Best Rowing Machines in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update January 28, 2021
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 2021
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 burned, 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

This rower with a single hydraulic piston allows you to choose the preferable resistance from 12 levels so that you can adjust the intensity of your workouts.

CONS

The seat can be a bit wobbly.

OUR VERDICT

Whether you need an affordable rower for warming up or getting some exercising throughout a day, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 is a perfect choice. For less than £90, there's a lot of going for it.

detailed parameters
Type

Mechanical

Design

Hydraulic cylinder

Resistance levels

12

Displayed information

Time, Count, Total count, Calories burned, Scan

Maximum user weight

100 kg

Extras

LCD display, Steel slide rail, Pivoting foot pedals with adjustable straps, Wide padded seat, Floor levellers, Non-slip grip handlebars

Unit weight

9.3 kg

Dimensions

137 x 50.8 x 54 cm

Warranty

3 years on structural frame, 180 days on other parts and components

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

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 $0.00
Stock May be out of 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

 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205

The Best Seller

Sunny Health & Fitness is a respectable company that has its made by providing high-quality fitness equipment at very affordable price tags, and the SF-RW1205 isn't an exception. It's definitely one of the most budget-friendly and popular rowing machines not only in the Sunny Health & Fitness lineup but in the whole industry. Due to its simplicity, effectiveness, and affordability, the machine has a nearly 5-star rating and more than a thousand positive reviews on Amazon. Most customers report that this rower has passed their expectations and actually offers more than its retail price. Let's check what you get.

The SF-RW1205 has a single hydraulic piston to provide enough resistance for your workouts. The cylinder attaches to the front part of the frame and the pulling bar, and at the point where it connects to the pulling bar, there is a simple knob for adjustment. In total, the machine offers 12 resistance levels to choose from, which should give you good control over your workouts. But take note that you should adjust the height of the piston rather than turn a handy dial to set the resistance level.

As for other parts, the seat on the SF-RW1205 rower is well-padded and generally not less comfortable than the rest of the competition. The footplates here are also quite large and can keep your feet in a comfortable position. They pivot a little back and forth as you row.

When it comes to the monitor, it's quite basic and only tracks time, calories, the number of rows per workout, and total rows. There’s also a scan feature that will cycle throughout all monitored values if you prefer. Nothing fancy but for the price, we're surprised it comes with a monitor at all.

Review of Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

Compact and Light

What also comes as a surprise is that the machine at sub-£100 range is so well-built and sturdy. The rower features a thick steel frame and all of its parts are coated with silver, anti-corrosive paint. Overall, the construction is pretty simple and is composed of four main bars (front and rear stabilisers, seat rail, and the pulling bar). That's why it comes almost entirely assembled and requires users to take only four steps after delivery.

Dissimilar to many higher-end rowers, the frame here doesn't feature a folding design. Yet, it doesn't take a lot of space due to its 135 x 51 cm footprint, making it a popular choice for small homes. It’s also far from being too heavy (only 9 kg), so almost anyone will be able to lift it and move to the storage location. But the tradeoff for its modest dimensions is a bit limited weight capacity, which is only 100 kg.

In all, considering the good resistance levels and the great asking price, we think that the Sunny Health & Fitness rower can be a smart buy for smaller users on a tight budget. If you’re looking for a basic rower with sturdy construction, it's surely the one to put on your list.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B009QXP77I

 

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

Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B00NH9WEUA

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

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 £309.99
Stock In 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 activity to your workouts, we offer you our pick of the best indoor rowing machines that you can purchase right now. All of these models come in styles that are comfy to use at home and quick to disassemble after training, and all of them can bring value to your workout and add more dynamics to it.

Rowing offers plenty of benefits. For one, it ensures that the force is equally distributed between all your muscle groups, making it easier to develop a beautiful and well-trimmed body. For two, it can greatly improve your stamina. Featuring numerous built-in programs and various resistance levels, these machines allow everyone to achieve different goals and make workouts more engaging. Thus, if you're looking for a way to add diversity to your home workouts and contemplate an idea of approaching rowing technique, go for it. In this article, you can find the best rowing equipment produced by popular 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 your rowing machine? Decathlon.

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

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

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