If you’re looking for a quick-hitting, pulse-pounding, sweat-dripping full-body workout – you won’t do better than a rowing machine. Hopping on a rower helps you build up your strength and your cardiovascular fitness at the same time. Plus, because they’re easy to store and the workouts don’t require jumping or throwing weights around, rowers are the perfect match for apartment living. Take a look at our list of five awesome new rowing machines to find the right one for you, and take your home workouts to a new level.
For an immersive, engaging rowing experience that will keep you coming back, check out the Hydrow. Using its beautiful 22-inch HD touchscreen monitor, you can stream live and on-demand rowing workouts filmed at gorgeous locations across the globe. You’ll love the feel too, thanks to their electromagnetic computer-controlled drag mechanism. One of the more exciting rower options out there, it’s also one of the more expensive. The machine alone sells for $2,295, and if you’re counting on storing your rower upright, you’ll need to purchase the Upright Storage Kit as well. Classes are offered through Hydrow’s proprietary app (priced at a steep $456 for an annual membership) which offers yoga, Pilates, and strength training workouts, as well as rowing programs. Not quite sure it’s right for you? Meet the trainers on their website, and get pumped to get those meters in!
The NordicTrack RW900 provides an awesome alternative with a slightly more palatable price point. Retailing at $1,599, this rower offers many of the same features, including a 22-inch HD touchscreen that rotates for yoga and strength workouts next to the rower. The format for classes is similar – streaming and live video workouts with trainers leading the class – but NordicTrack partners with the iFIT app to provide the classes. You’ll get a 30-day iFIT membership with the purchase of the rower, and after that the membership auto-renews at $39 per month (or you can select the $396 annual option to save a few dollars). The benefit to iFIT is that it’s truly an all-in-one training app and can be used to train for all your favorite activities: running, cross-training, hiking, strength training, yoga – you name it. The rowing sessions on iFIT incorporate Automatic Trainer Control, a feature where your trainer can bump up your resistance at peak points of the workout. No choice but to dig deep!
The LIT Strength Machine
If you like the idea of versatility with your equipment, you might be into The LIT Strength Machine. Priced at $1,650, this easy-to-store workout machine isn’t just a rower but a Pilates reformer and strength trainer as well. Unlike other rowers, The LIT Strength Machine encourages rowing variations, like side-to-side rows, oblique twists, and raises. It’s far from a traditional rower, but for folks looking for dynamic workouts, it could be an interesting option. The resistance band system provides up to 100 pounds of resistance, and the available ankle cuffs and variable resistance levels make for challenging Pilates sessions. Streaming classes are offered through The Lit App, which is a $24.99 monthly subscription or a $240 annual fee. Unlike some of the other high-end options, The LIT Strength Machine doesn’t have its own screen, so you’ll use your own tablet or device to follow along and get workout-style lit.
Ergatta brands itself as “The game-based connected rower. Designed for your living room.” This e-rower really stands out due to its striking, classy wood design, on the one hand, and its innovative gaming-style workout platform on the other. First, the looks. Crafted by WaterRower, the Ergatta is made from American cherry wood and will fit nicely in any stylish living space. That high-end look somewhat justifies the $2,199 price tag. They also deliver, assemble, and install the machine for you at the time of purchase. What service!
The Ergatta workout program (priced separately at $29 per month or $319 for first year, then $348 annually after that) is unique, and you’ll want to make sure the idea works for you before going too far down this road. The difference between Ergatta and other rower options is that most of the workout programs are led by digital visualizations on the screen, not streaming video of trainers. For some, the goal-based sequential workouts, social challenges, and personal progress trackers will be completely addicting. The idea is that Ergatta makes rowing less like taking a class and more like playing a sport or a game. You might just forget you’re working out altogether! If you just want to look at something pretty, you can also mix it up with an Open & Scenic Row option.
There’s a reason – or rather multiple reasons – why the Concept2 RowErg is the standard rower you’ll find at community gyms everywhere. This high-quality, no-frills rowing machine delivers great performance and a high level of resistance for tough workouts. At just $900 new, and readily available on the resale market, it’s also a relatively affordable option. Like the idea of rowing along to a video? The RowErg comes with a device holder, and the Performance Monitor connects to a range of apps for progress tracking. You can find free recorded rowing workouts on YouTube to stream, or you can subscribe to an app like iFIT, and then you’re off and running – er, rowing!
For more tips on maximizing your home gym, plus ways to stay active around San Antonio, make sure to check out the Tacara at Westover Hills blog.