It is no coincidence that rowing machines are standard equipment in every gym. With hardly any other device you can train your endurance and harden your muscles at the same time.
That is why more and more athletes are relying on their own rowing machine at home. From cheaper entry-level devices to cool high-tech ergometers, there is a huge range of products. Overwhelmed by so much choice? We’ll tell you how to find the perfect machine for your needs.
🏆Our test winners at a glance:
- The Xterra ERG600 rowing machine with water tank is the perfect complete package. Even if it is not cheap, it offers great technical features, an authentic rowing feel and also looks good.
- With the Tectake rowing machine with training computer, the price-performance ratio is definitely convincing. At just under 238 euros, it is the cheapest model, but it offers all the important features and is therefore a good choice, especially for amateur athletes.
- The Merax rowing machine surprises with the possibility of turning the rowing machine into a whole-body training machine. Thus, almost an entire studio is hidden in just one device. Ideal for workouts at home.
How effective are rowing machines?
Clear thing: very! Although very few people have the opportunity to train on the water every day, a workout on the rowing machine should be part of every training plan. Because even if endurance is clearly in the foreground, the repetitive motion sequences strengthen the strength in the upper arms, shoulder girdle, stomach, back and legs.
Rowing is a full-body workout that is easy on the joints and strengthens the back. So it’s also perfect for back pain. Since the entire musculature is challenged, but no muscle too much, rowing is a healthy sport for everyone. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a professional athlete, you will definitely benefit from the training. However, beginners should be shown the right technique at the beginning.
What do I have to look out for in a rowing machine?
Rowing ergometers are not only practical, they can also look really good. The rowing machine in the living room definitely says one thing: an athlete lives here. But which machine is the right one? And do you have to spend a fortune? Better a machine with water or magnetic resistance?
So that you don’t get lost in the jungle of possibilities, we have listed both types with their advantages and disadvantages. Several criteria were included in the evaluation, which are decisive for the purchase of a rowing machine. Up to 4 trophies can be won in each category:
- Price: How cheap is the product?
- Technology: With a few technical features, training is more fun and they can help you achieve your sporting goals more efficiently.
- Possibilities: Can the device be stowed away easily? Does it have extras, such as. a smartphone holder? What special features are offered?
- Optics: If you don’t have your own home gym, you will have the rowing machine in your living room or bedroom. Therefore, of course, the look is not unimportant.
Rowing machines with water resistance
If you want to feel the feeling of water below you in your own four walls, you can rely on one of these models. Because rowing machines with water resistance are the closest thing to the feeling of driving on a river or canal.
There is water in a small tank at the front of the machine, which provides the necessary resistance. The more forcefully you pull, the higher it gets. Even if these rowing machines are often a bit more expensive, the investment can be worthwhile: The system is very quiet and therefore a good choice for your own home.
1. Xterra Fitness ERG600 rowing machine
Order here: Xterra Fitness ERG600 rowing machine with water tank (625 euros)
A rowing machine that not only impresses with its stylish look. The LCD-n to: time, time at 500 meters, distance, trains, trains per minute, room temperature, date and time. A cool extra are the 5 programs that are on offer. For example, you can drive against the computer or have a countdown count down your moves.
Unusual for machines with water resistance: There are 6 different load levels that can be set. Another plus: you can raise the rowing machine and, thanks to the attached rollers, move and stow it away easily.
2. FitEngine rowing machine
Order here: FitEngine rowing machine (729.80 euros)
As is well known, there is no arguing about taste, but this rowing machine is an absolute hit and the perfect mix of sports equipment and design object. The model is also functional.
Thanks to the water resistance, you train comfortably evenly, without annoying jerking. The resistance automatically adapts to your effort. A holder for iPad and smartphone allows you to run training programs or stream your favorite series.
3. Christopeit WP 1000
Order here: Christopeit WP 1000 (519.99 euros)
A functional rowing machine with good features. All relevant training data is recorded by the computer and the rowing strokes, distance and time as well as your calorie consumption are always in view on the LCD-r.
If you want to watch films during training, you can attach a tablet to the holder provided. Visually, the rowing machine may not quite keep up, otherwise a top device.
Rowing machines with magnetic resistance
A good choice for amateur athletes, as this type of rowing machine is often a little cheaper than machines with water resistance. In this case, cheaper does not necessarily mean worse. With this system, the distance between the flywheel and the magnet is increased or decreased on the computer or a mechanical device and the desired resistance can thus be set.
Advantage: The devices are also extremely quiet and require little maintenance. The only disadvantage: the rowing feeling is not as natural as with machines with water resistance. Nevertheless, nothing stands in the way of effective training.
1. Merax rowing machine
Order here: Merax rowing machine (499.99 euros)
With its 8 different tension levels, you can find exactly the right level for your workout and gradually increase. You can easily monitor the progress of your training via the LED display.
Regardless of whether it is time, number of strokes, speed, distance or calorie consumption – this makes it easy to follow set goals. The large and wide saddle seat also allows you to sit out long units comfortably.
2. Tectake rowing machine with training computer
Order here: Tectake rowing machine with training computer (205.99 euros)
For the comparatively low price, this rowing machine has a lot to offer. The 8 levels of difficulty can be easily regulated using a rotary knob, and the model can also be easily folded up and stowed away.
The device even has a lot to offer technically: Thanks to the timer, a quick start function and 4 manually adjustable programs, you can add variety to your training. The only negative point: the screen of the training computer is quite small and cannot display all information at once.
3. Merax rowing machine
Order here: Merax rowing machine (513 euros)
This rowing machine was developed to be able to perform additional full-body exercises while standing, such as lateral raises, front raises or triceps presses. Thanks to the 8 resistance levels, you can adjust the intensity to your fitness level. Watch your training progress on the LCD-n.
How often should I exercise with a rowing machine?
Have you made a decision in favor of a model? Perfect! Then you can start training. How often you should jump on the rowing machine cannot be answered across the board and depends on your goals.
In general, it is advisable to train at least twice a week, or even better 3 times. Beginners should first build up their condition through regular training. 25 to 30 minutes per session is enough for now. If you are already fitter, you can build intervals into your rides and increase the intensity.
Indoor rowing offers many advantages for your training. It strengthens your muscles and improves your endurance. By the way, you also reduce stress. So: which machine do you choose? Whether water or magnetic resistance, a cheaper or more expensive device – each has its advantages.