Best Rowing Machine Under $500 Reviews for 2020 – Top Rowers

One of the reasons why people fail to live up to their fitness resolutions is that workouts can start to feel boring. Once you start to lose interest, it is unlikely that you will put in the same amount of effort. Some people simply want a way to challenge themselves without resorting to heavy weights. A number of exercise machines help to address these issues, while adding an element of fun to daily workouts. A rowing machine effectively trains the upper body while helping to improve posture and strengthen the back.

Best Rowing Machine Under 500

These machines are different in the quality of construction and they may vary slightly in design, but they all adhere to the same basic concept. There is a main chamber at the front that houses the cable, and a rail with a seat that slides backward and forward. Pulling on the handles attached to the cable simulates the action of rowing on water. Typically, the body of the rowing machine remains stable while the cable and seat are able to move. Naturally, issues such as noise level and stability will arise depending on the type of machine you choose. With so many different brands available, buyers may risk ending up with a machine that underperforms, or that does not last as long as it should. As expected, there are many high end brands available, but you can find the best rowing machine under $500 with minimal effort.

The Best Rowing Machine Under 500—Overview

PRODUCTRaiting 
Fitness Reality 1000
Stamina ATS Air Rower
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050
Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower

Best Water Rowing Machine

The best water rowing machine should offer a wide resistance range so users can continue to increase workout intensity. This machine offers that feature, plus it provides a complete body workout. So in addition to the upper body, you can tone your legs as well. You can track your calories burned, distance travelled and time using this rowing machine. It has a sturdy frame, large foot pads and a comfortable seat. It can accommodate users ranging in height from four feet nine inches to six feet six inches. Stability is an essential feature when looking for the right rowing machine, and this one is stable enough to allow users to do other exercises besides rowing. The weight capacity is 250 pounds and it operates quietly. For added convenience, there is a holder for your smartphone.

Pros
  • It has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing users to track their progress daily.
  • Unlike many other rowing machines, this one allows users to do other exercises to target other body parts such as biceps and triceps.
  • There are 14 resistance levels to keep users from plateauing. This also makes the machine ideal for anyone regardless of fitness level.
  • It can be folded to so it can be moved out of the way when it is not being used.
  • It is easy to assemble when the provided instructions are followed.
Cons
  • The compatible app is not completely accurate when monitoring calories burned as you are unable to input your weight.
  • Sometimes there are Bluetooth syncing issues.

Stamina ATS Air Rower

Best Foldable Rowing Machine

Stamina is another recognized name among the best inexpensive rowing machine options. It provides an effective cardiovascular workout using air resistance. The user can simply increase intensity rowing harder, and the machine’s resistance will increase. Slowing down will lower the resistance for cooling down periods. It has a sturdy angled rail, and a smooth glide. It operates quietly, so there is no need to worry about disturbing others in the home. Newer features on the Stamina ATS Air Rower include padded handles and a padded seat. This adds to the user’s comfort while working out. It is 77 inches long, so it will not take up a lot of room. This could be the best rowing machine for apartment owners.

Pros
  • The LCD monitors allows you to track your progress during each workout session. It provides readings on distance, time, speed and calories burned.
  • This rowing machine comes with an extended warranty, which should give any owner confidence.
  • It has floor protectors, so this machine will not leave scuff marks.
  • The machine is foldable and has wheels, so it is easy to move around and store.
Cons
  • Some users have found this machine difficult to assemble.
  • The spring return mechanism is not very durable.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

Best Inexpensive Rowing Machine

This rowing machine has a simple design but still manages to throw in many of the features that fitness enthusiasts demand. It runs smoothly and there is no noise to distract you from your routine. With 12 resistance levels, this rowing machine will allow beginners to continually increase the intensity of workouts over time. It is ergonomically designed, and has a few adjustable elements to ensure comfort and to make it compatible for different body types. The sturdy but smaller frame of this machine makes it one of the best inexpensive rowing machine options. It is ideal for people who do not have a lot of space at home for storage or for exercising.

Pros
  • It uses a hydraulic system which is generally quieter than a chain system.
  • The digital monitor allows users to track their progress daily.
  • It has stabilizers that allow you to make adjustments to the level of the machine.
  • The foam handlebars and cushioned seat will provide comfort during workouts.
  • It is sturdy but lightweight, making it easy to move.
Cons
  • A knob has to be used to adjust the resistance level. Some users might prefer a machine that responds automatically to their pace.
  • This rowing machine is not the best choice in terms of resistance, for people who are already very fit.
  • The hydraulic piston can get hot after long periods of use.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515

Best for Limited Mobility:

This rowing machine uses magnetic resistance to deliver an outstanding cardiovascular workout. It has a long slide rail, so this is a good option for taller people who have trouble finding the right type. Adjusting the resistance can be done with a quick twist of the knob. You can track your progress during workouts on the LCD console which shows calories burned, time and number of strokes. The foam grip handlebars will be easy on the hands and are guaranteed not to slip during long sessions. This rowing machine has a sleek design and stable base, so it will not wobble as the routine gets more intense. The sturdy construction means that you can count on this machine to withstand regular rowing sessions. It is built to target all major muscle groups, so this budget rowing machine is good for anyone who wants to save on gym fees. The quiet operation will help you to stay focused during your routine.

Pros
  • The slide rail is 48 inches long, so taller individuals will be able to use this machine.
  • You can simply tilt the machine to move it around on its wheels.
  • It can be folded for easy storage.
  • The non-slip foot pedals will keep the rowing machine from shifting even during intense workout sessions.
Cons
  • It only has eight resistance levels, so it might not provide a challenging workout for some people.
  • The LCD display does not track the distance you row.
  • The readout on the display is small, so some people may have trouble reading it.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Best for Full Body Workout

The look of this machine immediately sets it apart from many other types. It is designed to more closely simulate the rowing action for a more effective workout. The range of motion surpasses what is typically offered by rowing machines, so it provides more cardiovascular benefits. The frame is solidly constructed, and the machine provides stability even during rigorous workouts. It uses a hydraulic system for resistance, so it operates quietly and smoothly. The grips on the rowing arms are padded, so it will be comfortable even during long exercise sessions. The molded seat helps in this regard as well. The multi-function electronic monitor keeps the workouts from getting boring. The footplates are textured to keep feet from slipping even when you accelerate the pace of your rowing. In addition to the arms, this machine is also great for working the back, abs and legs, making an overall body workout machine. It is easy to use and provides an enjoyable rowing experience.

Pros
  • The range of motion makes it more effective for the upper body than the typical rowing machine.
  • The progress meter toggles through each reading every six seconds, allowing easy tracking of improvements in your fitness level.
  • The arms can be folded for convenient storage.
  • It is durable but very lightweight, so it can be moved without hassle.
Cons
  • It does not provide the strenuous resistance workout some experienced athletes might demand.
  • The LCD display is not backlit, so it might be difficult to read when there is not enough lighting.

Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine

Best Rowing Machine for Apartment

With its compact size, this is worth consideration when looking for the best rowing machine for apartment settings or small homes. It has a simple design and a wide rail made from aluminum. This makes it lightweight, not just for moving around the home, but also for transporting. The LCD screen displays stroke count, calories burned and time, so users can get more from their workout sessions. It uses a magnetic tension system to provide resistance. The foot pedals are made to prevent slippage, plus there are adjustable straps for additional stability. This durable rowing machine is built for repeated, extended workout sessions. With a base made from steel, this machine is meant to last. The padded seat ensures that you will be comfortable during your workout. Even when your hands get sweaty you will be able to hold on to the non-slip handlebars. It has the ideal angle and suitable for taller users.

Pros
  • It has a smooth and quiet operation so there is no need to worry about distracting noise.
  • The LCD display is easy to read, so you will have no trouble tracking your progress.
  • The folding design allows it to be stored in a narrow, upright space like a small closet.
  • Most users have found this machine to be easy to assemble.
Cons
  • With only eight resistance levels it might not meet the fitness needs of some people.
  • Resistance has to be adjusted manually, which can be a hindrance mid-workout.

A modern fitness regimen does not have to mean hours in the gym or lifting heavy weights. A sound fitness routine should include cardiovascular activity, and using a rowing machine is an easy way to achieve this. These devices are low impact, easy on the joints, and generally fun to use. The best water rowing machine units should have some features in common. These include quiet operation and different resistance levels. Most of the best rowing machine 2020 lists will include the products named above. Despite the fact that they cost less than $500, they are quality products that will stand up to daily use over the long term. If you are planning to set up your own gym at home, a rowing machine is a worthy addition to your equipment.

When choosing a rowing machine there are a few factors you should pay attention to if you want value and the maximum benefit from your workouts. The rail should have enough of a tilt to build resistance, and the seat should glide without making noise. The machine should not only be stable, the body should be sturdy enough for long term use. Learn about the weight and height maximum before purchasing any rowing machine. This way, you will be sure to get one that is right for your fitness goals. These days, more people are looking for less strenuous and more budget friendly ways to get in shape. With one of the lower priced rowing machines, you can enjoy all the health benefits while saving money.

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