Best Compact Rowing Machines

Best compact rowing machines buying guide

Rowing machines are very useful for burning calories and increasing endurance. They are a great combination of cardio and resistance training and works almost your entire body based on how you perform the exercise.

Picking the best compact rowing machine for you is very important because this machine is super useful, and for some people, necessary to hit their fitness goals. In this article, you will be learning how to pick the perfect compact rowing machine for you!

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What are the 4 types of compact rowing machines?

Here we will take a look at the 4 types of compact rowing machines and go in-depth on which one is the best option for you.

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What are the types of compact rowing machines?

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Air Rowing Machines:

Air rowing machines are one of the most popular types of rowing machines. They have been around since the 1980s and many consider them to be the most effective types of rowing machines.

Air rowing machines produce resistance using air passing via an internal flywheel The wheel is attached to the rowing handle by a chain, which spins the flywheel as you pull. The stronger the resistance, the faster the flywheel spins through the air as you row.

To modify the sensation of the stroke, better models use additional dampers to change the airflow.

Pros of air rowing machines:

  • Rowing on water is replicated with a wide variety of resistance.
  • Smooth action.
  • Little wear and tear to the mechanism.

Cons of air rowing machines:

  • Can be noisy and disruptive at times

More serious rowers prefer air rowing machines for off-season training since they more accurately mimic the movement of rowing on water.

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Water Rowing Machines:

Water rowers, which use water and paddles to provide resistance, are one of the more recent advancements in rowing machine technology. While many competitive rowers favour air rowers, many individuals prefer water rowing machines because they are quieter and smoother.

Water rowing machines work by having a water flywheel (paddles) in a tank of water is attached to a chain and handled by water rowers. The paddles rotate in the water when you pull back on the handle. The weight of the rushing water acts as a drag on the paddles, causing resistance. The greater the resistance on an air rowing machine, the faster you row.

Water rowers’ users remark that the action is smoother and more closely resembles rowing on water, with consistent resistance throughout the stroke. Water rowers, unlike certain air rowers, do not have a ‘flat spot’ where the resistance decreases during the stroke cycle.

Pros of Water Rowing Machine:

Quiet in operation

  • Stroke-by-stroke resistance that is smooth and steady.
  • There is really little care required – the water needs to be changed every now and again, but that’s it.

Con of Water Rowing Machine:

  • Rowing machines of this type are often larger than other types of rowing machines.
  • more expensive compared to other machines.

Wooden frames and exquisite patterns are common in water rowers. While they may not be the first choice for many professional rowers or the sport of indoor rowing, they can be a great bargain for the home user because they are quiet, attractive, and require little maintenance.

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Magnetic Rowing Machine:

Magnetic rowing machines are one of the most popular types of rowing machines, particularly for home use. They are the quietest of all available types due to the resistance mechanism, and they are more compact than water rowers and air rowing machines.

The distance between powerful magnets and a spinning flywheel attached to the handle by a chain is varied in these machines. Resistance levels can be changed using either mechanical sliders or digital controls on the console. Magnetic rowers provide a smooth rowing action and, as previously said, are extremely quiet.

Pros of Magnetic Rowing Machines:

  • When in use, it is quite quiet (some are almost silent)
  • Various levels of resistance
  • Magnetic rowers are usually smaller than air or water rowers.

Cons of Magnetic Rowing Machines:

  • They don’t simulate rowing on the water in as much (not a problem if you just want an intense workout)
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Hydraulic Rowing Machine:

Hydraulic rowing machines offer two primary advantages: they are less expensive and quieter than flywheel rowing machines. Otherwise, they’re seen as the rowing machine’s poor relation, and their days may be numbered.

Hydraulic rowers use pistons to do this, however many rowers argue that these machines lack the smooth, flowing sensation of a flywheel machine. They will, however, provide you with a sufficient workout, albeit one that is not particularly comfortable.

Pros of Hydraulic Machine:

  • In comparison to many rowers, this is a low-cost option.
  • Many are foldable models, which are smaller in size.
  • Flywheel rowing machines are quieter than air rowing machines.

Cons of Hydraulic Machines:

  • Not as high quality as others on the list
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How to choose the best compact rowing machine for you

The 4 types of compact rowing machines all have different features and when buying you have to keep in mind each category listed below.

  • Features
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Safety
  • Comfort
  • Budget
  • Accessories
  • Price
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What exercises can you do with a compact rowing machine?

Rowing machines are best used for cardio. They have been proven to be more effective for cardio than machines like treadmills. It may also train your arms, upper body, legs, and core, and that can help improve strength. Some examples of arm and leg exercises are bicep curls, tricep extensions, double leg press, and many more. These exercises can improve your performance on the rowing machine, thereby burning more calories and building muscular endurance.

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Benefits of compact rowing machines

There are many benefits of using a compact rowing machine. Listed below are the top 5 benefits.

  • Building muscle
  • Increase strength
  • Burning calories
  • Lose weight
  • Improve stamina
  • Boost mental health
  • Increase endurance
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Tips for using your compact rowing machine

Some tips for using your compact rowing machine.

  • Take it slow and steady
  • Practice form
  • Stay hydrated
  • Follow a workout routine
  • Set realistic goals
  • Stop if any pain
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Compact rowing machines are one of the best pieces of exercise equipment that you can use to burn fat, build muscle, improve endurance, and a lot more. With 4 effective types on the market, it’s easy to find one that’s perfect for you. You can get a rowing machine for home or the office. Compact rowing machines are perfect for both, and with many options on the market, they are affordable too.

Happy training! 

Rich is an avid bodybuilder who has dedicated over 20 years of his life to the sport. He has a strong passion for health and fitness, living a clean lifestyle with a commitment to helping others educate themselves and fulfil their true potential.

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