Rowing Machines are getting popular day by day because of their vast usefulness in the human body. A rowing machine offers a full-body workout that burns calories & improves our stamina in everyday life.
The rowing machine also develops our cardiovascular system alongside muscle building/tuning. It offers the right amount of resistance at each stroke, which builds up stamina & strength.
Before looking for the best rowing machines, we suggest knowing the different types of rowing machines first.
Basically, there are four types of rowing machines based on different resistance mechanisms. Understanding those four types will help you to choose the correct one for yourself. Let’s check out!
Different Types of Rowing Machines
“What are the different types of Rowing machines?” There are mainly four types –
- Water-type Rowing Machines
- Air-type Rowing Machines
- Magnetic-type Rowing Machines
- Hydraulic-type Rowing Machines
As those machines have similarities in functions, we will describe a short briefing of those types of rowing machines for a clear understanding.
Water-type rowing machines
Water-type rowing machines are quieter, smoother than other rowers types. These machines consist of a water-filled flywheel and use water & paddles to create resistance. They give the users a full-body workout(upper & lower body) per rowing.
How does it work?
In the water rowing machine, there is a water tank connected to the chain & handles. When you pull on the handle, the paddle revolves in the water. The mass of moving water creates resistance against the paddles.
Advantages of Water-Type Rowing Machines
- Smooth & Quieter.
- Deficient maintenance.
- Low Vibration.
- Gives a real-life rowing feel.
Most popular water-type rowers
Air-type Rowing Machines
Air-Type Rowing Machines have been widespread since the 1980s. This machine uses a flywheel that consists of a fan-blade & this fan pushes the air that gives resistance. The mechanism behind it is resistance goes up as the user rows faster. That means when you grow more quickly, the fan blade spins faster & creates more resistance.
How does it work?
The core concept is creating resistance from the airflow of the internal flywheel. The wheel is connected with the handle using a chain. Every pull against the flywheel spins the fan-blade & creates resistance. The faster users pull the grip, the more resistance they get per rowing.
Advantages of Air-Type Rowing Machines
- Automatic resistance control.
- Little maintenance is needed.
- Natural smooth, realistic feel.
- Affordable & common.
Most popular air-type rowers
Magnetic-type Rowing Machines
Magnetic-type Rowing Machines give a quieter, compact rowing experience at home. This machine uses a magnetic brake to cover the resistance. The mechanism behind it is a metal flywheel & a magnetic brake works on it. There’s a direct option of dial or button available on the rowing machine to adjust the resistance level.
How does it work?
With every pull against this machine’s magnetic flywheel using a handle, the magnetic brake creates resistance. The magnetic flywheel spins & creates resistance. Decrease or increase resistance using either clicking a button on the digital meter or using sliders.
Advantages of Magnetic-Type Rowing Machines
- Almost silent level operation.
- High range of resistance level.
- Smaller than water or air rowers.
- Low price range.
- Very little maintenance is required.
Most popular Magnetic-type rowers
Hydraulic-type Rowing Machines
Hydraulic-Type Rowing Machines doesn’t have a flywheel like the other three different types of rowing machines. This machine’s mechanism is two pistons filled with liquid (sometimes air) that can be adjusted to create resistance.
This machine’s resistance ranges from Level One to Eight & controlled by turning a knob in the piston. The fluid goes in and out of the piston & creates resistance.
How does it work?
Piston attached to handles creates resistance in this type of machine. Users pull against the fluid of the cylinder & create resistance. The resistance level is controlled by the knob attached to the piston.
Advantages of Hydraulic-Type Rowing Machines
- Take a shallow space at home.
- Folding option with a minimal size.
- Virtually silent when rowing.
- Easy to use & gives a decent upper body workout.
Most popular Hydraulic-type rowers
After learning Different Types of Rowing Machines, you are ready to take your workout to another level based on your requirements using rowing machines. Good Luck!
Rowing Machine Gloves
Rowing Machine Gloves protect our hands from different kinds of injuries & calluses. Wearing gloves is highly recommended because these gloves allow focusing on strength & techniques. Not only that, gloves, especially rowing gloves, improve efficiency & rowing time.
Before purchasing rowing machine gloves, some essential requirements must be met. Take a look –
Grips in gloves protect our hands from skin hardening & blisters. Grips are mainly made of pads. The gloves’ fabric makes the hands easily grip the rower handle & a more extended rowing workout session.
The material of gloves makes a rowing glove the best one. Materials should be comfortable on hand & suit your needs. There are different types of materials available for gloves like leather, padded silicon base, mesh gloves. Each of these materials offers unique advantages.
Pads are alternative to full-hand gloves. Some users don’t like full-hand gloves. Instead, they use pads. Pads prevent & support the wrist from injury & blisters. However, pads are not stable in the hand while rowing like gloves.
Hybrid is a combination of other types of gloves. These gloves offer all sorts of protection for an entire hand while rowing. Another advantage is these gloves can be used in all kinds of sports & for weather seasons based on fabric.
Advantages of Rowing Machine Gloves
- Prevents Blisters & Calluses
The right pair of gloves protect the hands from skin hardening or getting blisters while rowing. During rowing & hard training sessions, a firm grip is very much necessary. That’s why suitable gloves can be life-easing from those damages.
- Moisture & Sweat Free
Using gloves prevent the hands from getting dry & moisturizer free. Sweats create blisters in the hands while rowing. Suitable hand gloves absorb the excess sweat from the hands, making hands safe & sound.
- Perfect Grip
Wrong posture can lead to injury very quickly. A pair of Gloves can provide the perfect grip while rowing for our hands. Rubber grips or dotted silicone helps to maintain an ideal grip for practical sessions & preventing injury.
General Size References For Rowing Gloves
- XX-Small size: 15-17 cm hand circumference
- Small size: 17-18.5 cm hand circumference
- Medium size:5-21 cm hand circumference
- Large size: 21-23 cm hand circumference
- X-Large size: 23-25 cm hand circumference
- Above this XX-large size
Take a measurement of your hands first & match the given references. Most of the Shops has this size chart as a reference for rowing gloves.
Best Shoes for Rowing Machine
Rowing has a shallow impact on the joints of feet & knees, but using shoes is an additional advantage of rowing workouts. A pair of high-quality shoes increases rowing sessions enjoyable and gives breathable & comfortable working sessions.
Based on quality, brand value, price & affordability, some of the best shoes for rowing machine are –
When purchasing the best shoes for a rowing machine, one noteworthy mention is choosing the perfect size to feel these rowing shoes’ real value.
Rowing Machine Accessories
There are many accessories available to make rowing exercises more fun yet practical. Among them, some of the rowing machine accessories are much beneficial & make rowing workouts more comfortable than ever. Take a look –
- Rowing Clothes
Lightweight synthetic clothing is the best one for rowing, especially with fast-drying technology. Usually, users sweat a lot while rowing workout, so it’s beneficial for them.
Also, Short legs & arms clothes provide better air circulation.
- Rowing Gloves
Several benefits of rowing gloves available. Gloves offer a better grip on the handle, prevent the hands from hardening problems, also prevent calluses & blisters in the hands. Rowing a long time is possible when using soft & lightweight gloves.
- Rowing Mats
Mats provide more grip on the floor and also prevent slips of rowing machines while doing workouts. Rowing mats offer floor protection from marks & stability too. Less vibration because of rowing mats.
- Rowing Water Bottles
Rowing Sessions can sometimes be exceptionally exhausting, especially when rowing for a long time or rowing with high intensity. Those workout sessions leave us dehydrated & sweating a lot. That’s why using a rowing water bottle is encouraged for sipping water during the interval.
- Rowing Seat Pads
Using rowing seat pads will increase comfort & good grip. Continuous rowing on a routine basis will lead to rowing seat sweat a lot. Rowing Seat pads will wrap up those little problems & gives us an enjoyable session every time.
There are many other accessories available in the market for a rowing machine. Still, from our experience, these five accessories are like a must buy because of their vast usefulness while rowing workout.
Rowing Machine Settings
Rowing Machine offers excellent cardiovascular exercise. It burns calories effectively & increases muscle strength & toning. But in case the rowing machine settings are not right, it might affect your health condition & lead to no good results or possible injury.
For this reason, learning proper rowing machine settings is vital. Some of the standard rowing machine settings are given below for general knowledge.
- Fan Settings
There are ten levels of fan settings available in the air rower. Selecting the 10th level of resistance at the start is a great mistake. For starters, three or 4th level of resistance is good to go. While building strength & stamina, gradually increasing the resistance level is perfect for everyone. Direct higher resistance level might lead to injury.
- Split Settings
The split is a ratio-like setting that means how much time it needed to cover 500 meters of rowing exercise. 1.50 Split in the monitor means 1 minute, 50 seconds to cover 500 meters. Understanding this setting will let users program their goal-oriented workout settings.
- Navigate the Screen Settings
Understanding the settings in Screen will users measure & understand how many calories they burned and how many strokes they took. ‘SPM’ in the display means Stroke per Minute. It also displays the ‘Split’ option to measure how much time it takes against per stroke. Naturally, as ‘SPM’ goes up, the ‘Split’ goes down.
- Resistance Settings
The standard resistance settings on most of the rowing machines are from Level 1 to 10. Using the built-in tension knob, users can increase/decrease the resistance level. In low resistance levels, it feels like rowing a lightweight & fast boat. In higher settings, it feels like rowing a heavy & slow boat.
Those are the most common rowing machine settings in most cases. Usually, every rowing machine comes with a user manual. Some of those machines have many extra features. Knowing these standard settings will be helpful in most cases.
Are Rowing Machines Good for Seniors?
Rowing Machines offer excellent cardiovascular exercise & building strength. It’s a full-body workout that improves blood circulation & flows throughout the body. These machines build strength too for muscles & change the body’s shape if exercises are done regularly.
Rowing machines are suitable for everyone, especially seniors, because of these machines’ low impact on joints. It’s easy, gentle resistance alongside great cardio is perfect for seniors at-home workout. Several benefits are available for seniors of using the rowing machine at home. Some are given below –
- Low Impact benefits
Rowing machines are designed in a way that doesn’t hurt joints and body. With high-intensity levels of workout, this exercise leaves minimal impact on seniors.
- Full Body Workout benefits
Seniors persons can exercise almost 85% of their body with these machines efficiently. It offers an excellent full-body workout per session.
- Posture Improvement benefits
Senior person’s posture changes day by day. one of the advantages of rowing is it increases strength in the upper body & creates healthy spinal alignment. As a result, posture improves for seniors.
- Targeted Area benefits
Abs & glutes are tough to train. The rowing machine focuses both on those two muscles. Rowing increases strength & tones those muscles properly for seniors.
- Quick Result benefits
Fifteen minutes of rowing session is perfect for seniors every day. Seniors see effective & fast results if they train their bodies properly.
Rowing machines are an excellent choice for Seniors. Rowing machine exercises not only make everyone feel better but also improves the pain of joints too. Seniors will get motivated after reading this article for sure.
Daniel Amankwah is a fitness expert for 4EvaFit Lifestyle, personal fitness coach, personal trainer, blogger, and a motivational speaker living in Acton, Massachusetts. His affection for a healthy lifestyle has penetrated through the noise in the health, fitness industry and empowers people to create sustainable prescriptions for lasting health, happiness, and confidence.
A background as a business researcher coupled with a personal passion for fitness help brings our readership a thoughtful curation fitness guide and fitness product review. His burning desire is to share his fitness experience and offer some encouragement to anyone that is working to better themselves physically through healthy eating habits and being active.
As a visionary, his vision is a world where daily acts of self-love and care are a regular part of life.