Concept 2 SkiErg
Its adjustable tension to the flywheels transforms this machine from a cardio machine to a strength training machine. In lower settings, it does a great job of elevating your heart rate to really shed pounds. At higher settings, it can be used to build strength with workouts such as tricep extensions or face pulls. The movement is simple, easy to learn, and a little fun!
Plus, this machine is ideal for smaller spaces that don’t have a lot of floor space to share, Unlike towing machines, the SkiErg stands tall with a very small overall footprint.
Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into the advanced features that make the Concept 2 SkiErg an excellent choice for any home gym.
Incredibly comfortable rubber grips
The freestanding plate makes it easy to change locations
Great for cardio or strength training
The display includes programmed workouts and games
Difficult to assemble
Freestanding plate sold separately
This machine is made to target just about every muscle group in your body! It works by adding tension to the overhead cables. To use, grab the handles along the top and pull them down. At the start of your pull, you will engage your legs and core, and at the end of the pull, you will engage your arms.
It’s a really simple (and fun) movement that elevates your heart rate quickly and targets muscles from your arms down to your calves!
To amp up the intensity, there is a central flywheel that is responsive to the tension on the cables. These flywheels allow you to adjust the difficulty of your workouts. Users can select from the tension that ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lower setting.
For cardio workouts, users typically set the tension to 1-3, and for strength training, they set it to around 7. You also have the option to just one of the cables at a time to focus on isolated movements.
As with any Concept 2 machine, the SkiErg is made from strong and durable materials that hold up quite well over the years. The frame is composed of a steel frame with a powder-coated finish that is resistant to rust when placed in a musty basement or garage.
The overall design of the frame boasts a curved design that prevents the machine from wobbling while in use. For added stability, you also have the option of mounting this machine right to your wall. However, I would recommend against this option and instead spend a little extra for the freestanding plate, which I will get into under the ‘Portability’ section.
What I love most about the design of this machine is the construction of the handles. The handles are constructed from a thick layer of rubber that squishes like a stress ball in your hands. The rubber material does a great job of wicking away sweat, and the ergonomic design feels incredibly comfortable in your hands.
The knob at the base also prevents the handles from slipping out of your hands. The grip on these machines is insanely important, and the Concept 2 SkiErg really nails the quality of the grips provided.
Be prepared to set an afternoon aside to assemble your machine! While this high-end machine doesn’t come with a lot of complaints, one of the biggest issues I found that users had with this machine wasn’t the performance, but the assembly process.
The good news, however, is that Concept 2 provides users with everything they need to put it together. It ships with a full-color instruction manual with illustrations, plus all of the bolts and tools needed to tighten it.
If you feel that your handyman skills are a little lacking, I suggest hiring the pros to assemble your divide for you. Even though this machine ships with everything you need to put it together, some users found that they couldn’t quite tighten the bolts down enough to prevent it from wobbling.
By hiring the pros, you save yourself an afternoon of frustration and can feel confident that your unit is assembled correctly and won’t break down in the middle of a set.
The base model of this machine encourages users to mount it to the wall for added stability. However, for a slightly higher price point, you have the option of adding a stability plate to the base of your unit. I strongly recommend that you opt for the additional stability plate for a few reasons.
This plate comes with a set of caster wheels along the base that allows you to move your machine as needed. The entire machine weighs in at just 45 pounds, and the base stand weighs in at just over 35 pounds which will make it a cinch to move.
The addition of the floor stand also adds extra stability to the machine. Without the stand, Concept 2 recommends that you mount this unit to your wall to ensure that it doesn't shift around while in use.
Personally, I hate mounting anything to my walls because it eliminates the option of re-organizing my home workout space as I acquire new machines. And I seem to always be adding new machines every year! The freestanding plate costs a little bit more, but it is well worth the slightly higher price tag overall.
The great thing about this machine is that it doesn’t take up a lot of room in your home workout space. It measures to be 52 inches long, 24 inches wide, and stands to be 85 inches tall. Even if you have a small workout space, the small footprint should fit perfectly. However, this machine is basically a vertical rowing machine, which means that it is quite tall.
If you are setting up this machine in a basement, be sure to take ample measurements of your ceiling to ensure you have enough clearance to set up this machine. 85 inches translates to just over 7 feet, which also means that this machine might be a little too tall for standard bedrooms in your home. Many users place this machine in their garage to ensure that they have proper ceiling clearance.
The display may seem simple at first glance, but it is packed with helpful features that will allow you to get the most out of your workouts. It is able to track your pace, calories burned, distance, speed, and watts at a glance.
Users found that the display is super easy to use and incredibly accurate. It even boasts Bluetooth connectivity to connect a heart rate monitor as well. If you need to export your workout data to your health app, you can download this information via the USB port along the side.
While it displays the basics, this display also has quite a few advanced features not often found on other machines. It comes with a series of pre-programmed workouts for various skill levels that keep you on track and give you goals to work towards so that your workouts never become boring.
It even has a game included that allows you to race against an opponent that I found to be incredibly fun and helped me really push myself while having fun at the same time.
The price tag is a little steep, but it is well worth every penny. However, when you compare this design to other cardio and strength training equipment out there on the market, it is just slightly more affordable. It’s important to note that this design doesn’t ship for free.
The Rogue store offers a shipping calculator for your purchase, and the shipping will be different for certain areas of the world. I plugged my area into the shipping calculator and found that the estimated shipping cost was just shy of 100 bucks.
What I love most about the Concept 2 SkiErg is that it is built tough, allows you to switch up the tension on the line to accommodate cardio and strength-training workouts, and is incredibly easy to use.
I highly suggest opting for the additional freestanding plate that allows you to move your unit as needed, and also won’t require you to bolt your machine to the wall.
This machine targets your arms, abs, core, glutes, hamstrings, and calves all in one compact machine. It may cost a little bit more than budget-friendly machines, but it is well worth every penny!