|Concept 2||Computer System – Easy storage – smart device compatible||High End||SHOP NOW!|
|Bodymax||42 pre-set workouts – Super stable – Full stroke length||High End||SHOP NOW!|
|JTX Freedom||Convenience – Magnetic/Air resistance – Ergonomically designed||Mid-Range||SHOP NOW!|
|V-Fit||Fully air resisted – Contoured handles – Pivoting footplates||Affordable||SHOP NOW!|
|Viavito||Magnetic resistance – Ergonomic seat – LCD display||Affordable||SHOP NOW!|
Top Five Home Rowing Machines
“Which is the most effective machine for getting fit and losing weight” has to be the most common question I am asked as a personal trainer. The answer, as is often the case with such things, is not black and white.
The treadmill is undoubtedly the best tool available to us for getting fitter and thinner. The only problem, and it is quite a considerable problem, is that it involves an awful lot of impact. For those of us who don’t have the time to squeeze in all the pre-hab work or the patience to turn up for systematic massage therapy, that impact often results in regular and expensive trips to the physiotherapist. I know countless physiotherapists with daily diaries that are almost entirely booked up by amateur running enthusiasts. Couches full of aspiring Mo Farahs sit patiently in line awaiting their weekly dose of kinesic taping, isokinetic contractions and well frankly, a jolly good telling off from their quite rightly exasperated physio.
This is where the Rowing machine comes in with much pomp and fanfare, duly deserved may I add. Like all sensible exercise the rowing machine requires suitable amounts of resistance training, mobility and flexibility work to make it as safe as possible, however the likelihood of overuse complications, in comparison to the treadmill, is minor.
The rower is a fantastic way to build extreme levels of fitness and easily control body composition levels (keep muscle, lose the wobbly bits). Lots of the elite sport coaches prescribe regular use of rowing to prepare their athletes for some of the most physically demanding team and individual athletic endeavours.
I thought it prudent to review for you some of the leading products available on the market. As ever with these reviews, it’s not about rubbishing certain equipment while shamelessly promoting others, it’s about helping you make an informed decision. Below are 5 of the best rowing machines I could find.
Concept 2 Model D Review – Our Number 1
Concept 2 (SHOP NOW!) are without a doubt the most prestigious and recognised rowing machine manufacturer in the world. They have led the industry for over 30 years, catering for home use, all levels of health clubs as well as providing elite athletes and strength and conditioning facilities the world over. This product is the industry leader, being the best-selling indoor rowing machine. With endorsements from athletes across all sports and disciplines, you will be hard picked to find a better piece of kit.
- The Concept 2 indoor rower comes complete with a technologically advanced computer system that monitors all aspects of performance, including distance, speed, pace, calories burned and power output for each of your workouts.
- The machine has a number of display options, for the technically minded user there is an option of force curve and for the ultra-competitive you have the a pace boat based on your latest, or best ever performance.
- The Model D has a quick release feature, requiring no tools. This makes deconstruction and storage extremely easy. Mobility is also simple due to front foot wheels.
- This Concept 2 rower is compatible with either Iphone or Android devices, you can make use of this feature to feedback details about your workout and store previous performances to your device. This is great if you find yourself using a work or holiday gym and want to keep track of your progress.
Having used myself, and prescribed use of, Concept 2 equipment for many years. And with the reputation the company holds not just within the fitness industry but also across the world of professional sport, this machine is undoubtedly a discerning choice for the discerning customer. I recommend it wholeheartedly, it comes with a premium price tag, but then as with most things, you get what you pay for.
Features: Computer System – Easy storage – smart device compatible
Price: High End
Bodymax infiniti Review – Number 2
Upon unpackaging the Infiniti R100 it was immediately clear just how much care and precision has gone into the design and construction of this exceptionally well produced home use rowing machine. I was so impressed with the product following my initial inspection that I felt the need to contact the manufacturer (having never previously encountered their work) and discovered that they had spent a full decade researching and developing this excellent piece of equipment. The time and care Bodymax have taken plus the intelligence they have clearly demonstrated in the manufacture of this product is apparent to see.
- The on-board computer of this product features a mammoth 42 pre-set workouts, that really is an incredible number of programmes. Enough to keep the whole family sweating for years to come.
- The R100 runs on a magnetic air resistance system so rather than the traditional manual method of changing resistance which can really throw a spanner in the works mid workout, the machine takes care of adding and reducing resistance itself. To my mind this feature is ingenious, there can be nothing more frustrating or awkward than trying to keep your stroke while one hand is reaching for the resistance lever.
- The frame of the infiniti R100 is sturdy, stable and strong. This structural integrity is a must for all rowing machines, the more lightweight models do tend to travel with the forward momentum caused by the rowing movement.
- This Machine offers a full stroke length which is an absolute must for tall users. The longer stroke not only allows taller users to fully stretch their legs, ensuring a full and complete range of motion, it also guarantees (as long as proper technique is learned) a far more efficient rowing style, guaranteeing maximum output with minimal wasted effort.
This machine, once delivered is really simple to set up and due to the build quality will unequivocally provide years of uninterrupted fitness gains and weight loss. The onboard computer, while possibly lagging slightly behind the Concept 2 Model D, is still high quality and more than adequate for the all but the biggest tech junkies. A great buy in any sense.
Features: 42 pre-set workouts – Super stable – Full stroke length
Prices: High End
JTX Freedom Air Review – Number 3
A fantastic piece of kit by JTX. This rower, although designed for home use rather than the stresses faced by health club equipment, delivers a genuine health club experience right in the comfort of your own home. It arrived promptly with thorough set up instructions. The JTX has a really comfortable seat and handles, minimising occurrence of those awful sores that some rowers and bikes can afflict. This rower runs off the mains so does need to be plugged in. Purchasing this you would definitely feel like you had uncovered a secret gem.
- This JTX machine is foldable which is fantastic for apartment living, so although heavy (as previously discussed, a positive attribute) it can be neatly and conveniently stored away when not in use.
- Where most machines on the market rely on electromagnetic resistance alone, this JTX rower is hybrid, making use of air for an even smoother workout.
- The Frame is made from reinforced aluminium steel that can support users of up to 130kg, its suitable for all users, no one need feel like they aren’t being catered for.
- A common issue with all seated and recumbent based exercise machines is the lack of ergonomic postural support, while this is not so much a problem for intermediate and advanced level exercisers, it can be a real issue for beginners. Beginners 9 out of 10 times, especially office workers, have poor control of posture which can be exasperated quite severely by lack of technique and poor seating design. Luckily the JTX takes care of your that for you.
I’m actually brand new to JTX products, having never encountered them before beginning this series of home exercise machine reviews. I can honestly say that time after time, they have seriously delivered the goods. Like other JTX products I have reviewed, the design quality, high technical spec, overall comfort and practical functionality make this an excellent purchase.
Features: Convenience – Magnetic/Air resistance – Ergonomically designed
Price : Mid-Range
V-Fit Tornado Air Review – Number 4
This V-Fit Tornado rower is the first machine I’ve reviewed in this post that can be described as part of the affordable range. The lower price however, does not mean that it has less to offer. The build quality is excellent with top of the range steels and alloys giving it a club quality feel. Verily, you can bring the club to your home with this V-Fit Tornado. Suitable for beginners and experts alike, this machine is a great budget buy. The product also folds away easily and can be wheeled smoothly away thanks to caster wheels.
- This product is fully air resisted, it works off a fan system that automatically increases the resistance based on the amount of air that pushes through the fan.
- The V-Fit tornado rower has three separate screens feeding back a choice of six different functions. Helping you keep up to date with whichever element of your workout you wish to focus on.
- Rowing machines, like riding bicycles, can cause blisters around the thumb, this machine has specially contoured handles in order to prevent that from happening. Feel free to still wear gloves that match the rest of your outfit!
- This V-Fit rower has pivoting footplates, which is a great little addition, the mobility round the ankle that this offers is fantastic for those with tight calves or problematic knees.
The V-Fit is a super economical and capable addition to any home gym. It’s not the concept 2, but you could buy 3 of these and have one in each room for the cost of a single concept 2. It’s quiet enough in operation and the material quality is excellent for the price. If you are looking for a rowing machine that will do the job, aren’t bothered about bells and whistles, and don’t want to break open the piggy bank, well this is an excellent choice.
Features: Fully air resisted – Contoured handles – Pivoting footplates
Viavito Sumi Review – Number 5
I was happy with the performance of this rower, it’s got good resistance levels, is fairly comfortable and not too noisy. Assembly was easy and the folding mechanism is really simple making storage effortless.
- This product has ten levels of silent magnetic resistance, friction free, meaning the glide is smooth and effortless.
- The Viavito has an approximately 32 inch row length, meaning you can easily replicate the professionals with long technically perfect strokes.
- This product has a super comfortable ergonomically designed seat, perfect for those cross channel challenges.
- This Home rowing machine has an LCD display that feeds back workout data including distance, calories used and strokes per minute.
The Viavito, while being the least known brand I’ve reviewed and also the least advanced in terms of terrific technological magic, is still a good quality machine. It’s perfectly comfortable, has more than enough programmes to keep thing challenging and is affordable for those on a tight budget.
Features: Magnetic resistance – Ergonomic seat – LCD display
We have looked at a wide variety of rowers and each of them are more than capable of doing the job. Of Course for the more advanced athlete the Concept 2 and Bodymax are by far the most suitable choice. The rest of us, however, will find that the other machines will do the trick, especially if just starting out. That being as it is, we still need to pick a winner, and there can only ever be one winner when hunting for a rowing machine. Concept 2 are the industry number 1 for a reason. Whether it’s longevity, design quality, consumer support or just the wide array of options available, Concept 2 is literally the choice of champions. Oh, and the rest of us.