The DualTorque™ technology allowed combining both air and electromagnetic resistance: this enables easier and smoother change from one resistance level to another one.
The unit needs to be connected to the mains.
Thanks to convenient controls and eight pre-set programmes of a different level of complexity, this rowing machine can safely be recommended both for novice users and for professional sportsmen who want to keep fit.
Owing to the advanced belt driving system and magnetic resistance the JLL R200 produces just a low whistling-like sound, which makes it one of the quietest rowing machines out there.
The max weight capacity is rather low.
If you're looking for a rowing machine that will be not expensive and suitable both for intermediate and beginner users alike, the JLL R200 is a perfect choice. It's budget-friendly and functional.
Flywheel + Magnetic
Total count, Calorie, Count / Min, Count, Distance, Scan, Time
Advanced belt driving system, Wide platform pedals, Adjustable footplates, Foam padded handles, Foam-filled seat, Inbuilt wheels, Easy storage
180 x 52 x 49 cm (assembled), 71 x 52 x 127 cm (folded)
The machine is truly unique in its principle of operation - there are no preset resistance modes, you control the physical load.
It's a bit noisy.
The V-fit Tornado can grow with your fitness level. Equipped with "proportional resistance’", it will give you the maximum control over your workouts. Ideal for beginners and professionals alike.
Resistance depends on the force you apply
Calories burn, Distance, Speed, Stroke counter, Stroke rate, and Time
LCD monitor, Contoured polyurethan anatomically designed seat, Oversize PVC footplates with two-position mount, Pads on legs, Folding frame design
212 x 44 x 74 cm (assembled), 120 x 44 x 75 cm (folded)
The unit has large foot pedals that are very accommodating. And the added foot straps will help you keep your feet securely in place as you row.
The paintwork could be better.
The Viavito Sumi rowing machine is very sturdy to sustain long training sessions. It's designed in vibrant red and black colours, so it looks quite classy and can add a modern touch to your interior.
Time, Distance, Calories, Total strokes, Strokes per minute
Large pivoting footplates, Ergonomic seat, 4-roller system for smooth action, In-built transportation wheels
178 x 53 x 48 cm (assembled), 74 x 53 x 119 cm (folded)
2 years (must register within 28 days to get the 2nd year)
Concept2 Model D
What Could Be Easier?
The Model D is a great rowing machine produced by Concept2, which remains the best-seller on the market. Let's see what makes it so popular.
First things first, the Concept2 Model D is a conventional mechanical rowing machine with a flywheel. The resistance of this model is created by the air and propeller. It has a simple design yet it's very convenient and allows users to benefit in multiple ways.
For starters, the machine doesn't require any special maintenance nor does it need filling with water or plugging in the mains. It is ready to use out of the box. Secondly, it has user-friendly and simple controls, making it a breeze to use. Thirdly, it features 10 resistance levels, so you can progress gradually once you feel you're ready for that. Finally, the Concept2 Model D comes with a damper which changes the resistance of the machine by controlling the amount of air.
Speaking of build quality, the unit has a robust and durable steel frame that is able to withstand the maximum weight up to 230 kg. This makes it suitable for almost anyone, even if you're somewhat on a heavy side.
Smart Workout Performance Monitoring
Another perk of this rower is that it's compatible with several monitor types. The model on hands is featured with a PM5 workout monitor: a straightforward and easy-to-use screen with eight buttons. The display has backlighting and can be well seen in different light conditions, so you can place it in any room. The data shown on the screen include the distance covered, speed, pace, and the number of calories burned. Yet, the perks don't end here.
What is also great about the PM5 monitor is that it's Bluetooth-compatible, meaning you can sync it with your mobile device to keep your progress handy. All you need is to download the ErgData app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, and the app will save the important information in the memory of your gadget so you can check it and compare results. What's more, the PM5 is also compatible with a Bluetooth heart rate sensor, a feature especially useful for those who control their pulse while exercising.
Though we've already mentioned ergonomics, we'd like to dwell on it more. The rower has a comfy, ergonomically-shaped seat with a rubber-coated handle and adjustable footrests allowing you to work out with greater comfort. What's more important is that while looking rather bulky the rower is more on a compact side and when folded can be easily stored under your bed or even in a drawer. This makes it a practical choice for confine and large spaces alike. Speaking of assembly, it's simple and quick. Supplied with a user manual, it will hardly take you longer than 10 minutes to put it together.
In all, if you need an effective, functional, and reliable rowing machine, the Concept2 Model D can be the best choice.
JTX Fitness Foldable
Founded in 2009, the JTX company employs only professionals to create unmatched tools for in-home gyms. JTX has set a goal to help all people, regardless of their overall physical condition, to achieve great results in sports. Casting a quick look at this rower we decided it was a mechanical unit with a flywheel. Yet, the device turned out to be much more sophisticated than that. The manufacturer has implemented the DualTorque™ technology to combine both air and electromagnetic resistance in this rowing machine so it could offer a wider range of resistance levels and be comfortably used by people of all ages. For this reason, despite weighing only 36.5 kg, the JTC Air Rower can safely hold up to 120 kg of weight, that is quite a lot.
Versatile Training Programmes
With the JTX rowing machine, you can save money on individual training - the unit features eight individual programmes so that you can effectively work out in the privacy of your home. The rower is fitted with a computer that will keep you informed about what load is required for this or that workout, and a LED-backlit display will show you how you progress, providing you information on the speed, distance, time, torque or power, revolutions, and heart rate.
A nice bonus is that the manufacturer supplies the rower with a chest strap. It will make your workouts safer by allowing you to better control your body and reduce/increase the load. As for resistance levels, the JTX rowing machine offers 16 levels. This is a lot and everyone will be able to train comfortably without the risk of doing damage to health.
The manufacturer has thought of a user's comfort and made this rowing machine as convenient in use as possible. The handle of the unit has an ergonomic bend which allows it to adapt to the contours of your chest and make it easier for you to pull and stretch your arms when you work out your back muscles. The pedals have six adjustment points and fit all foot sizes so you will not experience discomfort. You should also like the seat: unlike some of its counterparts, it is soft to touch and very comfortable here. The rower itself is foldable and can be stored in a corner of a room or under your bed after workouts. The folded dimensions make only 160 cm in height and 112 cm in length.
In closing, the JTX rowing machine is a versatile piece of equipment that will fit everyone being in need of a folded, compact rower at a great price. With 16 resistance levels and 8 programmes, it has all the markings to become your personal "trainer".
JLL R200 Luxury
Train Like a Pro
If you're not willing to spend too much money on a rowing machine, JLL® company offers you a decent rowing machine that boasts excellent price/quality ratio. Actually, it's the best model in the sub £200 price range. Of course, it's not a gym-quality machine but for home use, it's more than adequate. Once you open the box, you'll realise that there's a very little compromise on quality. The machine looks sturdy and well-built. All the parts have a heavy feeling to them, which indicates that this machine was made of good quality materials. When it comes to use, the rower feels solid either: it doesn't shake and stands firmly in place (keep note that the max weight load shouldn't exceed 100 kg). The assembly of the JLL R200 is very straightforward and you're unlikely to spend more than 45 minutes to put all the components together.
However, the major selling point of this rower is its super smooth and nearly silent magnetic rowing mechanism. The machine produces not much more than a slight whistling-like sound, which makes it perfect for use at home. The rower is equipped with a magnet, positioned close to the flywheel, allowing you to choose any of 10 levels of resistance by turning the adjustment dial. A magnetic resistance range this big is enough to challenge most users. The lowest level is ideal for those who want to practise their own rowing style and those who are recovering from an injury. The R200 has a very smooth sliding mechanism to deliver you a seamless rowing simulation and smooth rowing.
The machine is also fitted with an LCD console that provides a range of monitoring settings from the Stroke rate to the Calories used. This display isn't back-lit and perhaps shows not as many stats as a pro machine, but it's more than enough for home use.
Easy to Use, Easy to Store
This machine isn't only quiet and substantially-built but also very comfortable to use. The foot plates are sufficiently strong to give you the maximum safety during your workouts. They’re wide enough to suit any user and feature the Velcro straps for a comfortable fit. But sadly, many users note that foot straps wear out pretty quickly.
On the positive, the machine has an ergonomic handlebar which is foam padded and covered with non-slip rubber. This way, you won't experience irritation to your hands or fingers.
This rowing machine folds upright for compact storage. When folded, the unit takes no more space than a vacuum cleaner. Thus, you can easily fit it in your closet behind the hanging clothes. It's extremely stable in the upright position when folded.
In all, whether you're looking for a good budget-friendly rowing machine that would be able to cater to the needs of both intermediate and beginner users or you're short of space and seek a space-saving solution, the JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine is the one you shouldn't miss.
V-Fit is a well-known brand in the fitness industry that has a growing reputation for delivering good-quality budget and mid-range sports equipment for home use. And the Tornado rowing machine is one of its best models with good customer feedback.
Right out-of-the-box, the machine is quite simple and straightforward to put together. The instructions are clear and helpful. Upon the assembly, the first thing you'll probably notice is the striking colour scheme. Completed in silver, black and orange, the machine looks very modern and substantial.
The rower is made up of steel, aluminium and polyurethane, the perfect combo of materials that gives it sturdy but lightweight construction. That's especially handy if you’re going to move the rower around your house. Plus, there are also wheels at the bottom of the trainer to aid with portability. The air rower looks solid, robust and very secure, however, it fails a bit when it comes to max user weight (115kgs only). That's the cost for portability and light weight.
To continue on a positive note, this rower has a split display, which is a big advantage over single-display machines. The numbers are visible and clear; the display shows you the speed, distance, calories burned, stroke rate, stroke counter, and time. Three of these readouts are shown at any time, while the others are hidden. To see the other ones, you simply need to push the orange button below the screen.
The More You Move, The Greater The Resistance
As the manufacturer claims, the Tornado air rower is an ideal solution to let you train like an Olympian, and we would definitely agree with that. The machine is truly unique in its principle of operation - there are no preset resistance modes and it’s completely up to you to control the physical load. This "free" resistance system makes this rowing machine suitable for both novice users and experienced sportsmen.
Featuring "proportional resistance", this air rower gets tougher as you speed up. Simply put, the faster you row, the harder the resistance is. This unique design makes the machine perfect for people with different fitness levels. It simply adapts to your needs without requiring you to manually adjust anything.
All things considered, if you need a smooth rower that can grow with your fitness skills, don't hesitate to choose the V-fit Tornado. It will give you the maximum control over your workouts. Plus, it comes from a reputable brand and has a keen price point.
Viavito 15003 Sumi
Lose Calories in Style
Viavito is a relatively new company that has recently entered the world of fitness but has already made a name for themselves as of one of the best brands producing sport equipment. The company offers many nice deals for fitness enthusiasts, and quite often you get much more than what you actually pay for. The Viavito 15003 folding rowing machine is the bright example of this. It's covered with a 2-year warranty, but in reality it will serve you a lifetime! Made of tubular steel, this rower is intended for continuous use to deliver you a never-ending challenge. The machine is very sturdy and can sustain long and really long training sessions.
As for design, the Viavito 15003 is implemented in vibrant red and black colours which makes it look quite classy and allows it to add a modern touch to any interior. It's ergonomically designed to match every contour of your body, which allows you to work out with less pain and more comfort. Plus, it produces virtually no noise, so you can give it a go and worry not that you might disturb the people around you. The Viavito 15003 has no motor and, consequently, doesn’t require the power network. It's only an LCD battery that needs batteries. Speaking of which, the screen is handy and easy to read, and can show you the workout stats such as Time elapsed, Distance, Strokes per minute, and Calories burned. A resistance adjustment knob is placed underneath the screen, and switching between resistance levels is easy-breezy.
A Few Words About Design
Like most rowing machines, the Viavito 15003 comes disassembled, but you get clear step-by-step instructions so you'll have no problem putting it together without spending too much time. The rower has a 7-kg flywheel, 80-cm row length and can suit users up to 120 kg and up to 185 cm. The machine has large foot pedals (more accommodating than other machines in its price range) with straps to keep your feet securely in place. The seat is very comfortable to sit even during long workout sessions. After you finish your cardio exercising, you can fold the machine in half and store in your closet. Although the rower is not particularly lightweight at 26.1 kg, a pair of wheels is surely a great add-on!
Summing up all we've said above, if you're looking for a reasonably-priced yet robust magnetic-type rowing machine that would sustain long training sessions and survive years of extensive use, the Viavito 15003 should be right up your alley.
What Is a Rowing Machine?
As you can guess, rowing machines are called so after the sports of rowing. The reason is that during working out, your movements follow the ones performed by oarsmen.
This fitness equipment can be called unique since 80% of your body muscles stressed when you are performing this exercise. Back, shoulder, abdominal, leg, and arm muscles are trained during this exercise. You’ll be able not only to tone up your muscles but also lose weight, prevent a heart attack, and maintain a healthy condition of your body in general.
If your favourite sports is running, we recommend you to look through our review of the best treadmills.
What Features to Compare
There are two types of rowing machines: mechanical and magnetic, with both featuring their own sub-types. Here are the three common subtypes you'll find:
- Flywheel rowing machines are the most widespread. They have a propeller rotating due to the motion of a flywheel. The more effort you apply, the stronger the resistance will be.
- Water rowing machines have a similar operating principle, however, the resistance is created by the water kept in a water tank. Your every stroke makes the propeller move inside the tank so you feel the effect of resistance on your muscles.
- Finally, hydraulic rowing machines work due to two pistons creating the resistance by means of special liquid.
As for magnetic rowers, they can be magnetic and electromagnetic.
- Magnetic rowing machines create the resistance by means of two magnets moving at a certain distance from a flywheel.
- Electromagnetic rowing machines have the same operating principle but also use an electromagnetic field while working.
In general, magnetic rowing machines are less noisy as there is no friction between their internal components.
The rowing machine consists of several parts. All of them perform their own functions to make the process of exercising as effective as possible. The frame can be made of wood or stainless steel. A sliding seat is designed to train your feet while your arms are strengthened thanks to a handle attached to a hawser. Depending on the type of a machine, there is also a flywheel or pistons generating the resistance. A monitor displays the speed, time, burned calories, and the distance for you to understand how your progress is going. The majority of rowing machines have special straps to fix your feet for greater convenience and safety.
This feature is of the utmost importance, too. Since a rowing machine is a relatively large and heavy piece of equipment, it has to be convenient and easy to use. Consider its principle of operation and make sure it will be easy to set a machine in motion. Take note that rowing machines with flywheel work less smoothly than magnetic ones and may jerk slightly every time you make a stroke. However, this doesn't make them worse and many customers prefer them over magnetic models. Also, check the storage options. It will be good if a rower can be folded so it doesn't take up a lot of space and can be tucked under the furniture. Built-in wheels are another advantage, letting you move the rower with ease.
Exercises You Can Do
Although a rower looks like a basic piece of fitness equipment, it allows you to vary your workouts making them more effective and challenging.
First of all, we would like to help you get the technique of simple rowing right. The basic exercise includes 3 positions:
- Catch. Sit on the rowing machine, bend your knees, and put your feet in the hold. Then, stretch your arms and grab the handle of the rower firmly. Your abs should be tight and your back mustn't be hunched.
- Drive. Push with your legs and pull the handle with your arms simultaneously. Don't straighten your legs until they are completely unbent.
- Finish. After straightening your legs, lean back at approximately a 45-degree angle. Keep your arms extended.
Reverse and return to the original position.
By doing power curls, you can tone and strengthen your biceps. This type of exercise also challenges the core muscles more.
Do basic rowing 3 times and then bend your elbows and bring the handle of the rower towards your chin. Uncurl.
Repeat the exercise 8-10 times.
Side rows can help you work out your arms and cinch your waistline. Also, this variation of rowing can tone your chest a bit.
Catch the handle, making sure your back is completely erect.
Push whilst straightening your legs. Pull the handle to your left side and lean back.
Repeat the same for the right side. Do the exercise 8-12 times for each side.
This variation is also called Extreme Rowing because it involves increasing of the rowing speed. It can help you achieve a better cardio effect and burn more calories.
You simply need to do the regular rowing but you shouldn't take the handle all the way back. Do the exercise as quickly as you can. Begin with 1 minute and then gradually increase this time and speed of rowing.
This exercise can help you improve your stamina and overall health accordingly. In this exercise, you need to increase the resistance and lower your pace.
Do the simple rowing but at a bit slower than usual pace.
When you reach the Finish position, bend your arms and pull the handle back towards you. Try not to hunch your back and lean back as much as you can.
Always keep in mind that the right breathing technique is the key to successful workouts. Inhale while you're in the Catch position and exhale while you're pulling the handle. Inhale once you get back into the original position.
Begin a rowing workout with a warm-up and end it with a good stretching session.
To stay motivated, make your personal fitness plan that you'll enjoy. Increase the resistance step by step to challenge yourself more.
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