The Best Rowing Machine In Australia For 2022: Concept2

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When it comes to improving aerobic fitness and body composition, the rowing machine is one of the best pieces of cardio kit that you can invest in. This article will begin by highlighting seven of the best machines on the market. It will then go on to provide detail on the benefits of rowing, the different types of rowers, and considerations to make when buying a rower.


1. Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine (Top Pick)


When it comes to rowers, the Concept2 Model D indoor rower is universally recognized as one of the best rowing machines on the market. In terms of build quality, Concept2 does not cut any corners; the rower is durable, comfortable, and of the highest quality.

The machine is equipped with a spiral damper that allows you to adjust the amount of airflow to the flywheel which changes the feel of each stroke. The model also has a performance monitor that allows the user to run through specific workout programs and provides them with live workout data.


What We Like:

  • Top Of The Range Rower
  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable Resistance
  • Performance Monitor

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive

2. WaterRower Club S4 Rowing Machine




The WaterRower Club S4 rowing machine is a water rower that is well known for its distinctive look as well as its great performance. What makes this rower so eye-catching is the fact that each rower has been handcrafted with solid ash and finished with Danish oil and urethane. The purpose of applying oil and urethane is to ensure that the wood is best preserved and that rower’s durability is increased.

As you would expect with water rowing, this machine facilitates smooth strokes and generates very little noise or vibration.


What We Like:

  • Great Aesthetics
  • Durable
  • Smooth Strokes
  • Quiet

What We Don’t Like:

  • Cannot Be Folded

3. Freeform R2000 Rowing Machine


Another high-quality air rower is the Freeform R2000. As with the Concept 2, this rower has been fitted with a spiral damper which provides nine levels of resistance. The flywheel that has been used is highly responsive to each and every stroke and does not produce a great amount of noise.

It also has an ergonomic handle that has been designed to maximize comfort and grip as well as having adjustable footplates to fit all foot sizes and foot straps to keep you anchored. The machine has a device holder conveniently fitted at eye-level to keep you entertained as you workout.


What We Like:

  • Spiral Damper With Nine Resistance Levels
  • Highly Responsive and Quiet
  • Comfortable And User-Friendly
  • Device Holder

What We Don’t Like:

  • Long Rail Takes Up Space

4. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine




Another water rowing machine that has received much acclaim is the WaterRower Natural rowing machine. Not only does this machine look great and perform well, it closely replicates the feel of actually being out on the water.

The rower is very well made and provides stability as you row. It is also equipped with a large LCD monitor that provides data as you exercise. You can plug a PC into the console which allows you to store all data from previous workouts. The software can also be used to generate future workout sessions to ensure you make the best progress possible.


What We Like:

  • Aesthetics
  • Smooth Performance
  • Large LCD Screen
  • PC Compatibility and Features

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive

5. Lifespan Fitness Rower 605 Rowing Machine


The Lifespan Fitness Rower 605 not only delivers on price but also on performance. The heavy flywheel built into the rower makes the 605 rower an ultra-efficient and smooth machine. Furthermore, the machine comes with a molded seat, quality rollers and wheels, and a highly-durable tubular steel frame.

The monitor used provides the standard data as well as twelve preset workout programs that will help to push your fitness to the next level. Finally, this model is very space-efficient as it is light, compact, and foldable.


What We Like:

  • Great Price
  • Solid Construction
  • Twelve Workout Programs
  • Space-Efficient

What We Don’t Like:

  • Relatively Short Rail

6. Everfit Rowing Machine


Despite its low cost, the EverFit indoor rowing machine does not compromise on build quality – the 200kg max capacity is a testament to this. The rower has a solid steel construction which provides a great amount of stability while exercising.

It is also equipped with adjustable footplates, a comfortable seat, and easy to grip handle. This allows the user to exercise for a prolonged period of time without developing discomfort. The rower is a magnetic rower and there are ten different resistance levels that can be adjusted quickly and easily.


What We Like:

  • Cost-Efficient
  • Solid And Stable
  • Comfort
  • Ten Resistance Levels

What We Don’t Like:

  • Screen Display

7. Pure Design VR1 WaterRower




With its sleek design, the Pure Design VR1 WaterRower is one of the best rowing machines on the market. The machine has a steel frame and an aluminum monorail which increases the durability and performance of the rower.

Each stroke performed on the rower feels extremely smooth, quiet, and closely mimics rowing on water. The large console fitted on the machine provides the user with key performance statistics such as calories burned, time, distance, strokes per minute, and heart rate.


What We Like:

  • Strong Frame
  • Great Performance 
  • Smooth Strokes
  • Informative Console

What We Don’t Like:

  • Max Weight of 120kg

The Benefits Of Rowing


There is an array of benefits associated with rowing regularly.

Rowing can be categorized as a cardiovascular exercise which means that it places a demand on the heart and lungs. By rowing often and consistently putting this demand on the heart and lungs, they will adapt. The heart will more efficiently pump blood to the working muscles while oxygen consumption will also increase. Both of these changes will allow you to sustain a greater intensity of exercise for longer.

Another benefit is that rowing is a full body workout. The muscles of the legs, namely the quadriceps, glutes, and calves help to propel the body backward. Meanwhile, upper body muscles such as the pectorals, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and biceps must all contract to pull the handle into the body. Many muscles of the core also activate in order to facilitate stability and control – these include the abdominals and obliques. Rowing regularly can help to improve the strength and function of these muscles (and many more!).

Due to the vast number of muscles involved in this exercise, a high-calorie burn is associated with rowing. This is of great significance for anyone looking to lose weight. When it comes to weight loss, calories are of utmost importance. Burning more calories than you consume each day will bring about substantial changes in body composition. Therefore, by burning a high number of calories through rowing, it is possible to create a calorie deficit and lose weight.

Many other cardiovascular and strength training exercises, such as running and plyometrics, place a great amount of force on the joints of the body, however, rowing is a low impact exercise. This makes it one of the best choices for promoting joint health. A specific study conducted on rowing found that it significantly improved joint movement and function.


Types of Rowing Machines


This section will highlight four popular rowing machine types and outline the differences between them.

Air Rowers

The majority of popular rowing machines tend to be air resistance rowers. These pieces of equipment use air flowing over a flywheel which attaches to the handle via a chain to generate levels of resistance. With air resistance rowers, the harder you work, the faster the flywheel revolves which provides a greater amount of resistance. Some air rowers are equipped with dampers which can be adjusted to control airflow and manipulate resistance.

Water Rowers

A more recent take on the rowing machine is the water resistance rower which has been designed and constructed to replicate the feel of rowing on water. These rowers use a large water tank and a water flywheel (or paddles) to create resistance. As with the air rower, a chain attaches the handle to the flywheel. Therefore, pulling on the handles will force the flywheel to revolve in the water which generates resistance.

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Magnetic Rowers

Magnetic resistance machines tend to be a lot more compact and quieter than both air and water rowers. As the name suggests, these machines use magnets in order to apply resistance. Most magnetic resistance rowers have a large range of resistance levels. This resistance is normally easily adjusted by the push of a button or by the turn of a dial.

Hydraulic Rowers

While less popular than the above three rowers, the hydraulic rowers use pistons to generate resistance. Hydraulic cylinders on the handles are filled with oil or air. When the user exerts a force against the handles, the pistons within the cylinder engage to generate resistance. These rowers tend to be a lot more cost-effective and portable the others, however, tend to be less durable.


Rowing Machine Buyer’s Guide


When purchasing a rowing machine, there are a number of key considerations that need to be made to ensure that you select the right machine that best suits your needs and preferences.

Size and Portability

The first important consideration to be made is in regards to size and portability. With rowers coming in all different shapes and sizes, it’s crucial that you choose one that will fit the space you have available. Some rowers have a shorter seat rail than others, therefore, you need to ensure that the rail is long enough to allow you to fully extend the legs. Taller individuals may find that they need a longer seat rail. In addition, a number of modern rowers are now foldable which helps you save space.

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Construction Quality

When purchasing an indoor rowing machine, consider the construction quality, specifically looking at the footplates, handle, wheels, and seat. Typically the more expensive rowing machines will have a good build quality and will not generate excessive vibration and noise, however, this is not guaranteed. Therefore, it is always worthwhile checking. This is not to say that all cheap machines will have poor construction quality; there many cost-effective rowers that are very well-built.

Comfort

There are three points of contact on the rowing machine – the feet, hands, and backside. It is essential that the rowing machine is comfortable to allow you to maintain exercise for a prolonged period. The best rowing machines have grippy handles that have been designed to fit the hands. They also have large footplates and straps to keep you anchored as you row. Lastly, the rower will have a padded seat with molds that promote maximum comfort.

Flywheel Weight

As highlighted earlier, most types of rowing machine have a flywheel which spins with each pull of the handle. When browsing through rowing machines make sure to check the weight of the flywheel. The best rowing machines tend to have heavier flywheels. These are superior to light flywheels as they facilitate smoother strokes. With that said, having a heavier flywheel will increase the total weight of the machine which may make it more challenging to maneuver.

Programs and Workout Data

As with many pieces of cardio equipment, many rowing machines have a screen that displays workout data and allows you to complete specific programs. The best rowing machine will have a range of different workouts that cater to a wide range of fitness goals. They will also provide data such as distance, wattage, strokes, pace, time and calories burned. Some rowers can also track heart rate providing the user wears heart rate monitoring equipment.




This article was written by Chris Stone - Personal Trainer

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