Should you buy a rowing machine? Which rowing machine is best? Do rowing machines help you lose weight? You need to read this article…
When it comes to working out to lose weight and burn fat, if you’re serious about boosting your physical appearance while also dramatically improving your overall health and well-being, nothing is better than a getting in 30 or 45 minutes of rowing as often as you can.
Rowing machines can be seen in virtually every gym in the world. These machines are not only widely used, but the Rowing Machine Benefits provided create one of the best workouts a person can get. While many people tend to ignore the benefits of rowing machine when they go to the gym, they offer, perhaps, one of the best cardiovascular and muscle toning exercises available.
In fact, there are far more rowing machine benefits than there are benefits to using treadmills or even elliptical machines. Let’s take a look at these advantages and why you must give rowing a try.
Cardiovascular Benefits of Rowing
The basic motion of a rowing machine is simple. By increasing your speed, you will find that your heart rate increases and eventually you will be out of breath. This is the very first step in cardiovascular exercise and the rower is the perfect machine for the job.
Rowing machines can have their overall tension adjusted. Those that want to really improve their lung and heart function will be able to lower the tension and row faster. This will also improve a person’s overall blood flow and stamina. Since these machines can be easily adjusted, they are the ideal piece of equipment for an all-around workout.
The tension setting can be low to extremely difficult. This means that when you want to improve your strength, you can easily do so by turning up the machine’s tension. This will provide users with a great strengthening exercise for their:
- Upper and lower back
Since the entire body is working in unison during the rowing motion, this will allow a person to easily start to build and tone muscle, one of the most significant benefits of using a rowing machine.
A moderate tension done at a high velocity is normally the one exercise that is most recommended. This allows rowers to build muscle and increase their overall heart and lung health at the same time.
Easier on the Joints – benefits of indoor rowing
Older people and those with injuries will find a rower to be much better suited to their current state of health. Since a person is sitting and not putting pressure on their joints, the risk of injury is very low. The low seat position also helps by reducing injuries if a person were to fall off of the machine.
Conversely, treadmills and other pieces of cardio equipment can put a lot of strain on the knees and hips. This can increase the duration of a current injury, or bring about a new injury.
If a rower maintains proper form, they will have a very low probability of experiencing any back pain or injuring themselves.
Rowing Exercise Benefits Burn Fat & Calories Fast
When trying to lose weight, a mere hour on a rowing machine can burn up to 600 calories. Those that are going to extremes can even push the 1000 calorie mark, but this is not the norm. This provides one of the most prominent rowing machine benefits – fast fat burning and weight loss.
Simply using a rower for an hour each day can build muscle and ensure that a person burns more calories than they consume. In comparison, other pieces of equipment burn much less than 600 calories an hour. Here are the calories burned within an hour of exercise on some of the most popular cardiovascular machines:
- Treadmill: A person that maintains a 3.5 MPH speed, or a moderate jog, burns only 469 calories an hour.
- Stationary Bike: When ridden for under 10 MPH, a person can expect to burn 436 calories.
- Volley Ball: An hour of indoor or outdoor volleyball burns just over 430 calories.
- Swimming: Doing laps in a pool for an hour burns 632 calories an hour
However, these figures are all based on the intensity that a person goes. If a person is running at 8 MPH for an hour, they will far surpass the caloric burn of a moderate rower. If a rower were to row vigorously for an hour, they would burn more calories.
Rowing machines are just a great way for every person to stay in shape and really tone their body easily in their own home. There are even rowing machines that simulate the resistance of natural water. These will help to further build muscle and lose weight, but they are more expensive and more difficult to use when compared to the standard rower.
Our Top Rowing Machine Picks
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Not only is rowing going to work your legs, core, back, chest, and arms, but it’s also going to give you a ridiculous amount of strength and endurance that you never would have been able to tap into other forms of exercise.
We’re going to break down three of the top rowing machines available on the market today, at low – mid range and ‘money no object’ price levels while at the same time outlining the specific things you need to focus on when it comes to investing in the perfect equipment for your needs – all but guaranteeing that you get the equipment and workout you’ve been searching for.
Let’s dive right in!
Our #1 Pick – Concept2 Model E Rowing Machine
The true value in this rower is its immense feature set. These features include:
- Flywheel Design: The flywheel works in two ways. This design removes the loud sounds that older rowers have. The flywheel also allows for a much smoother rowing experience that feels more natural.
- Performance Monitor: No longer do rowers have to wonder how their performance level holds up. The PM5 monitor provides the feedback needed to see how fast you are rowing, detailed statistics and your overall caloric burn.
- Height: The seat sits 20 inches off of the ground to be comfortable for tall and short users alike.
- Easy to Move: The Model E can be separated into 2 pieces with ease. There are wheels to make transport easy. Simply take the rower apart and transport it to your desired location.
- Color: This model comes in both black and grey.
Concept2 Model E Pros
The Model E is a widely respected rower. Not only is the Concept2 brand well respected, but the Model E is simply one of the most widely used rowers in the world. In fact, this rower is the rower of choice among many of the world’s Olympians. This means that it has been athlete-tested and can withstand an immense amount of use.
One of the amazing features that are not listed is the ability to row against other people. A free trial of Row-pro software enables you to row against other rowers. This means you can have a competitive edge and row with more of a passion.
Setup is very easy. The two parts simply snap together, and it takes less than 20 minutes to unbox and begin rowing. The seat is comfortable and the rowing is very smooth, yet there is enough friction to really get a workout.
The customer support given is also exceptional. If your machine ever needs servicing, the manufacturer will send someone to your home to service your machine. Maximum user weight is 500lbs. so this is also the strongest rowing machine we reviewed.
Concept2 Model E Cons
There is not much to complain about with the Model E. The only minor complaint is the slight noise heard when rowing. While the flywheel design has kept noise to a minimum, it is best to put on the stereo or wear headphones if you do not like the rowing sound.
The Concept2 Model E is one of the best rowers in the world. Not only is this model seen in virtually every gym, it is also used by Olympic rowers during practice. Those that want a high-end rower will want the Model E. However, the quality seen with this model is reflected directly in its overall price. This is not a cheap model by any means, but it will last a lifetime without ever worrying about it breaking down or needing to be serviced. If you’re serious about your health and weight loss, and simply want the best quality rowing machine on the market, then the Model E should be your choice! View the Model E and all the reviews on Amazon.
Best Budget Rowing Machine – Sunny Health SF-RW5515
If you aren’t quite ready to step up to the price point to that of the Concept2 rower, but still want to enjoy the same kind of elite level workout with one of the best rowing machine products on the planet, you might want to look into the Sunny Health SF-RW5515 Rowing Machine.
While not as advanced as the model mentioned above, this Sunny Health rower is still considered to be one of the very best entry-level rowing machines that you can buy today – and definitely is recommended by elite level athletes (for the benefits of rowing machines) and those just looking to get into a bit of better shape as well. The Sunny Health rower has a maximum user weight rating of 250lbs., so if you weight more than that, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Offering 8 distinct levels of magnetic resistance, for built-in workout programs and an electronic console and computer to control all of the special features that this product brings to the table, you’ll never believe that this rowing machine is as affordable as it is. This is another piece of high-end workout equipment that you usually only find in a very top of the line fitness facilities, but again he will be able to install it right in your home, garage, basement, or dedicated fitness center and enjoy years and years of usage. Check it out on Amazon.
Best Mid-Price Rowing Machine – XTERRA Fitness ERG600W
If you’re looking for the best mid-priced rowing machine that offers quality and results without the price of a Concept2 rower, then the XTERRA Fitness ERG600W should be your choice.
Not only is this one of the most popular rowers available right now, but it works on water resistance meaning it’s quieter than other traditional rowing machines. The seat height is 13.5″ and the rower supports a maximum user weight of 300lbs. The rower stands for storing it, rather than breaking down or folding like our other recommended models.
With 6 resistance levels, the XTERRA Fitness ERG600W is one of the best rower platforms you’ll find, this is a very modern looking piece of fitness equipment and it comes loaded with all kinds of technology. The seat is large and well padded for comfort.
You’re going to be able to leverage a dedicated rowing deck with large pivoting foot plates (and a ridiculously secure foot platform), as well as an electronic advanced computer at that monitors absolutely everything you do with this piece of equipment. This lets you measure all of your progress, helping you to keep motivation running high regardless of how worn down or exhausted you may be.
This rowing machine also comes complete with a five year manufacturer’s warranty against any and all defects to the frame, with a 2 year warranty on everything else, giving you the kind of peace of mind you need to make a smart investment moving forward. It may not be the most “household name” in the fitness world, but it’s definitely the kind of product that you can leverage right out of the box to transform your body and your health without any real extra effort whatsoever. Check it out on Amazon now.
Choosing the best rowing machine for your home gym
Now that we’ve broken down three of the best rowing machines available (and hopefully given you a “sneak peek” behind the scenes of the different options available to you), it’s time to really get down to the nitty-gritty of how to choose the right machine.
There are any different number of key and critical factors that you’re going to want to focus on when you are getting ready to purchase a new rowing machine, with the most important including:
- The build quality of the machine
- The smoothness and efficiency of the rowing action
- The overall comfort of the unit – both when sitting on it as well as when it’s in use
- The overall level of resistance offered, and whether it’s a machine that you can “grow into”
- The added or advanced technology included with this piece of equipment
- The ability to customize the rowing equipment to suit your specific needs
- The portability or “pack ability” that you’ll be able to take advantage of when it comes to storing this machine
- And obviously, the price point that this rower commands
Though this list above is nowhere near as complete and comprehensive as it could be (or even, arguably, as it should be), it’s definitely more than enough to get yourself started when it comes to breaking down these kinds of products.
Find What You Want
It’s also of the utmost importance that you are sure to outline exactly what you’re looking for, and that you spend a tremendous amount of time making sure that you don’t just pick up a piece of equipment that is well advertised or has a big celebrity name attached to it – but that you are instead investing in an elite level piece of equipment that will give you the results you’re looking for.
A Rowing Machine That Fits
Every single person on the planet is unique, with their own biochemistry and demands when it comes to their body transformation journey. You’d be more than a little bit foolish to ignore this uniqueness when it comes to buying the best rowing machine for you – so be sure to spend at least a little bit more time focusing on the details that you want to be able to enjoy rather than the ones that marketers and advertisers tell you are important.
Another key consideration that you may not be really focusing on right now has to do with the “long-term value” you’ll get out of the best rowing machine on the market. Some people get a little bit of “sticker shock” when they set eyes on the price tag for some of the best rower platforms out there, but when they break down the amount of value that they’ll be able to enjoy by investing in those elite level machines it actually becomes quite a bargain.
Make sure that you aren’t purchasing the cheapest rowing machine on the planet just because that seems most sensible now – you don’t want to wake up in a year and have to buy a brand-new rowing machine simply because you outgrew the old one or it broke!
Understanding the different types of rowing machines available
There are a number of different rowing machines available right now – but the overwhelming majority of them can be broken down into two distinct and completely different groups.
On the one hand, you have the rowing machines out there that have been designed, developed, and engineered to meet the needs (the demands, really) of elite level athletes, professional athletes, and super serious fitness buffs looking to take their athletic endeavors to entirely new levels.
On the other hand, you have the rowing machines out there right now that are more targeted towards the “hobbyist”, for lack of a better term – the kind of people that are really looking for a rowing machine that might help them lose a bit of weight or tone up, not the kind of rowing machine that will give them an extra edge and advantage in athletic performance. For new users check out this basic rowing technique guide.
Neither of these two different and distinct types of top end rowers are better than the other when you’re measuring them without specific criteria already in place, though once you lock in your specific needs and usage of these machines a clear winner should immediately pop out in front of you.
Rowing machines that are of a “professional grade” are going to be the best rowing machine platform for:
- Those that want to push their body beyond its current level of strength and endurance
- Those that want to enjoy an amazing amount of weight loss in a ridiculously short period of time
- Those that are dedicated to transforming their body, health, and well-being in ways that they never thought possible before
- And those that want to squeeze out maybe that extra .001% of performance that sets them head and shoulders above the rest of the planet when it comes to athletics
Rowing machines that are of a more “hobbyist grade” are going to be the best rowing machine platform for:
- Those that want to get into the world of rowing without a big investment
- Those that simply don’t have the budget for a more advanced piece of technology
- Those that are unsure of the results that rowing can provide, and want to “test the waters” without worry or concern
- Those that just aren’t quite ready to push their results beyond their current comfort zone
Choosing the best rowing machine to fit your specific needs
In the long run, as always, you get what you pay for both in the quality of the item, and also the results you achieve. If you’re serious about losing weight and want to burn fat quickly by exercising and eating right, then you will certainly find a good quality rowing machine accelerates your results.
You really need to start with the end result in mind, working backwards from there while really assessing how much energy you’re going to invest in this body transformation, how much money the you’re willing to invest in your health and well-being, and how comfortable you are installing a truly top level rowing machine into your home. Decide on your budget, and use our guide above to choose the best rowing machine you can afford.
Until you really figure those key things out, you’re going to have a hard time finding the best rowing machine to fit your specific needs. However, once you really get a concrete and crystal-clear answer to those questions and criteria, the obvious choice will become readily apparent – and you’ll be ready to start transforming your body when the power of the best rowing machine available!
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