Rowing has become an absolute fun and effective way of getting fit. Shopping channels have raved about the benefits, efficacy and convenience of rowing exercise equipment. With numerous brands available for your home gym equipment, it tends to be confusing and tedious to look for the best rowing machine that suits your preference. To make it easier for you, here is an access of the best rowing brands available in Amazon.

Rowing Exercise Equipment Shoots in Popularity

old rowing machineThe 1950s and 1960s saw unprecedented rise in the popularity of rowing machines. Many coaches established training centers for rowing and sought better machines, which could offer improved power measurement and accurate stimulation of rowing. John Harrison, a member of Sydney’s Leichhardt Rowing Club set the tone with a large and heavy iron flywheel rowing exercise equipment that used mechanical friction brakes. The machine was followed by the Harrison-Cotton rowing machine, which was a blend of Harrison’s ideas with the ideas of Professor Frank Cotton, resulting in the first rowing machine that could accurately calculate power and quantify human power outputs. In the 1970s, a new and better machine, the Gjessing-Nilson ergometer, emerged from Norway. The machine used friction-brake mechanism with an industrial strapping applied over the flywheel’s broad rims to ensure that predictable and adjustable friction could be calculated.

In 1980, Dreissigacker brothers introduced the Concept2 ergometer Model A, which was typically a fixed-frame sliding-sheet that was designed using a bicycle wheel and supplied with fins to boost air resistance. Model B of Concept2 was introduced in 1986 and was a revolutionary rowing machine because it came with the first digital performance monitor and offered accurate calibration and easy transportability. Subsequent Concept2 models C (launched in 1993) and D (launched in 2003) have been among the best selling rowing exercise equipment ever. Besides, modern rowing exercise machines are called ergometers because they are calibrated to measure the quantity of energy applied by the users on the equipment and can determine the amount of work done by the users with absolute accuracy.

Technology behind Rowing Exercise Machines

All rowing exercise equipment consist of energy dampers (braking system) that are connected to chains (handles). Foot stretchers are attached to similar mounting points as energy dampers while rails are included to allow the seats to slide. Nonetheless, there are different damping mechanisms and layouts, which come with different advantages and disadvantages. Today, most rowing exercise equipment brands have digital displays to indicate the calculated speed of the flywheel during strokes and the rate of deceleration during recovery. Relying on these calculations and on the known moments of inertia for flywheels, computers are able to calculate the power, speed, energy and distance covered by every ergometer. In fact, some rowing exercise machines can be connected to personal computers using software so that data from exercise sessions can be gathered and analyzed. Here are some critical design elements for rowing training machines:

  • Motion Types: There are three motion types for rowing machines. The first motion design (the fixed head ergometer) usually has both the flywheel and foot stretcher fixed and only the seat is allowed to slide on the rails. The second motion design (floating head ergometer) has both the foot stretcher and the seat sliding on the rails; while the third motion design (fixed seat ergometer) has the seat fixed with the foot stretcher-sliding forward and backward.
  • Damper Types: There two different types of dampers, which are piston resistance and braked flywheel resistance (such as magnetic resistance, air resistance and water resistance). Piston resistance dampers are hydraulic cylinders attached to rowing machine handles, while braked flywheel resistance dampers use handles that are connected to flywheels by chains, straps or ropes to provide resistance to users, with only the braking system being different (air, water or magnetic).

Most Popular Rowing Exercise Equipment Brands

Product Dimensions
Max User Weight
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Exercise Machine 58.2 x 42.5 x 18.1 inches; 39 lbs. 250 lbs.HydraulicFoldable4 stars
Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine with PM5

96 x 24 x 14 inches; 57 lbs. 500 lbs.AirFolded Dimensions
25" x 33" x 53"
5 stars
Stamina Air Rower 77 x 18.8 x 22 inches; 55 lbs. 250 lbs.AirFolded Dimensions
46" x 18" x 28"
4 stars
Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine 53 x 20 x 22 inches; 24 lbs. 220 lbs.HydraulicFolds flat4 stars
ProForm 440R Rower 50 x 19.5 x 11 inches; 71 lbs. 250 lbs.MagneticFoldable but bulky 3.5 stars
Kettler Favorit49 x 31 x 24 inches; 52 lbs. 250 lbs.HydraulicNon-folding4 stars
First Degree E520 75 x 28 x 28 inches; 162 lbs.450 lbs.WaterNon-folding but compact 5 stars
Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower 81 x 20 x 24 inches; 80 lbs. 275 lbs.MagneticFoldable4.5 stars
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
80.3 x 20.1 x 25.2 inches; 75 lbs. 275 lbs.MagneticFolded Dimensions
43.3″ x 20.1″ x 54.3″
4.5 stars
BodyCraft VR400 Pro 98.5 x 21.2 x 69.2 inches; 86 lbs. 350 lbs.Air + MagneticFolded Dimensions
43.25" x 21.25" x 69.25"
4.5 stars
WaterRower A1 84 x 21 x 22 inches; 98 lbs. 275 lbs.WaterFolded Dimensions
20" x 22" x 83"
4.5 stars

Choosing the best rowing machine should be easy! Refer to the table above and pick one that you think would best achieve your goal.