Best 5 Rowing Machines For Beginners To Get In 2020 Reviews

Are you wondering what is the best rowing machine for beginners?

If that’s the case, you should read my article!

I review 5 best rowing machines that are suitable for beginners and write about their features. I also write about their design and technical specifications. Everything you need to know so you can compare and decide which rower is the best one for you is here.

Let’s get right to it!

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What You Need To Know Before Buying A Rower For Beginners

Rowing Machine Workouts For Beginners

Rowing provides multiple benefits and strengthens all your major muscle groups and gives you great cardio. It works your entire body on many levels and that’s why it’s the perfect exercise for beginners and advanced exercisers. Once you master the proper technique, it’s very easy to perform.

Proper Rowing Technique For Beginners

The proper technique is simple where you sit on the seat with your legs extended and soft knees. You then extend your arms and torso forward while holding the handle and slide towards the front. You then push yourself back with your legs and then lean your torso backwards and pull the rowing handle towards yourself.

Price Range Of Rowers For Beginners

I write about a wide price range of rowers that are suitable for beginners. There is the most budget-friendly Stamina Magnetic Rowing Machine and then the more expensive Concept2 Model D. These rowing machines are affordable for any income bracket so you can experience rowing workouts.

Where To Buy These Exercise Machines?

Every brand has its own official company website where they sell their rowing machines. But aside from that, there is the option of buying from online retail sites like Amazon. I recommend Amazon because you can compare prices directly on there. They also offer frequent discounts which is an added bonus.

Rowing Machine Routine For Beginners

If you have an internet connection, you can find any number of YouTube videos aimed at beginners. Concept2 even has a page dedicated to some beginner workouts and they even have their own rowing workout podcast. Concept2 workouts for beginners are easy to follow and have clear instructions.

Best 5 Rowing Machines For Beginners

Best Commercial Beginner Rowing Machine

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Air Resistance With A Damper

Concept2 Model D uses a fan flywheel that sucks in air to create resistance. You create your own resistance levels through the speed of your rowing. You can also affect the feel of resistance, but not actual resistance, with the damper that has 10 levels. This rower has a smooth performance similar to rowing on water.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

PM5 Performance Monitor For Tracking Data

You can trust this state-of-the-art performance monitor that accurately measures all your important stats. The data is reliable and it measures time, distance and has even 5 preset workouts. You can also customize your workout routine or even play a game.

Construction Quality And Design

The construction quality of Model D is commercial grade, which means it’s very durable and sturdy and can support up to 500lbs. The seat and handle are designed ergonomically and built for comfort. This rower is perfect for performing Concept2 workouts for beginners which you can find on their website.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine review

Easy Storage In Two Pieces

While the Model D rowing machine for beginners takes up a lot of space while in use, it can be separated into two parts. This allows you to store it easily when you’re done with your workout. The separation is done easily with the frame lock mechanism and the dimensions of the rower while in use are 96’’ L x 24’’ W x 44’’ H.

Warranty Period For Concept2 Rower

This exercise rower has a great warranty that covers the structural frame of the machine for 5 years. You get a 2-year warranty on all the other parts and components. Good thing is, you can transfer the warranty to the new owner if you ever want to sell the Concept2 rower.

Why Buy This Product:

  • smooth air resistance that mimics rowing on water
  • PM5 performance monitor for tracking data
  • commercial-grade construction
  • ergonomic design for comfortable workouts
  • separates into two parts for easy storage

Best Foldable Beginner Rowing Machine

Stamina ATS Air Rower

Air Resistance That Works With Your Pace

This rowing machine for beginners has a fan flywheel that creates resistance by displacing air in front of it. The level of resistance is entirely dependent on your rowing intensity. Ease up when you need a lighter resistance or are just warming up and row faster if you need an extra challenge.

Stamina ATS Air Rower

Multi-Function Performance Monitor

Stamina’s monitor is basic but it tracks every important statistic you need to make progress. It monitors your speed, distance rowed, elapsed time and an estimated caloric burn. If you put the monitor in “scan” mode, you will get each of the functions cycled on screen in a 6-second interval.

Construction Quality And Design

The frame is made out of solid steel and is sturdy enough to withstand some of your fiercest workouts. The air rower is constructed for comfortable exercise with its large, padded seat and textured rowing handle. It’s a solid exercise machine where you can do all the rowing machine workouts for beginners and it can support up to 250lbs.

Stamina ATS Air Rower review

Easy To Fold And To Transport

This is a foldable rowing machine that you can easily store. You first fold the rail towards the front where the flywheel is. This will make this rower very compact and then you can move it with no problem on the rollers located on the front. The dimensions of the exercise machine while in use are 77’’ L x 18’’ W x 22’’ H.

Warranty Period For The Air Rower

Stamina ATS Air Rower is backed by a solid warranty that is comparable to similar machines in this price range. You get a 3-year warranty on the frame while the parts and other components have a 1-year warranty. Overall it’s a good deal for a solid piece of equipment.

Why Buy This Product:

  • strong air resistance to challenge you
  • easily foldable for simple transport
  • solid steel frame and sturdy rail

Best Home Beginner Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rower RW5515

Eight Levels Of Magnetic Resistance

Sunny magnetic rower has a magnet that interacts with the metal flywheel and creates eddy currents. This is how your resistance level is made: when the magnet is closer to the flywheel, the resistance is greater. You can choose between 8 levels of resistance by turning a knob positioned under the monitor.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine SF-RW5515

LCD Performance Monitor For Data Tracking

This rower’s monitor is large and easily readable and displays all the important workout metrics. It tracks elapsed time, the total count of rowing strokes, distance rowed, count and calories burned. The “scan” mode shows you all of the metrics at regular intervals so you can see your progress.

Build Quality And Ergonomic Design For Comfort

The maximum weight this rowing machine can support is 250lbs. The mainframe is made out of heavy-duty steel and is a solid choice for indoor rowing workouts for beginners. The handlebar is covered in foam so you won’t get calluses and the seat is padded and comfortable.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine SF-RW5515 review

Collapsible Rowing Machine

This is one of the best rowing machines for beginners that doesn’t take up that much space, to begin with. It’s compact during use and then you can just fold the rail forwards and have a space-saving workout equipment. You move it on built-in rollers that are located at the front and the rower’s dimensions are 82’’ L x 19’’ W x 23’’ H.

Warranty Period Of The Sunny Rower

Given the price range, the warranty is pretty short for the frame and other parts. It’s a solid warranty that compares to other rowers on the market that are similar to this one. The structural frame has a 1-year warranty while all the other parts and components have a 90-day warranty.

Why Buy This Product:

  • quiet and smooth magnetic resistance
  • collapsible machine for easy storage
  • easily readable performance monitor
  • 8 resistance levels to choose from

Best Water Beginner Rower

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower

Water Resistance And Dual-Chamber System

Water-resistance functions much like air resistance in that you create your own difficulty levels. The faster you row, the more resistance you feel and vice versa. This rower also has the added benefit of two water chambers. When you set resistance levels, the secondary chamber adds water into the primary chamber.

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine

Multi-Function Performance Monitor

The Newport model comes with a high-quality performance monitor that tracks everything you need to know. While it tracks stats such as elapsed time, distance rowed and watts, it also has the ability to connect to an USB. It also tracks your pulse, but you have to buy a pulse monitor strap separately.

Build Quality And Rower Design

This is a high-quality rower with a steel frame and an aluminum rail that will last you for a long time. It can support up to 300lbs of user weight and is quite sturdy. The ergonomic design of the handlebar prevents strain on your hands and arms. The Newport AR is suitable for all types of beginner rowing workouts.

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine review

Storage Ability And Transport

Like all water rowers, the First Degree rowing machine can’t be folded in any way. It takes up quite a lot of space while in use but you can flip it vertically so the water chamber is on the bottom and that will free up a lot of space. It has rollers for transport and the dimensions of the rowing machine are 78’’ L x 21’’ W x 20’’ H.

Warranty Period Of The Newport Water Rower

It has a great warranty period for all the various parts and you can be sure you’re well covered. The structural frame has a warranty of 5 years and the tanks and seals are covered for 3 years. Mechanical components have a 2-year warranty while all the other wearing parts have 1 year.

Why Buy This Product:

  • smooth dual-chamber water resistance
  • durable solid steel frame
  • high-quality performance monitor for tracking

Best Cheap Beginner Rowing Machine

Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Hydraulic-Piston Adjustable Resistance

Harvil rower uses a hydraulic piston that moves hydraulic fluid from one chamber to the next through and opening. The higher you set your resistance, the smaller the opening and the more difficult it is for fluid to pass through. You can adjust your resistance levels with a tension knob under the seat.

Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Easy To Read Performance Monitor

This hydraulic rowing machine has a basic but easily readable monitor that tracks everything you need. It displays elapsed time, row count and an estimated caloric burn so you can progress with your workouts. There is also the “scan” option that cycles through each metric during your workout.

Construction Quality And Ergonomic Design

The steel frame construction is very durable for this price range and will last you for quite some time. The build enables it to carry up to 250lbs. The ergonomic design makes your workouts comfortable with a molded and padded seat. If you’re thinking about doing a rowing machine starter workout, this is your rower!

Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine review

Easy Transport With Foldable Arms

This is one of the best rowing machines for beginners because it’s very compact to begin with and also lightweight. You can fold the rowing arms inwards so you get an even more space-saving rower and then you can just pick it up. The dimensions of the rowing machine while in use are 50’’ L x 36’’ W x 20’’ H.

Warranty Period Of The Hydraulic Rower

The warranty time is very limited and it only covers the entire rowing machine for 180 days. During that time, the manufacturer will repair or replace everything that needs it. If you’re still not satisfied, you will get your money back. It’s quite a departure from the industry’s standard 1 to 3-year warranty on the frame.

Why Buy This Product:

  • strong adjustable hydraulic resistance
  • solid steel frame construction
  • easily foldable and lightweight
  • performance monitor for tracking data

Conclusion: Which Two Best Rowing Machines For Beginners Should You Buy?

The Concept2 Model D and First Degree AR Newport are in my opinion the best rowing machines for beginners. Model D gives you a powerful workout with smooth air resistance but is also beginner-friendly. The Newport model has a great build and adjustable water resistance suitable for beginners.

If you want to know more about the top exercise rowers on the market, we have an article about the best rowing machines. In case you want to know more about water rowers, we wrote about them in the water rowing machine models article. We also have an article on the best inexpensive rowing machines.