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I'm in the market for a Rowing Machine for home

mlfen0778mlfen0778 Member Posts: 13 Member Member Posts: 13 Member
I'm looking to buy a Rowing Machine to assist in getting a full body workout. I've looked on many sites but figured I'd ask on here. Does anyone have any recommendations. I am tall 6'2 with long arms and legs and looking for one that has strong resistance and preferably in the $200 to $600 range.


  • mlfen0778mlfen0778 Member Posts: 13 Member Member Posts: 13 Member
    Thanks! I will have to hold off on it for a while and save some extra money
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Member, Premium Posts: 2,744 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,744 Member
    Do you have the choice to pick an outdoor sport this time of year? Much more fun to invest in.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,760 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,760 Member
    Have you ever used a rowing machine, or does your interest come from reading about them? I'm thinking it may be the latter?

    Before you spend hundreds of dollars on one (Concept 2 is $900USD right now), I'd strongly suggest that you do two things:

    * Learn how to use one (by doing it, ideally with good instruction, but at least by watching training videos), because this type of rowing machine requires some technique and understanding. It's not like some cardio machines that you can pretty much hop on and be doing right (enough) quickly. Most gym trainers don't know how to row properly, unfortunately, so I wouldn't rely on one of them for instruction.
    * Use one at a gym or club long enough to decide whether it's going to work for you. Not everyone likes it. That's a lot of money to spend on a clothes rack, though the Concept 2 machines do hold resale value well, generally.

    The better rowing machines are Concept 2 (gold standard), Water Rower (a *little* quieter, looks more like furniture), and while I've never rowed this last, it sounds like Hydrow might have a reasonable design, too. (I have doubts about NordicTrack, though it's similarly price-y.)

    The thing is, these good kinds of rowing machines don't really have "resistance". They have some mechanism for setting what amounts to "boat feel", and some people *think* that's "resistance", but it's not what actually creates exercise intensity. In these types of machines, the rower him or herself creates resistance by putting more into the flywheel (or water tank, or whatever), and to do that requires decent technique . . . technique that's not intuitively obvious.

    People with poor technique aren't really able to get the most challenging workout on this type of machine, and end up resorting to whipping up and down the slide at high strokes per minute, which is not the way to go about it, to get a good workout (it tops out at too low an intensity, basically). With reasonable technique, it's possible to get a really good workout (high intensity) at a relatively light "boat feel" setting, and quite low strokes per minute.

    Also, another caveat: Yes, in one sense, machine rowing (like on-water rowing) is a whole body workout. The thing is, it's all lower body push, upper body pull. There's no significant work for the opposing muscle groups. If a person does a bunch of rowing, they ought to be doing some other exercise for balance, to reduce risk of injury in the long term. Will injury surely occur if they don't? Of course not, but chances are higher, and for sure strength development will be uneven.

    Don't get me wrong, I love to row (preferably boats, but my Concept 2 when my river's frozen or there's other weather issues). But some of the gee-whiz blog articles about it don't really provide what I consider a well-rounded, accurate picture of the activity. It's a great exercise, with lot of benefits; but it's a little bit technical, and a little bit unbalanced.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 2,484 Member Member Posts: 2,484 Member
    Just to add to what Ann said (and it's great advice), my wife and kids love our AD Pro (Assault style bike) MUCH better than my Concept2. I would have went with the Rogue Echo if I had my choice -- it's an air bike (also Assault style bike) that works the entire body. Most people actually prefer the Assault Bike to the rower. The Rogue Echo is around $700. If I weren't around, the rower would just take up space in my house.

    I mention the Rogue Echo because it's a similar concept -- no motor, great piece of equipment, fantastic company (Rogue is excellent), works your entire body and would resell for a very high price. Without motors, there's less to break down. That's the beauty of both the C2 and the Rogue Echo.
    edited May 4
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Member Posts: 3,875 Member Member Posts: 3,875 Member
    mlfen0778 wrote: »
    I'm looking to buy a Rowing Machine to assist in getting a full body workout. I've looked on many sites but figured I'd ask on here. Does anyone have any recommendations. I am tall 6'2 with long arms and legs and looking for one that has strong resistance and preferably in the $200 to $600 range.

    It is almost always true that you "get what you pay for" and any rower that you can buy for $200-600 will either be poorly constructed (and won't last long) or will be really old and in bad shape (like a "vintage" Concept 2 rower than can sometimes be found in that price range).

    There is also no doubt in my mind that the Concept 2 rower is the best rower that you can buy for home (and even commercial) use. I use to lift and do all kinds of other "exercise" regularly but all I do now is row 10k meters/day, 5x's a week and I've never been in better shape.

    Of course, other kinds of exercise will no doubt help to provide different ways to strengthen/tone your body (and alleviate the boredom of doing the same thing day-in and day-out , which is not a problem for me) but, of all of the other kinds of home exercise equipment available, nothing IMO provides the same degree of body involvement (not even an Airdyne) that a rower does.

    A Concept 2 rower costs $900 + $40 shipping direct from Concept 2, which IMO is the only place you should buy it, because no dealer (not even Rogue which sells them) can beat that price and buying it direct immediately puts you on C2's customer list, in case you need to contact them for warranty or other advice/assistance.

    Anyone trying to sell a Concept 2 rower (new or used) for more than this price is just trying to rip you off. Don't be fooled!

    I've owned my C2 rower for over 5 years and have rowed over 7 million meters on it in that time period w/o any problems whatsoever. The rower requires minimal maintenance (just oil the chain and clean the seat rollers every now and then).

    C2 is backordered on its rowers and the wait time is around 2-3 months. So, if you don't have all the $ now, just put your name on the list and try to save $200-300/mo until you name comes up.

    Good luck!

    BTW, I wouldn't worry about trying to "learn" how to row "properly" until you actually get one.

    You can watch all of the YouTube videos on "how to row" as you like but until you actually use one, you won't really "get" what they're talking about.

    Once you do get one, you can use visualization techniques to try to emulate what's on the videos and can get immediate feedback on your speed/efficiency from the PM (performance monitor) which will enable you to improve your rowing technique.

    As long as you actually put regular time/effort into it, you'll eventually learn all of the nuances of "how to row" better and how to adjust your rower (including how to adjust the "drag factor") to meet your particular needs/desires later.

    No need to worry about those things now.

    edited May 5
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