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Buying a rowing machine

Whether you're an exercise newbie or full-time fitness fanatic, we'll help you find the best rower for your workout needs.

Rowing machine guide.

Rowing machine benefits

Rowing machines provide a full-body workout, engaging all the major muscle groups. They work on both strength and cardiovascular fitness simultaneously, accelerating calorie burn while helping to tone and improve stamina. They're also low impact, with very little strain placed on your joints and, because of the wide range of motion required, rowing machines can even improve flexibility. It's the machine that keeps on giving...

Choosing the best rowing machine for you

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Entry-level rowing machine.

Entry-level rowing machine

Best for: General fitness

Resistance type: Manual, hydraulic or corded

Max user weight: Ranges between 100 and 120kg

Mid-range rowing machine.

Mid-range rowing machine

Best for: General fitness and strength building

Resistance type: Magnetic, electronic or air

Max user weight: Ranges between 100 and 120kg

Professional level rowing machine

Professional-level rowing machine

Best for: Strength building and serious training

Resistance type: Magnetic and air

Max user weight: Ranges between 120-135kg

Get to know rowing machine types

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Air rowing machine.

Air rowing machine

These air rowers use a flywheel to generate air resistance as you pull the handle. The resistance level can normally be set by you, but it's also determined by how fast you row - the faster you go, the greater the resistance.

Magnetic rowing machine

Magnetic rowers also use a flywheel, but resistance is generated by a magnetic braking mechanism within it, making them a lot quieter. When you set the resistance level it won't change with your rowing speed.

Hydraulic rowing machine.

Hydraulic rowing machine

Usually the cheapest option, hydraulic machines use hydraulic pistons to produce resistance. The resistance can be adjusted and it's the only type of rower where your arms work independently from each other.

Folding rowing machines

A rowing machine is a compact piece of fitness equipment, but if you're short on space, you won't want it getting in the way. Folding versions are easier to store away when you've finished your workout.

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Smart rowing machines

Syncing up with an app and tablet, smart rowers let you choose between instructor-led workout classes or scenic journeys through lakes and rivers from the comfort of home. With live and on-demand sessions, you can workout whenever you want.

Rowing machine reviews

Every rower needs...

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