If you’re looking to work on your endurance, strength and cardio from the comfort of your own home, then a rowing machine is exactly what you need. If you like sports but hate going to the gym when the weather doesn’t allow you to go out, this is one of the most complete physical activities you can do. This healthy and fun workout will also help you burn calories without you even noticing it.
Rowing machines have become increasingly popular thanks to indoor rowing, or the trend of rowing in gyms. There are even competitions held for this event in different countries. On the other hand, domestic rowing machines are designed to provide a comprehensive fitness workout straight from home. Read on and you’ll discover the wonders it can do for you.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best rowing machines in the market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about rowing machines
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Rowing machines are otherwise known as ergometers. They allow you to train the majority of your muscles without affecting your joints.
- These fitness equipment are generally classified by their flywheels, which can either be powered hydraulically, magnetically, by air or by water.
- The majority of modern rowing machines tend to be magnetic. New technologies in the field of rowing machines are leading to the frequent appearence of new advances.
Ranking: The best rowing machines in the market
We’ve compiled the very best rowing machines available on the Australian market. You can find these machines online, and they feature the latest innovations. Whether you’re looking for a model with an LCD screen or a heart rate monitor, this guide will help you find the rowing machine that’s best suited to your needs. Here is our top 5!
No. 1: Everfit 8-level Rowing Machine[amazon box=”B077QGGXWT” description_items=”0″]
A brand of Italian company Garlando, Everfit has established itself as a leader in the field of sporting and fitness equipment. They offer all kinds of rowing machines – from entry level to high-end models, and they believe so much in their own products that most come with a one-year warranty, which isn’t nothing for that kind of equipment.
Supporting a maximum weight capacity of 150 kilos, this air-flywheel rowing machine features 8 resistance levels that are easily adjustable at the spin of a switch. The built-in digital screen provides you with all the workout info you need. According to past customers, this easy-to-fold Amazon’s Choice offers great value for money and overall quality.
No. 2: Magnetic Rowing Machine by Endurance[amazon box=”B077W5V6RT” description_items=”0″]
Australian company Endurance specialises in selling quality fitness equipment, and this rowing machine is just that. It can hold up to 160 kilos of weight, and its foot straps give you a firmer grip and more power for all your workouts. The LCD screen gives you important training data, such as duration of training, calories burnt and distance.
This magnetic rowing machine comes with an incredible 16 levels of resistance adjustable manually with the help of a dial, which means you’ll be able to go from beginner to pro with this very equipment. Past buyers were particularly satisfied with how easy assembling the unit was, as well as its compact folded size.
No. 3: Everfit Adjustable Rowing Machine[amazon box=”B077Q4F1P9″ description_items=”0″]
We told you: Everfit has models to satisfy everyone’s needs, and they’re back again on our list with this more affordable rowing machine that’s more suitable for beginners and amateurs. You can manually choose its resistance between four different levels to increase training intensity as you progress, while the LED display will help you know how your training is going.
The compact size and light weight of this rowing machine are particularly interesting features, while its price gives it real bang for your buck. As with most Everfit rowing machines, this one comes with a one-year warranty. Note that, while this product can sustain up to 200 kilos, its row length of 90 centimetres may be limiting for taller individuals.
No. 4: Action Row Go[amazon box=”B07F7T7FXL” description_items=”0″]
This rowing machine by Action Sports is the most affordable on our list, and by quite a margin. But don’t let that fool you: it’s a great choice if you want quality while saving up on your budget. While it features a single resistance level, the built-in LCD monitor keeps track of your training for you. This compact equipment also allows you to perform other exercises, and previous customers have been very happy with their purchase.
No. 5: Everfit Magnetic Flywheel Rowing Machine[amazon box=”B077Q4CKDL” description_items=”0″]
Last but not least, this Everfit model is a top-of-the-line rowing machine. With a row length of 130 centimetres and a maximum weight capacity fo 200 kilos, this equipment will be suitable for just about everyone. The magnetic flywheel is ideal if you have serious training goals and want to be able to push yourself to your limits and beyond.
This product also comes with 10 resistance levels that you can adjust manually via a switch. The moulded seat offers greater comfort for longer workouts, and the steel structure is built to last. The large LCD display lets you easily access all your training data. This rowing machine is also foldable and comes with a one-year warranty.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about rowing machines
As you now know, there are countless models of rowing machines available on the Australian market. To choose the right one for you, you’ll have to know their different characteristics and be sure of your objectives: you won’t need the same model if you are a beginner or an advanced athlete. Don’t forget to also take your budget into account. In the next section, we’ll talk about the most frequently asked questions by users.
What is a rowing machine exactly?
Also called ergometers or indoor rowers, these training machines are designed to reproduce the traction of the oars in the water. Both the domestic and gym equipment derives from traditional rowing, which can either be practiced in small boats or in canoes.
What are the resistance flywheels of rowing machines?
Modern rowing machines feature a resistance under their handlebars. More commonly called inertia flywheels or flywheel units, these parts are sometimes placed right in front of the handlebars. They allow the user to exert force to pull the “oars”.
The table below introduces you to the different types of inertia wheels:
|Hydraulic resistance||Water resistance||Air resistance||Magnetic resistance|
|They use hydraulic pistons. These determine the resistance, while the handlebars are fixed.||They use closed water tanks to give a more natural sensation of rowing and the resistance is set according to your style of rowing.||They work with an inertia flywheel, the resistance is adjusted to your strength and frequency as you row.||Tailored for individuals with more experience, they use electromagnets to create resistance.|
What are the benefits of rowing at home?
Rowing is a complete endurance sport because you get to work out both your lower and upper body at the same time. You’ll also protect your joints from pain as long as you use your rowing machine correctly. This fitness equipment offers many benefits, which we have listed below for you:
- It is ideal for muscle reconstruction. Rowing will help you regenerate muscles and increase strength after suffering an injury. It is often recommended for rehabilitation.
- It is a great cardiovascular training. Your heart always benefits from you working out so many muscles at the same time. The best thing about rowing machines is that you don’t actually have to put in so much intensity to reap its rewards.
- It can be used as complementary training. If you’re an athlete, you can train without leaving home during the off-season. This means rowing can be a great training to stay in shape and prepare the next season.
- There is no joint impact. You won’t damage your hip or knee joints. Rowing also strengthens your bones, so it is an ideal workout for your body.
What muscles do I work out by rowing?
As we mentioned earlier, rowing machines offer comprehensive training. You work no less than 80 percent of your body’s muscles. Rowing strengthens your cardiovascular system, while helping you lose weight, reduce stress and tone your muscles. And we can’t emphasise on this aspect enough: there’s no joint impact to hurt your knees or elbows. The following table shows you all the muscles you’l be able to work out:
|Biceps, triceps and deltoids (located on the shoulders)||Quadriceps, gluteus and hamstrings (located at the back of your upper leg)||Abdominals, obliques and erector spinalis (found in the lower back)||Rhomboids (between the shoulder blades and the spine), latissimus dorsi muscle and trapezius (located on top of your lat muscle).|
How should I use my rowing machine to avoid injury?
You should always follow instructions of use and take on the proper technique to train with your rowing machine. You’ll be able to perform full body workouts with this fitness equipment, and this is why paying attention to your upper and lower body movements will be helpful in the long run. In the following table, we’ve explained how to do exercises depending on your body hemispheres.
|Upper limbs||Lower limbs|
|1. You should sit with your knees slightly bent. Don’t stretch them to the maximum or you’ll hurt yourself.||1. To work this area properly, have your your knees extended, as well as your elbows extended at sternum height, and lean slightly backwards.|
|2. Place your upper body slightly backwards. Whatever you do, don’t flex your thoracic, lumbar and cervical areas. Push your chest out to avoid this.||2. Secondly, push with ankles, hips, and knees forward. Remember to allow your heels to lift off from the pedals.|
|3. Look straight ahead and don’t lift your shoulders. Bend your elbows and have your hands pointed towards your sternum.||3. In this part of the exercise, you should exert force by flexing your lower body forward and backward. Don’t forget that the heels should not be attached to the pedals.|
You’ll have to take a numbest of important factors into account when you decide to buy your very own rowing machine. Any type fo ergometer will do just fine if you’re not very tall, but that won’t be the case if you measure over 1.80 cm. Weight may also be an aspect you have yo consider. Here are the criteria you should think about to choose the machine that’s just right for you.
- Weight and height
- Type of resistance
- Weight of the flywheel
- Type of use
Weight and height
Earlier on in this section, we mentioned how important it is to make sure that your machine of choice can support your height and weight. You’ll generally find these values in the specifications of the product. A good structure will also be necessary if the rowing machine is to be used by several users. Better safe than sorry!
You want to make sure you have enough space to store your rowing machine before you purchase it. Nowadays, many devices can fold in the shape of an L, but their measurements will vary when unfolded. You don’t want any unpleasant surprise, so keep this in mind when the time comes to choose your product.
Type of resistance
We’ve already explained that the different types of rowing machines were generally classified by their flywheels. Designed to imitate rowing on water and to create resistance, they are the following: magnetic, hydraulic, air and water. We’ve listed their advantages and disadvantages below to help you understand them better.
- Hydraulic resistance: They use hydraulic pistons, which determine the resistance. The handlebars are fixed, which means that they are not adjustable.
- Water resistance: They use closed water tanks to give a more natural sensation of rowing. Just like with air resistance, the resistance is adjusted as you row. Water tanks can make the machine heavy.
- Air resistance: They work with an inertia flywheel. The resistance is adjusted to your strength and frequency as you row (or pull on the handlebars). Note that the resistance cannot be adjusted manually.
- Magnetic resistance: These models use electromagnets to create resistance. You can easily set it to your preferences and evaluate it through the LCD monitor.
Weight of the flywheel
The weight of the flywheel isn’t an aspect that you should set aside. The heavier it is, the more natural the rowing will feel to you. This is why you want to opt for a strong and robust flywheel. To give you an idea, the flywheel of a medium-range rowing machine weighs between 6 and 9 kilograms (kg).
This is a fundamental criterion, as rowing machines are greatly exposed to wear and tear. Parts can be very expensive and hard to come by, so we strongly suggest you make some research so that you don’t regret your purchase. You’ll want to aim at key elements that guarantee durability: good finishes and quality materials. Again, don’t underestimate the importance of this specific criterion.
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Nowadays, modern rowing machines can feature a number of accessories that will come in very handy, such as heart rate monitors or pulse sensors. Another common feature you’ll find on rowing machines are control panels or LCD screens. The following list will tell you what you need to know about the benefits of each of these accessories, which will guide you during your training:
- Heart rate monitor: It measures your pulse in real time. It will help you know the impact of the workout on your body, so you can adjust the resistance programs to your goals.
- LCD screen: It provides information on calories consumed, duration of workout or number of strokes. Some consoles even feature training programs designed by professional trainers. You can use them to follow a specific training, develop a muscle group or lose fat.
Type of use
You definitely won’t be buying the same machine if you plan on working out casually or more intensely. We recommend a robust and stable rowing machine that won’t deteriorate quickly if you need it for more professional training. To give you an idea, we consider sporadic use to be between 3 and 7 hours per week. Again, you’ll eventually be disappointed if you neglect the durability of your equipment.
Domestic rowing machines are the best way to train from the comfort of your own home. Technological advances have led to the appearance of high quality equipment at a very affordable price on the Australian market. As you now know, these generally include modern LCD screens that allow you to monitor your training in complete safety.
While there are indeed several types of rowing machines available out there, we undoubtedly recommended magnetic model if you plan on training intensely. While this may increase your original budget, we can assure you that you’ll realise you made the right investment in due time. Otherwise, you can opt for a hydraulic machine if you only want to workout from time to time. Either way, we promise you won’t regret it.
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(Source of featured image: Drobot: 75914146/ 123rf.com)