Rowing Machine Reviews, Benefits And Techniques 2018 – A look at the Ergometer

updated June 6, 2018

In the past few years indoor rowing machines, or ergometers, have exploded in popularity. Put simply, they are one of, if not the, most efficient method of total body aerobic exercise.

If you are simply looking for a quick list of indoor rowing machine reviews for shopping purposes, below we have included a list of our top rated rowing machines that are currently on the market.

Click here to read in depth review of the top 10 Rowing Machines in 2018.

ModelOur RecommendationPriceNotes
Concept 2 Model EThe priciest of our suggestion but this model has it all.1000$+Concept 2 is a leader in the indoor rowing industry
Concept 2 Model DSlightly different aesthetically than the model E but still a great buy900$+
Velocity Exercise Magnetic RowerBudget choice. This uses a magnet for resistance. Great deal for the price500$+

Indoor Rowing Machine Reviews

Concept 2 Model E vs Model D

For more information on the differences between the two models I highly suggest visiting this page for a detailed break down of the differences.

If you are looking for functional information on ergometers such as benefits and proper techniques we have also included some great information below the table.

Read an in depth review of the Xebex rower so that you can make the most informed choice possible.

Rowing Machine Benefits

rowing machine

The benefits of rowing stretch much farther than just aerobic. With proper rowing technique you can torch calories, build muscle, and boost stamina all at once. It is an impact free workout which will save your knees and help those with injuries recover faster.

It can be extremely hard to get back into a fitness routine after an injury. Rowing is a fantastic muscle building system for those going through rehabilitation from injuries such as ACL tears and knee replacements. 

The rowing machine is  the calorie-burning king that puts both running and cycling to shame. In fact, rowing burns 10 to 15 percent more calories than cycling at the same level of exertion.​ - Frederick Hagerman, director of the Work Physiology Lab at Ohio University

Rowing is a full body exercise much like real water rowing. When you row you push with your legs and pull with your back and arms, all while engaging the core muscles. It is the most essential cardio machine for any home gym system. There really is no other piece of cardio equipment that comes close to the benefits of a rowing machine. ​The ergometer is a staple of a popular workout plan that you more than likely have heard of - Cross Fit. If you haven't heard of it, Cross Fit is a physical fitness strategy that focuses on Olympic lifting and cardiovascular exercises. 

Rowing Machine Technique

​It's relatively easy to step on an ergometer and start pulling away. You can do it with no training and it will be very difficult for you to injure yourself. However, without proper rowing technique you will be missing out on many of the benefits. Below I have listed some easy to follow directions that, with a little bit of practice, will make you a rowing pro!

Technique in Text:

Rowing can be divided into two parts: The drive, and The recovery​.

The drive is the work portion of the stroke. The recovery is the rest portion that prepares you for the next drive.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Center yourself on the bench. The top of your hamstrings should be just barely on the seat. Most importantly, make sure that you are comfortable.
  2. Strap yourself into the foot holds. This is very important so that you don't fall off when you are on the drive portion of the stroke.
  3. Grab the handle, make sure your hands are shoulder width apart and are evenly spaced on the bar. Make sure you have a good grip. Chalk up your hands if your hands are sweaty.
  4. Start the drive by bringing the handle towards your nipples. Lean forward ever so slightly as you bring the handle towards your chest. As the bar comes closer make sure your knees are still straight.  At this point, your hands should be just over your shins.
  5. Make sure your back is straight - Bend your knees and start sliding the seat forward and get as close to your knees as possible. You should have a straight back and be leaning slightly forward.
  6. Flex your core muscles and push your legs out until they are completely straight.
  7. Once your legs are straight you will change from a slight forward lean to a slight backward lean. Make sure your core is tight at this point.
  8. Pull the handle to your nipple line and pinch your back muscles together. Imagine you are grabbing something with your back muscles.
  9. ​Once the handle touches your chest, push it right back towards the machine and stretch your arms out. You have just started the recovery portion of the exercise.
  10. Now you will flex the core again and once again change your lean from backward to forward
  11. As soon as the handle has passed your knees you may slide the seat forward again and complete 1 "row"
  12. Congratulations! Do this a few thousand more times and you will have yourself a fantastic exercise

Read an in depth review of the Xebex rower so that you can make the most informed choice possible.

Additional cardio machines to consider:

lose weight rowing machine
Rowing Machine Reviews, Benefits And Techniques 2018 – A look at the Ergometer
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