10 Best Inexpensive Rowing Machines

The phrase pain and gain have somewhat lost a little bit of its edge over the years, with more people looking for low impact equipment to help them with fitness.

While some of the bikes and treadmills can put some strain on your body, the 10 best inexpensive rowing machines are sure to help you improve without the added strains.

It can be hard for anyone to find the best rowing machine without a little bit of help, but that is why we have done some of the research for you.

In this article, we explore the top budget rowing machines that can help you improve your fitness without breaking the bank.

Rowing machines have various important aspects you need to consider before you buy them.

However, these aspects can be a little daunting to figure out for a beginner.

We have included a small buyer’s guide that will help you find the ideal rowing machine for your needs, but let’s first dive into the top products.

Best Inexpensive Rowing Machines On The Market Today:

One of the more affordable options is certainly the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine.

Made from durable steel, it features an aluminum hydraulic center beam that has been hydraulically powered for a smoother movement. It also gives the users a full range motion to ensure more comfort in movements.

The unit includes foam padded foot handgrip and textured footplates to ensure you don’t lose any potential grip.

The electronic monitor has an LCD interface that will show you all of the important information needed to push yourself to the next level. Additionally, the setup is smooth and easy for almost any user.

PROS

  • Durable steel construction
  • Requires limited setup
  • Gives users a full range of motion
  • Excellent grip on footplates and

    handlebars

CONS

  • Bolts and screws can occasionally come to

    lose

    Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 58.25 x 42.5 x18.13-inches

  • Weight: 39-pounds

  • Levels Of Resistance: 12 levels

  • Weight Limit: 250-pounds


SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS MAGNETIC ROWING MACHINE

The slightly more expensive Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine is one of the top brands that you can go for. It comes with magnetic resistance, giving you up to 8 levels to choose from for your workout.

The unit has a heavy-duty steel frame, but this can be folded to make it easier to store when not in use.

While it might not have the largest of display systems, this one is still functional to show you all the important information.

The setup is really simple, but the unit is a little heavy to carry around without some assistance.

An adjustment knob will ensure an easy way to turn up the resistance when you feel the need.

PROS

  • Durable and foldable steel frame
  • Easy to assemble the parts
  • Adjustment knob allows for

    easy adjustment of resistance
  • Cushioned seats for more comfort

CONS

  • It is a little heavy
Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 82 x 23 x 19-inches
  • Weight: 59-pounds
  • Levels Of Resistance: 8 levels
  • Weight Limit: 250-pounds



MARCY FOLDABLE MAGNETIC RESISTANCE ROWING MACHINE

Marcy is another excellent brand in the world of fitness and this is apparent when we look at the Marcy Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine.

It features an 8.8-pound flywheel with magnetic resistance that can be adjusted to meet your fitness needs.

Additionally, the weight limit is a massive 300-pounds for large users.

The design of the unit has been made to emphasize portability. It might be a little heavier than many of the others, but the transport wheels and folding feature allow you to move it with fewer troubles.

The foam handles are comfortable and include an ergonomic design that will make your hands feel like they are in place.

PROS

  • Holds an impressive 300-pounds
  • Includes transport wheels
  • Can be folded and stored out of the way
  • Ergonomic design

CONS

  • The display can be a little confusing to

    figure out
Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 74.5 x 32 x 20-inches
  • Weight: 64-pounds
  • Levels Of Resistance: 8 levels
  • Weight Limit: 300-pounds




STAMINA AVARI PROGRAMMABLE MAGNETIC EXERCISE ROWER

The Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower is not one of the average rowing machines that you have come to know.

It features various programs (12 and 4 custom) for users to adjust and improve their workout routines.

Additionally, the unit can house up to 6 user profiles for the entire family to join in.

Assembly only takes a couple of minutes and while it might be heavy, the unit can be folded and moved around if it is in the way.

A backlit LCD monitor is extremely functional and will enable you to monitor all of your stats with ease.

It is also the same monitor that you will be used to adjust your program to your specific level.

PROS

  • Extremely durable construction
  • Features numerous workout programs for

    beginners
  • Holds up to 6 user profiles
  • Simple and easy to assemble

CONS

  • The handle is a little narrow for large

    users
Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 80 x 24.5 x 20-inches
  • Weight: 75-pounds
  • Levels Of Resistance: Various workouts

    included
  • Weight Limit: 300-pounds





Most of the rowing machines are designed to work with magnetic or hydraulic resistance.

However, the Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Water Rowing Machine has a design with 16 fan blades that simulate rowing in the water.

As you row, the blades will start moving and the faster they move, the more calories you are burning.

The unit might be really expensive, but can also be transported with the transportation wheels.

It features an ergonomic design and on the handles and non-slip foot pedals for even more comfort.

The LCD display is rather easy to use and can give you all the important information in just a matter of moments.

PROS

  • Solid and stable design
  • Water resistance for a better calorie burn

    rate
  • Easy to read LCD display
  • Extremely durable

CONS

  • Fairly expensive price
  • A little heavy
Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 80 x 34 x 20-inches
  • Weight: 91.9-pounds
  • Levels Of Resistance: Water resistance
  • Weight Limit: 250-pounds






BODY XTREME FITNESS TRI-BASE HEAVY DUTY ROWING MACHINE

The Body Xtreme Fitness Tri-Base Heavy Duty Rowing Machine is one of the most underrated options you can choose for your home.

It is made from durable materials and includes a 16-pound magnetic resistance setting that can be changed between multiple levels.

Non-slip handles and pedals have been integrated for the best possible comfort.

The unit has an ergonomic feel to it and once you are done, it can be folded to store it away comfortably.

The display might be a little small but will still give you all the important information to make your progress seem easier.

Finally, you should be able to put this unit together in around 20-minutes with limited help.

PROS

  • Non-slip handles and pedals
  • Durable steel construction
  • Foldable when done
  • Setup takes only 20-minutes

CONS

  • The display could have been a little better
Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 80 x 33.9 x 20.9-inches
  • Weight: 59-pounds
  • Levels Of Resistance: 8 levels
  • Weight Limit: 250-pounds







KETTLER F​​AVORIT ROWING MACHINE

One of the most durable and versatile options on the market today is the Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine.

Not only is it made from steel with function aluminum rowers, but features 50 resistance levels. The unit includes 6 functions on the display for workout programs with 6 additional gradient options for more resistance.

A high-contrast LCD display system has been introduced and this will ensure that you can see almost everything with ease.

With large buttons, it only takes a few taps to find the right workout and see your stats.

Since it is lightweight, the assembly does not take up too much time and biometric footplates give you an ergonomic feel.

PROS

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Includes 5 resistance levels
  • Adjustable gradient

CONS

  • The unit does not always stay at the

    designated resistance level
Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 51 x 15 x 9-inches
  • Weight: 52-pounds
  • Levels Of Resistance: 50 levels
  • Weight Limit: 285-pounds








One of the lightest and most efficient units on the market today is the Body Xtreme Fitness Circular Motion 3000 Rowing Machine.

The circular motion will ensure that the unit can give you a full range of motion and the universal resistance setting makes it possible to keep on going without constantly changing the settings.

One of the downsides is the assembly, and while it is lightweight and small, it does take some time to assemble.

You might need to have someone assist you to ensure that it has been efficiently assembled for use.

The unit is easy to transport and can be moved around your home to the desired workout location.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Small and portable design
  • 1 resistance level makes it easier for

    beginners
  • Offers a full range of motion

CONS

  • Assembly can be a little tricky
Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 52.7 x 33.1 x 11.4-inches
  • Weight: 41.5-pounds
  • Levels Of Resistance: 1 universal level
  • Weight Limit: 250-pounds









XTERRA FITNESS ERG200 FOLDING MAGNETIC RESISTANCE ROWER

One of the final options we have looked at is the XTERRA Fitness ERG200 Folding Magnetic Resistance Rower. 

It has a great reputation when you need versatility and features 8 levels of resistance that can be found with the adjustment knob.

Then high RPM 9-pound flywheel will turn efficiently and allow you to achieve your results.

The seats have been molded and feature a light level of cushioning. When the entire unit has been assembled, it has an ergonomic feel to it, with a lightweight structure that will still keep you firmly planted.

Having a 3.7-inch LCD display is easy to navigate and should effectively allow you to see your progress.

PROS

  • Lightweight 9-pound flywheel
  • 8 levels of adjustments
  • Ergonomic design
  • Easy to fold and store

CONS

  • A few squeaking sounds can be

    frustrating
Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 71.9 x 47.3 x 20.7-inches
  • Weight: 65.4-pounds
  • Levels Of Resistance: 8 levels
  • Weight Limit: 250-pounds












SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS ROWING MACHINE SF-RW5606

With weight and space being an issue in most homes, many people have turned to something foldable and lightweight.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine SF-RW5606 is durably constructed and features a state of the art design with 4 adjustable levels of resistance.

This is enough for beginners to get started.

The unit is really lightweight and this also makes it much easier to assemble than most of the others.

It has been designed with an ergonomic seat, but the handles do feel a little too small for larger users.

With a 220-pound weight limit, we can see that it is mostly recommended for beginners to get started with fitness.

PROS

  • Lightweight design
  • Can be folded once done
  • Easy to assemble
  • Really cheap

CONS

  • Only 4 levels of adjustment available
Specs Overview:

  • Dimensions: 68 x 21 x 14-inches
  • Weight: 34.5-pounds
  • Levels Of Resistance: 4 levels
  • Weight Limit: 220-pounds










Key features to consider when selecting the best rowing machine

As mentioned at the start, it can be hard for most people to find the ideal rowing machine.

With so many features available, many people choose to go for the most affordable one. 

However, the features are not that intricate and this buyer’s guide will help you find the best rowing machine. It is not just designed for cheap rowing machines, but those high-end options as well.

Construction

The construction of the unit has an effect on the durability and weight. Generally, solid steel is used for the overall construction and this allows the unit to be more durable while keeping it firmly planted in the ground.

It might spike the weight up a little bit, but the weight will ensure that you don’t rock around with it.

Weight

If the unit is heavy, it can be a good thing as we have just mentioned. However, it does remove some portability.

Additionally, the heavier units also take more time to assemble and this can be more daunting for the user if they don’t have the skills needed.

Size

When looking at the size, you will focus mainly on the unfolded dimensions. This will show you how large the unit is and if it would be comfortable for you to use.

However, the folded dimensions can also play an important role to ensure you have enough space to store it once it has been folded.

This is one of the key features for smaller apartments.

Design

Depending on what you are looking for and your budget, the design has several factors you need to keep in mind.

These factors will not only make it more comfortable but ensure you can use it to meet all your needs. Here are a few of these design features to consider:

  • Monitor: The monitor will indicate all the important stats to keep you motivated and allow you to track your progress.
  • Ergonomic: if the unit has a few ergonomic aspects for the handle and the foot pedals, it is much more comfortable to use.
  • Cushioning: In the modern age, we are looking for something with more cushioning to spike the comfort. This not only refers to the seat, but to the handle as well.

Resistance Type

There are various types of resistance you can choose for your rowing machine.

Some might be more expensive, but they can help you with a comfortable workout routine that burns calories a little faster. 

Here are the top resistance types to look for:

  • Hydraulic: Hydraulic resistance does not take up too much of your time and will give you a smooth feel. It is easier to use and does not require a lot of maintenance in the long run.
  • Magnetic: The magnetic resistance is the most common option we see. Not only is it used for a tougher resistance, but users also have the added ability to choose their level of resistance to meet their needs.
  • Water:  If you have been a fan of rowing outdoors, the water resistance is one of the most common that many people choose. Not only does it allow you to improve the rate at which calories are burned, but also allows you to improve your endurance and strength.

Assembly

Last but certainly not least, we need to consider how hard it is to assemble the unit. If it is too hard, you need to pay for additional expert assembly.

Most of the units we have selected on this list should not take too much skill or time to efficiently assemble.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still don’t have all the information about rowing machines, you might want to have a look at some of the additional research we have done.

Here, we answer a few of the most common questions that beginners have at the moment.

Q. Can Rowing Help You Lose Weight?

A. While rowing it not the main culprit that allows you to lose weight, it does spike your heart rate and burn some calories.

If this is done at a consistent level, you might see yourself losing some of those unnecessary pounds.

Q. How Do I Maintain A Rowing Machine?

A. This is a fairly common question and the answer will vary from individual to individual.

The rowing machine can easily be maintained if you follow the instructions, but most of the top options will have a maintenance plan included with the warranty.

q. Is The Rowing Machine Bad For Your Back?

A. With so many movements, many people have gone on to say that, the rowing machine can be bad for your back.

However, it can help you strengthen some of those muscles and this will help to improve your back. If you have back problems, it is best to consult your doctor to find out if you can use a rowing machine.

Conclusion

The best inexpensive rowing machine is designed to help you improve your fitness and body without breaking the bank.

We have selected some of the best options on the market today and we hope that you have found the one for your needs.

Let us know in the comment section if we have missed any of your favorite rowing machines for 2019.

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