Looking for a full-body workout that benefits your ticker, tones your muscles, torches serious calories, and goes easy on joints? Then it’s time to befriend the humble-yet-mighty rowing machine—the low-impact workout we could all afford to do more often. Below, the best rowing machines of 2021 to add to your home gym.
Best Home Rowing Machines of 2021
1. Life Fitness Row HX Trainer
If you’re looking for something that could (almost) pass as industrial-inspired art in your living room, then here’s your best bet. Crafted with natural wood and a tempered steel frame, the Row HX makes use of a so-called Fluid Technology resistance system for a smooth rowing experience (read: consistent resistance with every stroke you take). This rower is also the featured rower for all Apple Fitness+ rowing classes, making it ideal for Apple Watch users. Relative to rowers with smartscreens, it’s obviously low-tech in that regard (though a worthwhile aesthetic win for many), but it does feature a phone holder if you’d like to stream a show or workout while you crank away. Bonus: It’s less than seven-feet tall when stored vertically, and its compact design makes it easy to move on your own.
2. Ergatta Rower
Fitness data junkies will go bonkers for this “gaming-inspired” connected rower that’s beloved by newcomers to the sport and seasoned rowers alike. Handmade in Rhode Island with handsome cherry wood, the Ergatta creates rowing workouts based on your personal profile and fitness goals, giving you insights on your current split, intensity level, distance rowed, and more, as you follow along on a 17.3-inch touchscreen. When you’re up for a challenge, try a head-to-head race against others or try the Race of the Week each Sunday. The rowing machine uses near-silent water resistance technology and can be stored upright in seconds. Monthly membership starts at $29 a month.
Hydrow’s connected rowing experience makes use of a 22-inch HD touchscreen with an embedded camera, a microphone, and HiFi speakers, as top-notch athletes take you on guided rides around the world. (Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and stingrays—yes, really.) Beyond rowing workouts, Hydrow members can partake in a host of challenges, races, and special events. In addition, you can do yoga, Pilates, strength training, and other disciplines. For those living in tight quarters, we also love that the electromagnetic brake makes the machine practically silent, so you won’t disrupt roommates or family members. When not in use, the Upright Storage Kit allows you to store your Hydrow vertically. Worth noting: There’s a $38 monthly subscription fee for Hydrow’s content.
4. CITYROW GO MAX
Your fully immersive fitness experience is just a few taps (on a 19.5-inch sweat-resistant touchscreen) away. Complete with a diverse roster of classes and instructors who always keep your rowing sessions fresh, choose from multiple class formats, lengths, and levels, with real-time metrics displayed as you row. The high-tech rower also lets you track your progress, set weekly goals, and log personal records. Ready to switch things up? Dabble in off-rower classes like yoga, stretching, and strength training. When not in use, store your machine upright to save space. Try the app out with a 14-day free trial; monthly app subscription run from around $24 a month if you buy the yearly subscription, or $29 a month if you prefer to subscribe on a monthly basis.
5. ProForm 750R Rower
This may be a budget buy, but it’s by no means a cheap rower. Expect a first-rate rowing experience that’s virtually silent while in action thanks to the Silent Magnetic Resistance technology, a folding design for compact storage, and iFit connectivity for a slew of instructor-led workouts filmed around the globe, both on the rower and off, such as yoga, strength training, meditation, and more. P.S. The ergonomic, padded seat is one of the most comfortable.
6. NordicTrack RW900
This iFit-connected rower enables automatic adjustments to resistance during your workouts so you don’t have to waste time futzing around with changing it manually. Enjoy the 22-inch HD touchscreen for immersive workouts around the world—like endurance work on Lake Bled in Slovenia, a multi-session English Channel crossing series, or sweating it out along the Charles in Boston. Or, pivot the screen to face a yoga mat or hand weights so you can follow along for off-rower classes. The rower includes a one-year iFit Family membership for up to five user profiles. It’s a $468 value—which is quite the deal considering you’ll have Olympic gold medal-winning rowers among your teacher roster. Fold in half and store upright when you need it out of the way.
7. Schwinn Crewmaster Rower
An Amazon’s Choice selection, this rower has a basic LCD screen to track your time, strokes, calorie, recovery, and pulse. It has an adjustable console, a comfortable seat, and an ergonomic handle. This rower may not have the bells and whistles of higher end models, but it more than gets the job done. The easy-fold design makes it a breeze to stow the rail vertically when you’re not working out.