were under the weight capacity, after only 10-20 uses. So, getting a rowing machine that is safely above your weight is a wise decision. The Mekbelt Rowing Machine is one of the upper-end models in this department. It can support a maximum weight of 350 lbs.
Console: Most rowing machines allow you to check how many calories you burn, how much time you have been exercising, your speed, and more. Some even go further and have a bracket to hold a tablet, such as the Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine. It also has a workout app to track your progress, as well as plan a workout program.
Secure your feet first: It’s advised to secure your feet on the pedals with foot straps. This will ensure that your feet won’t slip. It will help you maintain proper form when rowing. Experts say that, when going backward, you should push off with your legs and follow through with your arms. But, when going forward, use your arms to go forward and then your legs. This will ensure that you get to all muscle groups.
Easy to move: The magnetic rowing machines usually pack up the most compactly. They can fold up so small that you can place them in a corner in a space of no more than 3.5 square feet. And they usually have wheels in the legs, so that you can move them around easily without scratching the floor.
We went through some of the items in the Best Reviews Guide list of rowing machines. A rowing machine provides you perform exercise that is low-impact, but high-intensity. Take a look at the durability, cost, compactness, and other features of the various models. You can’t go wrong!