The Best Home Rower Give You a Full Body Workout

bacground white badge




the best choice badge

Bottom Line

The NordicTrack RW 900 is a premium rowing machine with an innovative space-saving design



best for the price badge
best for the price badge mobile

Bottom Line

The Obsidian Surge 500 is the best rower if you want the feeling of rowing on the water.



bacground white badge

Bottom Line

The XTERRA ERG500 features a performance monitor with a large LCD that keeps track of your workout time, distance, stroke count, and calories burned.



Table of Contents

Buying Guide for

Best Home Rower

Finding the best home rower should be your priority when creating a home gym or adding more equipment to your existing home gym. Having the best home rowing machine will give you a whole-body aerobic workout that is enjoyable and convenient. The best home rower can also target and strengthen areas of the body that you will not get from an elliptical or treadmill.

What are Rowing Machines?

A rowing machine allows you to mimic the action of rowers you see in Olympic competition. You sit on a seat that slides back and forth with each foot strapped to a footrest. Most rowing machines have a handlebar that acts as the oar. This handlebar is attached to a wire that connects to a resistance device you adjust to get the workout you want. Other rowing machines use full-motion rowing arms to give you the feeling of being in an Olympic-style rowing boat.

When you use the best home rower, you use your legs and glutes to drive the rowing motion. Your back and core are engaged as you move back and forth on the seat while pulling the handlebar or rowing arms. The best home rower will give you a complete low-impact cardio workout in as little as 20 minutes.

The Types of Home Rower Machines

You will notice that rowers have different resistance devices when you are shopping for the best home rower. It is important to know the differences between these resistance devices along with their advantages and disadvantages. Aesthetic design and digital features are good things to look for in a rowing machine, yet, your main objective is to get a good workout with the right amount of resistance.

There are four types of rowing machines, which include

  • Magnetic – This type of rower uses a combination of strong magnets and a spinning flywheel. You can adjust the resistance through a digital console or by using mechanical sliders.
  • Hydraulic – This rower has a hydraulic system consisting of a cylinder, oil, air, and a piston. You create resistance when you row, and the piston moves through the oil in the cylinder.
  • Air – An internal flywheel uses airflow to produce resistance. A chain connects to the flywheel. The flywheel begins to spin when you pull the rowing handlebar that is attached to the chain. This action creates resistance.
  • Water – These rowing machines are a recent addition to the market. These rowing machines mimic the feel of rowing through the water. Paddles inside a water tank create resistance when you pull on the handlebar.

The Best Home Rower Machine for Your Gym

Here is a brief description of the three best home rowing machines for your at-home gym:

The NordicTrack RW 900 is a premium rowing machine with an innovative space-saving design. The RW 900 has a current price of $2,536, and you can get it expertly assembled for an additional $94. If you want a lower-priced model, then you can choose the RW 200 or the RW 500. These models are currently priced at $1,300 and $1,342, respectively.

The RW 900 has a user weight capacity of 250 lbs. It has a 22-inch interactive touchscreen display where you can access a complimentary 12-month membership to iFit. The iFit program allows you to create up to five individualized exercise programs and stream on-demand iFit rowing workouts. You also have access to 26 digital resistance levels that are auto-adjusted by the iFit Trainer.

There is plenty to like about the RW 900. These include:

  • A space-saving design
  • A one-year iFit family membership
  • Multiple training programs for an individualized workout
The main drawback of the RW 900 is the high price tag. There are less expensive options, but they do not have all the features that the RW 900 provides.

The Obsidian Surge 500 is the best rower if you want the feeling of rowing on the water. This rowing machine uses water resistance to give you the workout you need. The current price of the Obsidian Surge 500 is $418, and you can have it professionally assembled for an additional $94.

The Obsidian Surge 500 is made of steel, weighs 92 pounds, and has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds. There are 16 fan blades inside the water tank that create resistance. When you increase the speed of the fan blades while you are rowing, you will increase the resistance. It has an R2 fitness tracking meter that measures total workout time, the total number of strokes, calories burned, and 500-meter time.

The benefits of having the Obsidian Surge 500 are:

  • A smooth and steady rowing experience
  • Lightweight design compared to other water-resistance rowers
  • Reasonable price
Some of the drawbacks include:

  • Large size
  • Anti-algae tablets are needed to keep the water tank clean

The XTERRA Fitness ERG500 is another budget-friendly rowing machine with a current price of $440. You can have it professionally assembled for an additional $94. It uses an air turbine to create resistance and give you the feel of an actual rowing experience.

The XTERRA Fitness ERG500 features a performance monitor with a large LCD that keeps track of your workout time, distance, stroke count, and calories burned. There are eight levels of resistance. You can manually adjust the resistance lever to get the amount of tension you need to get a good workout. The folding design allows you to easily store your XTERRA.

The benefits of the XTERRA Fitness ERG500 include:

  • Smooth action with improved rowing efficiency
  • Contoured seat enhances performance and comfort
  • Maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds

The drawbacks include:

  • Air turbine creates noise
  • Basic LCD


The best home rower machine can give you a complete total body workout on its own. There are plenty of good home rowing machines on the market. Try one out to see if it is the right one for you before you make a purchase.

Enjoy? Share with your friends

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter