Best Rowing Machines in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 5, 2017
Millions of people are suffering from cardiovascular diseases worldwide and if you do care about your health, you should certainly perform regular exercises. A rowing machine is the best fitness equipment for this purpose! We have selected and reviewed 5 best rowing machines for you! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Design
Resistance levels
Displayed information
Maximum user weight
Extras
Unit weight
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS
Training on this rowing machine will be comfortable and extremely efficient thanks to its well-built frame and informative display.
CONS
Folding this fitness equipment might take a lot of time.
OUR VERDICT
It's an excellent rowing machine with a durable steel frame and adjustable resistance. Perfect choice for exercising at home!
detailed parameters
Type
Mechanical
Design
Flywheel
Resistance levels
10
Displayed information
Distance, Speed, Pace, Calories
Maximum user weight
~ 230 kg
Extras
Performance monitor, Flywheel and damper, Low profile, Storage and mobility, Easy assembly
Unit weight
26 kg
Dimensions
244 х 61 х 36 cm
Warranty
5 years on frame, 2 years on other parts
PROS
This rowing machine fits into almost any room interior due to its frame made of genuine ash. Also, touching a real wood is more pleasant than touching a piece of metal.
CONS
The unit is rather large even when folded.
OUR VERDICT
This rowing machine will let you feel like a real oarsman on a watercraft. The sound of water is really pleasant.
detailed parameters
Type
Mechanical
Design
Water
Resistance levels
7
Displayed information
Intensity, Stroke rate, Distance, Time
Maximum user weight
150 kg
Extras
Designed to imitate the movement of a boat, Natural resistance delivered by water, Handcrafted from solid ash wood, Can be folded up vertically
Unit weight
44.5 kg (full water tank)
Dimensions
212 x 57 x 51 cm (assembled), 51 x 57 x 212 cm (folded)
Warranty
5 years on frame, 3 years on other parts
PROS
You need a couple of minutes only to prepare this exercising tool for a workout. The unit has a compact structure and boasts a simple assembly.
CONS
Switching between the resistance modes could be smoother.
OUR VERDICT
The We R Sports RowX2 magnetic rowing machine is the perfect pick for home workouts. The magnetic design of the tool makes it almost noiseless.
detailed parameters
Type
Magnetic
Design
Magnetic
Resistance levels
8
Displayed information
Time, Strokes, Total strokes, Strokes per minute, Calories burnt, Scan function
Maximum user weight
100 kg
Extras
Ultra smooth magnetic resistance, Adjustable footplates with increased ankle support, Folds for compact storage, Six-wheeled seat carriage for smooth action
Unit weight
~ 30 kg
Dimensions
178 x 49 x 46 cm (assembled), 75 x 52 x 106 cm (folded)
Warranty
1 year
PROS
Thanks to the DualTorque™ technology, the rowing machine combines both air and electromagnetic resistance, ensuring smooth workouts.
CONS
The unit needs to be connected to the electricity grid.
OUR VERDICT
This is a fantastic rowing machine for novices, who just wish to improve strength and health, and for professionals who need to keep in a good shape. The indoor rower offers 8 training programmes.
detailed parameters
Type
Mechanical & magnetic
Design
Flywheel & Magnetic
Resistance levels
16
Displayed information
Overall speed and distance, Revolutions, Stroke rate, Heart rate, Power and split times, Hill profile, Interval, Target heart rate options
Maximum user weight
120 kg
Extras
DualTorque™ resistance system, JTX MotionRail™ system, Electro magnetic resistance, 6 Point adjustable pedals, Heart rate chest strap
Unit weight
36.5 kg
Dimensions
225 x 58 x 86 cm (assembled), 112 x 58 x 160 (folded)
Warranty
2 years
PROS
This compact and lightweight rowing machine offers users great portability and convenient storage in confined spaces.
CONS
The indoor rower has 3 resistance levels only.
OUR VERDICT
The Body Sculpture BR1900 rowing machine allows you to tone your muscles up, imitating the movements of a real oarsman. The tool is fully autonomous, no electricity or water is required.
detailed parameters
Type
Mechanical
Design
Hydraulic
Resistance levels
3
Displayed information
Scan, Time, Count, Calories burnt
Maximum user weight
100 kg
Extras
Variable hydraulic resistance, Adjustable footplates, Eight-wheel carriage on the saddle
Unit weight
13 kg
Dimensions
124 x 80 x 17.5 cm (assembled)
Warranty
1 year on parts

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 kind of exercising is running, we recommend you to look through our review of the best treadmills.

What Features to Compare

Type
There are two kinds of rowing machines – mechanical and magnetic – and they have their own sub-types. There are 3 types of mechanical rowing machines.

  • Flywheel rowing machines are the most widespread. They have a propeller rotating due to a motion of a flywheel. The more effort you apply, the stronger the resistance of a machine is.
  • Water rowing machines have the 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 a special liquid.
As for magnetic rowers, they are either 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.

Machine 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 a better convenience and safety.

Usability
This feature is of the utmost importance, too. Since a rowing machine is a relatively large and heavy equipment, you probably want it to be convenient and easy-to-use. Pay attention to the way the unit works. The softer the process of setting the machine in motion is, the more pleasant your training will be. Remember that it’s easy to make magnetic machines work smoothly while those having a flywheel tend to jerk slightly every time you make a new stroke. However, it’s not a reason to neglect these wonderful machines. The ability to fold a rower makes the storage of the equipment more convenient. Built-in wheels will also be an advantage since they allow you to move your rowing machine with smaller effort.

Concept2 Model D

What Can Be Easier?

The Model D is a fantastic rowing machine produced by Concept2. This fitness tool is very popular and we are going to find out why. In terms of design, the Concept2 Model D is a conventional mechanical rowing machine with a flywheel, the resistance of which is created with the help of air and a propeller. The design this simple can benefit users in many ways. Firstly, the machine doesn't require any special maintenance, as well as it doesn't need you to change water or keep it fed with electricity. All controls are simple and user-friendly. The machine offers 10 resistance levels, so you can start with a lower one and proceed to the higher settings while making a progress. The indoor rower has a damper that controls the amount of air and, thus, changes the resistance of the machine. The unit has a highly durable steel frame which withstands the maximum user's weight of almost 230 kg. You don't need to be an athlete to use the Concept2 Model D rowing machine. Start with little and soon you will see a visible change in your body!
Review of Concept2 Model D

Smart Workout Performance Monitoring

This indoor rower can be equipped with several types of performance monitors. The reviewed model has the PM5 workout monitor which is informative and easy-to-use. There are 8 buttons: 3 main and 5 additional ones. The display has a backlight so you can see your workout results even in a dimly lit room. The PM5 will tell you about the distance you 'cover', your speed, pace, and the number of calories you have burnt. But it is just a tip of the iceberg! The PM5 is Bluetooth-compatible which means you can sync it with your mobile devices. Install the branded ErgData app (available for iOS and Android) and the information about workouts will be displayed right on the screen of your gadget. Moreover, the app will save your workout results, offer different data display modes, and so on. The PM5 is also compatible with a Bluetooth heart rate sensor to allow you to check on your heart and if there's ever a problem, relieve it in time.
Exercising on this rowing machine is really comfortable due to its ergonomic shape of the seat, adjustable footrests, and rubber-coated handle. The machine is supplied with a user manual following which you'll spend no longer than 10 minutes to put it together. The assembly is easy and trouble-free. Thanks to the compact dimensions of the unit when it's folded, it's also convenient to store it under your bed or in a drawer. 
In all, if you need an effective, functional, and reliable rowing machine, the Concept2 Model D is a fantastic choice!
Concept2 Model D in the use

Apps:

ErgData for Android
ErgData for iOS

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Concept 2 Model D rowing machine (A Miss Info Review)
Concept2 Model D
Concept2 Model D
 

WaterRower Ash A1

No More Cold Metal!

In 1988, a Yale graduate John Duke founded his own company and called it WaterRower Inc. The inventor created WaterFlywheel, a rowing machine with a unique design. Our review would not be complete without one of the exercising tools manufactured by WaterRower Inc. The A1 tool looks quite unusual, it has a frame made of genuine ash wood. Thus, this indoor rower looks rather natural and, more importantly, fits into almost any interior. If you have parquet floors, this rowing machine will look like an intrinsic component of your room style. As the very name of this indoor rower indicates, it works thanks to the water-generated resistance. In brief, the operating principle is as follows: a water-filled tank contains a flywheel that starts spinning once the tool's handle is pulled. The harder you pull, the higher the resistance of water gets and the higher is the load on your muscles.
Review of WaterRower Ash A1

Just Add Some Water

Like most other rowing machines, this one allows you to adjust the load on your muscles by adding or removing water from the water tank. There are 7 water level marks on the tank. The 12-14 are suitable for children, 14-16 are great for adults whereas 16-18 levels are for well-trained athletes. In our opinion, this simple adjustment system is quite effective and, what is quite important, easy to maintain. Of course, the WaterRower A1 is a modern exercising tool that includes an informative A1 Home Monitor. It shows you the rowing duration, distance, a total number of strokes, and other workout results.
WaterRower Ash A1 in the use

Solid as a Rock

A brief look at this rowing machine is enough to understand it is not foldable. Therefore, the unit is extremely durable and can withstand a user weighing up to 150 kg. Yet, storing this indoor rower is simple as it can be placed vertically and has caster wheels. The weight of the rowing machines itself is just 44.5 kg. So, moving the tool is effortless! The WaterRower provides a great level of comfort during a workout. The handle is wide and convenient, so it will not slip out of your grip. The seat smoothly glides along the aluminium monorail. We would like to mention that you can connect a heart rate monitor to the A1 monitor. Set an upper limit on your heartbeat and the monitor will warm you as soon as you have reached it. This way, your workouts will always be safe no matter how old you are. Changing the resistance of the flywheel is simple and we have already mentioned it. Just open the sealed lid of the water tank and add some water. However, you might need a water pump if you need to remove excessive water; it is sold separately. Yet, you can do it in a much simpler way, such as with the help of a water scoop. If you do not move your WaterRower much, you do not need to change water in the tank. Instead, you can purify it by adding a special chlorinated tablet.
In all, this indoor water rower is a great choice for people who wish to strengthen their cardiovascular system, as well as to keep their muscles toned up. Easy-to-use, efficient, and 100% nature-friendly!
Detailed review of WaterRower Ash A1

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


WaterRower Ash A1
WaterRower Ash A1
 

We R Sports RowX2

Enjoy the Silence

We R Sports was founded as a small family business in 2010 and since then it has successfully been producing sports gear and accessories. What always distinguished the company from the rivals is its innovative approach to the creation of its products. Therefore, we've decided to review one of its sports equipment too. The RowX2 rowing machine is a recent company's product with a magnetic design that strikes with its quiet operation. You can jump on it early in the morning or late in the evening and be sure that your workouts will disturb neither your family nor your neighbours. The magnets do not contact the flywheels and the resistance is created when they simply approach it. Also, pay attention to the size of the indoor rower. It is fairly compact but the user's weight capacity is 100 kg.
Review of We R Sports RowX2

Get Ready for Serious Training

To make your workouts more effective, the RowX2 rowing machine has been equipped with a computer that keeps track of your activity and saves in memory the information on your time, strokes per minute, total strokes and calories burnt. Pressing the button "Scan" allows you to see all these parametres one by one on a screen. The device features 8 different resistance levels, so you have got an option to start with the one that works better for your physical condition.  The flywheel here is pretty heavy (7 kg) and will surely put enough load to make your muscles grow. 
We R Sports RowX2 in the use

Easy to Use, Easy to Store

The RowX2 magnetic rowing machine is rather compact and relatively lightweight, which is an advantage for people who need an exercising tool for home workouts. The footrests are large and have straps to secure your feet. The seat smoothly moves along the rail on 6 wheels. The wide handle with a special soft coating provides a firm and comfortable grip. Thus, you will not feel any discomfort while training. If you do not live in a huge mansion with a gym, you will certainly face a problem of where to store the rowing machine. The RowX2 needs little storage space; use a single lever and fold the tool up. It is easy to move the indoor rower due to its small wheels in the front leg. When folded, the RowX2 rowing machine is 106 cm high and 75 cm long, so you won't have a problem finding a storage place for it.
Detailed review of We R Sports RowX2

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


We R Sports RowX2
We R Sports RowX2
 

JTX Fitness Foldable

Dual Power

Founded in 2009, the JTX company employs professionals who create unmatched tools for an in-home gym. 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 the tool 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 make it possible to combine both air and electromagnetic resistance in this rowing machine and gave it the benefit of being a versatile sports gear with a range of resistance levels to suit all people. The machine itself is pretty lightweight with the weight of 36.5 kg yet strong and solid boasting maximum user's weight capacity of 120 kg. 
Review of JTX Fitness Foldable

Versatile Training Programmes

Now it's not necessarily to pay for individual training in order to keep fit. The JTX rowing machine can offer you a number of individual programmes that you can do on your own at home. The device features an informative computer that will tell you of the load required for aerobic, interval, cardio, etc. exercises, and an LED-backlit display with the output of the data on your workouts, including speed, distance, time, torque or power, revolutions, heart rate, etc. To make your workouts not only effective but also safe, the manufacturer has included a chest strap with a sensor with which you can take control over your body condition and stop training when the load is too high for you. As for resistance, this JTX indoor rower is, probably, a record holder as there are 16 levels. No doubt, this rowing machine will help you keep fit without doing the slightest harm to your health!
JTX Fitness Foldable in the use

Following the Shape of Your Chest

The manufacturer has thought of user's comfort and made this rowing machine maximally convenient to use. The handle here features an ergonomic bend allowing it to follow the contours of your chest and making it possible for you to pull and stretch your arms to work out back muscles to the full. The pedals have 6 adjustment points and fit all foot sizes. You will also appreciate the seating which here is soft and comfortable. The machine is foldable and can be stored in a corner of a room or under your bed after each workout. The folded dimensions make 160 cm high and 112 cm long only. 
In general, this JTX rowing machine is a great tool for everybody who wants to keep fit, from amateurs to seasoned sportsmen.
Detailed review of JTX Fitness Foldable

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


JTX Fitness Foldable
JTX Fitness Foldable
 

Body Sculpture BR1900 Twin

Start Rowing Right at Home

Founded back in 1965 in the UK, Body Sculpture has become a renowned manufacturer of innovative sporting tools and accessories which are sold to more than 65 countries around the globe. We have reviewed one of its most popular rowing machines, the Twin Hydraulic Rower. The name alone provides the information about the tool's design. Unlike standard rowing machines, this is a Scandinavian indoor rower. It means that the movements of your body maximally imitate those of real oarsmen. So, you can be sure you will be able to work out your shoulders and back really well without going to the gym. The BR1900 rowing machine has two hydraulic pistons generating the resistance each time you pull a lever. Being compact in size, it offers decent weight capacity which makes whole 100 kg.
Review of Body Sculpture BR1900 Twin

Make a Pause

Comparing with many other devices, this rowing hasn't got any buttons to readjust its resistance levels, which means, you will need to stop exercising for a few seconds to increase or lower it yourself by moving the brackets along the arms of the machine. Doing this way, you'll change the position of pistons and consequently, the level of resistance. The device offers 3 resistance levels which you should try first to decide which one works better for you. Just like on many other rowing machines, this one has a computer to monitor your activity and store information on your time, strokes, calories burnt, etc. Push the button 'Scan' and you'll see the list of these parameters on a LED screen.
Body Sculpture BR1900 Twin in the use

Storing This Rowing Machine is Effortless

This hydraulic rowing machine is rather compact and, thus, convenient in use. The exercising tool is 124 cm long and weighs only 13 kg. The Scandinavian design means there is neither flywheel nor other bulky components in the machine. The footplates are adjustable and have straps, so your feet will remain in place no matter how hard you pull the arms of the tool. The saddle moves very smoothly thanks to 8 small wheels. After you finish your rowing exercises, you can put the indoor rower under your bed or even a large wardrobe (the rowing machine is compact enough for it).
If you wish to feel like a real oarsman and train the muscles of your shoulders, arms, and back, this Body Sculpture is the best choice. Moreover, it needs no electricity, which means no extra spending for your monthly budget!
Detailed review of Body Sculpture BR1900 Twin

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Body Sculpture BR1900 Twin
Body Sculpture BR1900 Twin
 

Sources:

1. How to Choose the Right Rowing Machine for You, eBay. March 10, 2016.

2. How to choose your rowing machine? Decathlon.

3. How to Choose a Rowing Machine, Overstock.

4. A guide to rowing machines, Argos.

5. Todd Maternowski How to Choose a Rowing Machine, Healthy Living Fitness.

6. About Rowing Machines, Fitness-Superstore.

7. Nicole Catanese ROWING IS THE NEW SPINNING, Harper's Bazaar. September 16, 2014.

8. How to Row on a Rowing Machine, wikiHow.

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