Are you looking for a full-body workout that you can do in the comfort of your own home? Then we suggest investing in a home rowing machine. This type of machine will give you a high cardio workout without putting pressure on your joints; making it ideal for those with bad knees or ankles.
There are three different types of resistance when it comes to home rowing machines, or 'ergs' as those in the know refer to them, and it is important to consider your exercise goals before deciding on the best home rowing machines for you. If you’re a beginner, short on space, or are on a budget, we recommend hydraulic rowing machines as they are an affordable and compact option for the home. However, if you want to take your exercise and training more seriously, we recommend either an air rowing machine or one with magnetic resistance. These tend to make you work harder as they emulate the feel of real water.
For those who are training for competitions or are a member of a rowing club, you can also invest in real water machines; however, these are extremely cumbersome and costly. We would only recommend these to those who are serious about rowing and have plenty of experience.
Most machines will come with an LCD monitor that allow you to track your progress, and some of the more expensive models include Bluetooth technology so that you can link up your smartphone and use features such as a heart rate monitor strap. We also found that all the best home rowing machines are surprisingly compact, with some being foldable and others lightweight for easy cupboard storage.
1. JTX Freedom Air Rower
Gym-level training from the comfort of your home
Best for: Everyday use | Resistance type: Air | Levels: 16 | RRP: £495.00
If you’re looking for a robust piece of equipment that will stand the test of time, then the JTX Freedom Air Rower is a solid choice for home gyms. It’s equally ideal for everyday cardio and endurance training and it comes with a chest strap for accurate heart rate monitoring. One of the added benefits of this rowing machine is that it can be folded away easily so that it doesn’t take over your lounge or bedroom.
2. WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine
A fancy piece of kit for the experienced rower
Best for: Professionals | Resistance type: Water | Levels: N/A | RRP: £1,049
If you’re a member of a rowing club or are training for a competition, then the WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine is a top of the range piece of kit that will work you hard. You’ll be able to emulate rowing on real water with its water tank resistance and it is super smooth and quiet. We love the look of its Cherrywood frame and think it would look good in any style of home.
3. Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower
Push yourself further with this indoor rowing machine and monitor your progress
Best for: Monitoring progress | Resistance type: Air | Levels: N/A | RRP: £860.00
The Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower is ideal for those who like to track their progress. The performance Monitor 5 will give you accurate data for every single row and allow you to compare data to see how you have improved. The air flywheel means that the harder you row the more resistance you’ll feel; ultimately giving you a low-impact full-body workout. It can be separated in half for easy storage and has wheels for easy transportation.
4. JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine
An introduction to the world of rowing with this simple rowing machine
Best for: Beginners | Resistance type: Magnetic | Levels: 10 | RRP: £164.00
We understand that for those who want to give rowing a try, a grand is a lot of money to cough up for something you might not even enjoy. The JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine comes at a fraction of the cost and has a range of features that are perfect for introducing you to the world of rowing. It has a clear LCD display with 10 resistance levels to help you build up stamina. It is also foldable for easy storage if you don’t plan on using it every day.
5. Marcy Regatta Folding Rowing Machine
Row in any room of the house with this compact model
Best for: Space saver | Resistance type: Magnetic | Levels: 8 | RRP: £219.99
Although many rowing machines are compact these days, if you’re looking for the ultimate foldaway rower then the Marcy Regatta is the one to get. You’ll get everything you need including LCD display with 8 levels of resistance and a padded seat for a comfy workout. Although not a complex machine this is one of the best home rowing machines 2017 has to offer because it can be stored anywhere without making your home look cluttered.
6. Skandika SF-1150 Regatta Rowing Machine
A multi-purpose piece of equipment ideal for home gyms
Best for: 3-in-1 workout | Resistance type: Pulling system | Levels: 3 | RRP: £159.99
This is a handy little home rowing machine that also allows you to perform upper –body resistance exercises with the variable handles. As well as rowing you can train in a standing position to focus on particular muscles. It includes a training computer and boasts a poly fibre pulling system that is extremely quiet. You can also fold up this home rowing machine for easy storage.
7. Body Sculpture Twin Hydraulic Rower
A budget workout that achieves results
Best for: Budget buy | Resistance type: Hydraulic | Levels: 3 | RRP: £87.99
Unlike some of the best home rowing machines on the market, the Body Sculpture Twin Hydraulic Rower boasts no frills. However, it can easily record your progress and show you how many calories you’ve burned; ideal for those simply looking to lose a few pounds. Although it does not have the highest resistance levels, it will give you a decent cardio workout that will guarantee to work up a sweat.
Our guide to the best fitness trackers will help you find the ideal gym companion for smarter workouts.