Best Rowing Machines in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 14, 2019
Millions of people are suffering from cardiovascular diseases worldwide and if you 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 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Design
Resistance levels
Displayed information
Maximum user weight
Extras
Unit weight
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

The Concept2 Model D is loaded with features making its use ultra-convenient and effective for both novice users just approaching this exercise and those who've been using a rowing machine at the gym for quite some time. It distributes force between all muscles and delivers a powerful workout you need.

CONS
Folding this fitness equipment might take a lot of time.
OUR VERDICT

For those looking for a high-quality rowing machine that will be able to handle the most demanding workouts and serve you for a long while, the Concept2 Model D will be a solid investment. It is robust, reliable, and will offer you everything you need for smooth workouts. Plus, it doesn't need a lot of space and is easy to move around.

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

The DualTorque™ technology allowed combining both air and electromagnetic resistance: this enables easier and smoother change from one resistance level to another one.

CONS

The unit needs to be connected to the mains.

OUR VERDICT

Combining electro-magnetic and air resistance, the JTX Fitness Foldable rowing machine allows for a much wider range of resistance levels which can make even some of the more advanced sportsmen break a sweat. The built-in programs make workouts more interesting and can accommodate all fitness levels.

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

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.

CONS

The max weight capacity is rather low.

OUR VERDICT

The price-per-quality ratio is off the chart with the JLL R200 home rowing machine. It's excellent for strength and cardio training and it will perfectly work for both intermediate and beginner users. One of the best rowing machines within this price.

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic 

Design

Flywheel + Magnetic

Resistance levels

10

Displayed information

Total count, Calorie, Count / Min, Count, Distance, Scan, Time

Maximum user weight

100 kg

Extras

Advanced belt driving system, Wide platform pedals, Adjustable footplates, Foam padded handles, Foam-filled seat, Inbuilt wheels, Easy storage

Unit weight

23 kg

Dimensions

180 x 52 x 49 cm (assembled), 71 x 52 x 127 cm (folded)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The LCD display is conveniently placed so that you can easily observe all the parameters during training. Ergonomic foam padded handlebars and a foam-filled seat will make your workouts even more comfortable.

CONS

The highest setting isn't that difficult. 

OUR VERDICT

The XS Sports R310 Folding Rower is a decent choice for individuals that need a durable machine to begin exercising at home. It provides 10 levels of magnetic resistance and feedback on your training sessions.

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic

Design

Flywheel + Magnetic

Resistance levels

10

Displayed information

Total count, Calorie guide, Count/Min, Time, Scan

Maximum user weight

100 kg

Extras

Ergonomic foam padded handlebars, Adjustable footplates, Foam-filled seat, Built-in wheels at the front, Folding frame design

Unit weight

23.6 kg

Dimensions

181 x 50 x 48 cm (assembled)
70 x 50 x 125 cm (folded)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The machine is truly unique in its principle of operation - there are no preset resistance modes, you control the physical load.

CONS

It's a bit noisy. 

OUR VERDICT

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.

detailed parameters
Type

Mechanical

Design

Flywheel

Resistance levels

Resistance depends on the force you apply 

Displayed information

Calories burn, Distance, Speed, Stroke counter, Stroke rate, and Time

Maximum user weight

115 kg

Extras

LCD monitor, Contoured polyurethan anatomically designed seat, Oversize PVC footplates with two-position mount, Pads on legs, Folding frame design

Unit weight

24 kg

Dimensions

212 x 44 x 74 cm (assembled), 120 x 44 x 75 cm (folded)

Warranty

1 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.

Review of Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower with PM5 Monitor

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.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower with PM5 Monitor in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


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

JTX Fitness Foldable

Dual Power

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.

Review of JTX Fitness Foldable Air Rower Foldable Superior Rowing Machine

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.

JTX Fitness Foldable Air Rower Foldable Superior Rowing Machine in the use

Safety Features

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".

Detailed review of JTX Fitness Foldable Air Rower Foldable Superior Rowing Machine

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

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.

Review of JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine

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.

JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

XS Sports R310

Solidly Built Machine

XS Sports is a trustworthy brand that produces high-quality rower equipment for affordable price tags. XS Sports rowing machines are developed in consultation with professionals and are thoroughly tested to meet strict safety standards. They are crafted to the premium CE standards, so you can be sure you're getting a safe and secure folding magnetic rower by purchasing the XS Sports R310 machine.

Right out of the box, the product is fairly easy to put together (the assembly will take you approx 30mins). It's very well made and feels really sturdy. According to the specs, the max user weight it can hold is 100 kilograms, not a lot but certainly enough for most users. The seat is large and comfortable. The grip on the handle is smartly sized to prevent your hands from rubbing and getting sore.

The perk of the XS Sports R310 is its silent operation. You can have a row and watch TV at the same time. Such quiet operation has been achieved largely thanks to the use of an advanced belt drive.

The XS Sports R310 has a foldable construction, which is an advantage and disadvantage of the unit. On the one hand, it requires little of your personal space and, with the dimensions of only 70 x 50 x 125 cm, can be neatly stored in an upright position when not in use. On the other hand, disassembling will require tools to remove knobs, nut and a bolt, the part not all people will find convenient.

Review of XS Sports R310 Folding Rowing Machine

For Newbies

This rower is not only stoutly-built but also it has a good range of tension levels and superior magnetic build. To be more specific, the rower offers 10 levels of magnetic resistance. And unlike many other fitness machines that use unreliable elastic bands, this rower comes fitted with a 4-kg magnetic flywheel to provide users with smooth movement. Also, the resistance levels are quite easy to adjust, so even those inexperienced with the oars will be able to quickly find the right position.

But if we had to pinpoint some flaws, that, perhaps, would be the fact that this machinery is rather entry-level. Many professional sportsmen say that the highest resistance setting isn't difficult at all. But if you're just starting your fitness adventures, the XS Sports R310 Folding Rower is an ideal option for that.

For greater convenience, the machine is featured with an advanced LCD display that provides real-time information about your workouts, i.e., burnt calories, total workout time, row count per minute, and row count so you can track and maximise your results. The screen is rather big and positioned at an angle so it can be easily read during workouts without having to squint or stop.

To summarise, the XS Sports R310 Folding Rower is a very decent choice for individuals who need a durable machine to begin exercising at home. It features 10 levels of magnetic resistance and provides detailed feedback on your training sessions, allowing you to enjoy rowing and take things to the next level quicker.

XS Sports R310 Folding Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

V-Fit Tornado

Stylish Machine

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.

Review of V-Fit Tornado Air Rower

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.

V-Fit Tornado Air Rower in the use

Additional Info

User Manual


 

What Is a Rowing Machine?

Whether you are an inexperienced user on the hunt for a home rowing machine or you'd like to improve your fitness level by adding rowing into your workouts, we offer you the best pick of the best indoor rowing machines for home fitness that you can purchase right now. All of these models come in styles that are comfy to use at home and disassemble after training and they can greatly contribute to your workout adding dynamics to it.

Rowing offers plenty of benefits. It ensures that the force is equally distributed between all your muscles which allows developing a beautiful body. Plus, many of them offer plenty of built-in programs and various resistance levels which not only make workouts more interesting but also enable sportsmen of all fitness levels to select the best combination for their needs.

So if you're looking for a way to diversify your workouts and considering approaching rowing, you've come to the right place. Here you can find the best rowing equipment produced by well-known brands.

Along with a home rowing machine, you may want to equip your home gym with one of these treadmills. Also, you should get a jump rope and dumbbells.

What Features to Compare

Type

Generally, there are two types of rowing machines you can choose from - mechanical and magnetic. However, they can differ in styles, as well as in the number of features that can be included so it's worth checking them out as well. Speaking of styles, here are the most common you can find on the market today:

  • 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 poured in a water tank. Your every stroke makes the propeller move inside the tank so you can 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, these 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.

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 greater convenience and safety.

Usability

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.

Simple Rowing

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.

Power Curls

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 Curls

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.

Sprints

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.

Long Distance

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.

Useful Tips

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.

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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