If you want to stay fit and healthy or get back to it, you can’t avoid regular exercise. Regardless of the weather and the opening times of a fitness studio, home exercise equipment is always ideal. In addition to exercise bikes, cross trainers and treadmills, rowing machines are very popular.
Exercising and building muscles with the rowing machine is very efficient, as 85 percent of the body muscles are involved in training. The so-called indoor rowing is suitable for beginners as well as advanced riders of all ages, because it strengthens the cardiovascular system and a variety of muscles, improves lung capacity, and helps weight loss.
The following rowing machines under $300 presents some popular machines and provides assistance in choosing the best machine for your personal requirements. The FAQ section clarifies the most common questions; the guide reveals tips and tricks on the subject of indoor rowing.
Best Rowing Machines Under $300 in 2021
- 1. ECHANFIT CRW 4901
- 2. Merax Slim Golden-Black
- 3. SunFitter for Cardio Training
- 4. Fitness Reality 1000 Plus
- 5. CIRCUIT FITNESS AMZ-979RW-BT
- 6. MaxKare Quite Folding Rowing Machine
- 7. Doufit RM-01
1. ECHANFIT CRW 4901 Rowing Machine for Home Use
- Ergonomic Design for Handles and Footplates
- Row Handle with Polypropylene Fiber
- Built in tablet and bottle holder
- Adjustable Console Displays
- Large and Secured Footrest
- Strong Rowing Cords
ECHANFIT is not a well-known brand on the market but they focus on providing a terrific workout experience in the home. ECHANFIT constantly innovates and controls product quality and manufacturing processes. It is true that their vision is to provide professional indoor fitness products for the beginner to fitness enthusiasts to enjoy the healthy habit of fitness at anytime, anywhere.
The CRW 4901 is the ideal foldable rowing machine under $300. It will efficiently work on your upper and lower body. And it focuses on core strength to keeps your heart rate up. You can track your energy output on the LCD screen. The console angle is adjustable for different heights of views.
The frame built-in high-strength steel with durable powder-coated paint. The seat rail is wide and made of steel which ensures smooth and quiet movement. The 16 levels of magnetic resistance give you an effective fitness experience by simply twist the Tension Control Button.
The ECHANFIT rowing machine is able to accommodate individual weight up to 265 lb. The handles covered with soft foam and polypropylene fiber help you maintain a comfortable grip and minimized strain throughout your workout. The belt drive system provides smooth and maintenance-free operation.
It also built with transport wheels (at the front) which allow users to easily move and simply store in an upright position. Overall, this is a very good rower for the money, as long as the expectations are realistic. It is quiet, smooth, and is a good chance of pace from walking or the elliptical.
2. Merax Golden-Black Indoor Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Ultra-compact design with no need folding
- Silent fitness equipment for Home Gym
- 8-level adjustable tension resistance
- Reliable ergonomic construction
- Traceable workout results
The Merax rowing machine features a 2.2-pound CNC flywheel with 8 different levels of tension for effective aerobic and endurance exercises. With heavy-duty and strong frame, it provides you with a challenging and customizes fitness exercise for different goals for you and your family.
It is completely silent, preventing you from disturbing others while exercising. You can adjust the resistance manually adjusted or from the selection knob. In addition, the device holder allows you to place put your phone on for a more relaxing and encouraging exercise.
The foot pedals are slip-resistant and adjustable which comfortably hold your feet and enhance safety. The easy-to-grip extra padded handlebar helps your elbows consistently maintain a comfortable height for efficient, healthy muscle building.
The commercial-grade aluminum rail ensures consistent and smooth sliding action. The electronic display is not very robust or fancy, but it’s adequate for the price under $300. The adjustable LED display can be cycled to display time, stroke, distance, calories burned, and more.
This model is not foldable but comes with built-in transportation wheels making this a fairly compact machine. You can move any narrow corner in seconds without wasting time and energy. The plastic pad also attached to the legs to prevent your floor from damaging.
This heavy-duty rowing machine gives off an elegant hue that upgrades your space immediately. The 3-degree angle saddle seat ergonomically molded to match the curvature of your body. However, the seat is 1 1/2 inches thick that not replaceable. You cannot adjust the length of the product size.
3. SunFitter Magnetic Rowing Machine for Cardio Training
- Professional details design
- 8-Level of magnetic resistance
- Multifunctional digital monitor
- Non-Slip Pedal with Adjustable Buckles
- Compact and Foldable Design
Overall this exercise equipment helps to exercise all movements from low to high, easy for all ages, helps burn calories, tones the body. The 8 levels resistance allows wide variants of the strength. Also, the resistance adjustments are really nice and very easy to change.
The display gives multiple fields to see your workout progress. The monitor is also very accurate, you can clearly see from the long distance. There is a compartment slot for the phone/water bottle.
SunFitter rowing machine doesn’t occupy too much space in your room because of its small size. It can be lifted up to save space. The seat is of good size and glides smoothly on the base. You won’t feel a huge difference comparing with the rowing machine in the gym.
The pedal grips are comfortable for the feet to keep in place. Ergonomic steering wheel and anti-slip pedals making it one of the best rowing machines under $300 suitable for home use.
This rower is almost completely silent. The only a smooth sound comes from the seat sliding, that’s really not noticeable. The pulling cable is very strong to work for a long time.
The footrests are of good size that holds the feet in place as well. For those with big size feet, it could be an ideal choice. It is simple to assemble, only takes 20 min if you follow the instructions. The instruction booklet is pretty straightforward.
4. Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Rowing Machine
- 14 Level dual transmission resistance
- Bluetooth connectivity magnetic rower
- On-demand studio classes
- Fast 6.4lbs spun flywheel
The Fitness Reality rowing machine is equipped with a silent magnetic brake system and manually adjustable resistance on 14 levels. This model features Bluetooth connectivity, so you can track basic workout data by using the app. Also, the tablet and bottle holder are included. It can be used for curls, lifting and a few other exercises that round-out the upper body exercise.
Using the built-in display, you can choose one of the 6 pre-installed training programs, check the training time, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes, heart rate and calorie consumption. It does not need to be plugged in because the display operates on battery power (included).
The ball-bearing seat is very comfortable and glides smoothly on the steel rail. However, you should tighten the screw on the seat if it is a bit wobbly. The front basis with the two pedals is 22 inches and the rear basis is 15 inches. It will fit users from 4’9” – 6’6”.
The maximum load capacity of this model is 250 lbs. It measures 88.5″ L x 21.5″ W x 21.5″ H open and 39.5” L x 21.5” W x 53.5” H closed. Yes, this rower is bigger than most hydraulic rowers, but when it folds up, it’s easy to roll it into an out of the way corner.
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus rowing machine has a 6.4lb flywheel which is spun with a dual transmission pulley system that spins the flywheel faster, making it feel like a rower with a heavier flywheel. It is robust, quiet, comfortable and not bulky. Overall, the value for money is excellent.
5. CIRCUIT FITNESS AMZ-979RW-BT Folding Rowing Machine
- Kinomap App Compatible
- Durable mold-injected seat
- Excellent for cardio workout
- Adjustable Resistance
Circuit fitness rowing machine itself is solid. The tension is easy to adjust pretty much on the fly. The foldable design and transport wheels allow you to store it conveniently when you’re not using it. The Rail can be folded up nicely and can roll away to a corner out of the way.
It burns fat and tone muscles every time you use and help you to increase cardiovascular endurance and develop a well-defined upper and lower body. In fact, it allows you to carry out a workout based on your personal preferences, giving you the possibility to choose whether to increase or decrease the resistance or tension.
This unit comes with a user-friendly LCD monitor, which provides all the useful information you need to make an excellent workout. Furthermore, this rower has been designed in such a way as to exactly replicate the natural motion of rowing at home. You can start personalized visual workout sessions with this Bluetooth-compatible fitness equipment.
The Circuit Fitness rowing machine is also made with a durable ergonomically designed mold-injected seat that allows you to exercise comfortably even if you have old back pain. The seat also rolls nicely and the rail has a good length to easily handle.
The two pedals have a slip-resistant design for extra user safety and comfort, plus the foot straps are customizable to accommodate people of all sizes. Finally, it is robust and resistant, characteristics that will allow it to be used for several years without problems.
6. MaxKare Magnetic Quite Folding Rowing Machine
- Portable and Space Saving Design
- 16 Levels of magnetic resistance
- Multi-Functional LCD Monitor
- Extra-long slide rail
The MaxKare is a home use rower under 300 dollars with very high performance. And it could be a decent rowing machine if you want something cheap to get started. It has a nice smooth glide on the rail, and it’s sturdy. There is nice resistance on the settings and it’s definitely a good choice for low impact workout.
This rower is extremely sturdy and all bracing is super heavy duty. With this model, you can exercise the core muscles such as legs, waist, arms, chest, back and so on. Each stroke, these muscles will complete a contraction and extension to achieve the effect of exercise.
The slide rail length rowing machine is 49 inches and 45 inches in inseam length, which is suitable for people’s height up to 6’5”. The MaxKare rowing machine is solid, stable and quiet and the seat is very comfortable. It can be used indoors without any problems because it is quiet and easy to store in tight spaces.
The display won’t show distance tracking, but it shows the data of count and total counts on the display. The display turns off automatically in few mins after you stop using it. The power supply of the rowing machine is the battery that is included.
However, this unit isn’t really designed to be folded on a daily basis. In order to fold the track, you have to remove a pin and unscrew a bolt with a large plastic head. It is also very awkward to move the unit once folded, so a bit difficult to maneuver for storage. But it is fairly compact once stored.
7. Doufit RM-01 Magnetic Row Machine for Home Use
- 8-level of Resistance Settings
- Foldable design and moving wheels
- Adjustable, quiet and foldable
- Magnetic Control Flywheel
Doufit RM-01 rowing machine offers all of the benefits of aerobic exercise at home and ideal for your whole family to tone body shape and improve health. It comes with tools and is fairly easy to assemble.
Among its main features, we point out the compact design, which makes it space-saving, and the fact that it is easy to store when not in use. The seat is large, comfortable, and guarantees correct posture, while the digital display allows you to keep under control all the fundamental data to monitor training and performance.
The Doufit RM-01 magnetic rowing machine is also super easy to use, making it perfect for beginners. It has 8 levels of magnetic resistance. Its steel and aluminum structure is highly robust, resistant and allows it to support a boulder weight of 364 lbs.
The pedals are non-slip and have adjustable straps. It also built with transport wheels which help you to easily store after use. The footprint when folded up is approximately 34 inches by 22 inches. 28×22 if you take off the floor stabilizer on the rail. And approximately 50.5 inches tall.
The straps are adjustable, however, the pads themselves are not. The open size 70.5 x 21.3 x 22.4 inches, and closed 28.7 x 21.3 x 49.6 inches. It can be easily folded up, and it just occupies less than 0.35 square meters of space after folding it. However, it is not design for very large apartments.
Rowing Machine: Buying Guide
In order not to make a bad buy with the variety of models that the market offers, you should familiarize yourself with the most important comparison criteria in advance. The following points can serve as orientation in order to create your own checklist:
Height and weight
When choosing the right rowing machine, the height and weight of the person exercising are of decisive importance. For taller, heavier people, a narrow seat is sometimes too uncomfortable, and if the seat rail does not reach far enough, the athlete cannot perform a smooth rowing movement.
In addition, attention should be paid to the maximum permissible weight, which is specified in the respective product description.
Rowing machine dimensions
If you live in a small apartment, you should measure all the more precisely how much space the fitness equipment takes up when it is set up. Many rowing machines can be folded up when not in use and stowed away to save space – be sure to clarify before buying!
The seat of the rower
So that rowing does not become uncomfortable or even painful even over longer training sessions, the seat should provide good support, be shaped appropriately, not too narrow and sufficiently padded.
The noise level
If you have noisy neighbors, you should get a rowing machine that is as quiet as possible. In particular, those who like to train late in the evening are better served with a hydraulic or (electro) magnetic indoor rower than with a fitness device that works with air or water resistance and causes a corresponding noise level.
Most rowing machines have a training computer that offers various setting options and displays relevant parameters during training. With most devices, the user can read the time, the distance, the stroke speed, the wattage, the calories consumed and more during the training.
The flywheel mass of a rowing machine should be a good at least 10 pounds in order to guarantee a smooth, smooth movement and smoothness.
Before buying a rowing machine, the buyer should consider whether he just wants to row with it or whether he wants a wider variety of training options. Under certain circumstances, a rowing machine with multiple functions could be considered, which can also be used for pure biceps training, for example.
Equipment and connection
In many models, some training programs are already installed as standard. These include, for example, special endurance or cardio fitness programs. Connection options to the smartphone or tablet are generally useful, especially if training units and successes are to be evaluated or compared.
The more resistance levels the fitness equipment offers, the more individual the training can be.
Anyone who takes a closer look at the topic of rowing machines will quickly notice that there are many different brands on the market. In addition to names such as CIRCUIT FITNESS, Merax, Fitness Reality and MaxKare should be mentioned. Concept2 rowing machines are particularly popular among professional athletes.
FAQ: Questions and Answers
Which rowing machine would be best for me?
In order to find out which rowing machine is the best for you personally, your own wishes and requirements for such a machine should be as clear as possible. An excellent device for professionals is not necessarily the best choice for beginners – and vice versa.
It is important to have solid workmanship, as many resistance levels as possible and that the device fits your body size and weight. Using the comparison factors listed in this guide, the selection can be narrowed down to models that suit your own needs.
What does a rowing machine cost?
Rowing machines are available for around 100 dollars, with almost no upper price limit. In general, the more professional the sports equipment, the higher the price. When buying the rowing machine, the buyer should consider what is important to him and what budget is available to him. Especially for beginners, it doesn’t have to be the most expensive model on the market. It’s worth comparing prices.
Which rowing machine to buy at home?
Before buying, the dimensions of interesting models should be carefully compared so that there is no unpleasant surprise. A rowing machine for at home doesn’t have to be studio quality. However, it should still be robust and cleanly processed so that you can enjoy it for as long as possible.
Rowing Machines – Are they really effective?
There are of course other training devices that help you build your stamina, lose weight or keep fit. However, the rowing machine is one of the most effective training machines because it involves so many parts of the body and muscles. In addition, rowing in general – whether with a rowing machine or a real rowing boat – is one of the healthiest sports.
According to doctors, 60 percent of the maximum pulse value is reached within a very short time. Rowing is an optimal mixture of endurance and muscle training. According to doctors, new nerve cells are formed when rowing, which makes our brain more receptive.
Rowing is equally suitable for women and men. The risk of injury on a rowing machine is low compared to other sports equipment. Compared to jogging or playing football, it is much easier on the joints.
How many calories are used in rowing?
Up to 1,000 calories can be burned per hour. Beginners in particular should not train with too high a resistance and avoid peak loads with a high pulse. Here, too, it is better to steel yourself with a lower pulse (maximum 180 minus age) and a few minutes longer.
Is a rowing machine good for losing weight?
Since rowing is a full-body workout, a rowing machine is great for losing weight. It burns more calories than other fitness equipment that uses fewer muscle groups. As always, the necessary self-discipline is important. In addition, the rowing machine should be used regularly in order to achieve success.
What is the optimal number of strokes when rowing?
When rowing, it is initially important to correctly execute the sequence of movements. Stroke numbers or train movements initially play a subordinate role. Depending on the level of difficulty or training selected, the number of strokes should be around 24 to 30 strokes per minute.
How often should I use the rowing machine?
As with all sports and training equipment, the following applies to the rowing machine: Regularity is the key to success in training. If the training goal is to build stamina and muscles, this should be pursued consistently in the form of training several times a week. However, experienced athletes and sports physicians advise against daily training on the rowing machine.
Which is better – treadmill or rowing machine?
Both training devices offer intensive use of the muscles and can help you lose weight. Everyone has to decide for themselves which device is better for their personal use. Those who enjoy running will prefer the treadmill, while those who enjoy rowing will opt for the rowing machine. If you want to tackle a full-body workout, the rowing machine is the better choice.
Which accessories are useful when rowing?
A chest strap is useful for heart rate measurement, which is not included with all rowing machines. The manufacturers usually state which chest strap is compatible with their rowing machine or supply it at an additional cost. Depending on the surface on which the rowing machine is to be set up, a protective floor mat is recommended. It has a soundproofing effect and protects the floor from damage.