In order to work almost all the muscles of the body, there are only two truly complete fitness machines: the indoor rowing machine and the elliptical trainer. The movement is not the same, but it is indeed 80% of the muscles which are solicited. So all you have to do is find the best 2021 apartment rowing machine to buy smart and start your training sessions as soon as possible.
The models below are in different price brackets and are therefore not always equal. If you don’t know where to start, check out our favourite reference, the SportPlus SP-MR-008 rower.
Best Rowing Machines In 2021
We offer you below not only the best rowing machine of the moment but also a presentation of each of them with reviews and technical elements that distinguish them from competing products. Don’t hesitate to wait for sales or Black Friday. On the other hand, if you find a promotion on a rower that you like, do not hesitate, it never lasts very long.
Perfect for beginners, the SportPlus SP-MR-008 rowing machine allows you to practice physical activity at home, gentle on the body, joints, and muscles. It is equipped with an 8 kg flywheel and there are 8 levels of resistance. We, therefore, have a certain room for improvement and the possibility of finding the ideal setting according to your physical form.
The seat is fixed on a ball bearing. In addition, the braking is magnetic. This is what makes it possible to have a fairly low sound level during use, even if it is not a completely silent rower. There are straps on the pedals which are also non-slip to provide a secure hold. The set allows you to row smoothly.
The device is quite large. It measures 190x51x77 cm and it weighs 30 kg . it can be folded up so that it only measures 122x51x95 cm. It is then possible to position it vertically and move it using the storage wheels. It can be left upright when it is at rest.
The console is positioned directly in front of the user. It is red with a black and white screen. The latter permanently displays a lot of information: distance, time, calories, number of strokes per minute, and the total number of strokes. You can also check your pulse, but you have to purchase an optional heart rate chest strap.
✓ Magnetic braking
✓ 8 kg inertia
✓ 6 pre-installed programs
✓ A little noisy
Hop-Sport Hs 030R Boost
The Hop-Sport Hs 030R Boost rower is black and dark blue. He has his own style and appeals to teens and young men alike. The user should just be under 6 feet tall (according to the manufacturer, as some users consider it good up to 6 feet tall) and weigh less than 120 kg. The rower is made of reinforced steel and above all, it has a 10 kg flywheel with 10 levels of resistance to be freely adjusted.
The device itself is comfortable. The saddle measures 36 × 29 cm and the footrests have straps to provide better support. Braking is magnetic. Thus the movements are fluid and silent.
This product is quite compact. It is 46cm high, 52cm wide, and 77cm long. The bar can be fully folded up (after placing the saddle as close as possible to the footrests). Storage is then easier, the rower suddenly becoming more discreet. On the other hand, it still weighs 29 kg and it is appreciable to have wheels to be able to move it.
The LCD screen is pretty straightforward. It just displays the duration of the session, the number of repetitions, and the calories burned. It is possible to independently purchase a heart rate belt and connect it to the device to track the heart rate as you exercise.
✓ Almost silent
✓ 10 kg inertia
✓ Compact storage
✓ Smooth movements
✓ Magnetic brakes
✓ No pulse measurement
For a connected rowing machine intended for beginners, here is an interesting model. The Sportstech RSX400 rowing machine is a fitness machine that can be used as it is, without trying to use an additional application. But if you want to work in connected mode, you can also do so.
Thus via Bluetooth, it is possible to connect the rowing machine to the Kinomap application or to the Fitness Data application. The interest is for the moment rather limited because the use is limited mainly in the possibility of following its progress and for Kinomap to scroll the landscapes to the rhythm of your strokes of the oar. Otherwise, everything can also be decided with the multifunction screen.
There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance. The screen displays distance, time and cadence. It is also possible to connect a cardio frequency belt to the screen and know your heart rate during the entire workout. Attention, the support for the tablet is just under the screen. We can therefore look at either the tablet or the screen, not both at the same time. Also, note that the beautiful colour screen shown on the rowing machine’s promotional documents is not included with the rower. You must place your tablet there.
The seat is comfortable and, thanks to the ball bearing and magnetic resistance, movements are smooth and quiet. On the other hand, depending on your ground, the rower may slip slightly and we advise you to provide a gym mat to slide underneath. After use, there is super-fast folding and rollers to move the rowing machine.
✓ Rail inclined at 15 °
✓ 8 resistance levels
✓ Cardio belt included
✓ Kinomap compatible
✓ Tablet holde
✓ Preferable with iPhone
The SportPlus SP-MR-011 water rower is an all-metal product that is sold in spare parts. It takes about 1 hour to install it and to fill the water tank. A marking on the tank allows you to choose between what is called 8 intensity levels, that is to say, 8 different resistances when rowing. The more water there is, the more difficult it will be. This reference is suitable for beginners and athletes. In addition, it can be used weighing up to 130 kg and measuring up to 2 m.
The seat is adjustable in 6 different positions and it is a seat with low noise ball bearings when in use. It has a console that displays time, distance, calories and number of strokes. It is possible to connect the display to a heart rate abdominal strap to display the pulse, but this strap is not included with the rower. It is also included a racing simulation with 15 difficulty levels. It is nice to be able to change the height of the screen slightly so that it is ideally positioned for the rower.
The device is advertised as collapsible and care should be taken as it is extremely limited. In its format of use, the rower is 200 cm long, 56 cm wide and 84 cm high. When folded up, the length and width remain the same, but what constitutes the height decreases to only 59 cm. The storage is done vertically.
✓ Water rower
✓ 8 resistance levels
✓ Up to 130 kg
✓ 6-position seat
✓ Not very foldable
Concept 2 – Model E
The only air rower in our selection, the Concept 2 Model E is really the power to choose when you want a solid machine for intensive use. It is also ideal for a rower used by several people in a household, including people weighing up to 200 kg.
It is equipped with a really easy to use PM5 screen. It has all the classic information from cheaper rowing machines, such as training session data (duration, speed, etc.). But above all there are additional possibilities such as programs and games. It is possible to start a race against a virtual rower or against our previous scores. A memory card can even store the various results. And it can also be linked to a heart rate belt. The set is connected wirelessly via ANT + and Bluetooth.
It is also very easy to install a rowing machine. There are few elements, so everything takes place easily. The result is a rower 244 cm long, 61 cm wide and 51 cm high (this is the height of the seat a little higher than usual). For storage, it is not exactly foldable, but rather removable. It is divided into two parts which then form a block of 138x120x69 cm. The whole weighs 29 kg and the wheels make it easy to move around.
The use is comfortable and without being completely silent, it is really discreet. And of course the most interesting is the possibility of finding something for you whether you are a beginner or an athlete. Everything is done to make the device last really long.
✓ Air resistance
✓ Small weight
✓ Bluetooth connection
✓ PM5 monitor
✓ Virtual races
Capital Sports Stoksman 2.0
Here is a water rower with a light beech wood structure (also available in dark beech wood). It is a beautiful device which is sold already assembled. On receipt, the only thing you have to do is fill the tank with water. This is what creates inertia and the more water there is, the greater the inertia. A water pump and its hose are available to be able to drain the tank.
This product is 215cm long, 55cm high and wide. Without water, it weighs 34 kg. It can be stored vertically and it can then be moved using small wheels. The space requirement is suddenly much less. It has a 120 cm double wooden slide with a plastic slide which allows offering an almost silent training. In principle, the noise you hear does not come from the seat, but from the water. Lapping is often appreciated.
The LCD screen works with batteries that are not included. You need two AAA batteries. This screen permanently displays all the data collected at the same time, that is to say from top to bottom: the time of the session, the speed, the distance carried out, the calories burned and finally the number of strokes of the oar. per minute. Unlike many competitive products, there is no heart rate measurement.
✓ Wooden structure
✓ Already assembled
✓ Vertical storage
✓ Up to 170 kg
✓ Water rower
✓ No pulse measurement
How to choose the right rowing machine?
To help you know which apartment rower to choose, here are the criteria that we take into account and that we recommend. This makes it possible to make a personal and complete comparison and therefore to buy with the greatest possible reliability.
Type of resistance
The type of resistance informs a lot about the type of use and the budget of the rowers concerned.
- Magnetic resistance is the most present because it offers good value for money and is suitable for all athletes, beginners or not, paying attention to their budget.
- The hydraulic piston resistance is especially for beginners, it allows to have a cheap rower.
- The air resistance is a more advanced and more expensive version than the previous ones. This makes it possible in particular to do more intensive or more regular workouts.
- The water resistance (the inertia wheel is in the water) is the one that offers the best comfort in the movements, the only noise that we hear is that of water, but it is also the type of most expensive rowers. This is what suits the most committed athletes in their training.
The draw can be central or vertical. We recommend the central draft which allows balanced and more natural symmetrical work. The vertical pull is also called a Scandinavian rower, it is double oar and it is not suitable for taller people.
It is the mass that serves as resistance and which therefore generates the difficulty of the exercise. All people who already have regular physical activity should choose high inertia.
It is normally possible to adjust the resistance, in connection with the inertia mentioned above. There are therefore several levels of resistance that allow you to progress or warm up slowly before working the muscles more deeply. There may also be pre-recorded programs.
We also talk about a screen, that is to say, what is in front of us and allows you to follow the workout in progress. In general, you can read the duration of the workout and the calories burned there. Other data may be present, such as the heartbeat. But on the console, you can also have support for the smartphone or a bottle holder.
Some rowers have a Bluetooth connection to connect the rower to a sports application. It is a way to have access to sessions with a coach or to record your data.
It is better to have a comfortable seat, with good mobility. It is the opinions of the users that make it possible to verify this point since all the manufacturers assure that their seat is obviously comfortable.
This is a criterion that is found for each sports machine, treadmill or indoor rower: the maximum weight that the device can support. It varies from 100 to 150 kg.
Since the rower will be installed in your house or apartment, you must have the space to install it both to train and to leave it at rest. It is, therefore, necessary to look at the dimensions, if it is foldable and even its weight to possibly move it. Many models have transport wheels, but not all.
First-price or even mid-range rowers are often made of metal. However, with the right budget, it is possible to choose a wooden rower with high-quality finishes.
A rower can cost from 150 to 1500 EUR. We cannot advise you on one budget over another, however, we have chosen to present you with the best products for each price bracket.
The different types of apartment rowing machine
The main classification of these cardio machines literally comes from the grip. There are three types of drawing:
⇨ The central draw is the most popular. It is suitable for everyone and especially for beginners. The movement is symmetrical and the learning is done intuitively.
⇨ The Scandinavian draft, called vertical draft, is double-row. Some consider the movement to be closer to that on a real oar. It is not suitable for tall people.
⇨ The Latin pull, called horizontal rower, also has a double oar. It requires a little more technique because we perform a cross-movement. It can be used by beginners, taking the time to learn and be supervised. For a completely solo practice, you might as well reserve it for people who already have some practice.
The benefits of the indoor rowing machine
This device has been very successful for years because it is comprehensive and easy to use. Today the elliptical trainer is a little more popular, but that does not take away from the strengths of the rower.
- Promotes joint flexibility
- No impacts or shocks on the joints
- Refines the silhouette
- Work on cardio
- Quick results
- Involves the whole body
- Works endurance
The best brands for an apartment rower
The brand that comes up most often in the top 5 or top 10 of the best rowers is the German company Sportstech. The latter specializes in rather high-end fitness and wellness products. All are intended to be used at home and therefore to offer a complete and accessible grip without a coach.
Another name that comes up often is that of the American brand WaterRower which only offers wooden rowers with water resistance. The products are beautiful, but they are very high end.
In the end, the idea is all the same to buy only one. For many of you, we think the best rower is the SportPlus SP-MR-008. Indeed with its 8 kg flywheel, it is suitable for those who want to rehabilitate, for those who are just starting out and especially for all those who have not done sport for a long time or irregularly.
Otherwise, it is also possible to favour the Sportstech RSX400 indoor rower which can be used with an application. Finally, for intensive use and high-end equipment, discover the Concept 2 – Model E air rower.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)