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Kettler Kadett Review

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If you’re in the market for a reliable and solid mid-range rowing machine from one of the best manufacturers, then you should consider the Kadett by Kettler. You may think that it is very expensive for a hydraulic resistance machine, but that is because of the circular rowing movement that is completely unique from other modes, which in fact simulates the feeling of actually rowing on water. This is great if you’re looking for a more authentic experience without having to pay a lot more for an expensive rower like the H20 RX-750 Home Series from ProRower.

There are two hydraulic cylinders that give you a realistic and smooth feeling, but you are able to set the resistance between 1 and 12, which allows you to have more customization as you progress in strength and fitness. It is a quality machine and feels very solid when you are using it, but there are a few minor issues that you will need to be aware of, and we will discuss those further into the review.

Kettler Kadett Review
Kettler Kadett

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Features and Specifications

The Kadett has all the great features that you would expect for this price range, but some that you wouldn’t expect.

Performance Monitor

It with a solid performance monitor. This will track everything that you would expect such as distance, speed, strokes, time, burned calories, and your heart rate through a unique ear lobe clip. The fact that it is equipped with a heart rate monitor is great, simply because the higher end machines have these. It also has advanced features like being able to set goals in order to keep yourself motivated when you’re working out, and even has audio and visual signals to keep on track.


Because of the special design, the Kadett is a bit wider than your normal rowers, so it does need more space. Although, the arms fold away so that when it is stored, it is normal sized in width, but it is still large when compared to other rowers which are able to be quite compact.


When the Kadett is being used, it is very smooth, not just when it comes to the hydraulic circular motion, but the way that it slides along the rails. It has a very solid and well designed frame that will feel quite sturdy even for the heavier individual. It does have a padded seat that is comfortable, and adjustable footplates that pivot, extending to support various users.

Other Features

  • Anti-slip foot protectors for improved safety.
  • Durable Rails.
  • Smooth operating seat rollers.
  • Made by a leading manufacturer of fitness equipment worldwide.
  • 3-year warranty on the frame.

Specifications Summary

Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

Width: 67 in

Length: 59 in

Machine weight: 66 lbs

Color: Silver

Storage: Oars fold away to make machine compact for size

The Good

  • Circular motion actually mimics water rowing.
  • Well made with high quality parts.
  • Lots of resistance levels to suit various users.
  • Quiet and Smooth operation.

The Bad

  • Foot straps may loosen during workouts.
  • The design has the drawback of needing more space when in use.
  • More expensive than other hydraulic resistance rowers.
  • Can take time in order to assemble, and instructions can be hard to follow.
  • Heart rate monitor can be inaccurate.

The Verdict

For the Kadett’s price, you will find that it is one of the best rowing machines that you can purchase. You can tell it was made by a German manufacturer, due to the high quality and well made machine that feels as if it will last for decades. The best part is that it has a realistic rowing motion. Anyone who has rowed on the water, will be able to close their eyes and feel as if they are on the water again. We cannot stress how great the design and motion of this rower is, and it tends to be a lot better than some of the less expensive hydraulic machines that you will see.

Although, there are a few issues that users have reported, one of the main ones being the foot straps are not well made and tend to be quite flimsy. There have been users that have stated that they modified them in order to make them work better. This may seem to be a minor issue, which doesn’t spoil what a great rower this is at such an affordable price.

Kettler Kadett Review
Kettler Kadett

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Concept2 Model E Review – Is it worth the price?


If you happen to be in the market for a new rowing machine and you’re wanting the best one that money can buy, then you need to look at the Model E by Concept2. It has been designed to be similar to the Model D, but more improved. When you first look at it, you may notice that it looks almost the same, but all of the changes that were made are very well implemented and thought out.

The changes include a more comfortable, and higher seat on a 20 inch frame. This is perfect for anyone who has mobility or joint issues as it makes it so much easier to get on and off of the Model E. It also contains a nickel plated chain which doesn’t take as much maintenance so there is less oiling. It’s a great machine with a clear, glossy coat. As you can see, the best feature has to be the advanced performance monitor named the PM5, which is now standard.

The Model E also comes with the great build quality, features and reliability that the Model D has made so popular in the world, both in gyms and homes, when it comes to rowing machines. Below are all the great details of the Model E.

Concept2 Model E Review – Is it worth the price?
Concept2 Model E

Features and Specifications

The Model E uses air resistance in order to give you that realistic rowing motion, it gives you the feeling that you are rowing on the water.

Performance Monitor

pm5-monitorThe Model E’s PM5 performance monitor is great, reliable, packed with awesome features as well as being simple to use. The arm for the PM5 is now in a fixed position that allows it to be easy to interact and view. Unlike the other performance monitors, the PM5 is equipped with the Garmin chest belt that monitors your heart rate without having to worry about any wires that may get in the way while your working out.

The monitor is very accurate and has extra games and features that were not offered in prior models. The games are great for keeping anyone motivated, and really give that sense of achievement and purpose when you’re rowing. Just like the with the PM4, it has the removable LogCard in order to store your data and preferences from all of your workouts, and you can take your data with you no matter where you are.


The Model E will fold away using the quick release mechanism that will allow it to split into two separate parts without having to use tools. It is a larger machine, but it folds away tightly so you don’t need to have a lot of storage space for it.


With the frame height now being 20 inches and a more comfortable seat, this is where the Model E really excels. You will not be sitting unnaturally low to the ground, since you will be sitting at a normal chair level. This great change really makes you wonder why other rowing machines are not doing the same thing, because it is great for those who have joint or mobility problems.

Other Features

  • One leg design that gives more stability.
  • Nickel plated chain that has enclosed housing.
  • Stainless steel track.
  • Ergonomic handles and adjustable footrests.
  • 2-year warranty on the moving parts and the performance monitor.
  • 5-year warranty on the frame.

Specifications Summary

Machine Weight: 65 lbs

Width: 24 in

Length: 96 in

Max. Weight capacity: 500 lbs

Storage: Separates into two parts

Color: Grey

The Good

  • Advanced PM5 performance monitor.
  • Same great build quality from Concept2.
  • Realistic Rowing motion.
  • Very comfortable with the added height.
  • Used by professionals.
  • Easy to assemble.

The Bad

  • Slightly larger than the Model D.
  • Instructions can be a bit confusing.
  • High price tag, but you are getting what you pay for.

The Verdict

The Model E is a great rowing machine, and even though it has a pretty high price tag, it gives you great features, outstanding quality and an amazing workout.

If you have the money to spend, and you are wanting a great rowing machine, then you certainly cannot go wrong with the Model E. It is a great investment, simply because it has been designed to last and will give you a full body workout that is powerful every day.

If you have a bit of trouble from deciding between the Model E and Model D, you will be happy with either selection. However, if you do have the extra cash to spare then the comfort and extra features are worth the higher price tag.

Concept2 Model E Review – Is it worth the price?
Concept2 Model E


1215 Orbital by Stamina Review

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This may be one of the most affordable rowing machines that you can purchase. It offers complete rowing motion, and mimics rowing on the water. It attempts this with the smooth feeling hydraulic cylinder resistance system and does a decent job of it. Just like with many of the products by Stamina, this rowing machine is targeted for those who do not want to spend a lot, but want to have a quality workout in their homes. However, this does not mean that it is a poor quality rower, or that it’s lacking features, but it is not a rower that a fitness enthusiast or professional would use, they may choose to use the Model E by Concept2.

If you make the choice to purchase the 1215 Orbital, then it will be a great investment. Simply because it has a lot of customers that are satisfied and it’s a great rower that you can purchase in this particular price range. Additionally, it is really perfect for those who are looking to have a realistic rowing experience, not just the normal mechanical type of workout. Continue to read on while we discuss what makes this rower a great choice, and even cover some things that you should be aware of before purchasing.

1215 Orbital by Stamina Review
Stamina 1215 Orbital

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Features and Specifications


As stated above, this rower uses hydraulic resistance that has tension controls. They are adjustable, which is great for those who need to have a more relaxed or stronger workout. Basically, this means that it is quiet and it has a smooth motion, which is perfect for watching television while you are working out.

Performance Monitor

The 1215 Orbital is a bit lacking when it comes to the monitor, but it will do the job and it shows plenty of information for many individuals. It’s not as advanced as the higher end models, which include heart rate monitors and motivational games. With this being said, many people will enjoy it, and it will display your distance rowed, calories burned, row count, and speed. The truth is that most people will become motivated enough just by watching their calories burned grow on the display as they exercise.


This happens to be the one thing that is great about the Orbital, as it is quite compact, yet it feels solid when it’s being used. Since it is only 32.5 x 50 inches, it’s perfect for those who have very limited space. Considering that this is a very small rower, it doesn’t fold away, but it is not needed for its size. This rowing machine is really home user friendly when it comes to size, price and features.


You’ll be happy to know that this rowing machine comes equipped with a very thick and comfortable padded seat, as well as the pivoting footplates that will help if you plan to be rowing for an extended time period.

Other Features

  • 5 resistance levels.
  • Adjustable resistance rowing arms that are equipped with foam grips.
  • Durable aluminum frame.
  • 90-day warranty on the moving parts and a 5-year warranty on the frame.

Specifications Summary

Machine Weight: 47 lbs

Width: 32.5 in

Length: 50 in

Max. Weight Capacity: 250 lbs

Storage: Doesn’t fold, but is compact enough for easy storage

Color: Silver

The Good

  • Quiet when in use.
  • Mimics the motion of rowing on water for a budget price.
  • Many users report that it lasts a long time.
  • Compact, but sturdy design.
  • Cheap way to lose weight and get fit. 

The Bad

  • The monitor is a bit difficult to read and basic.
  • The lowest resistance setting can be hard for some people.
  • Others have had issues with the seat rollers collapsing.
  • 90-day warranty on the moving parts.
  • Some have had issues with the shocks breaking.

The Verdict 

The Orbital is a great value for a rowing machine at this price, it is unspectacular, but very solid. The rowing motion is smooth and realistic, and despite its small size, it has plenty of resistance for a strong workout. Just keep in mind, many users have complained that the shocks have broken because they are made of plastic instead of metal. For this reason, it is a good idea to consider purchasing the Kadett by Kettler before you actually make your final choice when you are searching for a rowing machine with a circular motion.

1215 Orbital by Stamina Review
Stamina 1215 Orbital

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Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower Review


This high grade magnetic rowing machine comes at a great price, which does not cost an arm and a leg. It is jam packed with features, is well made and looks great as well, which makes it a great choice for those who are looking for a great rowing experience, but are not able to afford the higher end models.

Aside from being very solid and well-built, the greatest part about this rower is that it uses a magnetic resistance system that provides a great workout without all the noise. If you’re used to a noisy, cheaper model of rower, it can be a bit nerve racking at first, but this rower is virtually silent when it’s being used. This is perfect for those who need a workout without disturbing roommates or family members, and for those who like to watch TV while they are exercising.

Keep reading this review and we will cover why this machine is completely justified with its price tag, and how it is able to compete with rowers like the Model D from Concept2.

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower Review
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

Features and Specifications

The CHR-2001 has a very well thought out design and many features that you would expect from a top end model. There has been plenty of attention when it comes to details ensuring that not only are you getting an amazing workout, but you are getting a rower that is comfortable and allows you to monitor your progress and fold it away whenever you are finished exercising.

The magnetic resistance system is quiet and very effective, plus it comes with 12 different program settings to suit various user’s goals and fitness levels. This is perfect if you are a pro or a beginner an it’s great that the whole family can use it without worrying about the strength or fitness levels.

Performance Monitor

The performance monitor has a large easy to read LCD display and is more than enough for the needs of many people. It is able to track your distance, strokes per minute, time rowed, your heart rate, and the calories that are burned. The best part will be that the heart rate monitor is included, and you are able to strap it to your chest. If you had any type of doubt that this wasn’t a high end rower, then the fact that a heart rate monitor comes included should certainly prove that. This rower is great for fitness enthusiasts, serious trainers, or those who just want to get in shape.


If you have limited space, then you will be happy to know that this rower folds away, and has wheels to make it easy to move and place within your storage area. When it’s folded it comes to a 54 x 34 x 20 in dimension and has proven that it’s easy to bring premium fitness equipment into your home with ease.


This particular rower is extremely comfortable when in use because it has a PU molded saddle that is nicely padded, meaning that you’re able to stay comfortable while having a long and intense workout without becoming sore. The handles are also padded, which offers comfortable grips and the footrests can adjust easily without much effort and can conform to many users. Lastly, the seat glides effortlessly along the beam, which will offer you a great and enjoyable rowing experience.

Other Features

  • Rectangular tubing support.
  • RDMC or Drum Magnetic Control resistance system.
  • Electronic tension control.

Specifications Summary

Machine Weight: 75 lbs

Width: 30 in

Length: 45 in

Storage: Folds away

Max. Weight Capacity: 275 lbs

The Good

  • Glides smoothly along the bar.
  • Very quiet to use, even with intense workouts.
  • Great design.
  • Includes extras, such as a heart rate monitor.
  • Fantastic build quality.
  • Folds away for easy storage.
  • Very easy to assemble with clear instructions.

The Bad

  • It takes a bit of effort to fold up for storage.
  • The small size may cause issues for very tall people.

The Verdict

If you decide to purchase this rowing machine, you can certainly be confident that it will be money well spent. You will be getting a top quality rower that has a great design that you know will certainly last a long time. It is comfortable to use, and since it has an anodized aluminum profile, it looks great as well.

Another great thing about this rowing machine is that it is great for different types of people, whether you are someone who has a high fitness level or a beginner who is wanting to get into shape. This is simply because it’s a high end rower, it has an affordable price, and is a great quality product for your money.

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower Review
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower


WaterRower Natural in Ash Wood Review


Many rowing enthusiasts are making the change from air-based rowers to water. They say that it connects them with the feeling of rowing a boat on a lake, a river or on calm ocean waters. When you choose the WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine, you are purchasing a top-quality, complete exercise unit for achieving and maintaining excellent health. This unique model is skilfully handcrafted from Appalachian sourced wood with a smooth finish of Danish oil. Ash wood is a superior quality hardwood, remarkably durable and attractive. Its capacity to absorb both sound and vibration makes this modern rower exceedingly quiet in operation. Regular users report that the practical and convenient S4 Monitor provides fast, efficient startup, aiding smooth functionality from beginning to end of each exercise session. Just push the start button and row away.

WaterRower Natural in Ash Wood Review
WaterRower Natural in Ash Wood

This monitor also houses advanced functions. It visually registers rowing intensity in meters per second and miles per hour. It also indicates time per 500 meters (500 m) and time per 2 kilometers (2 km) as well as watts and even Kcalories per hour. Also visible on this monitor are heartrate (requiring a separate attachment) and stroke rate. You can check your rowing distance in meters, kilometers and miles or view your total strokes calculation and exercise time. The action of this rower’s WaterFlywheel erases the mechanized quality of rower designs based on air resistance. Utilizing a paddle immersed in its water chamber, the WaterRower model provides a sense of natural fluidity between water and exerciser.

History of WaterRower Inc

WaterRower Inc has an interesting company history. The company was started in 1988 by John Duke in Rhode Island. Duke was a member of the US National and Yale rowing teams. In 1991, WaterRower (UK) Ltd was founded as a marketing and distribution company for the WaterRower product in Europe. Later, in 1993, the company was granted manufacturing rights for this innovative rower for the European market. Currently, they have 11 different international offices and more than 70 employees. Today, the Americas Headquarters is still located in Warren, RI, a charming town on the coast, and all rower manufacturing is done there.

Specifications and Features

This unique machine is both very attractive and highly functional. Its operational water chamber connects its users directly to nature and the sport of rowing on a body of water while they exercise at home.

Dimensions are as follows:

When in Use: Length – 82.25 in / 209 cm, Width – 22.25 in / 57 cm, Height – 20 in / 51 cm.

When Stored: Depth – 20 in / 51 cm, Width – 22.25 in / 57 cm, Height – 82.25 in / 209 cm.

Rower Weight: 66.5 lbs / 30.5 kg (dry), 103.5 lb / 47 kg (17 l. of water).

This rower’s special WaterFlywheel cups moving water with use of a paddle, producing the closest action to actually rowing in a boat on water that has been achieved by designers today. The “rule of cubes” controls the ratio of resistance and speed of this exerciser. The resulting relationship is that doubling the rowing speed necessitates a boost of eight times more power.

The S4 Monitor includes such features as the QuickStart and QuickSelect buttons to eliminate any wasted time at the beginning of rowing sessions. Another helpful item is the AutoStore feature designed to store the last 9 rowing session settings automatically. There is also a handy PC interface for linking the monitor to a PC, providing access to a huge selection of open source or third party software.

Advantages and Benefits

Many users give this model superior ratings for sturdy construction and durability that support a strenuous, but comfortable and beneficial workout. They also like the fact that the frame is long enough for easy use by tall users. The sound of rushing natural water is attractive to most exercisers. Users also enjoy the smooth ride and comfortable seat. In addition, after workouts, users can easily position the rower upright and roll it into a convenient storage space.


Some people using this rower report that the footrests can catch shoes with wide heels when the machine is in use. Another mild complaint is that the computerized monitor is somewhat basic and could use a backlight. Some users also report that the arm pull motion is not always smooth throughout a rowing session.


The general consensus is that although the WaterRower has some minor disadvantages, overall it is a top-tier rower well worth its price. Its unique natural design, durability, strenuous yet safe workout, complex monitor and easy storage aspect make it a popular, health-promoting exercise machine for rowers of varied sizes and ages. It provides an excellent cardiovascular workout plus great overall body exercise.

WaterRower Natural in Ash Wood Review
WaterRower Natural in Ash Wood


How to get the best from your rowing machine workouts


rowing-machine-workouts2First off, be sure that you have read our page on how to use a rowing machine, after that you are going to be ready to begin your first workout. Rowing machines can be used to target the important parts of your body, building up your core strength, and can even be part of a training regimen for all sorts of sports and athletic activities.

In order to be able to get the best results, you will have to understand the techniques that will be involved. The basic positions that you will begin using can seem quite tricky in the beginning, but once you get the hang of the positions, it will feel powerful and easy to do. We will start by going over the important positions that you will need to understand, so that you can get the most out of your workouts. If you are already familiar with the positions, then go ahead and skip to our recommended workout plan.

Rowing Machine Positions

The Starting Position:

  1. Before you begin, be sure that you have securely strapped your feet in, because you do not want them to be sliding around as you row. You want the straps to be tight enough that they are locking you in snugly so that you are able to focus on your movements.
  1. Your grip on the handles should never be underneath them, but over the top of the handles. You will not be able to maintain a fluid motion in any other way. This makes it easier on your joints as well as being more powerful.
  1. Try to ensure that your wrists and hands are parallel to your arms while you are extending them outwards, towards your feet.
  1. You will begin to feel yourself moving forward on the seat of your rower, your whole body sliding down towards your feet, and you will stop when your lower legs are almost vertical.
  1. Lastly, you will want to lean slightly forward at your hips as you begin to prepare for your first drive.

The Drive Position


  1. Starting at the leaning forward position, you will begin to push with both legs in order to extend them and slide your body backwards on your rower. This is where you really begin to feel the power of your legs being utilized, which is why rowing machines are great for those who run.
  1. As you begin to do this, you will start to feel the focus of energy shift from your legs to your arms and hands. Ensure that you keep a good grip on the handles and tighten your core. Holding your core tight at this point is how you will get great results and not end up with a back strain.
  1. Your legs will be to the point where they are almost fully extended, but do not straighten them out completely. Keep a slight bend on your knees in order to keep them from locking. As you begin to do this, lean backwards with your shoulders.

The Finishing Position


  1. Now that your legs are extended and you are leaning back just a bit, you will bend your arms at your elbows and pull the row handles into your abdomen or stomach. This is where your arms will begin to feel the burn.
  1. Keep your legs extended and lean back, but not from your shoulders. Lean back with your hips, this will work your abs in the process.

The Recovering Position

  1. From the Finishing Position, you will want to straighten out your arms, extending them forward and push the handle back into the original position. This is how you will start resetting the motion to start on your next repetition.
  1. Tilt yourself forward at the hips, allow your upper body to lean quite a bit. You are really going to extend yourself at this point, and if you feel as if you are unable to keep your arms extended at the same time, that may alert you that you need to adjust the rowing machine to fit your height.
  1. When your arms are extended and your upper body is leaning towards the front of the rower, all you will need to do is slowly bend your knees, allowing your seat to move forward until you are almost in the position that you started with.

The Catch Position


  1. This is how you will gear up to begin your next stroke. It will get you back to your starting position and you can to start your second rep.
  1. Straighten your arms, keeping both hands and wrists straight, just like you would in the starting position.
  1. Allow your body to slide forward with your seat, until your legs are almost vertical. This is just the same as the starting position.
  1. Tilt your body at the hips, lean forward just a tad and get ready for your next drive. This is where you have completed a full repetition, and you should practice this until you feel it is easy and smooth. This is how you will get the best results.
  1. Return to step 2, the drive position, and repeat.

In order to get a more visual look on the positions, feel free to check out this video:

Our Recommended Workout Plan

Our recommended workout plan is below and was designed to get you sweating and burning as many calories as possible. It certainly won’t be easy, but then again there wouldn’t be much of a point if it was easy. You will have your whole body and your cardiovascular system tested with this plan. It is something that if you were to do it several times a week, you will significantly raise your fitness levels and drop weight, if that happens to be your goal.

Time (mins) Activity Speed (minutes per 500m) Strokers Per Min RPE
0 to 3 Warm up gently 02:30 16 to 18 3
3 to 6 Row 02:14 20 to 22 5 to 6
6 to 8 Row 02:12 22 to 24 6
8 to 9 Row 02:10 24 to 26 7
9 to 10 Stretching - - 3 to 5
10 to 14 Row 02:12 22 to 24 6
14 to 17 Row 02:10 24 to 26 7
17 to 18 Row 02:08 26 to 28 8 to 9
18 to 20 Gentle warm down 02:30 16 to 18 3

Over time, as your fitness levels grow, you may want to tweak things a bit and increase the intensity of your workouts. You can certainly do this by rowing at a faster pace where you will feel tested.


Which muscles does a Rowing Machine work?


musclesIf you happen to be searching for that full body workout that will give you great cardio as well, then you may just need a rowing machine. These rowers will work all your important muscle groups, but some will be more noticeable than others. Your legs, back, core, shoulders and back can get all great attention when you use a rowing machine on a regular basis.


  • Latissimus Dorsi: Extension of your arms when you release the tension of a rower handlebars happens to be controlled by this muscle. It is partially covered by the trapezius muscle and happens to cover the mid to lower back area.
  • Trapezius: When you pull back on the handlebars of the rower, you are utilizing this muscle. The trapezius is responsible for stabilizing and controlling the neck and the shoulder blades. 
  • Rhomboids: This is the muscles that helps the trapezius in pulling back the shoulders and is found in between the spine and shoulder blades.


  • Deltoids: The whole rowing motion can work the deltoid muscles, especially on releasing the handlebars. These are the shoulder muscles that are connected to the humerus, shoulder blade, and collar bone and happen to be a very important part in the range of motion for your arms.
  • Triceps: After you pull the handles towards your body, your triceps will take over when you begin releasing and extending your arms.
  • Biceps: These are the muscles that are located in the front of your upper arm. They are used when you bend your arms at the elbow when you are pulling the handlebars towards you.


  • Gluteus Maximus: This is the muscle that is worked in the actions of the rowing motions, but it tends to be worked less than your major leg muscles.
  • Quadriceps: These muscles are located in the back of your upper leg, and are mainly worked when your knees are bend on the way back to the starting position.
  • Hamstrings: These happen to be the largest muscles that are in your legs and are used at the beginning of the rowing motion when you are pushing your body backwards from the base of the rower.


  • Erector Spinae: This is the muscle that is very important to your lower back, which also happens to be one of the most common areas to be injured. This muscle is worked when you are bending and straightening your back as well as when your legs are bending and pushing.
  • Obliques: These particular muscles are located on the sides of your midsection and are also used when you are stabilizing your body so that you are straight instead of twisting.
  • Abs: While your rower is meant to target your legs, arms and back, any type of full body motion will always work your abdominal muscles. When you are bending your body slightly forward and then straightening up, your abs are being constantly used.

While the basic movements of a rowing machine are the same , there are various models that have different types of features. Each one can provide a slightly different type of workout, depending on what you happen to be looking for.

  • Layout: This is just one difference from the various rowing machines. The physical layout can allow a rower to be folded up and put up quite easily, while other can take up a lot of space. A rowing machine can have handles that are fixed to bars on the sides of the rower or they can be connected to a cable to give you more motion.
  • Resistance: Rowing machines work on the concept of resistance. Basically, this means that the harder you pull, the harder it will be to pull it. This will allow you to workout and it gets harder as you get stronger. Getting resistance can be gained in a few ways. The simpler rowers will use two pistons that are connected to the handlebars. There are some machines that use a fan wheel in order to create air resistance, and there are some that can give you extra resistance by using magnets. Lastly, there are some rowing machines that will use a tank of water with paddles inside of it to provide a realistic feel as well as water resistance.

Before you buy a rowing machine, be sure to do research about the various types of machines so that you are able to make an educated selection. Read reviews, ask people you trust, and visit some local stores for their opinions. Price can be a factor in your selection, but the most important thing that you should consider is the quality of the workout.


What are the benefits of using a rower?


rowing-benefitsIf you have been thinking about buying a rowing machine, then you most likely already know about some of the benefits. These pieces of equipment are powerful and have been around for years, and it is a creation that has been known to outlast any type of fad or trend when it comes to workouts.

These rowers have been spoke about and constantly improved upon as the years advanced to make it one of the greatest choices when it comes to being able to target specific areas of the body, and a great selection for having a complete workout. If you have ever watched Olympic Rowers on your TV, you will notice that they are very fit and have great bodies. Part of the reason is because they train with a high quality rowing machine.

Keep Reading to see some of the best reasons to use Rowing Machines.

Low Risk of Injury/Low Impact

One of the best benefits happens to be relevant for anyone whether they have issues with their joints or not. There are some exercises that can actually damage your cartilage and bones, or it can cause a strain. When you use a rowing machine, it will not put any strain or stress on your body, but it will give you one of the greatest workouts that is available. It is especially relevant for elderly people who are very serious about keeping in shape without having any risks of joint damage.

The only real issue that you may have when rowing is a back strain, however as long as you maintain a good form you shouldn’t have any problems. Maintaining a good shape and posture  will help to ensure that your legs are doing the work instead of your back. If you want more details on the proper form be sure to read our “ How to Use A Rowing Machine” page.

Aerobic Workout that is Powerful

Aerobic exercises are the key to having overall fitness and health as well as calorie burning, but it can also prevent lung and heart issues. Each time that you complete a stroke, you will be breathing along with it at a steady pace. Your heart, respiratory system and muscles will all be in sync with each other, which will help to get the most out of your efforts.

Some of the more expensive models may come with equipment that will monitor your heart rate, and it is simply connected to the LCD performance monitor. This can be quite useful because it will help to see just how much you are testing your body and you will be able to work up to your target heart rate and back to normal again.

Perfect for Weight Loss and Burning Calories

Your body is in perfect synchronization and is working hard, this will cause you to burn calories. This is because of the extra movement from the legs as well as the arms, and as a result you will be able to find that you have burned more calories using a rowing machine than you would with an exercise bike. You are actually burning from 500-600 calories in one hour depending on how intense your workout is. At that particular rate, it is not very hard to notice just how much weight you can drop when you use a rowing machine.

Toning the Muscles in the Upper Body

When it comes to your upper body muscles, the ones that you will be able to feel and notice a major difference right away happens to be the ones that are in your shoulders and back. You will also begin to notice improvements in your abs as well as your biceps, but not as much as your back and shoulders. These won’t be able to build muscle the same way as weight lifting would, but it will certainly tone those areas which will help to make them more noticeable.

Toning the Muscles in your Lower Body

This is definitely where you will see the most impact, and that is the real reason that rowing machines are a very popular choice for most athletes. You will actually feel the power as you push off with your legs, engaging all the muscles located in your backside, all the way through your quads, and even your calves. After noticing all these amazing benefits, you may be wanting to go ahead and get started with a rowing machine. Be sure to check out the reviews before you make that very important purchase.


Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Review

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Being a less costly rowing machine you may wonder if it is nasty and cheap or just good value? Well, the Stamina 15050 has many great features and may be a perfect choice for people who just want to get in shape on a low budget. If you have little expectations, and do not need something like the Model D by Concept2, then this rowing machine will most likely satisfy you.

One main reason for buying this rower is that it happens to be perfect as a entry model for those getting started. It is great for learning the ropes of rowing and to see if using a rower is the right choice for you, although we hope that you aren’t put off due to the lower quality design. If you enjoy it then you can eventually upgrade to get a higher end, more expensive rower in the future, since it hasn’t cost much to start with. You can possibly sell it in order to make back some of the investment you made.

This is also a great model for those who have very little space. It was created to be very compact and will fold away to make it a lot smaller to fit under a bed or in the closet. Keep reading our review and learn more about why the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 may fit some people’s particular needs.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Review
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

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Features and Specifications:

This rowing machine uses hydraulic resistance which is what you would expect for this price range. This isn’t a real problem, but for those who are looking for water, magnetic, or air resistance machines may have to raise their budgets and consider a model like the CHR-2001 by Velocity Fitness, which is a high rated machine. Interestingly enough, Stamina has opted to create this model  to mimic the motion of actual water rowing, which is very ambitious on their part. They have achieved this by using the cylinder resistance arms that are adjustable and move outwards as well as the ball bearing roller system.

The Performance Monitor

This model’s performance monitor can be considered functional but very basic, it will track the important information like your stroke count, calories burned, and the time rowed. Although there may not be any advanced features that monitor your heart rate, and/or great motivational games, it does the job.


The best part of this machine, it really goes above and beyond and is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of space. When it is put together, it is 58.25 in.(L) x 42.5 in. (W) x 18.125 in.(H), which means it is pretty compact to begin with, but whenever it is folded, it is very small and easy to be stored in the closet or in a corner.


Don’t let the small price and size fool you, even for people who are well over 6 feet tall, this machine is pretty comfortable when used. Although, it isn’t perfect, because the seat needs to have a bit more cushioning and after a long workout, you may be a tad bit sore. When you look at the amount you actually paid for the machine, you certainly can’t complain about anything.

Other Features

  • Decent piston driven hydraulic operation
  • An center beam made of aluminum that was created to handle several years of constant use
  • A Warranty for 1 year for the rower frame and a 90 day warranty for any moving parts

Summary of Specifics

  • Width: 43 inches
  • Length: 58 inches
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 250 lb
  • Machine Weight: 39 lb
  • Color: Black and Silver
  • Storage: Folds away for easy storage

The Good

  • Very cost efficient
  • Realistic rowing motion
  • Great workout for a great price
  • Very compact
  • Adjustable levels of resistance
  • Sturdy and well built frame

The Bad

  • Can sometimes be noisy until it is warmed up
  • Seat isn’t well padded
  • Hand grips can be somewhat uncomfortable
  • If you have small feet, they may slip out of the straps

The Final Verdict

Overall, the Body Trac Glider 1050 rowing machine has great value. The reliability and quality is higher than the actual price. Although, it isn’t perfect, there have been a few small issues and this rower can’t offer the features and experience of the high end models, that are 10x’s the amount of this jewel. If you want to get in shape and have a low budget, but don’t want a rower that will break down after only using for just one month, then the Body Trac Glider 1050 by Stamina rower is the perfect selection for you.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Review
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

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Does rowing help with weight loss?


weightlossrowingAccording to the Center for Disease Control, the best exercise for losing weight will help you to burn calories as well as improving your endurance and strength. Rowing does all that by strengthening your arms, legs, and back, it builds your endurance up through the consistent use of your entire body and lungs for extended periods of time, and you will burn 3.5 to 7 calories every minute at a moderate pace. Fast paced rowing can burn over 7 calories a minute.


According to the National Institutes of Health, before you begin any type of exercise program, speak to your doctor, especially if you haven’t been in any physical activity for a good while. They can advise you on what type of exercises are best for you, what type of pace to use, and how long you should exercise for, as well as what to look for when it comes to the effects of exercise on your body. If you happen to have any knee issues, rowing may actually be better for you than running or jogging because there isn’t any hard impact when rowing. Once your doctor has given you the OK, be sure to warm up before you begin rowing. This increases your body temperature, it prepares your muscles for activity an improves your flexibility and reduces the chance of any injuries to your bones and muscles.

Ideal Rowing:

Ideally, it is better for you to be able to row outdoors on a lake or river so that you receive the variety and benefits of nature as well as sunshine. If you are able to combine exercises with a commute, you won’t have to take any more time out of your day in order to do it, and you will do it at least twice a day to get to and from school or work. Unfortunately, many of us do not live near bodies of water. So, the next best thing is to begin using a rowing machine, which is readily available at many schools, community fitness centers, gyms, and health clubs.

How to Calculate Calories:

  • The amount of calories that are burned actually depend on the effort, weight, and time when using a rowing machine. If you want to know how many calories you have burned, here is an accurate way to do that.
  • Determine your weight in kilograms. You can do this by dividing your weight by 2.2. Say, if you were to weigh 150 lbs, divide that by 2.2 and you will get around 68 kilograms.
  • Determine the effort you have put in rowing by multiplying your kilogram weight by the amount of time you spent rowing. If you row for 20 minutes and you weigh 68 kilograms, simply multiply 68 by 20 and you will have an effort of 1360.
  • Choose the expenditure of energy, which Ace Fitness states that it depends on the number of watts you row : 50W=0.06, 100W=.012, 150W= 0.15, 200W= 0.21. The watts should be readily available on your rowing display. If it isn’t, use 0.06 as the expenditure for easy effort and 0.12 for moderate.
  • Multiply your effort by the expenditure of energy to determine the calories you have burned during your workout. If your effort was 1360 and it was an easy expenditure, multiply 1360 by 0.06 which will give you 81 calories. If the exercise was moderate, multiply 1360 by 0.12 will give you 163 calories.


checklistAssuming that the weight stays the same at 68 Kilograms and it has been 20 minutes of exercising, this is how other exercises stand up to rowing, when it comes to calories burned:

  • High Impact Aerobics: 163 Calories
  • Low Impact Aerobics: 122 Calories
  • Calisthenics, like Push-Ups: 108 Calories
  • Cycling at 10 mph and under: 163 calories
  • Cycling at 14 mph: 245 calories
  • Running at 5 mph: 163 calories
  • Running at 10 mph: 380 Calories
  • Light swimming: 136 calories
  • Moderate swimming: 190 Calories
  • Walking at 3 mph: 81 calories
  • Hard weight training: 136 calories
  • Yoga: 81 calories

Weight Loss:

You concern yourself with the calories that are burned with a rowing machine because you want to lose weight. Rowing, just like any other exercise, can be a very effective way to manage your weight only if it is done regularly and if you have a sensible diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, 3,500 calories is equal to one pound.

Assuming that your weight is 150 lbs and your physical activity and diet don’t change, you would have to row at a moderate pace for 430 minutes in order to lose one pound. If you regularly exercised, you would have to row for about an hour every day in order to lose that one pound in a week.

It could be simpler to combine rowing with cutting out all the high calorie foods that you consume to help achieve your weight loss.


  • If you moderately rowed for 20 minutes, four times a week, you will use about 650 calories.
  • Cutting out your daily morning donut (260 calories), will give you 1,300 calories weekly from your diet.
  • Cutting out your french fries at lunch during your weekday (365 calories) will give you about 1,825 calories.
  • If you add the calories that you have burned with what you have cut out ( 650 + 1300 + 1825), you have lost 3,775 calories which is plenty of calories to equal one pound.

See, isn’t combining your exercise and diet so much easier than having to work out for 430 minutes?