BEST ROWING MACHINES BETWEEN $500 AND $1000
Concept 2 Model D
Perhaps the most widely known and used rowing machine, the Concept 2 Model D is appropriate for the beginner as well as the competitive athlete. The Concept 2 Model D uses a fly wheel resistance and a damper that is easily set to your preferred resistance level. The damper is quickly adjusted in the middle of your workout for interval training. The flywheel rowing machine and nickel-plated chain provide a smooth rowing experience and one that will not wake your household. You can row and watch television without increasing the volume and bothering your family or neighbors. The Concept 2 Model D is all about comfort and adjustability. The 14-inch seat height accommodates users of all sizes. The rail length is 54 inches and allows for full range of motion for users with an inseam of up to 38 inches. The adjustable monitor is backlit so you can easily track your progress. It connects a thumb drive by USB so you can transfer your data to your computer or to a fitness tracking application. The monitor also has bluetooth technology to connect to your wireless heart rate monitor or smart phone. The display shows pace, distance, calories, speed and watts. The footrests are adjustable to fit your shoe size and torso height. The handle has a wave to comfortably protect your wrists and handles while allowing for a strong grip. This rower requires a 9-foot by 4-foot space in which to operate and has a quick-release lever that separates it into two pieces for easy storage. It slides on caster wheels to your storage location and does not require any tools to separate the pieces. The indoor rowing machine accommodates users up to 500 pounds. It has 2-year limited warranty and a 5-year frame warranty.
- Quiet rowing machine will not disturb others
- Flywheel has an adjustable damper for interval workouts
- Backlit monitor
- USB capability to transfer data
- Supports taller users
- Requires a larger floor space
- Separates into two pieces for storage
- Does not display strokes, strokes per minute or time
- Chain requires maintenance
The Concept 2 Model D is the perfect rower for all fitness levels. It receives 5 out of 5 stars and is often a basis of comparison for other indoor rowing machines. The extras, quietness and warranty on this machine make it an ideal purchase for a first-time user or experienced rower.
Stamina Avari Magnetic Rower
Stamina brings an affordable, quiet rowing experience with their Avari indoor rowing machine. The Avari is the best magnetic rowing machine for the money. The magnetic resistance is easily adjusted by pushing a button on the monitor. This allows for consistent workouts when performing intervals and gradual resistance increases. If you do not want to design your own routine, the Avari brings 12 pre-prepared programs to you. 7 of these automatically adjust the tension as you exercise. The LCD, backlit monitor shows your time, stroke count, distance calories, pulse, watt and strokes per minute. With all of these fitness values, you are easily able to monitor your progress and identify improvements. You wear a chest strap to track your heart rate and keep your workouts within your ideal pulse range. The Avari is ideal for at-home use and is quiet enough to be used in an apartment or condo. It has non-slip caps on the base to keep you stable during your rowing session. It also folds for storage and slides on the built in wheels. The wheels may not easily slide across carpeting. The Avari rower’s seat is made of molded foam and may require some getting used to. The padded handle is comfortable and easy to grasp for longer duration workouts. The aluminum beam allows for smooth movements as you glide back and forth during the workout. It measures 81 inches by 20 inches by 24.5 inches and fits taller people comfortably. The foot plates accommodate most shoe sizes and pivot for full range of motion as you glide forward and backward. The straps across the balls of your feet keep your legs in place so you can powerfully push back into the Drive. The Avari supports users who weigh up to 275 pounds and comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Quickly adjustable magnetic resistance
- Pivoting foot holds
- 12 pre-programmed workouts
- Displays tracks the important information including watts and strokes per minute
- Chest straps monitors your heart rate to keep you within your target training zone
- Not easy to move on carpet
- Uncomfortable seat
The Stamina Avari Magnetic Rower earns 4 out of 5 stars. The only limitations are cost, user weight loads and warranty. The quietness and quick adjusting resistance levels are large benefits to the Avari and often out weight the other concerns.
Kettler Kadett Outrigger Style Rower
Kettler delivers a quality hydraulic rower in a mid-price range. The hydraulic cylinders provide a quiet rowing experience with adjustable levels of tension between 1 and 12. You hold onto a separate handle in each hand that is connected to its own hydraulic piston. The benefit of this is that both arms work equally to perform the stroke, so you develop muscle strength evenly in your arms, shoulders and back. The oars more accurately simulate a circular rowing motion as you pull in the handles high and then push out the handles slightly lower. The rotating grips on the handles allow for a smooth, pain free stroke that allows you to row for longer durations. Some users describe the movement similar to sculling instead of rowing. The foot plates pivot as you slide forward and backward to prevent knee and ankle discomfort and encourage a greater range of motion. The foot straps are held securely by Velcro and the foot plates are adjustable in length to accommodate users of all heights. The padded seat slides comfortably on sealed ball bearings across a carbon steel frame. This adds to the minimal sound produced by this indoor rowing machine. The Kettler Kadett display shows you time, distance, energy, strokes, pulse and frequency. The pulse is tracked through an ear lobe monitor. You have the option of purchase a chest strap heart rate monitor. The Kadett measures 59 inches by 67 inches by 18 inches when it is fully assembled. The handles fold in and are secured by straps for easy storage when not in use. It may be difficult to move due to the weight and no wheels to assist you as you manipulate it across the floor. The Kadett supports users of up to 285 pounds and comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a 3-year warranty on parts.
- Independent handles for even muscle contractions
- Quiet hydraulic resistance
- Adjustable resistance
- Rotating grips
- Pivoting foot pedals
- Ear lobe heart rate monitor
- Difficult to move due to heaviness
- Does not monitor strokes per minute, calories or watts
The Kettler Kadett receives 3 out of 5 stars. For the cost and silent rowing experience, this hydraulic machine fits most peoples needs. The movement may not be what you desire from a rowing machine so be sure to try the machine before you purchase it. The workout can be arm heavy.
ProRower H2O RX-750
The ProRower H2O RX-750 is a water-based resistance indoor rowing machine. This commercial quality rower is designed for avid home use. If you enjoy indoor rowing for exercise or to enhance your sport performance, this higher priced rower brings a natural experience indoors. The water creates its own resistance. As you increase your rowing speed and power, you have to pull with greater force. To decrease the resistance level, slow down your pace. The ergonomic handle makes rowing comfortable and does not overtax your wrists, hands or forearms. The RX-750 has all the best comforts for an indoor rowing exercise machine. The seat is slightly elevated for easy entry and exit. This also accommodates users of all heights. You can purchase an optional back rest to support your lower back area if you experience discomfort or are already dealing with a lower back concern. The seat smoothly glides across the dual aluminum seat rails to add to the quietness of your workout. The water resistance is quiet as well. You hear the gentle lapping of the water against the container which creates a realistic rowing atmosphere. If you find the sound of water relaxing, you are able to exercise and decrease stress while you do not interfere with your family or neighbor’s activities. The foot rest is oversized which allows for a comfortable workout for users of various sizes. The straps securely bind your feet to the RX-750 for a secure session. The foot rest pivots to prevent strain on your joints which also allows for a greater range of motion. The sturdy RX-750 measures 78 inches by 20 inches by 22 inches and folds with an easy-tilt to a compact 20 inches by 21 inches. It is easily transported on the built-in wheels. The monitor is one of the most convenient options on the RX-750. It is an oversized monitor so you will be able to quickly view your time, distance, calories, strokes per minute, heart rate, and 500-meter split time. The RX-750 monitor is also backlit which helps you to view your progress day or night. The RX-750 water resistance rowing machine is adequate for user who weigh up to 350 pounds. The frame has a lifetime warranty and a 2-year parts warranty.
- Water resistance is the most realistic feel
- Oversized monitor is backlit for visual ease
- Elevated seat for easy on and easy off the machine
- Pivoting foot rests
- Folds for storage
- Does not measure watts
- Keeping the water clean
The Pro Rower RX-750 earns 4 out of 5 stars for cost, quietness and realistic feeling workout. The added benefits such as oversized display and elevated seat make this water rower a nice addition to any home fitness area.
Velocity Magnetic Rower
The Velocity Magnetic Rower is a quiet machine that uses purely magnetic resistance. The magnets on the Velocity are housed in a drum and the tension is controlled electronically. The monitor displays your heart rate using the included chest strap, time, count, strokes per minute, distance, calories and watts. It has 12 programs including a manually adjusted workout and 6 pre-set workout sessions. The nylon belt adds to the quiet sound of the machine which makes this a good choice apartment or condo living. The machine measures 45 inches by 30 inches by 11 inches and folds up for easy storage. It has foot protectors to minimize damage to your floor and to keep the machine stable. The seat is made of molded polyurethane and accommodates larger users. The design of the seat minimizes stress on your lower back as you slide across the aluminum frame. The foot pedals on the Velocity are oversized and secured by a Velcro strap. This machine is low to the ground so may not be easy to mount and dismount. However, it supports users of up to 275 pounds for a safe rowing session. The 5-year warranty covers damage to the frame.
- Folds for storage
- Measures important calculations including time, distance, strokes per minute and watts
- Angled frame to decrease lower back stress
- Low to ground
The Velocity rower earns 3 out of 5 stars. The rowing machine has benefits, such as its compact design and angled frame, but many users report issues with operation and difficulties with the nylon belt.