9 Best Rowing Machines For Beginners of 2020

Do you know rowing machines or so-called indoor rowers are experiencing a rise in popularity. This full-body cardio equipment will improve body strength and cardiorespiratory fitness.

After conducting current market research, we found all the best rowing machines for beginners. Read on.

Here are the best rowing machines for beginners:

  • Best Overall: Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
  • Best For Small Areas: Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine
  • Sturdiest: Stamina 1205 Precision Rower
  • Best For Tall People: Stamina 35-1399 ATS Air Rower
  • Best For Large-Framed People: Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air Rower
  • Best For Short People: Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower
  • Best For Tight Spaces: Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
  • Compact: Goplus Water Rowing Machine
  • Best For Heavy People: Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine
Top 9 Best Rowing Machines For Beginners
Best Overall
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
    Read Our Review
    Best For Small Areas
    Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine
      Read Our Review
      Stamina 1205 Precision Rower
        Read Our Review
        Best For Tall People
        Stamina 35-1399 ATS Air Rower
          Read Our Review
          Best For Large-Framed People
          Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air Rower
            Read Our Review
            Best For Short People
            Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower
              Read Our Review
              Best For Tight Spaces
              Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
                Read Our Review
                Goplus Water Rowing Machine
                  Read Our Review
                  Best For Heavy People
                  Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine
                    Read Our Review

                    Best Overall: Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

                    Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
                    • Simple assembly- clear instructions manual and enough necessary tools
                    • Long-lasting support - a firm and large seat, compact footplates, ball-bearing system, and foam handlebars
                    • Easy mobility- light fold-up frame with small footprints
                    • Easy fitness tracking - multipurpose LCD monitor

                    • Nothing to complain

                    The first machine is the Trac Glider 1050 version from the Stamina brand. This basic hydraulic machine will show no shaking when operating.

                    It features a solid steel frame and aluminum center beams. The design makes it last long after extended periods of use.

                    Together with 12 resistance levels, its pivoting arms and pedals can mimic the real rowing motion, giving users interesting workouts. You can control the intensity via its manual control knob as needed.

                    The fitness monitor also provides you with detailed data to follow every workout session and set goals to achieve. Try it soon!

                    Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine Specifications


                    39.1 pounds


                    58.25 x 42.5 x 18.125 inches

                    Maximum User Weight Limit

                    250 pounds

                    Highlight Features

                    Pivoting arm design

                    LCD display

                    Adjustable hydraulic cylinder resistance

                    Aluminum slide rail


                    Overall, this budget-friendly device offers fascinating quality and is ideal for both entry-level users and more advanced athletes

                    Best For Small Areas: Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

                    Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine
                    • Robust performance- features a heavy-duty steel frame and precision extruded aluminum beam
                    • Ergonomic design- pivoting footplates with nylon foot straps fit any-sized shoes.
                    • Effortless adjustment- a variable tension control system
                    • Smooth relocation - floor protectors prevent damages and scratches

                    • The seat is a bit sliding at the first time of use

                    Another excellent Stamina product is the 35-1215 Orbital model. With hydraulic resistance, this unique rower will provide a smooth workout experience at home or in the office.

                    Thanks to independent rowing arms, you will get more exhaustive and no-impact workouts. They also let you dig in or pull through in liberating ways that other rowers don’t offer.

                    One more plus is that you won’t get troubles with piston issues. Why? There are 2 available pistons while others have 1-piston.

                    The exercise machine will help you improve cardiovascular fitness as well as strengthen major muscle groups such as shoulders, arms, back, stomach, and legs. After rowing, you can store it under the bed or sofa with the support of folding arms. It sounds great!

                    Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine Specifications


                    54.8 pounds


                    50 x 32.5 x 31 inches

                    Maximum User Weight Limit

                    250 pounds

                    Highlight Features

                    adjustable tension controls

                    Deluxe roller system

                    Dual-piston hydraulic action resistance

                    Free-motion arms


                    In a word, this space-saving product is perfect for those who have small workout space but want to experience the natural rowing motion indoors.

                    Sturdiest: Stamina 1205 Precision Rower

                    Stamina 1205 Precision Rower
                    • User-friendly- anti-corrosive paint; the only whispering sound from pistons
                    • Maximum stability- includes a comfortable seat, foam-padded handles, non-slip pivoting pedals, and deluxe ball-bearing design
                    • Safe power - shuts itself off after four minutes when idling
                    • Easy maintenance- just need a dry cloth to wipe the rails

                    • Some buyers complain that it’s a bit hard to loosen the tension knobs

                    Take a look at this Stamina 1205 Precision machine! With high build quality, it is among the most superb and sturdiest hydraulic rowing types in its price range out there.

                    Besides good reinforcements in the steel frame, it has robust steel stabilizers and extruded aluminum rail. Another plus is the large seat with supportive cushioning for extra comfort.

                    Coming with a low gravity center, it will offer 5 possible positions. You will get harder resistance when positioning the cylinders in higher points.

                    All of them will allow this precision rower to do an effective task in burning off calories. You will build, tone, and sculpt muscles without joint damage.

                    It won’t take up much of your floor space so put it on your list!

                    Stamina 1205 Precision Rower Specifications


                    47 pounds


                    32.5 x 27.75 x 48 inches

                    Maximum User Weight Limit

                    250 pounds

                    Highlight Features

                    Customizable handles

                    High-grade rollers

                    Precision extruded beam

                    Adjustable tension and resistance controls


                    After all, this non-impact product is a wonderful option for average families and those who need a method for stamina, cardio, or strength building.

                    Best For Tall People: Stamina 35-1399 ATS Air Rower

                    Stamina 35-1399 ATS Air Rower
                    • Ideal for long rowing sessions - goes with an upholstered, padded seat and strong padded handles
                    • Great for HIIT routines: the self-regulating resistance allows slowing down or speeding up without stopping to adjust settings
                    • Easy storage- comes with bottom wheels and scuff-resistant pads
                    • Good for leg workouts- the seat’s monorail isn’t horizontal but forms a 15-degree angle with the ground

                    • It may produce a bit of noise

                    If you are seeking a popular model for tall users in the middle price range, don’t miss this 35-1399 ATS Air Rowing Machine!

                    Produced by Stamina, its durable design will help you boost your cardiovascular endurance efficiently. Also, it will strengthen the core of hamstrings, gluteus, quads, back, arms, and shoulders and sculpt them to form an ideal body shape.

                    Another plus point is its adjustable foot straps which will lock both feet securely. Its flexible footplates will allow a wide range of rowing motion as well.

                    Notably, its oversized angled chrome seat rail will enable an easy return and can accommodate users of different heights. Even tall users who are up to 6’7″ (about 2 meters) can row without issues. Buy it now!

                    Stamina 35-1399 ATS Air Rower Specifications


                    54 pounds


                    77 x 18.8 x 22 inches

                    Maximum User Weight Limit

                    250 pounds

                    Highlight Features

                    Dynamic air resistance

                    Non-skid end caps

                    Oversized seat rail

                    Tough nylon strap


                    This rower is worth your money and strong enough for newbies, intermediate users, and advanced ones.

                    Best For Large-Framed People: Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air Rower

                    Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air Rower
                    • Great quality: high-grade ball bearings; steel, aluminum, and chrome materials; scratch- and corrosion-resistant coating finish
                    • Simple operation- just pull harder on the machine’s resistor and then ease off for less
                    • Efficient movement- comes with a robust metal chain and padded handle
                    • Quick return stroke- the angled and contoured seat rail

                    • Some users are confused when using the locking pin

                    The next candidate in our list is the Stamina 35-1402 air rowing model. This fitness machine goes with the best indoor fitness technology and offers a smooth-rowing operation.

                    Designed for comfort, its contoured seat will satisfy large-framed users. The rowing chain and soft handles will bring appropriate posture to every stroke, too.

                    The coating finish of steel parts is special since it helps prevent corrosion and scratching. Plus, chrome housing will protect the fan from potential damage and dust.

                    We also love aerobic-style workouts while rowing as they will minimize all impact on joints. Why don’t you purchase it soon to get those benefits?

                    Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air Rower Specifications


                    59 pounds


                    73.5 x 18.2 x 22 inches

                    Maximum User Weight Limit

                    250 pounds

                    Highlight Features

                    Dynamic-wind resistance

                    Incorporated casters

                    Textured toe plates

                    3-window monitor display


                    With comfortable features and sturdy built, this low-impact model is a convenient method to start the journey of achieving a healthy lifestyle.

                    Best For Short People: Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower

                    Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower
                    • Comfortable experience- good-sized contoured seat and wide well-padded handle
                    • Optimum conformity- large pedals with adjustable safety straps
                    • Long-lasting usage- the anti-corrosive steel frame prevents rusts and the ride system’s shroud comes with ABS plastic materials
                    • Ideal for any floor type: rubberized and adjustable stabilizers

                    • Nothing to complain

                    Now, let discover one of the latest rowing versions which embraces Bluetooth technology. That is the Fitness Reality 1000 magnetic model.

                    Compatible with the free MyCloudFitness app, it will let you track your workout results and select between different fitness goal settings.

                    The brand also makes a surprising play on providing additional exercises. The design of this magnetic rower allows you to stand in front of it and use handles to perform tricep extensions, bicep curls, and more.

                    Notably, each user including ones with disabilities can get on and off the rower without hassle. Even short users can perform complete leg extensions without problems as well.

                    Don’t worry about the noise! This type is quiet and won’t cause issues unlike some models out there.

                    Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Specifications


                    63.6 pounds


                    88.5 x 21.5 x 21.5 inches

                    Maximum User Weight Limit

                    250 pounds

                    Highlight Features

                    Bluetooth console

                    14-level dual transmission tension

                    Innovative footpads

                    Smartphone bracket


                    This is an affordable product that will support you with productive and outstanding workouts to improve physical fitness.

                    Best For Tight Spaces: Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

                    Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
                    • Great balance - non-slip foot pedals
                    • Easy to access- multi-functional 5-button back-lit monitor
                    • Perfect for home use - magnetic drum and nylon belt help produce whisper quiet sounds
                    • Optimum friction production: DRM system and electronic tension controls

                    • Some users find it a bit hard to follow assembly instructions

                    How about this Velocity Magnetic Rower? What makes it superb among these candidates?

                    First, it integrates the Magnetic drum resistance technology, which makes it helpful in supporting various rowing exercises.

                    Second, its compact design is ideal for limited workout areas. You can fold it up in some seconds and roll it away to save much space.

                    There are 12 available programs to choose from. They include 6 preset workouts, 4 open slots, a target heart rate fitness program, and a manual program which allows rowing at the user’s pace without restrictions.

                    Another big plus is the advanced chest strap heart rate monitor to track all the vital fitness data. Lots of models in its price range do not include this feature.

                    Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower Specifications


                    75 pounds


                    45 x 30 x 11 inches

                    Maximum User Weight Limit

                    275 pounds

                    Highlight Features

                    Drum Magnetic Control

                    Heart rate receiver

                    High-quality Velcro strap

                    Polyurethane molded saddle


                    This well-rounded machine is versatile and robust. Rowing enthusiasts and novices can use it to gain the best results they want.

                    Compact: Goplus Water Rowing Machine

                    Goplus Water Rowing Machine
                    • Uniform stroke- the double-bladed impeller works well
                    • Comfortable rowing- no-slip padded hand bar and large seat with raised height
                    • Effortless user interface- touch-sensitive LCD monitor shows vital training diagnostics

                    • The tank is a bit big so it requires some careful storage

                    Let move to review of this compact Goplus water rower to know the reason why it is special.

                    It makes use of water flywheels to power rowing activities and its high-grade tank to assure an extended life. Plus, there will be less required maintenance thanks to the rust-free alloy beam.

                    What’s more:

                    Six available water levels allow you to control according to requirements. Also, the well-designed ball-bearing system will offer smoother experience and improve the movement fluidity.

                    Besides a phone holder, the app-compatible monitor is a big bonus. You can connect it with IOS or Android devices for easy workout planning and tracking on its GoPlus app.

                    Goplus Water Rowing Machine Specifications


                    70 pounds


                    79 × 22 × 29.5 inches

                    Maximum User Weight Limit

                    220 pounds

                    Highlight Features

                    Aluminium alloy guide rail

                    Ergonomic PU saddle

                    6 resistance levels

                    Leak-resistance tank


                    We believe this machine will provide all users with everything they need to follow great full-body workouts.

                    Best For Heavy People: Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine

                    Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine
                    • Heavy-duty: the weight capacity is up to 300 pounds
                    • Steady rowing experience- the flywheel and steel blades create instant resistance
                    • Advanced technology- more workout metrics; compatible with heart rate watches or belts and ANT technology
                    • Quick usage and storage- high-density and non-marking transportation wheels and levelers

                    • Requires regular water refilling

                    The final candidate is a product from Sunny Health & Fitness brand. It has a great outlook on the durable black powder coating.

                    The user-friendly interface with advanced technology will impress you at first sight. You can track calorie, time/500m, time, calendar, SPM, strokes, distance, total strokes, temperature, pulse, clock. There are more essential data than its cousins provide.

                    Anything else?

                    Its high-profile molded seat is functional and comfortable. It allows you to get off and on without straining and bending your back.

                    The 16 high-density hydro fan blades are also perfect. They will supply unlimited resistance and proper response, giving you a unique rowing experience. It is fascinating!

                    Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Specifications


                    91.9 pounds


                    80 x 22 x 34 inches

                    Maximum User Weight Limit

                    300 pounds

                    Highlight Features

                    R2 Fitness Meter

                    Hydro fan blades

                    High technology compatibility

                    Advanced digital screen


                    Don’t hesitate to choose this well-made machine to keep your workouts more challenging and engaging.

                    How To Choose The Best Rowing Machines For Beginners?

                    This is a worth-concerning issue since what you choose will affect your workout results. Below are some vital factors that you should notice when shopping for the best rowing machine for beginners:


                    • How important is it when considering your budget? This step will not only hasten your search but also let you compare different options in the least time-wasting and most method.

                    User’s Weight

                    • This is one more significant factor to notice. Every rowing machine has weight limits that you have to check before purchasing.
                    • If you’re over this limit, you need to find machines that offer a more heavy-duty frame with a lower gravity center.

                    Your Space

                    • Don’t forget to consider your workout space. What will happen if you realize there is not enough space to keep the chosen machine?
                    • To avoid that situation, check your available space with the following tips. If you do not have a large room to put a full-sized model in designated workout areas or other corners of your house, look at products that are portable and easy-to-store with wheels.
                    • Also note, the hydraulic-piston types often have the smallest footprints while air and water resistance ones go with the largest. See more information about resistance types later.
                    • Besides, our above reviews show the dimension of each model by Length x Width x Height. When determining how much available space there is, you can estimate to choose what you need.

                    Proper Type

                    Choosing the appropriate rowing type is also important. On the current market, there are 4 main different indoor rowing types with distinct features:

                    • The hydraulic type
                      • It will be the best option when space is your concern, or your budget is tight. This type is different from others since its technique doesn’t let you pull in straight lines. When using it, you will be on exercise positions but can’t perform natural rowing motions.
                    • The magnetic resistance type
                      • This version is quite silent and will provide smooth rowing strokes by utilizing the magnetic braking system.
                    • The water-bases type
                      • It emulates a boat’s dynamics when moving in water, which will deliver a real-rowing experience. Featuring a robust frame, it is also among the most attractive indoor rowers available.
                    • The air-based type
                      • These models make use of air for resistance. Thanks to that feature, it will bring a more continuous, natural, smoother, and better rowing stroke than others.

                    Which Brands Make The Best Rowing Machines For Beginners?


                    • Focusing on innovative and affordable options for customers, Stamina has produced a great selection of high-quality wellness and exercise equipment.
                    • Their product will help increase flexibility, build endurance, and strengthen the entire body. All are in the convenience and privacy of your home.

                    Fitness Reality

                    • This manufacturer has sold more than one million pieces of fitness equipment. Its commitment is to provide good quality and innovative products that are better than ever.
                    • Whether you are a stay at home mother or a fitness enthusiast, Fitness Reality products will satisfy your needs.

                    Sunny Health & Fitness

                    • Being a premier importer and distributor of top-quality fitness products, Sunny provides a wide range of models for both fitness athletes and home users alike.
                    • The industry-leading ideas and astounding craftsmanship take it to the list of the fastest-growing manufacturers in the fitness and health equipment market.


                    Is a rowing machine good for beginners?

                    Yes, low-impact workouts will work wonders for newbies. Many overweight people who want to begin a workout routine often have a difficult time with traditional methods. Thus, rowing will be an ideal option.

                    They can start with light intensity exercise sessions to keep their heart within about 60%-70% of the maximum heart rate while exercising.

                    Can you lose belly fat by using rowing machines?

                    The answer is yes. According to the publication of Wisconsin Department Of Health Services, rowing will help you burn a significant amount of calories per hour. Raising the heart rate also helps burning calories and shedding the belly fat.

                    However, keep in mind that you have to follow that activity at a higher intensity and in consistent ways.

                    How long should beginners use rowing machines?

                    The information published on the Better Health Channel shows that beginners should row twice or three times a week to get the best benefits. Plus, 8 to 10 exercises that focus on the main muscle groups in the body are recommended.

                    Is rowing better than running?

                    Both of them are ideal methods to help you kick off the fitness regime. However, in case you have convenient access to rowers, you should choose rowing. Below are some reasons:

                    - It targets more muscles including lower-body and upper-body ones. Running tends to target lower-body muscle groups.

                    - It’s low-impact and perfect for those who want high-intensity activities with less risk. Running isn’t suitable for people with their history of injury during weight-bearing workouts.

                    - It’s convenient since you can row indoors. When running, you may get troubles with the impact of weather or traffic.


                    Every of the recommended best rowing machine for beginners above comes with different worth-considering features.

                    We hope our reviews will provide you with enough information when going for a proper rowing machine that fits your requirements. Thanks for reading and share it if possible!

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