Best Rowing Machines in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 15, 2020
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 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Design
Resistance levels
Displayed information
Maximum user weight
Extras
Unit weight
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

The RSX400 is a pulse belt compatible machine, allowing you to train in your optimal heart rate zone. The pulse belt should be purchased additionally.

CONS

The machine moves slightly when used on slippery surfaces.

OUR VERDICT

The Sportstech RSX400 is advanced fitness equipment that is made from solid materials and boasts German workmanship. It offers great connectivity and uses innovative magnetoresistance, so it provides very smooth and natural motion.

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic

Design

Flywheel + Magnetic

Resistance levels

8

Displayed information

No built-in display;

Compatible with Kinomap and FitnessData apps (available on iOS and Android)

Maximum user weight

100 kg

Extras

Easy folding system, Transport wheels, Aluminium rails, Ball-bearing mounted comfort saddle, Pulsation belt 

Unit weight

21.5 kg

Dimensions

160 x 45 x 89.5 cm (assembled)

125 x 47 x 71 cm (folded)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Once you've completed your workout, you can fold this rowing machine in half and move away for storage. It has built-in wheels for easy transportation.

CONS

The assembly may take you considerable time.

OUR VERDICT

The SportPlus Indoor Rower is ideal for overweight people who want to burn excess fat in the shortest time possible. Made from premium-quality materials, the trainer looks very solid and can support weight up to 150 kg without wobbling or other issues.

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic

Design

Flywheel + Magnetic

Resistance levels

8

Displayed information

Time, Total stroke count, Stroke count per training, Stroke frequency, Approx. energy consumption, Pulse

Maximum user weight

150 kg

Extras

Maintenance-free belt driving system, Transport wheels, Foldable construction, Ball-bearing mounted comfort rowing seat, High-quality aluminium track, Chest harness compatible

Unit weight

26.5 kg

Dimensions

190 x 51 x 77 cm (assembled)

122 x 95 x 51 (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 6-wheel carriage makes workouts ultimately smooth. Plus, the ball-bearing wheels do not wear out over time. Handle bars and seat boasts extra padding.

CONS

Some users say that the tablet dock is situated inconveniently.

OUR VERDICT

The folks behind the Body Sculpture company have made this trainer as comfortable for users as possible. A built-in fan with adjustable airflow direction will cool you down and, thus, keep you exercising for longer.

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic

Design

Flywheel + Magnetic

Resistance levels

8

Displayed information

Count, Total count, Calories burned, Distance, Time

Maximum user weight

120 kg

Extras

Transport wheels, Foldable construction, 6-wheel carriage under the seat, padded seat and handlebars, High-quality aluminium track, Built-in cooling fan

Unit weight

22.5 kg

Dimensions

190 x 50 x 94.5 cm (assembled)

138.5 x 50 x 85 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

Sportstech RSX400

High-end Model

Sportstech is a German brand that is known for its high-quality fitness equipment, so if you need a luxury rowing machine for your home gym, you may really like this one. The RSX400 model has passed all the strictest German standards and boasts great engineering.

To begin with, this trainer is made of premium-quality steel and hard plastic. The aluminium rail that the seat is sliding on is very durable and stable. The overall design of the machine is quite sleek and futuristic. With that, it's fairly space-saving - the machine is only 160 cm long, which is considerably less compared to most other rowers out there. In addition to that, it's foldable and easy-moveable owing to the integrated transport wheels - you can simply lift it and roll to the desired place for storage.

There is also the promise from the manufacturer that the model is quite stable. What's more, Sportstech supplies it with a free floor protection mat that not only guards surfaces against marks and scratches but also absorbs additional noise.

Speaking about the seat, it's ergonomically-designed with an anti-slip pattern that is very useful during long workouts. It ensures a comfy and healthy sitting position, while the running rail provides a safe and smooth sliding of the seat. The 15-degree incline, in its turn, provides a realistic angle for a pleasant rowing session and lets you achieve an even more natural motion.

Review of Sportstech RSX400 Rowing Machine

Ultra Smart

As for the workout, the magnetic resistance here can be set manually in 8 levels depending on your personal fitness level. That is to say, the motion of this machine is pretty simple, gentle, and suitable for new users. As mentioned, this system offers you very round and natural movements and protects your joints.

When it comes to extras, the Sportstech rowing machine has a console that is compatible with the Kinomap + FitnessData app. This way, you can insert your tablet into the special holder, set up the app and track your workout results from a clearer and more appealing display of the gadget. If you want to train in your optimal heart rate zone, you can purchase the pulse belt additionally. The machine measures the heart rate very accurately and continuously.

All in all, the Sportstech RSX400 is surely a luxury at-home rowing machine. It's manufactured from high-quality materials, boasts great connectivity, and ensures a very natural rowing experience. Although this machine may seem to be too expensive for beginners, those individuals who are passionate about rowing will find a lot to love about it.

Sportstech RSX400 Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Sportplus SP-MR-008-B

Nearly Silent

The SportPlus company offers another solid home fitness system that is made from high-quality materials and is safety-certified. It looks fairly elegant with stylish black and contrasting red plastic panels, as well as aluminium materials. Most customers who use this machine are really satisfied with the build quality and the comfort level it brings. They say it's suitable for heavy-duty use and intensive rowing workouts.

The other factor that indicates a good experience for them is the quiet operation. The machine is fitted with a whisper-quiet magnetic brake system, so it works ultimately smoothly and silently. To understand how quiet this rowing machine is, just consider the fact that you can work out without disturbing people relaxing a couple of metres away from you.

In total, the rower offers 8 resistance levels, and you can pick the preferable one by rotating a knob located at the front. The SportPlus system has a ball-bearing mounted rubber seat that is made from sturdy PU material. For higher comfort, the machine is featured with large non-slip pedals and velcro straps to keep your feet in place. It can support any user that weighs up to 150 kg.
Review of Sportplus SP-MR-008-B Indoor Foldable Rowing Machine

Track It!

One of the major advantages of the SportPlus indoor rowing machine is its well-readable LCD tracking monitor. The display can be adjusted to different positions, making it possible to get a clear view from any angle. The tracking monitor shows you such stats as total training and distance rowed, strokes per minute, total strokes and approximate calories burnt. For more information, you can connect a chest strap (sold separately). The unit boasts a 5 kHz pulse receiver in the computer and can accurately track your heart rate.

Once you complete your workout, you can fold this machine in half and store away out of sight under a bed or in a storage cupboard. For convenient transportation, there are built-in rollers. However, take note that the construction has no special handles and you should hold it by the rail when moving around. Not a dealbreaker, but just a slight inconvenience with otherwise a perfect machine.

In all, SportPlus offers a good quality rower that looks stylish and seems accessible to different users. It has 8 levels of resistance, comes with an LCD display, and has an accurate built-in pulse receiver, which makes it a bit more high-tech than average machines.

Sportplus SP-MR-008-B Indoor Foldable Rowing Machine in the use

 

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


 

Body Sculpture BR2712

All for Your Comfort

The Body Sculpture BR2712 does everything to cover average rower needs, so it can be a good start for beginners who would like to get into rowing and gradually improve their fitness level. In a word, it’s amazing for an introduction to rowing and is ultra-convenient to use.

It becomes clear that the machine is quite straightforward to use right after delivery. Even if you've never assembled anything similar before, you'll need 10 minutes tops to put the whole thing together. The rower arrives pre-assembled with clear instructions.

The folks at Body Sculpture also have put a lot of thought into the comfort level of this machine. To begin with, the rower is designed with a powerful blow fan that can cool you down throughout your workouts and make them more comfortable and long-lasting accordingly. Moving on, it's made with an integrated table dock that holds most gadgets securely to let you enjoy your favourite media or motivating videos while you're exercising.

In addition to that, there is a very minimalistic and intuitive display that shows approximate calories burned, count, total count, distance, scan and time. This way, you'll be able to track all your journeys and keep yourself more motivated. As you see, it's a nice machine that combines many desirable characteristics of higher-end models for a quite moderate price.

Review of Body Sculpture BR2712 Air & Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine

Perfect For Beginners

What makes using the Body Sculpture BR2712 even more enjoyable is the fact that it offers very smooth, noiseless strokes. Unlike many other models within its price bracket that use air-based resistance, this one is made with magnetic resistance that provides seamless action and increases the fluidity of rowing exercises. Plus, the Hi-Tech magnetic brake system further makes the machine smoother.

The machine is made with ultra-reliable mini wheels under the seat. Speaking of which, it has an ergonomic shape and is padded for extra comfort when rowing. When not in use, the whole machine can be stored upright and held in that position with a secure pull pin.

In all, we can definitely recommend the Body Sculpture BR2712 to anyone looking for a comfortable beginner-friendly rowing machine that can be used for a long while. With 8 resistance levels, it lets you gradually progress at your own pace. Although it's not a professional-grade trainer, it's very fun and intuitive to use. So, it's a perfect choice to advance from newbie to intermediate with the max comfort.

Body Sculpture BR2712 Air & Magnetic Rower 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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