Selecting the best Crossfit rowing machine can be a daunting task. There are so many brands and models to choose from, it can be easy to get lost in the sea full off information.
First, let me assume that you already understand the importance of a good rowing machine in a Crossfit workout.
They provide a complete full-body workout and are the best functional fitness exercise machine.
But you be may wondering how rowing machines beat out treadmills, climbers, ellipticals, and bikes at Crossfit gyms?
Well there are few very good reasons why Crossfit uses them and a few qualities a rowing machine must have to be considered a good Crossfit rower.
To better understand why I chose the machine I did, I am first going to go over why Crossfit uses rowing machines and what qualities a good machine must have to last in a Crossfit gym.
Why Crossfit Uses Rowing Machines?
Rowing machines are the only piece of gym equipment that give your body a complete workout (check out an article I wrote on what a rowing machine does for your body).
When using a rowing machine you work out over 80% of your muscles while making awesome cardiovascular gains. Rowing also uses these muscles through a long range of motion, which is great for Crossfit.
Most other exercises such as running and biking work out mainly your legs and leave out a lot of the upper body.
Rowing also offers a great opportunity to burn calories and increase metabolic rates.
Rowing machines can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour and performing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can raise metabolism for hours after a workout.
Rowing machines are also the only equipment in the gym that actually requires a piece of equipment. Meaning, most other gym equipment can be substituted for something that you don’t need to go out and purchase for an extreme amount.
Want to Run? You don’t need a treadmill, just go outside and jog. Want to climb? Go to a local hill or find a large flight of stairs. You do need to buy a bike to cycle but you can get a bike relatively cheap and it will still only work out your legs.
You cannot just go outside and row. 1. You may not have a boat. 2. You may not be near water!
A few more reasons Crossfit incorporates rowing are:
- Rowing is low impact and very easy on joints. A nice break from running and some other Crossfit exercises.
- Gives quantifiable results to compare to previous workouts and other Crossfitters.
- Commercial rowing machines are affordable compared to treadmills and ellipticals (Bikes are about the same).
- Rowing can be done indoors in any weather.
- Adds variations and intensity to workouts.
- Helps increase your VO2 max.
- Rowing machines have no motor so it is durable and will last a long time.
- The harder you row the harder the workout- no buttons to press to speed up, just row harder.
What Qualities Does a Crossfit Rowing Machine Need?
Now that we have discussed why Crossfit uses rowing machines, we will go over what qualities a Crossfit rowing machine needs to perform well and withstand the test of time.
Superior Design– need a machine that can take a beating from intense workouts.
Low Cost– gym owners need to buy a lot so prices need to be reasonable and individuals want good quality at affordable prices.
Great Monitors– need to be able to measure distance, strokes, and watts accurately. Also nice to be able to race other rowers.
Air Rower– Strong enough resistance for intense athletes. Harder you row, the harder the workout and a smooth rowing motion.
Compact– Ability to fold and store to save space in the gym or home.
Reliability– Parts that last and are easily replaceable and affordable.
Great Warranty– Should have multi-year warranty if paying more than $500.00.
Versatile– Machine that is good for all sizes (height and weight) and can perform multiple exercises.
Why the Concept2 Model D is the Best Crossfit Rowing Machine?
Based on the above criteria the best rowing machine for Crossfit is the Concept2 Model D with a PM5 Monitor.
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise considering it is the go to rower for all people and Crossfit gyms. It is even the rower that is used in the Crossfit Games and the history can be found here.
Aligning with the list above this is how a C2 rower is the best Crossfit rowing machine.
- One of the strongest built machines with a proven track record of unparalleled performance. Users say that rowing a few million meters is just breaking it in.
- Sold for relatively low cost
- The PM5 monitor is one of the best rowing machine monitors with all the required functions and has the ability to race other rowers
- It is an air rower
- Easily folds and rolls into a corner to save space.
- One of the easiest machines to purchase replacement parts
- Great warranty ( 2-yr All Parts, 5-yr Frame )
- Can accommodate a very wide range of sizes and perform a variety of cardiovascular/ strength exercises.
Concept2 also has a great online community and almost everything can be researched online. They even have a full section on Crossfit here.
They are also the industry standard so they are a must to compare yourself to other Crossfit stats. C2 rowers also hold their value in case you want to sell them you can get most of your investment back.
Check Current Pricing:
Overall, if you are doing Crossfit you need to incorporate a rowing machine into your routine. It is a great addition to any WOD and will bring your range of workouts to a whole new level.
You know what they say, numbers don’t lie!
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