hydraulic rowing machine

Top 7 Best Rowing Machine for Beginners

Best rowing machine for beginners

The best rowing machine for beginners is easy to use, comfortable and comes with medium resistance. This way, you can maintain proper form and posture as you work out. Learn how to make a clean catch and pull with the right entry-level machine. While advanced models such as the Concept2 rowing machine are great for avid crew members looking for an intense workout, they can be overwhelming as a starter machine. In this post, we share with you our list of the best rowing machines for beginners. These are all simple machines to use with all the features you need for a good cardio workout.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

 

If you’re curious or in a hurry:

✅ SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine is our top pick for the best rowing machine for beginners!

Best rowing machine for beginners

1. SH & F SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine.

Promising review: “My initial impression is exceedingly positive. I am very pleased with my purchase considering its budget purchase price.”

Specifications;

  • 250 lbs max user weight capacity.
  • Extra-long 48-inch slide rail.
  • 8-levels of adjustable resistance.
  • Magnetic resistance.
  • Foldable design.

What we like;

  • Space-saving design.
  • Affordable
  • Quiet when in use.
  • Easy to assemble and use.

What we didn’t like;

  • The LCD monitor is difficult to read.
  • Doesn’t track distance.

With Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Rowing Machine, you get a machine that gives you a serious workout at a budget price. As one of the best rowing machines available, you can trust that you’re getting all your money’s worth with this machine. Assembly is straightforward and should take less than 30-minutes. It takes about 5-steps to put it together as the different corresponding parts are labeled individually.  It comes with 8-levels of adjustable resistance. Enough tension to get you sweating and out of breath even as you learn the proper rowing form and posture.

 

Rowing at level 2 will warm you up, while level 4 and above requires more effort. The seat offers good support allowing you to exercise for longer while the sliding action is smooth. As a magnetic rowing machine, it’s incredibly quiet when in use. The only sound you hear is that of the seat as it glides up and down. In addition, it folds up nicely for storage after each workout session. It’s an ideal choice for beginners looking to get rowing at home.

2. Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine.

Specifications;

  • 250lb max user weight capacity.
  • Full motion rowing.
  • Hydraulic resistance.

What we like;

  • Foldable design.
  • Budget price.
  • Sturdy

What we don’t like;

  • Poor quality foot straps.

Looking for a rower that perfectly mimics the outdoor experience? Consider Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine. This rowing machine stands out among competitors due to its full-motion arms. The arms on this rower move in a circular motion. Just as they would in a small boat or on a raft. It’s an ideal choice for beginners as it forces you to learn proper rowing form. Besides, you have to sit with your back straight for best results as proper form is key when rowing.

 

Also, this machine gives you the ultimate upper body workout. As your arms move out in a circular motion, your back, shoulder, and arm muscles are engaged even more. While you might feel sore at fast, you will notice the results with more defined muscles. The sliding motion is smooth and quiet, watch Tv as you exercise. However, as this rower uses a hydraulic piston for resistance, the pump can get hot. It’s best not to use this machine for long periods to avoid overheating.

 

3. Fitness Reality 1000 Magnetic Rowing Rower

Promising review: “Fantastic Rower for the price, I’m new to rowing machines and I chose this machine over other types of machines because it offers extra arm exercises to do .”

Specifications;

  • Recommended user height – 4’9” to 6’6”.
  • 250 lbs weight capacity.
  • Adjustable 14-levels of magnetic resistance.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.

What we like;

  • Whisper-quiet when in use.
  • Quick and easy assembly.
  • Wide range resistance settings.

What we didn’t like;

  • Long folding process.
  • Inaccurate workout metrics.

Fitness Reality 1000 Magnetic Rower is an ideal choice for beginners as it allows you to increase resistance without maxing it as you learn. With this rowing machine, you can practice getting your form right at different resistance levels without outgoing resistance. Besides, this rowing machine is compact and folds up with little effort to save you space. Assembly takes less than 30-minutes as all parts are well numbered and instructions clear.

 

The pulling cord is made of thick nylon and makes for a very smooth pulling action. Expect a clean catch and drive on this rowing machine.  The quality of the seat is good, and it glides smoothly along the rail. The rower is quite almost dead-silent when in use as it uses magnetic resistance. Exercise without worrying about causing disturbance to neighbors or roommates. The LCD screen is easy to see as it monitors your metrics in real-time. Toggle it to check calories, time, and meters covered.

4. SH & F SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine.

Promising review: “I love this machine, as a complete beginner to the whole rowing thing, it took all of two minutes to figure out how to use it plus it delivers quite the workout.”

Specifications;

  • 350lb weight capacity
  • Full motion rowing
  • Adjustable 12-level resistance
  • Hydraulic resistance.

What we like;

  • High weight-bearing capacity.
  • Compact.
  • Budget price.
  • Quick and easy assembly.

What we don’t like;

  • Limited resistance.

If you’re looking for an at-home machine with a high weight-bearing capacity, consider the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine. Other than its impressive heavy-duty construction, this machine also comes with full-motion arms. An ideal choice for beginners as it mimics outdoor rowing. The arms move in a circular motion as you would on a boat. You get a full-range movement that works out multiple muscle groups in your upper body with each stroke.

 

With this rowing machine, exercising is fun as you can watch Tv, listen to music, or an inspiring podcast. It comes with 12 levels of adjustable resistance. However, you do need to have proper form to get the most out of this rower. Also, with this rower, the type of workout to do is within your control.  You can either exercise your upper body or lower body separately. Besides, while it doesn’t fold, it’s compact, the arms lay flat for easy vertical storage against the wall.

5. YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine.

Promising review: “Great rower, I am a beginner and this rowing machine is perfect for those like me who are just starting.”

Specifications;

  • Recommended user heights of up to 6’6.
  • 350 lbs max user weight capacity.
  • 8 levels of adjustable resistance.
  • Transportation wheels.

What we like;

  • Super quiet.
  • High user weight-bearing capacity.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Compact design.

What we don’t like;

  • The seat needs more padding.

Want a high-quality no-frills rowing machine that will get the job done? Consider YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine. While this rowing machine comes with no extra bells and whistles, it has everything you need for a good cardio workout. It’s easy to put together, and assembly shouldn’t take more than 30-minutes. It’s compact, comes with a small footprint, and props easily in a corner when not in use.

 

Those living in apartments, condos, or working with limited space don’t have to worry about space with this rower. The seat is comfortable and generous. It comes with an extra-long rail that makes it perfect for taller users. The cable/strap is of good quality and easy to pull. The bar is very soft and easy to handle. Besides, it’s super quiet in use, the only sound you hear is that of these eat as it glides. Comfortably watch TV while using this rower.

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine.

Promising review: “I wasn’t expecting too much at this price but have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This rowing machine is simple, yet effective.”

Specifications;

  • 220 lbs max user weight capacity.
  • Adjustable 12-level  resistance.
  • Hydraulic resistance.

What we like;

  • Quick and easy assembly.
  • Space-saving design
  • Budget price.
  • Lightweight.

What we didn’t like;

  • The seat needs more padding.
  • The pump heats up quickly.

A short and intense cardio session is what you get with the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine. Its lightweight design makes it easy to store and move around. It easily fits in a closet when not being used. It’s an ideal choice for beginners working with limited space. As a hydraulic piston rowing machine, it is best suited for short workouts. The piston hits up quickly due to friction and tends to lose resistance when used continuously for long periods. However, the movements are very smooth. You hardly feel like you’re doing much with the SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine. Its 12 point dial makes it easy to increase the intensity to match your fitness level while the seat glides smoothly. Besides, the fixed handlebars can help you maintain your balance as a beginner and for senior users.

7. Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Promising review: “Great rowing machine for home use.  I am pleasantly surprised as to the quality and strength of this rower.”

Specifications;

  • Recommended user height – 4’9” to 6’7”.
  • 250 lbs weight capacity.
  • Hydraulic resistance.
  • Full-range arms.

What we loved;

  • Compact and space-saving.
  • Affordable.
  • Easy to assemble and use

What we didn’t like;

  • Arms are a bit short.

Realistic rowing movements and great value are a few of the great things about the Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine. It’s a great starter machine that will get your heart rate up and have you sweating in minutes. All the tools needed for assembly are included and together in less than  30-minutes thanks to clear instructions. Its compact design means it doesn’t take up much space when in use. Besides, this machine is easy on the knees and joints. Those with bad knees can comfortably use it for longer without pain or discomfort. The seat is wide enough and glides as smooth as silk over the rail. The rowing motion is quiet, and you can use it without fear of disturbing others. After a workout, fold the arms for easy storage against the wall. In addition, it’s lightweight and easy to move around by lifting or sliding.

Best rowing machine for beginners