Rowing Machine FAQ
I have tried to compile the most frequently asked questions about rowing machines that I have come across over the past few years.
Click on a question to bring you directly to the answer below.
If you have a question you would like answered please add it to the comment section at the bottom of the page!
What is the overall best rowing machine?
When deciding on which rowing machine to buy, a lot of people want to know the best overall rower. This is a difficult question to answer because everyone is looking for different qualities in a rowing machine.
Some people want a quiet rower, some want a durable rower, and others want the hardest resistance rower.
I will answer this question by saying that the best overall machine is the Concept2 Model D ( Read my “Best Home Rowing Machine” article for more info). It is by far the most popular machine and is most likely the rower you will find in your local fitness club. It is extremely durable, offers great resistance levels, and provides a smooth, realistic rowing motion.
My article also offers some great alternative options, just in case the Model D doesn’t fit your needs.
What are the benefits of a rowing machine?
A rowing machine has a TON of benefits and is considered by many to be the best exercise machine. A rower can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour and raise your metabolic rate for hours after a workout. It is also a great cardiovascular workout and is the only exercise machine that works both the upper and lower body muscle groups.
I also have some other articles I link to below about losing weight with a rowing machine and how it effects your body.
What is the proper rowing form and technique?
A lot of rowing machine beginners are unsure how to row properly. This is why there are so many empty rowers at a gym!
Having proper form and technique is imperative to ensure you are getting the best workout and avoiding injury. There are a lot of great YouTube videos on proper rowing techniques and this video below is one of my favorite.
What muscles do a rowing machine workout?
Rowing machines are very popular among fitness professionals because they provide the opportunity to workout the entire body. Some estimates state a rowing machine can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour and can work out 84% of your muscles mass!
I wrote a great article about what a rowing machine does for your body that shows what muscles are worked out in each stage of the workout. I even wrote a more detailed description of the different muscles worked out throughout each stage of the rowing stroke.
What is the best rowing machine for losing weight?
A lot of people looking to invest in a rowing machine are interested in weight loss. A rowing machine is the best piece of equipment to lose weight with but which rower is the best at helping you lose weight?
The answer to this questions would be the rower that is going to make you workout the most and enjoy it. If you buy a rowing machine that you don’t like, then you are not going to use it and you will not lose weight. I would read the 3 articles below that go into why a rowing machine is great for losing weight:
Then read the Buyer’s Guide to find the rowing machine that best fits you and allows you to use it the most!
What is the best rowing workout routine for losing weight?
Once you have your rowing machine, you will probably want to know the best rowing routine for losing weight. There are 2 routines that I like to incorporate into my exercise routines: steady state rowing and HIIT (high intensity interval training) rowing.
In this article, I write about both rowing workout routines and why you must focus on diet as well to lose weight.
You can also check out some Rowing Machine Weight Loss Transformations here. This article includes some tips for losing weight with a rowing machine.
How many calories does a rowing machine burn?
A rowing machine has been estimated to burn 1,000 calories an hour and could very well burn more depending on the intensity of the workout. The only other exercise machine that rivals the rowing machine is the treadmill on an incline.
However, burning calories is not the only factor when losing weight. A person must take into account other factors like increasing metabolic rate and building lean muscle. Check out more info in this rowing article.
I also wrote an article about calories burned on a rowing machine. I explain how to calculate the amount of calories you burn and how to increase the amount of calories burned.
Is a rowing machine good for building muscle and cardio?
Yes, a rowing machine is great for building muscle and improving your cardio. A rowing machine builds lean muscle, so you do not have to worry about it making you “bulky”.
A rowing machine will not make you bulky because you are performing very high reps, which is opposite of what people do for “muscle hypertrophy” or “getting bulky”. Due to the fact that you are performing very high reps with resistance, you will be sure to get an incredible cardiovascular workout! No wonder Crossfit loves rowing machines!
Check out my article that shows why a rowing machine provides a muscle building, cardiovascular workout.
How do I know what rowing machine to buy?
So you know you want a rowing machine, but you don’t know what to buy. I have a few easy articles that will help you quickly narrow down your search to the right rower!
- Start Here – Step-by-Step Buying Instructions
- Rowing Machine Buyer’s Guide
- Rowing Machine Resistance Types?
- Which Rowing Machine is Best For You?
You can also let me select a rowing machine for you by using my Rowing Machine Concierge Service.
What resistance type should I buy?
Figuring out which type of rowing machine resistance type you should buy is a difficult decision. The four options are Air, Hydraulic Piston, Magnetic, and Water. They all have their pros and cons and I have outline this in detail in my post on rower resistance types.
You can also read my comparison articles to help you decide between different resistance types:
What is the best rowing machine for tall people?
When buying a rowing machine some people will have to look for height limitations on the rowers. It’s unfortunate, but not all manufacturers provide the rowing machine rail length or what inseam length will fit on the machine. I wrote a post on the best rowing machine for tall people that goes into detail about what to look for and what rower to buy.
What is the best rowing machine for short people?
If you are very short or have children that want to row, then you may be worried about height limitations on a rower. Most rowers can accommodate shorter users but some do not allow the seat to move all the way up to get into the proper “catch” position. The fixed rowing arms on some models can also pull back too high on the chest, making it uncomfortable to row.
I wrote a post recommending two rowers for shorter users and what they should be aware of before buying.
Which rowing machine is the best value?
A lot of people looking to buy a rowing machine want to know which rower is the best value or what machine is the “best bang for your buck”?
As stated above, I believe the best rowing machine overall is the Concept2 Model D which can be seen in this list of “best value” rowing machines.
I also wrote an article stating my opinion on the Best Rowing Machine Under $500.
Due to the growing popularity of budget rowing machines I have an article now recommending the Best Rowers Under $300.
What is the best rowing machine for an apartment (makes the least noise)?
Living in an apartment can be difficult because you are constantly worried about neighbors and people living below you. Some rowing machines can vibrate and some resistance types make more noise than others.
If you are worried about noise, then air rowing machines should be ruled out. Water resistance rowers are not as loud as air rowers but may need to be ruled out as well.
If you want a few models to check out, I would look into the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower for a low-priced hydraulic-piston rower that is very compact.
Is a rowing machine better than a treadmill, elliptical, bike, and step machine?
The battle to see what is the best exercise machine? Each of these 5 pieces of exercise equipment have their benefits and pitfalls but which is better?
Obviously if you are reading this you know that I believe the rowing machine is the best piece of workout equipment you can own.