5 Best Water Rowing Machines

There are very few home-gym machines with the capability of delivering intense, calorie-torching, full-body workouts. A water rowing machine is one of them. This is the go-to workout equipment when you need a low-impact cardio workout routine that will not take a lot of your time, yet will deliver real results. 

With rowing machines, your age or fitness level is of very little concern so long as you learn how to use it correctly. You may choose to use it to complement your current workout regime, or if you don’t have time, you can make it your main source of weekly or daily exercise.

Our team has gone out of their way to research the best water rowing machine that you can rely upon to help you achieve your fitness goals. Through our research, which included testing out some of the rowing machines and scouring the internet for reviews on the tops brands and models by past users, we have compiled this solid review to give you the guidance you need if you are in the market shopping for one.

Our Top 3 Picks:

Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Enchanfit Rowing Machine Stamina Body Trac Glider
Pros Large Enough to Suit Tall Users
Easy to Assemble and Store
Has Smooth Gliding Operations
Quiet and Smooth Operations
Silent Magnetic Resistance
Professional Safety Folding Design
Has a High Capacity of up to 350lbs
Large LCD Digital Monitor
Full Range Motion Arms


5 Best Water Rowing Machines Reviews:

#1. Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

The simplicity in the design of this water rowing machine may make you doubt its capabilities, but you will be surprised to learn that it is among the world’s best-selling rowing machines. Beneath the simplicity, it contains a horde of features and functionalities that have made it the preferred machine for most elite athletes taking part in a variety of competitive games. 

So, what are the features that make it such a powerhouse in the world of rowing machines? Read below to find out more!


Solid Aluminum Construction:

One of the outstanding features of the Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing machine is solid aluminum construction, vividly noticeable on the frame, the front legs, and the rear legs. 

This is an assurance of strength, durability, and sturdiness. With a weight capacity of 500 pounds, you will go about your workouts without worrying that the machine might crumble and cause you unnecessary injuries.

Flywheel with Air Resistance:

The machine has a flywheel with air resistance that facilitates powerful and uninterrupted strokes while, at the same time, giving you total control of the resistance. 

With minimal noise and a smooth feel, the harder and the faster you row, the more wind the flywheel will generate, and this will translate into more drag that makes your workout more effective. 

This is also the feature you use to control your workout intensity.

Real-time Performance Monitor:

You don’t want to use any machine without the ability to let you monitor your most important performance data. 

With the Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine, you get a real-time performance monitor that will help you gauge your progress using reliable and comparable data with every stroke you take. 

Time, distance, and interval are some of the metrics you will be able to monitor on the display.

Easy Assembly:

This is not one of those machines that will require you to call in an expert from the manufacturer or the distributor to set up. 

It has only eight screws, which makes the assembly a walk in the park if you can follow simple instructions. It rolls smoothly on caster wheels and easily separates into two for easy storage.

Compatible with Many Apps:

With the ability to connect with a wide range of fitness apps, you get the ability to record and store your workouts on mobile devices. 

You can also share your progress and data across the social platforms, thanks to the connectivity features of the apps.


  • Larger enough to suit tall users
  • Easy to assemble and store
  • Has smooth gliding operations
  • Generate minimal noise
  • Features good app connectivity


  • Relatively expensive
  • Due to its size, it may require a bit of space


The Indoor Rowing machine is a versatile piece of workout equipment whose capabilities have been proven by thousands of users, including top athletes in various disciplines. 

Though you will need to have a slightly larger space, and you may need to spend a bit more to acquire it, you are bound to be happy with its performance in the long run.

Why we gave this Rowing Machine the Top Spot?

This item deserved a top spot on our list because of its immense popularity as a reliable rowing machine, and the fact that it is a favorite of many top athletes who wouldn’t use a workout machine unless it delivered the desired results.

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#2. Enchanfit Rowing Machine

Enchanfit Rowing Machine is designed to provide you with a variety of exercise experiences to catapult you towards your fitness goals. It is intuitively designed for easy use, with all the features and the functionalities necessary for low-impact full-body workouts.


Here is a brief look at some of the features that make this rowing machine such a good choice:

16-level Magnetic Resistance:

Enchanfit Rowing Machine features 16 levels of silent magnetic resistance. This gives you the kind of resistance you need for an effective home workout and to progress from one fitness level to another. 

The resistance system is maintenance-free, does not generate noise, and allows for a smooth and quiet experience as you do the rowing.

Real-Time Feedback:

This machine comes with a handy computer that will make it easy for you to track vital data such as distance, speed, time, stroke count, and the RPM of your workout.

Easy Storage:

An innovative folding design makes the machine easy to store once your workout is over. With such a construction, all you need is a small space to store and to use the machine.

Ergonomic Seat:

The seat has an ergonomic design with a soft cushion placed in a position that enables you to have a comfortable seating angle while you work out. 

With the seat design, there will be improved blood flow along your spine and extremities. You will also not feel a lot of stress during and after workouts.

A Water bottle Holder:

This is a simple feature that normally lacks in most workout machines. Luckily for you, this rowing machine comes with a nicely designed water bottle holder. 

This will save you the time you would have wasted leaving the machine to get a sip of water.

Tension Control Knob:

This is the knob you need to set various tension levels to access a wide range of exercise intensity options.


  • Quite and smooth operations
  • Silent magnetic resistance
  • Professional safety folding design
  • A handy computer for real-time feedback
  • Minimal space requirement for use and storage


  • Some users complained of the tension knob being difficult to use


This is a highly rated rowing machine that has all the features you need for an effective home workout. If you are pressed for space, but you need to keep on going with your workout routines, then this would be highly recommended home gym equipment.

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#3. Stamina Body Trac Glider

This may not be your regular rowing machine, but it has been designed to create the same effects you would get from one. It features a unique design ideal for full-body workouts that targets the major muscle blocks including the back, legs, glutes, arms, and abs. 


Full Range Rowing Arms:

These are designed with a natural range of motion to give you the actual feeling of rowing in the water.

Adjustable Hydraulic Resistance:

This makes it a breeze for you to adjust your desired level of intensity

LCD Workout Monitor:

Helps to get you motivated by displaying vital workout data such as stroke count, calories burned, time, and the total strokes you have accumulated over time.

Comfy Footplates and Straps:

These will safely secure your feet for increased stability during the rowing motion. They are designed to fit feet of nearly all sizes.

Molded Ergonomic Seat:

The seat is ergonomically designed to provide you with the comfort you need for the entire duration of your workout.


  • Ergonomic seat
  • Adjustable hydraulic resistance
  • LCD workout monitor
  • Folding arms for space economy


  • Slightly louder operations
  • Reduced resistance as the piston heats up


The Stamina Body Trac Glider is a great option if you are looking for a pocket-friendly rowing machine. It is relatively affordable and also comes with all the features you need to help you move towards your home fitness goals.

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#4. Sunny Health & Fitness Full Motion Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness may be well known for their bikes and treadmills, but they are also a force to reckon with when it comes to the manufacture of rowing machines. 

The Sunny Health & Fitness Full Motion Rowing Machine is one of their crown jewels within the rowing machine domains. It is designed to help you burn more calories, increase strength, and treat you to wholesome workout sessions with its extra features.


12-level Adjustable Resistance:

Being a hydraulic rower, this home workout equipment features cylinders filled with hydraulic fluids which are used to set the resistance levels. 

You have up to 12 levels of resistance to choose from. This provides you with an incredible range of intensity to power your workouts.

Wide-Cushioned Ergonomic Seat:

Sit comfortably on the ergonomic seat that features extra padding and cushion. Such a design not only makes you comfortable but also ensures proper blood flow to your glutes. 

This will enable you to sustain prolonged and vigorous workout sessions.

Digital Monitor:

You should always be able to track your progress as you work out. That is exactly what the digital monitor in this machine will help you achieve. 

On the display, you can see the count and the time which will, in turn, tell you if you are on track towards achieving your goals of the day.

Non-Slip Pedal:

With rowing workouts, you need all the stability you can get to help you generate the power to overcome the resistance generated by the strokes. 

These non-slip pedals will give you a good grip on your feet so that you can focus on generating the power without worrying about slipping or getting out of balance.

A Stable Grip:

You will need a strong grip on the handles to sustain the force generated from your foot up towards your body. The machine comes with stable handlebars that will further give you the security you need for effective workout sessions.


  • Has a high capacity of up to 350lbs
  • Large LCD digital monitor
  • Full range motion arms
  • A comfortable seat
  • Anti-grip handles
  • 12 levels of adjustable resistance


  • Relatively shorter rail for tall people
  • Poor space economy


Sunny Health & Fitness is a reputable manufacturer of fitness equipment, and that is evident in this water rowing machine. Unless you are very tall and you require long rowers, this should suffice most of your needs. Also, it is within a price range that is manageable for most people.

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#5. Stamina 35 – 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

The Stamina 35 – 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine is another worthy contender for home gym enthusiasts looking for an affordable, yet functional rower. It is intuitively designed to save on space, while at the same time having all the functionalities you need for a fat-burning full-body workout.


BodyTrac Glider:

The machine features BodyTrac Glider which helps you save space in your home gym. It looks compact and clean, fitting in smaller areas for storage as well.

Smooth Hydraulic Cylinder Resistance:

The machine uses a hydraulic system to create various levels of resistance. You are free to adjust the tension based on your desired intensity and speed of strokes.

A Single Button Monitor:

This will help you keep a keen eye on the distance, speed, time, calories burned, row count, as well as total miles, rowed.

A thick Padded Seat:

This for a comfortable ergonomic position to let you row effectively without feeling any strain on your back.


  • Compact in design
  • Adjustable tension controls
  • A thick padded seat for extra comfort
  • Easy assembly


  • The resistance may decrease when the piston heats up
  • It may not be ideal for tall users


This may be the last on our list, but definitely not the least. It is an affordable option of great quality that will meet most of your needs for a water rowing machine. It may not be suitable for tall users. However, most users with average heights will find it very conducive.

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Also Read: Best Budget Rowing Machines Under $500

Best Water Rowing Machine: Buying Guide

Now that you have an idea of the leading brands and models of water rowing machines, it is also good to know what to look for when you go shopping. 

The knowledge of the factors to consider will give you the freedom to shop confidently. Read below for an in-depth look at some of the things to look out for when shopping for a water rowing machine.

Available Space

This may sound like an obvious consideration but so many people usually forget about it. The last thing you want is to spend money on equipment that won’t fit in your available space at home. 

Therefore, start by confirming the amount of space you have, then proceed to the other factors. If you are not pressed for space, then you can go for any size. However, if you are, then you will have to stick to compact designs.

Determine Budget And Stick to it

Water rowing machines are available across a wide budget range. By knowing the amount of money you are willing to spend on one, you will greatly narrow down your choices. 

This will help you to spend less time browsing and end up with a machine that is likely to meet most of your needs. And remember that cheap is always expensive. So don’t opt for the cheaper models. There is a reason why they are cheap, and you don’t want to throw your money down the drain. Read our article on the best rowing machine under $1000.

Workout Goals

What are your specific reasons for getting the rower? Do you need it to lose weight or you want it for occasional workouts? 

Having a clear picture of your needs will guide you in choosing an appropriate rower that will help you achieve your workout goals. Also, it will save you from buying a machine that will not serve your needs or getting one that has more than what you need.

Resistance Type

Rowing machines are available in four main resistance types. Each type has its own set of merits and demerits. Knowledge of the resistance types will give you a rough idea of how the rower operates. This will be vital when it comes to controlling the intensity of your workout. 

Here is a brief summary of the various resistance types:

Air Resistance

This is the most common resistance type. You will mainly find it in rowing machines used in health clubs and gyms. With this type, the resistance is mainly determined by the user’s rowing intensity. They are known to make some noise, though they have very smooth rowing motions.

Magnetic Resistance

These magnetic rowers tend to be very quiet because of the magnetic braking system used to generate resistance. The resistance is usually adjustable, though it is less than what you would normally find in air and water rowers.

Hydraulic Pistons

With these types of rowers, the resistance is generated through hydraulic pistons. The resistance is adjustable, and they also give very quiet operations. They are usually the cheapest types of water rowing machines.


Water rowing machines simulate real rowing motions that will feel and sound like you are rowing on real waters. Just like the air resistance, the amount of resistance generated is always a factor of the user’s rowing intensity. They are the most expensive types of rowing machines.

Specific Extra Features

Some of the features will determine whether or not it will help you achieve your fitness goals and the kind of experience you will have when using it. You should keep a keen eye on the following:


Since you will be seated throughout your rowing session, you need a rower with a comfortable seat that will not cause you any stress. The seat should feature an ergonomic design with proper padding and cushioning. This is how you will get the comfort to row for longer durations.

Adjustable Foot Straps

Your feet will be strapped on two separate pedals while rowing the machine. Your preferred machine should have adjustable straps so that you can fit your feet comfortably. Any discomfort of your feet on the pedals is likely to compromise your ability to row effectively.


This will primarily depend on the available space. Foldable designs are more space economical compared to non-foldable designs.

Dashboard Statistics

Most of the modern rowing machines will feature some form of an ergometer. Some will be basic in their operations while others will be very detailed. For a good experience, you should consider rowers that can show metrics related to your workout and performance. 

For example, some of the statistics you should be interested in include time, row count, strokes, distance, and calories burned. Others may be totally optional and you may choose whether or not you want to have them in your rower.

Smart Features

With the current obsession with technology, you may want to have a rower with smart features. This is completely optional, but it may act as a motivating factor for your workouts. Some rowers may have pre-programmed workouts wireless connectivity, Bluetooth compatibility, and the ability to get connected with other third-party apps. 

Most of these features may help to enhance your rowing experience. But choosing a machine that has a lot of them may make you spend lots of money on the purchase.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I lose belly fat using a Water Rowing Machine?

Rowing is a great way to burn calories, increase muscles and build strength. It is also an effective machine to help you get rid of stubborn body fats, including bulging belly fat.

How Much time Should I spend on a Rowing Machine?

Experts recommend that you spend at least 30 minutes on the rowing machine, five times a week. But this is not fixed for everyone and may not work for everyone. 

The ultimate amount of time you spend will depend on your fitness level, weight, fitness goals, and your motivation to work harder on yourself.

Are there Dangers of using Rowing Machines Daily?

Rowing is a low-impact workout, you can do it daily but with some caution. Whether or not you do it daily will depend on the intensity. 

For instance, it is not possible for you to row very hard daily. There are days you can ramp up the intensity, and there are days when you can adopt a slow pace. But remember that your body needs enough rest to recover.

Can I get rid of Back Fat with the help of a Rowing Machine?

Rowing is usually a great warmup for back exercises. You won’t reduce back fat instantly with rowing. However, when you increase the rowing intensity, you will end up burning a lot of calories, which will in turn help with overall fat loss.

Should I buy a Treadmill or a Rowing Machine to lose Weight?

If your goal is to lose fat, then you should go for a treadmill. But if you have dynamic fitness goals such as improving overall strength, burning fat, and building muscles, then you should consider a rowing machine.

How far should I Row in 30 Minutes?

There is no specific answer to these questions, but on average, you should row between 7500 and 10,000 meters in 30 minutes. But this will vary from person to person and the intensity of the user.

Can Rowing Help You get Abs?

Rowing is power cardio because it is a strength training workout and a cardiovascular workout. This is why you get to achieve more than just burn calories. As such, it is one of the few machines that can help you get abs at home.

What Factors should I Consider when Shopping for a Rowing Machine?

Noise levels, easy storage, size, maximum capacity, the type of resistance, and a display monitor are some of the factors you need to consider when shopping for a rowing machine.

Are cheap Rowing Machines Worth my Money?

There are certain brands of rowing machines that are cheap and good. But not all cheap rowing machines will meet all your needs. Always remember that cheap is expensive in the long run.

Can Rowing be Harmful to the Back?

Rowing doesn’t cause any strain that might hurt the lower back muscles. However, if you already have a back problem or you are prone to back injuries, then rowing may not be an ideal exercise for you.