Best Rowing Machines in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 16, 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

Owing to Bluetooth, the machine can be synced with a smartphone or tablet. By dowloading the Concept2 ErgData app, you'll be able to save your workout results and track the progress.

CONS

The wheels to move it around don't work well on carpets.

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's very robust and reliable.

detailed parameters
Type
Mechanical
Design

Flywheel + Damper

Resistance levels
10
Displayed information
Distance, Speed, Pace, Calories
Maximum user weight
~ 230 kg
Extras

LCD monitor, Bluetooth Smart technology (compatible with Concept2 ErgData app), Low-Profile design, Wheels for easy transport

Unit weight
26 kg
Dimensions

244 х 61 х 36 cm (assembled)

Warranty
5 years on frame, 2 years on other parts
PROS

The machine is truly unique in its principle of operation - there are no preset resistance modes, so it's you who will 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

PROS

Wide platform pedals are very comfortable for those who prefer to exercise in trainers, as well as for those who like exercising in socks or barefoot.

CONS

The bearing load isn't that high. 

OUR VERDICT

The JLL R200+ Home Rower provides a lot of value for the money. It is very sturdy and allows for a gentle yet well-simulated rowing experience. Whether you're a newbie, senior or recovering from injuries, this machine will suit you. 

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic

Design

Flywheel + Magnetic

Resistance levels

10

Displayed information

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

Maximum user weight

100 kg

Extras

LCD monitor, Padded handlebars, Wide platform pedals, Padded seat, Built-in wheels at the front, Folding frame design

Unit weight

23 kg

Dimensions

180 x 52 x 49 cm (assembled)

124 x 22.5 x 58 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.

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

A powder-coated heavy-duty frame not only looks stylish but also prevents the appearance of corrosion. Ergonomic foam padded handlebars and foam-filled seat will make your workout 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

LCD monitor, 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

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)
 

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


 

JLL R200+

Great Value

One of the most popular home rowing machines, the newest JLL® R200+ Home Rower is an amazing value machine that sits happily at the budget end of the scale but has quite a lot to bring to the table. It's very sturdy, looks professional, guarantees the exceptional comfort of seating and, most importantly, provides a well-simulated rowing experience.

The machine employs the newest magnetic resistance technology with a magnet placed close to the flywheel, thus, allowing users to select the intensity of the workouts they feel comfortable with. Actually, the rower offers 10 resistance levels in total, which can be adjusted by rotating a resistance knob right under the console. What is notable, it's a belt-driven machine, not a chain-driven one. So, it will not only let you row in both directions (forward and backward) but also ensures much quieter operation and requires less maintenance on the whole.

Basically, the JLL R200+ delivers a very gentle rowing motion, so it can be a great starting point for newcomers or a mild workout solution for seniors and those with limited mobility. Also, it can offer an ideal way to recover from an injury. Yet, do note that this rower doesn't provide a massive challenge for experienced users.

The LCD console is pretty basic and easy to get the hang of. However, it provides a lot more information than you'd normally get with models in a similar range. What's more, the included scan feature enables the screen to automatically flip between the main readings, making it more convenient to keep track of your results. Lastly, the screen is large and well-readable even for glasses wearers so you will not need to strain your eyes.

Review of JLL R200+ Home Rowing Machine

Sturdy Design

The JLL R200+ rowing machine is very easy to assemble. It comes boxed with everything you need, including the self-explanatory instructions with a step-by-step tutorial. Plus, there are tons of videos on YouTube which explain how to put this rower together, so the whole process will take you no more than a few minutes.

Assembly aside, let's also cover the convenience features. Unlike most other machines of this kind, the JLL R200+ is very light and manoeuvrable, letting you change its placement anytime you want without breaking a sweat. At the same time, it doesn't lack sturdiness and stands stably when in use. Furthermore, it has a comfy, foam-padded seat that can help you perform longer and more productive rowing workouts and incorporates a double-wheeled sliding mechanism to ensure its smooth movement. Finally, the machine has pivoting foot plates which come with solid foot straps to keep you secure and has generously textured pedals for a better grip with trainers, socks, and barefoot.

In general, this JLL machine is a fantastic starter rowing machine that can provide a thorough workout to your whole body. It won't give you a big challenge but it will suit intermediate and beginner users perfectly.

JLL R200+ Home 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

 

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


 

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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