The Best Rowing Machine for Beginners – A comprehensive Buying Guide

Rowing machines are largely preferred for their ability to impact almost all parts of the body. They are easy to use and pretty convenient, especially since the risk of injury is quite low.

Rowing machines likely provide the most comprehensive way to work your entire body out. When working out on your rowing machine, your whole body benefits in a big way, providing both your upper and lower body with intense workout. Through this exercise equipment, whole groups of muscles get the chance to work out at the same time, providing intense strength training. Moreover, vital organs get the opportunity to work, and you will have your heart rate going up and your lungs working to provide more oxygen. This way, you get a great aerobic workout as you work on your muscles.

Having highlighted in general terms the benefits that come with a rowing machine, let us look deeper into how your body responds and profits from a regular rowing machine workout.

Rowing Machines – Why they are important

  • Provides effective Aerobics

There is no refuting that a good aerobics or cardio workout is incredibly beneficial to the body, whether or not you are a fitness enthusiast or athlete. Aerobics allow for min body organs such as the heart and lungs to stay fit, to develop endurance and to become stronger, resulting in better functioning. During intense cardio, your body produces certain endorphins which contribute to overall relaxation and the ability to sleep better. Additionally, you will notice steady weight loss, stronger immunity and increased stamina.

  • Works your upper body

As earlier mentioned, a rowing machine impacts multiple groups of muscles. The sheer action of rowing and using your hands to pull your entire body takes the effort of your back, shoulders and even chest muscles. Additionally, your stomach muscles tend to tighten with each pull, allowing you to work almost 100% of your upper body. Over time, you will notice toned muscles and, with time, a more defined muscle mass.

  • Works your lower body

Again, pulling your upper body also calls for the support of your lower body. It would surprise you to know that rowing actually impacts your lower body more than it does the upper. During a rowing session, the upper fronts of your thighs called quads come into play. Additionally, your calves and gluteus maximus, medius and minimus benefit a good deal. With all these muscles being impacted, you will develop better flexibility, increase muscle strength and develop great endurance in your lower body, not to mention the amazing tone you are going to achieve.

  • Low impact cardio

In case you are beginning to work out and have been out of it for a while, weight lifting and running may prove difficult and exceedingly painful. With a rowing machine, your body will have the opportunity to practice low impact cardio that slowly but steadily opens up your systems such as your heart and lungs, as well as working your muscles without painful straining. Additionally, it provides a low risk of injury as you get acquainted with the gyming environment.

  • Increased endurance

If waking up in the morning for you feels like a climb up the Kilimanjaro, chances are that your body has very low endurance, and even the slightest physical activity is a source of agony. Rowing machines, when used over time, give your body the opportunity to work and develop endurance. You will achieve a higher metabolic rate, resulting in higher energy levels which in turn allow you to tackle various tasks without breaking a sweat.

  • Easy and convenient

Here is the thing. Most strength training workouts need to be done in a gym, usually under the supervision of an instructor. With a rowing machine, all you have to do is find the space for it and row away, even from the comfort of your home. This, combined with the fact that it works exceedingly well on the whole body makes it an ideal machine to use at your convenience and at your own pace.

Below are a few rowing machines for beginners.

The Best Rowing Machine for Beginners Comparison Table

Machine Name
Weight capacity
Special feature
Buy on Amazon
Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine – Obsidian SF-RW5713
Comes with water resistance
Stamina Products ATS Air Rower 1399
Dynamic air resistance
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
Drum magnetic control system
AYNEFY Folding Indoor Rower Machine
12 resistance levels

The Best Rowing Machine for Beginners Products Review

Sunny Health Fitness Rowing Machine – Obsidian SF-RW5713Mimics the actual feeling of rowing a boat

This rowing machine comes with an actual water tank that offers incredible resistance and also allows you to feel like you are out rowing a boat.

Key features

  • Water performance
  • 16 Hydro blades
  • Ergonomic design
  • Inbuilt fitness tracker
  • Max capacity of 110Kg

One of the most outstanding and impressive features of the Sunny Health Fitness Rowing Machine – Obsidian SF-RW5713 is the fact that it comes with an actual water tank. Aside from making you feel like you are on a lake rowing a boat, this water feature provides you with high resistance that allows your muscles to put in a good deal of work. Additionally, there are 16 hydro blades that also mimic the motions of competitive rowing.

When it comes to functionality, this exercise equipment comes with an ergonomic build, presenting a moulded padded seat and sweat resistant handles that keep your hands from slipping and losing grip. Additionally, it comes with a fitness tracker that keeps tabs on parameters such as ambient temperature, total strokes, calories burnt, HR and many more.

It is a structurally sound machine made using strong material, and this enables it to handle a maximum weight of 110kgs.


  • Comes with water performance
  • Has hydro blades for near similar rowing experience
  • Has an ergonomic build
  • Comes with a fitness tracker
  • Handles 110Kgs


  • It is quite expensive


Even though this fitness tracker is quite expensive, it provides you with an incredibly fun yet effective rowing experience. Allow yourself to feel like you are out on the lake as you work your body.

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Stamina Products ATS Air Rower 1399It is incredibly easy to store

This rowing machine makes an ideal acquisition for a beginner and it is also quite easy to store since it is foldable.

Key features

  • Comes with wind resistance
  • Ergonomic sliding seats and handles
  • Electric performance monitor
  • Foldable
  • Max capacity of 110Kg

This machine uses air to create resistance as you row. It comes with wind resistance that allows for every stroke you make to be smooth. Air rowers are actually some of the best for beginners since they are easier to use, but they provide the same amount of resistance as magnetic drum and water resistance rowing machines.

For ease of use, it comes with an ergonomically padded seat that makes you comfortable as you work out, and also anti-sweat handles which are easy to grip. The seat is made to slide with ease so you can complete a stroke real quick and without much resistance from the seat.

As an added feature, this rowing machine comes with an electric performance monitor that keeps tables on distance, speed, time and even the number of calories burnt. Also, it features a simple yet functional build. The outer frame is made using strong material that can accommodate a weight of up to 110Kgs. Also, it is foldable, a characteristic that makes it quite easy to store.


  • Great wind resistance
  • Has an ergonomic build
  • Strong structure with good weight capacity
  • Has an electric performance monitor
  • Foldable


  • It can get quite loud when you are rowing hard


For a beginner, this rowing machine makes an ideal piece of equipment. It comes with wind resistance, has an ergonomic build and is quite simply built. You will have no need for professional assistance when you have this rowing machine.

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Velocity Exercise Magnetic RowerHas an incredible magnetic resistance

This rowing machine comes with multiple resistance adjustment levels which allow you to customize the amount of resistance you would like to work with.

Key features

  • Comes with Drums Magnetic Control
  • 8 resistance adjustment levels
  • Multi-function fitness monitor
  • 12 workout programmes
  • Max capacity of 125Kgs

With its electronic tensions control, this rowing machine allows you to determine as much friction as you want to work with to build your endurance and muscle strength. It comes with up to 8 resistance adjustment levels with which to work.

Just below the rowing handles is a display monitor that keeps tabs on your heart rate through a chest strap, making it ideal for intense cardiovascular activity. Its seat and handles are made ergonomically so that you fit comfortably. Additionally, the handles are able to resist sweat, keeping your hands from lipping and losing grip during intense workout.

As expected, it is a strong and highly durable piece of exercise equipment which bears the capacity to accommodate a maximum weight of 125Kgs which is quite impressive. It also comes with a stable build and large footprint that keeps it stable even during highly intense workout.


  • Has Drum Magnetic Control
  • Multiple resistance adjustment levels
  • Has a display monitor
  • Strong and durable build
  • Accommodates up to 12Kgs


  • It is quite heavy, making it hard to move about


It is always an added bonus when you can customize your workout session to fit your fitness regimen as desired. With this rowing machine, you will have access to 8 resistance levels and 12 workout programmes, allowing you a good deal of freedom.

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AYNEFY Folding Indoor Rower MachineHas an incredibly simple build

At first glance, this workout tool strikes you as incredibly simplistic and almost plain, but do not be fooled. It is as effective as any other rowing machine, and it is also quite easy to use.

Key features

  • 12 gear resistance adjustment
  • 3-position height adjustment
  • Fitness tracking and display
  • Simulates water boating
  • Maximum weight of 150Kgs

The ANNEFY Folding Indoor Rower Machine is one of the most simplistic yet effective rowing machines. It has a good deal of customizability, allowing you to choose the kind of resistance you would want to work with. This is made possible by a 12-gear resistance adjustment feature, making it ideal for beginners and professionals alike. What makes it fun to use is its ability to simulate water boating, making you feel like you are rowing an actual boat.

Additionally, you will have access to 3 position height adjustments for optimal comfort. On the front panel of the rowing machine, this rowing machine comes with a display panel. Since it has a fitness tracker, it is able to display all parameters on this panel. You will be able to monitor distance covered, time taken and the number of calories burnt.

Since it is made using steel, it is a structurally sound structure that can withstand a good deal of highly intense activity. Additionally, it has a wide and strong footprint that gives it great stability and a firm hold on the ground. When it comes to weight, it is able to handle a maximum of 150Kgs with ease.


  • Comes with 12 gear resistance adjustment
  • Has 3 position height adjustment
  • Simulates an actual boat
  • Keeps tab of fitness parameters
  • Strong and sound structure that can withstand 150Kgs


  • The display panel is quite small


Even though this rowing machine is not a water resistance exercise tool, it allows you to feel like you are rowing an actual boat. Additionally, its multiple resistance and height adjustments make it incredibly easy and convenient to use.

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Final Thoughts

Workouts are never easy, and to a good majority of people, they are not fun either. Rowing machines have, however, revolutionized the way we perceive exercise since they bring in a new twist and method of keeping fit. Additionally, they are ideal for all persons, whether professional or beginner, and they can be used even without professional help around.

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