Few pieces of exercise equipment can give you a full-body workout like the best rowing machines. With each stroke they work every major muscle group, while also putting your heart and lungs to task. The result? Serious fitness gains across the board.
It is for this reason that, if you’re considering adding one of the best treadmills (opens in new tab) to your home gym arsenal or weighing up the pros and cons of rowing vs cycling for getting your fitness fix, we humbly suggest hitting the (virtual) water.It’s also an accessible form of exercise. Rather than learning how to perform a succession of exercises for a HIIT circuit, all you have to do is sit down and start rowing. You can, of course, learn how to use a rowing machine properly (opens in new tab) to perfect your technique, but getting started couldn’t be simpler.
A 2015 study published in the National Library of Medicine (opens in new tab) looked to find out how five weekly indoor rowing sessions, performed for six weeks, would impact 20 visually impaired individuals. Results showed that “after the training, fat mass and total body fat percent decreased significantly”, while the subjects’ “back strength and trunk flexion score increased significantly”.
So, for anyone looking for a home workout tool to help build their strength and cardiovascular capacity (among other healthy effects, which you can read all about in our 10 benefits of using a rowing machine feature (opens in new tab)), the best rowing machines are hard to beat.
Best rowing machines
This top-end model is beloved by rowers, thanks to its unbeatable performance and data-tracking prowess. It’s the model you’ll find used in most indoor rowing competitions and installed in gyms across the country. When we tested it out, we found it delivered a smooth, comfortable workout and we were happily surprised at how quiet it was, too.