Rowing machine is a great way to strengthen your cardiovascular health and building muscle groups. Combined with a healthy diet, it burns a lot of calories, which can help you lose weight fastly. Rowing machine is also comfortable to use and perform powerful sequences at a fast pace.
However, choosing the right rowing machine under $500 is not always easy because a huge number of models available on the market from different brands. As a passionate athlete, I’ve been able to try out different Rowing Machine Under 500 on the market.
After done a lot of research, we have picked the 10 best rowing machines that you can buy for less than 500 dollars. As well as, we have included a comparison table and useful advice. We work mainly with well-known brands, which are well established and recognized for their quality and customer service.
Checkout: Our Comparison Table of Top 10 Best Rowing Machines Under $500 in 2021.
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1. Bluefin Fitness Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine
Our first choice of best rowing machines under $500 in 2021 is from Bluefin Fitness, a premier manufacturer and distributor of high quality exercise equipment. This magnetic rowing machine could be the best choice if you’re looking for a multi-functional rower for home gym.
You can train according to your level chart, from beginners to professionals for training in competition. The seat is very comfortable and the ball bearing makes the movement fluid and efficient. The handle grips are also comfortable and simple to use. Also, the non-slip footrests provide moral support and safety during exercise.
It has a large LCD Display that tracks all the information necessary for a good workout such as duration of the session, the number of strokes, movements per minute, distance traveled and the number of calories burned. One of the biggest perks is that the display allows you to track your workout Via App.
The rowing action is very smooth and the foot straps are also great. Also, its magnetic braking system makes this unit very quiet. It offers eight levels of resistance levels to be adjusted manually. Once your training is finished, you can simply fold and store your ergometer.
You can also easily stow the magnetic rowing machine away when not in use by gently lifting the base, which rotates on its axis and stands fully upright. However, we recommended you unplug the machine after each use in order to protect it from power surges.
Bluefin is one of the best rowing machines for personalized training. Although the rails can get damaged after a while, it is an excellent investment for an extended period, both for beginners and seasoned athletes. You just need basic assembly, but not difficult because the written instructions are very clear.
- Quiet and smooth
- Price-performance ratio
- Wireless Magnetic Technology
- The foot pegs are a little flimsy and made of plastic
2. SereneLife SLRWMC10 Rowing Machine – Editor’s Choice
SereneLife focuses on creating innovative multifunctional fitness gear for home use, and that’s the main reason for the low price tag. However, the SereneLife rower has been designed by experts and offers unrivaled comfort. With 8 adjustable resistance levels, this is an indispensable piece of rowing machine under 500 that you will never outgrow. It offers a top-down workout that sheds upper back fat.
It is also silent and the rolling seat is comfortable and can hold up to 200 lbs. You can also sync effortlessly via Bluetooth with your smart device. The adjustable tension is also a prominent feature and the digital readout helps to track each workout. It takes around 20 to 40 minutes to assemble.
This budget rower has a solid appearance and allows smooth and constant rowing without jerking. For less than 500 dollars, the SereneLife SLRWMC10 is a great rower that you can meet in the weights and fitness rooms and an inexpensive way to get exercise while shelter in place is on.
It has transport wheels, so it is easy to move out of the way when not in use and can be stood up on end to save space. One other thing they could have done, though, is to have calories or miles per hour on the computer. That also helps to motivate one if you can see what your rate is.
The only downside is the brightness of the LCD screen, it is hard to see the numbers in a darker room. The Bluetooth function is rather ridiculous. You have to remove the computer and the batteries, and insert them again in order to connect every time!
- Robust and compact
- Smart connectivity
- Ruggedly constructed
- 1-year quality warranty
- Only 200 lbs user weight capacity
- Difficult to assemble for beginners
3. Circuit Fitness AMZ-986R Deluxe Rowing Machine
The Circuit Fitness AMZ-986R is a folding rowing machine ideal for many training at home both for beginner and professional athletes. As well, it is one of the most practical rowing machines for those with limited space available in their house. Once your workout is finished, you can easily fold and store it.
The design is simple, with a stable and safe line. The comfortable ball-bearing seat slides on a 15 ° inclined high-quality steel rail and the feet rest on non-slip platforms held in place by adjustable straps. However, the rails deteriorate over time. The handlebars are large and give more rowing safety.
You may be noticed that the resistance of this unit is magnetic and therefore very silent and its intensity is manually adjustable according to the user’s level and the training to be carried out through 8 different levels. The pedals are 4.5 inches wide and 12 inches long.
It has a very simple and intuitive multifunction display, which provides the main training data and has a chest strap for detecting heart rate. The monitor operates with 2 AA batteries, which life can be up to 6 months. You can also watch TV or play music in the background without having to raise the volume.
Circuit Fitness AMZ-986R supports people up to 6 feet in height and 300 lbs in weight. For the rest, it is compact and moves easily thanks to the integrated wheels. Overall, it is the ideal rower under $500 for those who have little space in the house and he wants to put it away after training.
- Ecological and beautiful
- Fluid, robust and stable
- Compact and easy to store
- Little wobbly without mat
4. TUNTURI R30 Cardio Fit Series Rowing Machine
Tunturi is a fitness and health equipments manufacturer located in Netherland. The Tunturi R30 puts all the major muscle groups to work without the stress of high impact workouts. With this rowing machine, you work specifically on building muscle mass and endurance. It has 8 resistance levels which help you customize your workout to reach your fitness goal in a simple way. It will allow you to enjoy high-end and professional equipment that you can use for at least 10 years.
Another great advantage of this unit is to adapt to the activity of its user. TUNTURI R30 is a reliable rowing machine for home gym under $500 for first-time users. And to ensure quality, it comes with 2 years warranty against any quality issue.
You can adapt to your level and your progress by increasing the difficulty gradually. It also allows you to enjoy constant progression. The seat track is very smooth and the magnetic resistance is pretty smooth. You can use it to tone your body and improve your endurance as much as you want without fear of premature wear.
The easy-to-read monitor allows you not only to monitor your performance but also to create your own workouts adapted to your needs. This model also features a handy tablet holder that allows you to break up the monotony of indoor training with your favorite show or sports coverage.
When you’re done, you can easily store it because it can disassemble into two parts and will only take you a few minutes to fold and unfold. However, it is recommended for small and medium-size people because the maximum load capacity is only 242 lbs.
- Intelligent design
- Intuitive monitor
- Heavy flywheel
- Not durable enough
5. XTERRA Fitness ERG200 Folding Rowing Machine
The XTERRA Fitness ERG200 rowing machine has everything for a full body exercise. It is quite durable and will remain sturdy for a long time. It is the best rowing machine under 500 for small space. At a reasonable price, you will get a professional quality model.
The XTERRA frame can be folded in half easily and stored in a corner. It has a robust form and aesthetics and exemplary professional quality.
The seat is non-slip, which provides qualified support and safety during exercise. Although it is a little bulky, you can install it in any room of the house.
The seat is at a height of 35 cm from the ground and the max user weight is 250 lb. The set-up dimensions are 73.2 x 20 x 31 inches, and the folded are 36.4 x 20 x 47.2 inches. It was designed to allow quality cardiovascular exercise and avoid injuries.
The max user height is 6’2″. It is ergonomic, and the position to adopt for the arms and legs allows really comfortable use. It is also drawn to distribute the effort over as many muscles as possible in the body and thus allow balanced training.
The computer is very simple and easy to set your time to count down. The screen keeps you constantly informed about your results during exercises and your goals.
The resistance adjustment dial gives you the ability to choose the intensity of the workout. However, the highest resistance is not that high, but it doesn’t have to be if you are going for over 15 – 20 minutes.
- Ecological and elegant
- Large LCD monitor
- Transport wheels
- Little different among resistance level
- Small display
6. Merax Magnetic Adjustable Rowing Machine for Home
Merax won numerous awards because of their innovative designed and affordable fitness equipment. This durable rowing machine is ideal for home gym with all the essentials necessary for a powerful at-home rowing workout. This model caught my attention because of its good price-performance ratio. For less than 300 dollars, this entry-level rowing machine is a great deal for beginners or occasional training.
It is equipped with a silent magnetic brake system and manually adjustable resistance on eight levels. The ball-bearing seat is very comfortable and slides smoothly on the aluminum rail.
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 is also combined with a standard quality chest strap.
This Merax magnetic rowing machine weighs around 74 lbs. It also has wheels at the back for ease of movement and can be stored upright. The function is remarkably straightforward, but the operation is quiet. To ensure quality, it also comes with 1 year warranty.
It is easy to assemble, and the parts fit very well. Also, the instruction is simple and well-illustrated. It is robust and the max weight capacity is 264 lbs.
However, it doesn’t have Bluetooth or a video monitor to show you movies while you are exercising. Also, the electronic display is mostly useless because it’s too small. But it’s a pretty basic rower that costs about 1/4 of the price of the high-end rowers.
- Very lightweight
- Silent magnetic braking
- 15 Degree angled seat rail
- Several levels of resistance
- Poor display
- Doesn’t have option to set Phone/iPad
7. Circuit Fitness AMZ-979RW Magnetic Rowing Machine
The Circuit Fitness AMZ-979RW magnetic rowing machine is very simple to use, move and store, therefore perfect for beginners. It has a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs. This fitness equipment is an excellent option for home training without breaking the bank.
It reinforced with a 9-pound flywheel which allows you to regulate the intensity of training according to your preferences. This model has 8 levels of magnetic resistance and a large screen that shows the distance traveled, speed, training time, calories and beats per minute. Go light if you want to work on endurance, go heavy if you want to tone.
Circuit Fitness rowing machine is also very ergonomic that allows a natural position of the arms and hands during the effort and provides you with ideal comfort. The pedals are non slip and have adjustable straps for different size feet. It has transport wheels and reasonably easy to put together.
One of the best features of this rowing machine is the smooth and quiet operation. You won’t have any problem watching TV or listening to music while doing exercise. The space-saving design requires minimal floor space. However, when it is fully assembled, you will need to have a minimum of 6 feet of space.
Circuit Fitness AMZ-979RW also features a foldable design that allows you to store it under the bed. It is well built and sturdy, which ensures long time service.
- Generous size
- Pleasant to use
- Slide quietly and smoothly
- 9-pound flywheel
- Resistance level isn’t noticeable
8. Goplus Magnetic Foldable Rower with Beautiful Design
The Goplus rowing machine is designed for regular home training. It works with magnetic brake with 10 lbs inertia flywheel and central pull oar. The tension control settings go from 1 to 10, and while the top setting isn’t super hard, you definitely feel the burn with repetitions.
The electronic screen indicates the number of rowing per minute, the total number of rowing, the training time, the consumption of calories, and the pulse. It closes easily and has practical wheels that facilitate transportation.
As for its assembly, it is quick and easy. In a few seconds, you will have installed your rower and can use it without a hitch.
Goplus rowing machine has solid performance and durable because it is constructed with iron material. It also comes with soft and durable seat and large pivot footplates with a safety strap that fit different foot sizes perfectly. The handle is also non-slip for better handling.
The weight limit is 265 lbs. If you aren’t a bodybuilder, this machine is more sufficient for you. The movement is also smooth and silent with a comfortable workout. For less than $500, the Goplus is a professional rower that you can meet in weight training and fitness rooms.
It is lightweight and built in foldable design. You can assemble it within 15 minutes and fits nicely off to the side. It’s not the fanciest machine out there, but a reliable machine for home gym at a good price.
- Superb simple design
- Great stability on all surfaces
- Injection Molded seat
- Easy assembly
- Small size
- Designed for light use
9. Marcy ME-1018RE Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine
The Marcy ME-1018RE folding rowing machine features a permanent magnetic brake with 8 computer-adjustable resistance levels. Because of its magnetic resistance, it is limited in its actual ability to resist but that also means it will never really lose its resistance. Marcy ME-1018RE rowing machine has a maximum capacity of 300 lbs.
The large display monitors all training parameters and allows you to choose from 12 pre-set training. This durable rower machine built with safety features and the handles provides a solid and comfortable grip. The pedals are also large enough to get a firm footing while rowing.
The ball-bearing seat on an aluminum rail is very comfortable. This rower is a sturdy, tough, monster and has a convenient tablet holder. And it is a great foldable rowing machine under 500 dollars if you’re looking for a magnetic rowing machine.
The foot pedals also can be moved forward and back to adjust for stride length. Quietness is also one of the strength points of this device. This home gym equipment is well made and stability is excellent. It could be an ideal choice for losing weight, burning calories and keeping fit.
When folded for storage, the assembled dimension for this unit is L. 37 x W. 19.5 x H. 46 inches. The machine is designed to accommodate individuals 5ft to 6ft tall. It is also very easy to put together. The only part you really have to install is the area where the seat goes.
- Multi-angle monitor
- Space-saving design
- Secure and safe
- No tablet holder
10. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rower
Last but not least, Sunny Health and Fitness are the leading distributor and importer for high-quality fitness products. Their price tag is more competitive because their product source directly connected to their manufacturers. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is the best rower for beginners. Or if you like simple design rower, this is probably the model for you! Its adjustable elastic resistance offers 8 different levels which allow fluid movement and deep muscle work.
The LCD monitor of this ergometer is placed under the pull handle, which allows you to follow all the useful information during training: speed, duration, distance traveled, heart rate and calories burned. The noise level is minimal, would be perfect for a living situation.
The strap is made of reinforced nylon that makes it more secure while exercising. The cushioned seat gives you a comfortable rowing experience. Compare to other cheap models, Sunny Health & Fitness indoor rowing machine is pretty much ergonomic and functional.
This machine can be stored very easily. Indeed, it is foldable and can slip into a closet or a corner of the house. Casters also make it easy to move. The pulling motion is also stable, smooth and quiet. However, we recommend lubricating the monorail regularly to avoid squeaking.
This apartment rower is powered by battery, which means you won’t need to connect it to the electric port and you can therefore use it anywhere, even outside. To ensure quality, this unit comes with a 180 warranty for parts and a 3-year structural frame warranty.
- Oversized footrests
- Full body exercise
- Anti-slip handlebars
- Heart rate monitoring
- Difficult to read screen from lower position while working out
We evaluate each rowing machine according to its characteristics for its price range and select those which seem to us to be better value for money. Let’s see the important purchase criteria to consider when choosing your rowing machine under 500 dollars.
Type of resistance
While the rowing machine is fairly standard in design, one of the most variable features is the type of resistance it uses. You should know that each type of resistance has its own advantages and sensations, and you will have to decide which one will suit you best.
There are 4 different types of resistance available, including water resistance, air resistance, magnetic resistance and hydraulic resistance.
Rowers equipped with water braking system are recent models. Its resistance level varies according to the power deployed. Water rower is silent, only hinting at the sound of the water.
Air resistance simply means the harder you pull, the more resistance you feel. The level of resistance adapts to the force exerted while rowing. An air resistance rower offers better training comfort.
Magnetic rowing machines are very quiet if they well made. These models control the resistance using electromagnets which actuate a mechanical brake. The disadvantage of a magnetic rowing machine is that its resistance is constant and does not change if you pull harder on the handle.
Size & dimension
When thinking about your rower model, you will need to consider its size and the available space where you want to install it. The typical size of the rowing machine is at least 2 m in length and around 60 cm in width.
However, many rowing machines are foldable (you have seen our reviews) and therefore easy to store. Others are also fitted with wheels that facilitate their movement. Some of the larger rowers also offer many ergonomic possibilities that make them more compact once you have finished your workout.
Namely, small rowing machines are certainly less bulky, but they generally use resistance with hydraulic pistons, less qualitative in terms of feeling. That said, don’t forget to take a look at the space you have for your legs before choosing this fitness equipment.
Comfort & ease of use
Some apartment rowing machines are designed to be both easy to install and use. If you are looking for an easy-to-use model, make sure to check its simplicity of installation and the features it has to facilitate its storage and use. It can be interesting to look at the comments of customers who give their own feedback.
If you want an easy-to-see screen and an easy-to-use rower, look at the models with a large screen and large buttons. Also, if you plan to put away your rowing machine after using it, check if you can easily fold or put it away. Even some large rowing machines fold easily or stand upright, which makes them easier to store in a small space.
The seat should be comfortable, ergonomic and wide. And ensure that it won’t make noise when it is moving on the frame. Also note that your pedals should be strong, wide, stable and comfortable. The central draft bar must be pleasant to handle to avoid blisters.
This is of course the criterion that will be the most determining for your final decision. The price varies according to the models. If your budget is tight, there are many affordable rowing machines that will not ruin you. However, you have to keep in mind that it will probably have a shorter lifespan.
Premium rowers will have a longer lifespan, which can save you money in the long run. They will also be much more pleasant to use, which may make you want to work out more.
- Data screen: the monitors on the rowers display different types of data. The cheapest rowers provide only a few pieces of information, such as time, distance, and calories burned. More expensive machines generally provide much more information, including the total number of repetitions, the number of repetitions per minute, heart rate, etc.
- Training programs: many rowers have integrated training programs. They help make a session more fun by setting specific goals in terms of calories burned, elapsed time, number of strokes, and much more.
Max. weight capacity
Before purchasing, you must check the highest weight capacity. Indeed, the maximum weight must be at least 10 kilos greater than that of the user. This parameter guarantees the correct functioning of the product over time. Indoor rowing machines offer a maximum weight of 100 to 150 kg or even up to 200 kg.
Why you buy a rowing machine?
What could be better than waking up one morning, especially on a cold winter, and knowing that you have your own gym at home? No need to get in the car, drive in traffic in the morning, park and wait for a machine to be released in a gym. Instead, you take advantage of your own installation in the warmth of your home with the purchase of quality equipment. Even they offer a full-body workout in one compact piece of equipment.
If you’ve never rowed before, you may don’t know how enjoyable and relaxing a good rowing session can be. While it’s not as relaxing as a good nap, once you’ve hit your pace, it’s easy to forget that you’re doing cardio.
What are the most durable rowing machines?
Most rowing machines using water-resistant materials which enhance the service life. They are distinguished by their quality design and require little maintenance. However, most of them are very expensive. If you cannot afford to take one of these water rowing machines, look instead at the magnetic rowers. These rowers are also durable and can save you a lot of money.
Should I check the height of rowing machines?
It depends on the space you plan to install. If your space is limited, you will need to make sure that the height of the machine meets your needs. Because some rowing machines are not very tall, while others can be quite tall if they are on raised feet.
These differences do not mean that one design is better than the other. It is more a matter of personal preference. Depending on your configuration, it is therefore up to you to choose either a slightly raised rower or a rower near the ground.
How much weight allowed on rowing machine?
Most rowers are very resistant, even if they are not expensive, and they typically offer a load capacity of at least 300 lbs. The maximum load indicates the weight that the device can support when you exercise. So you have to make sure you buy one that can support your weight. If you want a rower that allows a heavier weight (some go up to 500 lbs), you will probably have to turn to a high-end device.
Is a rowing machine a complete weight trainer?
Compare to other home gym products, the rowing machine is the most complete fitness device. It works with almost all the muscles in the body and effectively burns fat, especially after exercise. But we encourage you to check the all over features and comfort level like seat, rudder, pedals, stability, silence, etc.
Is the rowing machine bad for the back?
If you already have back pain, we do not recommend the rowing machine for you. Logically it shouldn’t be a problem if you stand up straight, but it is actually very complicated to stand perfectly straight and you risk doing yourself harm. Due to the nature and dynamics of the movements to be carried out, the rower naturally encourages performance, which is good for most of us but not for people with back pain.
Positions to avoid:
Even if the use of an apartment rower seems particularly simple, there are still positions to avoid so as not to injure yourself: Be careful not to go too far behind and do not pull the handle up. Never round the back with the shoulders relaxed in the front.
Also, be careful when starting on the back that your knees are not too tight but always parallel. So always keep your knees in line with your feet and leave a little bit of flexibility in your joints.
Fitness experts and professional athletes agree that rowing machine is the best training equipment available. Training on a rowing machine allows you to target the vast majority of the muscles in the body and makes them work. Compared to treadmills or ellipticals, rowers work more muscles and have a lower negative impact on the joints.
If you want to buy a rowing machine, you are likely to be a little lost with all this choice of rowers. At the start of the article, we pre-selected the rowers with the best ratings in their price categories. If you choose from our selection, we guarantee you, they will satisfy you in the future.