Top 5 Best Budget Rowing Machines 2019

Rowing is not only good for your health, but also very interesting. Not everyone is able for real rowing, but anyone can own a rowing machine. It's a really motivating tool that can keep you practicing till achieving your fitness goals.

Here are the best budget rowing machines you can buy in 2019:

  • Hydraulic - Best Overall: Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
  • Hydraulic - Runner-Up: Sunny SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine
  • Hydraulic - Unique Design: ProGear 750 Rowing Machine
  • Magnetic - Best Overall: Sunny SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
  • Air - Best Overall: Stamina ATS Air Rower

Top 5 Best Budget Rowing Machines 2019

Hydraulic - Best Overall: Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Pivoting arm design that provides natural rowing action

  • Long slide rail

  • Sturdy construction

  • Affordable

  • Foldable

Cons
  • The seat is hard

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine is a budget machine but has a really good build. The steel frame is sturdy that is able for a 250 lb person to sit on and row smoothly without any rocking or shacking.

The special features on Stamina 1050 are the pivoting arms and pedals. They simulate the motion of rowing a real boat, along with the smooth gas piston, which gives you interesting workouts.

You will have 12 levels of resistance on Stamina 1050. However, with only one piston, Stamina 1050 is not really challenging. It’s more like a cardiovascular machine than muscle training machine.

The only drawback of this machine is the seat. It’s not padded and quite hard.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine Specifications

Dimensions

58L x 18W x 42H inches

Stored Dimensions

58L x 23W x 10H inches

Maximum User Weight

250 lbs

Levels of Resistance

12

Slide Rail Length

45 inches

Verdict

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is the best budget choice that suitable for those want a decent basic hydraulic rowing machine.

Hydraulic - Runner-Up: Sunny SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

Sunny SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine
Sunny SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine
8.8Great
Pros
  • Easy to use

  • Compact and lightweight

  • Ergonomic padded seat

Cons
  • Insufficient for experienced rowers

  • A bit small for tall users

Sunny SF-RW1205 is a pretty basic rowing machine. It doesn’t have a natural rowing action like Stamina 1050, but the back-and-forth action is also good, especially for beginners. You just need to climb on the machine and practice, don’t need to worry how to ride properly.

Sunny SF-RW1205 is the most compact and lightweight rowing machine available on the market. It is also easy to be assembled with 1 easy piston that avoids uneven forces on two arms. This is the minimalist hydraulic piston rowing machine for small apartments.

One more advantage on Sunny SF-RW1205 is the ergonomic and padded seat that is much more comfortable than the seat on Stamina 1050.

However, Sunny SF-RW1205 would be insufficient for experienced rowers as the resistance is weak. And, Sunny SF-RW1205 is a little bit small for tall users.

Sunny SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine Specifications

Dimensions

53L x 20W x 22H inches

Stored Dimensions

53L x 7.5W x 13.5H inches

Maximum User Weight

220 lbs

Levels of Resistance

12

Slide Rail Length

35 inches

Verdict

Sunny SF-RW1205 is a compact and basic hydraulic rowing machine for small apartments.

Hydraulic - Unique Design: ProGear 750 Rowing Machine

ProGear 750 Rowing Machine
ProGear 750 Rowing Machine
8.6Great
Pros
  • Unique versatile design that gives additional exercises

  • Affordable

  • Large comfortable seat

  • Foldable

Cons
  • Hard to use

ProGear 750 has a very special design, on which everything is adjustable, from 2 independent cylinders for 2 arms, rail length, to 3 rowing positions. ProGear 750 provides you with multi-exercise workout capability.

You can do rows, curls, shoulder presses, pulldowns, abdominal muscles workouts, bent over rows, pectoral muscle flies and more. This is really an interesting machine that can motivate you to practice more.

Despite the wide range of exercises, ProGear 750 has a really good price, the build is quite good, and the padded seat is soft.

However, the machine doesn’t come with an instruction manual that shows you how to use the rower for the additional exercises. Thus, you need to spend time on Youtube to know how to make the full use of this machine.

ProGear 750 Rowing Machine Specifications

Dimensions

53L x 26.5W x 36H inches

Stored Dimensions

45.5L x 26.5W x 7.8H inches

Maximum User Weight

220 lbs

Levels of Resistance

3 in the left x 3 in the right

Slide Rail Length

37 inches - 43 inches

Verdict

ProGear 750 is a multi-exercise rowing machine that suitable for those want to change the exercises regularly.

Magnetic - Best Overall: Sunny SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
Sunny SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
8.8Great
Pros
  • Quiet & smooth operation

  • Sturdy build

  • Easy to use

  • Foldable

Cons
  • The seat squeaks while operating

Sunny SF-RW5515 is my favorite rowing machine. Since using magnetic as the resistance generating mechanism, it's quiet and smooth while operating.

The frame is made of steel, making Sunny SF-RW5515 sturdy enough that shows no shacking even in violent workouts. The handles are foam covered, and the seat is thickly padded, making Sunny SF-RW5515 comfortable for all kinds of users.
It's easy to ride, easy to move, easy to be assembled and disassembled. It also comes with an LCD display that lets you monitor your progress.

The only drawback on Sunny SF-RW5515 is the seat. It squeaks a little while operating that make some annoying sounds.

Sunny SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Specifications

Dimensions

82L x 19W x 23H inches

Stored Dimensions

37L x 19W x 53.5H inches

Maximum User Weight

250 lbs

Levels of Resistance

8

Slide Rail Length

42 inches

Verdict

Sunny SF-RW5515 is the best budget magnetic rowing machine for home uses.

Air - Best Overall: Stamina ATS Air Rower

Stamina ATS Air Rower
Stamina ATS Air Rower
8.2Good
Pros
  • High-quality build

  • Metal pull chain for durability

  • Real rowing feeling

  • Comfortable

Cons
  • Noisy

Despite being a budget rowing machine, Stamina ATS Air Rower has a metal pull chain that you won’t find on other rowing machines at the budget price.

This type of chain is much more durable than other nylon pulls that tend to stretch and wear out after several years of using. The chain, along with the all steel frame, makes Stamina ATS Air Rower really a reliable machine.

Stamina ATS Air Rower gives you a natural resistance feeling like rowing a real boat. As said above, the resistance level always matches your pace. Row harder if you desire more resistance and ease off if you want less.

Stamina ATS Air Rower is really comfortable thanks to the upholstered, padded seat, adjustable footplates, and padded rowing handle help. Moreover, the oversized angled rail solidly supports the smooth-sliding seat.

Stamina ATS Air Rower is also small, although it’s an air rowing machine. I have nothing to complain about Stamina ATS Air Rower, except for the noise from the flywheel spinning through the air.

Stamina ATS Air Rower Specifications

Dimensions

77L x 18.75W x 22H inches

Stored Dimensions

48L x 18.75W x 28H inches

Maximum User Weight

250lbs

Levels of Resistance

Depends on your peace

Slide Rail Length

40 inches.

Verdict

If you want real rowing feeling, Stamina ATS Air Rower is the best choice at an affordable price.

How To Choose The Best Budget Rowing Machines?

There are 3 common types of rowing machines, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is the comparison table:


Air rowers

Magnetic rowers

Hydraulic-piston rowers

User’s experience

All level (beginners to Olympic athletes)

beginner, intermediate

beginner, intermediate, elders, people

Quietness

*

***

**

Size & storage capacities

*

**

***

Smooth operation

***

**

*

Maintenance required

**

**

*

After you know the best type for you, you can check my top picks for the best budget rowing machines of three types above and find the most suitable for you.

Which Brands Make The Best Budget Rowing Machines?

Stamina

  • Stamina is an American company that has distributed in-home fitness equipment for 30 years. They provides a wide range of indoor and outdoor exercise equipment.

  • In terms of rowing machines, the company now has dozens of models from budget ones to premium ones. All have good quality and competitive price. Stamina is one of leading rowing machine brand.

Sunny

  • Sunny Health & Fitness is a young leading distributor and importer of high-quality health and fitness products. They headquartered in Los Angeles and have been operating for over 15 years.

  • Sunny provide the best exercise and health equipment with competitive price. Their customer service is also excellent. This is a big brand that you can trust.

ProGear

  • Progear Fitness is a South African company. They provide a range of high-quality appliances, accessories, and fitness gears. Progear Fitness isn't a really big brand in the rowing machine market. However, it does have some good affordable rowing machine model.

Marcy

  • Marcy is the exercise bike brand of Impex. Impex was founded in 1982, in Pomona, California, the US as a manufacturer of fitness products. Since then, Impex has been developing constantly and now is one of leading health and fitness equipment provider.

  • Impex has a wide range of products, from exercise bike to rowing machines. Their products are well-known for its innovation, superiority and competitive price, as well as the great customer service. This is a brand you can trust.

FAQs

What is the best type of rowing machine to buy?

There is no universal best type of rowing machine. To choose the best type for you, you need to be specific:

Hydraulic: Among four types of rowing machines, the hydraulic piston rowing machines are the smallest and the most affordable. However, they are a little noisy and do not provide you with a smooth, flowing feel. Thus, rowing machines of this type are suitable for those living alone in small apartments.

A hydraulic piston rowing machine uses a piston to create the resistance. You’ll pull against the air or fluid inside the cylinder. The drawbacks are the resistance level will change when the heat of fluid/air change and you’ll need to maintain the machine regularly.

Magnetic is the newest technology to generate resistance. Rowing machines of this type are the quietest and the most popular when it comes to home use.

The magnetic resistance mechanism is also the most accurate and easiest to adjust. It uses a strong electric magnet to restrict the movement of the flywheel. The stronger the flow of electricity is, the higher the resistance level is. Or in less advanced machines, they will move the magnet further or closer the flywheel to adjust the resistance level.

Being control by the magnet, so the resistance on magnetic rowing machine does not change after long hours of workout like hydraulic piston rowing machines, making this type of rower really reliable.

The air rower is the most popular type of rowing machines. Air rowing machines are loud and space-consuming, though, they are considered the best type of rowers. Because they provide a very real boat riding feeling.

The resistance is produced by the air resistance. When the user pulls the string that connects to a flywheel, the flywheel spins, blocking the air. The faster you row, the faster the flywheel spins through the air, thus the greater the resistance.

This is the standard model for the indoor sport of rowing.

How long should you row on a rowing machine?

It depends on your purpose.

If you want to lose weight, you should row at a normal pace for long hours - at least 1 hour a day and 3 times a week.

If you want to practice your muscle, you need to row more intensely, thus, the practice period might be less - about 30 minutes a day in everyday.

Which is better, treadmill or rowing machine?

Overall, rowing on a rowing machine puts much less stress on your body than walking or running on a treadmill. However, each type of machines has its own advantages.

Treadmills are great for building leg muscles such as the hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quadriceps. Rowing machines are great for enhancing strength level and upper muscle workouts such as chest muscles, shoulder muscles, and abdominal muscles.

Can you build muscle with a rowing machine?

Yes, of course. Especially, chest muscles, shoulder muscles, and abdominal muscles.

Summary

Above are my full review of the best budget rowing machines. Hope that the information in this article will help you find the suitable rowing machine for you.

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