Best Rowing Exercise MachineIf you’re researching the best rowing exercise machine, I’ll assume you’re fairly new to rowing.

Maybe you’ve seen people using one in the gym or heard it was a great exercise machine for losing weight.

No matter how you’ve heard about a rowing exercise machine, just know this workout burns more calories than any other type of fitness equipment!

It’s also a low-impact full-body workout, so you can save time and never worry about aching knees or hips.

In this article, I will go over the origin of the rowboat exercise machine and then cover some of the benefits.

I will then cover how you can find the best rowing exercise machine and what to look for when you are ready to buy.

Origin of the Rowboat Exercise Machine

People new to the sport of rowing sometimes call this piece of fitness equipment a rowboat exercise machine, row boat workout machine, or rowing exercise machine.

Eventually people just start calling it a rowing machine, rower, or ergometer.

Irregardless of what you call it, a rowboat exercise machine was created to simulate rowing while on land.

The first reports of a row boat machine came from an Athenian Admiral named Chabrias around 400 BC. He built wooden rowing machines so he could train inexperienced soldiers the proper rowing technique on-shore before becoming an oarsman on a ship.

First Rowboat Exercise Machine

Many centuries later rowboat exercise machines began having newer and newer designs, such as being operated using hydraulic-pistons. In 1872, there is a recorded US Patent issued to W.B. Curtis for a hydraulic-piston based rowing exercise machine.

It wasn’t until the 1950’s and 1960’s that row boat exercise machines began being able to better train rowers and accurately measure their power output.

The first air resistance ergometer was invented in 1980 and was shortly followed by the first Concept2 Rower the Model A.

Concept2 Model A Ergometer

The rest is history, as there are now new rowboat exercise machines being designed every year. New models are able to suit every possible type of person who wants to use one.

Whether you want to row lightly while watching TV or simulate rowing a boat, there is a rowing exercise machine for you!

Benefits of Rowing Exercise Machine

The benefits of a rowing exercise machine are almost endless, so I will try to cover the most important.

Below are my top 5 reasons for using a rowboat exercise machine!

1. Rowing is a Full-Body Workout

When rowing, studies have shown you will exercise about 84% of the muscles in your body! There are not many exercises that can perform this type of full-body workout.

Rowing first requires almost every leg muscle, followed by your lower back & core, and finishes with your arms, shoulders, and upper back.

There are very few muscles rowing doesn’t target (chest), which can be targeted using supplemental exercises like a kettlebell.

2. Anaerobic & Aerobic Exercise

Using a row boat machine means you can perform anaerobic or aerobic exercise. Basically, you can perform short, fast sprints or long, slow and steady sessions.

Both have their separate benefits for weight loss and cardiovascular health and both are necessary.

A rowing exercise machine is a fun way to train both your anaerobic and aerobic capacities.

Rowing Exercise Machine

3. Burns a LOT of Calories

While studies differ and it is a hard study to conduct, rowing has been said to burn the most calories out of any other exercise machine.

To be fair, we can say running will also burn a lot of calories, but it won’t give you the same upper-body workout as rowing.

Rowing can burn anywhere from 600-1,000 calories an hour depending on different factors. You can read more about burning calories while rowing here.

4. Saves Time

If you are using a row boat exercise machine you are essentially performing two workouts in one.

Most of the time people have to lift weights then perform their cardio. However, rowing combines these two into one killer workout!

It also burns the most calories, so you don’t have to exercise as long! Basically a win, win, win situation!

5. Low Impact Exercise

As people get older, they can experience joint pain from exercises like lifting heavy weights and running. It can even get to the point where they can no longer perform these exercises.

Rowing, however, is extremely low impact and puts very little pressure on the joints. Many people who experience knee and hip pain from running will switch to rowing as their main form of exercise.

Rowing is a sport you will be able to participate in for a very long time!

Low Impact Rowing Machine

Best Rowing Exercise Machine

Now that you have a good understanding about the history and benefits of the rowing exercise machine, it’s time to find one for yourself!

Selecting the best rowing exercise machine can be very difficult for a number of reasons.

First, there are so many different options in different price ranges with different resistance types, it can become overwhelming fast!

Second, every person has different needs and wants, so it’s difficult to name one model “The Best”. The best rowing exercise machine for one person can be entirely different for another.

Due to these situations, I have created a few resources to help you find the best rowboat exercise machine.

You can visit my “Start Here” guide to walk you through how to select the best rowing machine for you. I go over items like picking a price, how to choose a resistance type, what to look for in a monitor, etc.

You can also visit my Personal Rowing Machine Concierge Page where you fill out a short list of preferences and I select a model that I feel suites you best. It’s super easy and I answer within 24 hours!

HOWEVER, I can’t leave you without my own recommendation for the best rowing exercise machine.

#1 Rowing Machine – Rowing Machine King’s Pick

When it comes to choosing the best rowing machine overall, there is only one model in my mind that can wear the crown. That model is the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine.

Top Rowing Exercise Machine

After trying countless rowing machines, in different price ranges and different resistance types, the Concept2 Model D is the model I use everyday.

It has superb build quality, excellent air resistance, the best overall performance monitor, and is made by the #1 rowing company in the world! It’s hard to argue against a rowing machine with those type of credentials!

Not to mention it is used by Olympic Rowers for off the water training and is the rower of choice for Crossfit and all their affiliates.

You can read an in-depth Concept2 Model D review here or check the consumer reviews and pricing below.

Reviews Button Red

Final Thoughts

It’s pretty amazing how long rowing has been around and how much the rowing machine has changed over the centuries.

From a training tool of the Athenian Navy to a training tool for any person or sport around the world.

The benefits of rowing are the key to their popularity and I can’t think of many exercises that rival the complete fitness package a rowing exercise machine provides.

Hopefully I have convinced you to take up rowing and you now want to own a rowing machine yourself!

If the Concept2 Model D is not the right choice for you, I outline the best models in each price range and resistance  category in my Best Home Rowing Machine Article.

There are options for people looking to spend $200 or $1,000 and models using air, magnetic, water, and hydraulic-piston resistance.

I hope you enjoyed this short lesson on the rowboat exercise machine and I hope you agree with my choice for the best rowing exercise machine overall!

Please leave any questions or comments below!

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