5 Best Rowing Machines for 2023 – Tested

Rowing Machines

Looking to get fit and improve your cardiovascular health in 2023? Rowing machines are an excellent choice for a full-body workout, and in this guide, we’ll introduce you to the 5 best rowing machines that have been rigorously tested to help you make an informed decision.

These top-rated rowing machines offer the perfect combination of features, performance, and value, both for beginners and seasoned fitness enthusiasts.

  1. ProForm – 750R Rower – Black – Best for quiet operation and compact storage
  2. Echelon – Row Smart – Best for connected fitness enthusiasts 
  3. NordicTrack – RW900 Rower – Black – Best for advanced technology and interactive training 
  4. Hydrow – Wave Rowing Machine – Best for immersive rowing experience in compact spaces
  5. Hydrow Rowing Machine – Silver – Best for users who prioritize aesthetics 

1. ProForm – 750R Rower – Black


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This machine is equipped with a magnetic resistance mechanism, ensuring an almost silent operation with only a soft whirring sound during use. It is designed with a 5” high-contrast display console and an iFit-compatible tablet holder, enhancing your workout with digital features.

While it doesn’t boast the most fashionable design, it includes attractive red accents for a touch of style. It’s foldable for convenient storage, though it is on the heavier side, which can make it somewhat cumbersome to move.

Specification Detail
Type Magnetic resistance rower
Noise Level Very quiet, soft whirring sound
Display 5” high-contrast display console
Features iFit compatibility, multiple resistance levels, calorie and wattage workout programs
Design Foldable, with red accents
Weight 116 lbs
Weight Capacity 250 lbs
Additional Tablet holder for iFit sessions
What I liked
  • Quiet Operation
  • Comes with iFit compatibility
  • Easy to store when not in use.
  • Offers features comparable to more expensive models at a lower price.
What I didn't like
  • Heavy and awkward to move around due to its 116 lbs weight.
  • Can only accommodate users up to 250 lbs.
  • Inaccuracies in the measurement of distance, speed, watts, and calories.
  • Needs a smart device for iFit functionality; the machine doesn’t include a built-in screen for this purpose.

2. Echelon – Row Smart


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The Echelon Row Smart Rowing Machine is designed for those who are seeking a connected rowing experience. It typically features a robust build, catering to both beginners and experienced rowers. 

The integration with Echelon’s fitness platform, offering a 30-day free membership, likely provides access to a variety of workouts and rowing sessions, enhancing the user experience. The machine’s design is sleek, fitting well in a home gym setting.

Specifications Details
Connectivity Echelon Fit App
Membership 30-Day Free Trial
Build Sturdy frame, ergonomic design
User Experience Interactive training sessions
What I liked
  • Comprehensive fitness app integration
  • Suitable for various fitness levels
  • Ergonomic and user-friendly design
  • Encourages immersive workout experiences
What I didn't like
  • Ongoing cost for app membership after the trial
  • May require significant space

3. NordicTrack – RW900 Rower – Black


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The RW900 is a high-end rowing machine designed to offer a versatile and engaging workout experience. It features a 22” Smart HD Touchscreen, which is the core of its technological appeal.

This screen provides access to NordicTrack’s iFit program, offering a range of workouts and virtual rowing experiences. I love that you get the possibility of rowing on the beautiful lake waters of Slovenia, from the comfort of your home. Although it is on the pricier side, I believe its range of features makes it a worthwhile investment.

NordicTrack RW900 Rower Specifications
Dimensions (In Use) 86.5″ L x 22.0″ W x 50.4″ H
Dimensions (Stored) 36.2” L x 50.4″ H
Weight 131 lbs (Boxed)
User Capacity 250 lbs
Resistance Levels 26
Material Steel seat rail, molded cushion, custom pivot pedals, foot straps, SoftTouch ergonomic handle
Monitor/Display 22” Smart HD Touchscreen
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth headphone connectivity
Programs iFit membership (1 year included)
Storage 4-wheel system, foldable design
Warranty 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor
What I liked
  • Smart HD Touchscreen with access to iFit program.
  • Multiple resistance levels and live resistance control.
  • Ideal for indoor workouts and saving on gym memberships.
  • Positive customer feedback.
  • Monthly financing options are available.
What I didn't like
  • Higher price point compared to other models.
  • Heart rate monitor not included.
  • Heavy and challenging to move.

4. Hydrow – Wave Rowing Machine


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This rowing machine is a high-end home fitness equipment known for its immersive experience. It features a touchscreen for interactive training sessions and live classes. The machine is designed to simulate real rowing sensations, providing a full-body workout.

It’s very stylish and compact, which makes it a good fit for modern homes.

Feature Interactive Touchscreen
Design Compact and sleek
Workout Full-body engagement
Experience Live classes and training
What I liked
  • Realistic rowing experience
  • Access to live and on-demand classes
  • Compact design for home use
  • High-quality build and materials
What I didn't like
  • Higher price point
  • Subscription required for full content access

5. Hydrow Rowing Machine – Silver


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This variant of the Hydrow Rowing Machine, in silver, offers a premium rowing experience with a focus on design and performance. It likely includes features similar to other Hydrow machines, like interactive workouts and robust build quality.

The silver color adds to its aesthetic appeal, making it a stylish addition to any home gym.

Specifications Details
Color Silver
Interactive Features Workouts and training programs
Build Quality Durable and sturdy
User Experience Engaging and motivating
What I liked
  • Attractive design
  • Engaging interactive features
  • Sturdy and long-lasting build
  • Suitable for users at different fitness levels
What I didn't like
  • Premium pricing
  • Requires ongoing subscription for interactive content

Buying Guide

With various machine models and features available, it’s essential to make an informed decision. Pay attention to the following factors:

Consider Your Budget

rowing machine exercise

Establish a budget that suits your financial capabilities. Rowing machines come in a wide price range, from budget-friendly options to high-end models. While it’s tempting to opt for the most expensive one, keep in mind that there are excellent choices available at every price point.

Define your budget early on to narrow down your options effectively.

Assess Your Available Space

Rowing machines vary in size and design. Some models are compact and foldable, making them ideal for small spaces or apartments, while others are more substantial and require dedicated workout areas.

Measure the available space in your home and ensure that the rowing machine you choose fits comfortably. Consider the machine’s dimensions when making your decision.

Understand Resistance Mechanisms

Rowing machines use different resistance mechanisms to simulate the feeling of rowing on water. The two most common types are air resistance and magnetic resistance. Air resistance provides a dynamic and realistic rowing experience but can be noisier.

Magnetic resistance offers a quieter workout and allows for adjustable resistance levels. Choose the resistance mechanism that suits your preferences and needs.

Explore Console Features

rowing machine display

Modern rowing machines often come with consoles that display workout metrics and offer interactive features. Consider whether you want a rowing machine with a sophisticated console that tracks data like distance, time, calories burned, and heart rate.

Some machines even offer built-in workout programs and connectivity to fitness apps for added motivation. Evaluate these features based on your fitness goals and preferences.

Check Build Quality and Durability

Investing in a rowing machine is a long-term commitment to your fitness. Ensure that the machine you choose is built with quality materials and has a sturdy frame to withstand regular use. Read reviews and consider the warranty provided by the manufacturer.

A well-built rowing machine should offer reliability and durability for years to come.


Can Rowing Machines Help Improve Posture?

 Yes, they can significantly improve posture. The rowing motion engages the back muscles, particularly the upper back and shoulders, which are crucial for maintaining good posture. Regular rowing helps strengthen these muscles, leading to better alignment and reduced risk of back pain.

Are Rowing Machines Suitable for People with Knee Problems?

Rowing machines can be a good option for people with knee problems, as they offer a low-impact workout that doesn’t put excessive stress on the knees. However, it’s important to maintain proper form and possibly consult with a physician or physical therapist to ensure the workout is safe and effective for your specific condition.

How Does Rowing Compare to Other Cardio Machines in Terms of Calorie Burn?

Rowing is an efficient way to burn calories, often surpassing other cardio machines like stationary bikes or treadmills. This is because rowing is a full-body workout, engaging multiple muscle groups, which leads to higher energy expenditure and calorie burn.

Can Rowing Machines Be Used for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

Absolutely! They are excellent for HIIT workouts. Their adjustable resistance levels allow for quick changes in intensity, making them ideal for the short, intense bursts of effort followed by rest periods that characterize HIIT.

Is It Necessary to Have Rowing Experience Before Using a Rowing Machine?

No, prior experience is not necessary. These machines are designed for users of all levels, including beginners. It’s important to start with basic techniques and gradually progress to more advanced workouts as you become more comfortable and skilled.

How Often Should I Use a Rowing Machine for Optimal Fitness Results?

For optimal fitness results, it’s recommended to use a rowing machine 3 to 5 times a week, incorporating it into a balanced workout routine. Consistency is key, along with a mix of intensity levels to challenge different aspects of fitness, such as endurance and strength.

Final Words

In conclusion, when it comes to selecting the best rowing machine for your fitness goals in 2023, you’re spoiled for choice. We’ve explored five top-notch options, each offering unique features and advantages to suit different preferences and needs. 

Remember to consider factors like your budget, available space, and the specific features that matter most to you when making your decision. Trust me when I say that investing in one of these top rowing machines is a step in the right direction.

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