Best Rowing Machines in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 11, 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
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BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Design
Resistance levels
Displayed information
Maximum user weight
Extras
Unit weight
Dimensions
Warranty
 
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

The unit has large foot pedals that are very accommodating. And the added foot straps will help you keep your feet securely in place as you row.

CONS

The paintwork could be better. 

OUR VERDICT

The Viavito Sumi rowing machine is very sturdy to sustain long training sessions. It's designed in vibrant red and black colours, so it looks quite classy and can add a modern touch to your interior.

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic 

Design

Flywheel 

Resistance levels

10

Displayed information

Time, Distance, Calories, Total strokes, Strokes per minute

Maximum user weight

120 kg

Extras

Large pivoting footplates, Ergonomic seat, 4-roller system for smooth action, In-built transportation wheels

Unit weight

26.1 kg

Dimensions

178 x 53 x 48 cm (assembled), 74 x 53 x 119 cm (folded) 

Warranty

2 years (must register within 28 days to get the 2nd year)

PROS

Wide platform pedals are very comfortable for exercising in trainers, socks or barefoot (important for home use). Mechanism with the belt-driven system is famous for its durability.

CONS

The maximum user weight is somewhat limited.

OUR VERDICT

At the price point, it's hard to get a rowing machine this good. Produced by a UK-based manufacturer, it's praised for its smooth magnetic resistance, the comfort of use, and excellent customer service.

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic

Design

Flywheel + Magnetic

Resistance levels

10

Displayed information

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

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)

127 x 52 x 71 cm (folded)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

A tablet/smartphone holder allows you to watch different videos during your workouts and, thus, stay more motivated. Air vents with the inbuilt self-generating fan create a comfortable airflow.

CONS

The assembly process is a bit tricky. 

OUR VERDICT

The JLL Ventus 2 rowing machine is widely used by professional athletes. It's an innovative model that combines Magnetic and Air resistance, meaning the harder you row, the greater the resistance. 12-function monitor displays all the important data. 

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic with air

Design

Flywheel + Magnetic, combined with air resistance

Resistance levels

8

Displayed information

Time, Time 500M, Calorie, Distance, Strokes, Strokes per minute (SPM), Pulse, Total strokes, Date, Clock, Calendar, Temperature

Maximum user weight

120 kg

Extras

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

Unit weight

34.7 kg

Dimensions

214 x 54 x 115 cm (assembled)

115 x 54 x 142 cm (folded)

Warranty

1 year

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

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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

Last updated price £389.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B001NP3OD6

 

Viavito 15003 Sumi

Lose Calories in Style

Viavito is a relatively new company that has recently entered the world of fitness but has already made a name for themselves as of one of the best brands producing sport equipment. The company offers many nice deals for fitness enthusiasts, and quite often you get much more than what you actually pay for. The Viavito 15003 folding rowing machine is the bright example of this. It's covered with a 2-year warranty, but in reality it will serve you a lifetime! Made of tubular steel, this rower is intended for continuous use to deliver you a never-ending challenge. The machine is very sturdy and can sustain long and really long training sessions.

As for design, the Viavito 15003 is implemented in vibrant red and black colours which makes it look quite classy and allows it to add a modern touch to any interior. It's ergonomically designed to match every contour of your body, which allows you to work out with less pain and more comfort. Plus, it produces virtually no noise, so you can give it a go and worry not that you might disturb the people around you. The Viavito 15003 has no motor and, consequently, doesn’t require the power network. It's only an LCD battery that needs batteries. Speaking of which, the screen is handy and easy to read, and can show you the workout stats such as Time elapsed, Distance, Strokes per minute, and Calories burned. A resistance adjustment knob is placed underneath the screen, and switching between resistance levels is easy-breezy.

Review of Viavito 15003 Sumi Folding Rowing Machine

A Few Words About Design

Like most rowing machines, the Viavito 15003 comes disassembled, but you get clear step-by-step instructions so you'll have no problem putting it together without spending too much time. The rower has a 7-kg flywheel, 80-cm row length and can suit users up to 120 kg and up to 185 cm. The machine has large foot pedals (more accommodating than other machines in its price range) with straps to keep your feet securely in place. The seat is very comfortable to sit even during long workout sessions. After you finish your cardio exercising, you can fold the machine in half and store in your closet. Although the rower is not particularly lightweight at 26.1 kg, a pair of wheels is surely a great add-on!

Summing up all we've said above, if you're looking for a reasonably-priced yet robust magnetic-type rowing machine that would sustain long training sessions and survive years of extensive use, the Viavito 15003 should be right up your alley.

Viavito 15003 Sumi Folding Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B0153NKCZG

 

JLL R200

The Best Seller

JLL is a well-known UK-based company producing fitness equipment for very competitive prices. It's highly praised for its excellent service, so you can be sure that on buying the JLL R200 Home Rowing Machine, you won't be dealing with Google Translate or unanswered e-mails. And the fact that it's been a best-seller in the UK for over five years proves it's a great all-around machine that's well worth its spot on this list.

Available at less than £250, it's an excellent entry-level model that far outperforms other no-brand rowers within the same price bracket. Employing the advanced magnetic resistance technology (a magnet placed really close to the flywheel), it allows users to select the intensity of their workouts from 10 different levels. Level 1 has very light resistance and is suitable for novice athletes and those with some mobility issues whereas the highest level offers a moderate to strong resistance and is best suited for experienced users. To easily switch gears, the dial knob is placed right under the console, within arms reach, making altering the resistance a doddle. What we really like about the JLL R200 is that no matter which level you choose, its operation will be quiet. This makes it particularly appealing to those who don’t want a loud home machine in their home.

The minor niggle some users have about the machine is that it has a rather small display. That said, it's not minuscule and the readings on it are still very easy to see. Speaking of which, the JLL R200 tracks such key workout elements as strokes, total count over time, time, distance, and calories, all key parameters most users need.
Review of JLL R200 Home Rowing Machine

Convenience of Use

As mentioned, JLL is a UK-based brand, so it supplies this trainer with clear instructions written in good English. The step-by-step guide is concise with lots of useful diagrams and explanations; therefore, the assembly process shouldn't take you long. Once put together, this rowing machine weighs just 23kg, which is lighter compared to many other models on the market and easier to assemble on your own too. Yet, the tradeoff for that is a bit limited max load-bearing capacity that makes only 100 kg.

On the bright side, the machine is well-suitable for users of any height. Knowing that footplates and rail length are common concerns of taller users, the manufacturer has made this rower with large, anti-slip foot pedals and generous rail length. Also, they haven't overlooked the seat, which's another aspect that is very important for comfort. That way, the seat here comes with a moulded foam padding that feels exceptionally comfy, which is pleasantly surprising considering the price of this fitness machine.

All in all, JLL has managed to create a perfect entry-level rowing machine that is surely worth more than its retail price. It's sturdy, comfortable, and smooth enough to provide both newbies and experienced users with cardio and upper body strength workout. A real bargain you can't miss.

JLL R200 Home Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £239.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B08DJB4LSC

 

JLL Ventus 2 Air Resistance

Innovative Model

The Ventus 2 is more advanced than many other rowing machines, however, its price is very conservative, which makes it a perfect mid-range home rowing machine with a top-level spec.

Taking a closer look at the rower, it has been recently improved and sports a number of novelty features such as the "dual resistance" setup, a type of resistance, which can be rarely seen in trainers like this. Furthermore, whereas most other rowers offer either magnetic or air resistance, the Ventus 2 has them both. This allows it to provide ultimately smooth and consistent motion, giving the rower a feel of a commercial-grade gym machine. The principle of work is simple: the harder you pull, the more air will be allowed into the flywheel, and the higher overall training resistance will be. Such combo allows for a more challenging row when you reach the top of the resistance levels (there are eight of them), which makes it suitable for novice users and for more experienced rowers too.

To check your progress, the Ventus 2 features a large, well-readable LCD monitor. It sits nicely at your eyes level and shows such key data as strokes, strokes per minute, total strokes, time per 500 metres, calories burned, overall distance, pulse rate, date/time and even temperature. Plus, there is a tablet holder right about the display, a handy addition which can be used to hold your mobile gadgets while you row. It is shaped as a simple curved cradle and has generous arms to fit anything from small phones to full-sized tablets. Besides, unlike most other rowing machines, it doesn't block the console, so you can watch videos on YouTube and keep an eye on your fitness performance at the same time.

Review of JLL Ventus 2 Air Resistance Home Rowing Machine

Nice Ergonomics

When it comes to construction, the Ventus 2 has a solid V-shaped base that gives it stability and allows it to support a maximum user weight of 120 kg.

Overall, each part feels weighty, well-built and quality. The seat here is padded but the padding is not squishy, as is often the case in cheaper machines, so you will not be sinking in it. As far as the handlebars go, they are made from sweat-resistant, non-slip plastic material that feels comfortable to the touch and doesn't irritate the skin. But the biggest standout of this model giving it the edge over its rivals is the inclusion of a self-generating fan. Thanks to it, even during the most intense sessions, you’ll stay comfortably cool.

To conclude, the Ventus 2 is the model that can provide you with maximum comfort as you train. The details like the padded seat, large console, and built-in fan will make your workouts more enjoyable, while dual resistance ensures the extra smoothness of each rowing stroke.

JLL Ventus 2 Air Resistance Home Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £489.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07ZJMR6JK

 

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

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B07D7BPN37

 

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 picks of the 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 all of them 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 that 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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