While the WaterRower has been around since 1988, it experienced a revival of sorts after its starring role in the Netflix series, House of Cards. The beauty of the machine is that it’s built to blend in with its surroundings, so you don’t have to banish it to your gym dungeon. At CityRow and Orangetheory gyms, the WaterRower is the lead feature of each class. “When I first saw the WaterRower, I thought, ‘Is that the same [machine] as the dusty metal one I’m picturing empty in the corner gym?'” Helaine Knapp, founder and CEO of CityRow, says. “When I dug into the specifics of the WaterRower, I learned it was perfect for group fitness and changing the perception people might have historically (from CrossFit, rowing on the water, etc.),” Knapp adds. The machine is smooth, easy-to-use and works for everyone from beginners to experts. The soothing sound of water rushing around the base of the machine is also a big plus.
Chris Kinsey works as an editor for a medical publisher and has experience dealing with many topics, ranging from athlete's foot to cancer and brain injury. Kinsey has a great deal of freelance experience writing for sports and parenting magazines as well. Kinsey holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California University of Pennsylvania.
The Waterrower has recently been made famous by Kevin Spacy as the rowing machine used in the ‘House of Cards’. It is a type of wooden rowing machine produced and manufactured by Waterrower Inc. in New England, USA. The rowers were designed by ex-US national team rower john Duke in the mid 1980’s and the company to manufacture them was established in 1988.
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Regarding comparability of results between machines: As stated, the above indoor rowing competitions use the Concept 2 rowing ergometer, currently the Model D, which like previous models, is equipped with an electronic performance monitor that compensates for differences in resistance adjustment (1989 US Patent US4875674A; Assignee: Concept 2). Therefore it is widely accepted that a result on one machine can be fairly compared with a result on another machine regardless of their respective resistance settings. The assumed consistency between machines would be correct if another, unmeasured resistance variable did not exist. This is the variability of the resistance of the elastic cord used to take up the chain and return the handle. The electronic performance monitor only measures the energy expended to spin the flywheel. It does this via small magnets embedded in the face of the flywheel which pass a sensor connected to the performance monitor (see patent US4875674A referenced above). The monitor does not measure the energy required to stretch the elastic cord, therefore unless the force required to stretch the elastic cord is a guaranteed constant, there is no guarantee that the performance monitor will display the actual total energy expended by the user.
While the WaterRower has been around since 1988, it experienced a revival of sorts after its starring role in the Netflix series, House of Cards. The beauty of the machine is that it’s built to blend in with its surroundings, so you don’t have to banish it to your gym dungeon. At CityRow and Orangetheory gyms, the WaterRower is the lead feature of each class. “When I first saw the WaterRower, I thought, ‘Is that the same [machine] as the dusty metal one I’m picturing empty in the corner gym?'” Helaine Knapp, founder and CEO of CityRow, says. “When I dug into the specifics of the WaterRower, I learned it was perfect for group fitness and changing the perception people might have historically (from CrossFit, rowing on the water, etc.),” Knapp adds. The machine is smooth, easy-to-use and works for everyone from beginners to experts. The soothing sound of water rushing around the base of the machine is also a big plus.

The WaterRower Club is hand crafted in solid Ash and stained for color. The WaterRower Club has been designed for High Traffic Areas such as Commercial Gyms, Studios, Rehabilitation Clinics, etc. Its Black Rails have been styled to prevent scuffing, other wooden components are finished in an attractive rosewood which are more resistant to soiling than the Natural model. Each machine has been hand finished with Danish Oil and Urethane for protection. Wood has been chosen due to its marvellous engineering properties, primary amongst these is its ability to absorb sound and vibration enhancing the WaterRower's quietness and smoothness of use. Ash, like all woods used in WaterRower construction, is a premium hardwood with incredible longevity and dimensional stability. s For reasons of ecology, all our woods are harvested from replenishable forests.


As you might expect, rowing machines provide a stellar upper-body workout. Rowers exercise the rhomboids in the shoulders, trapezii in the upper back, and lats in the lower back. The benefits of a stronger back and shoulders include improved posture as well as a reduction in back pain. In addition to your backside, rowing machines also provide a nice workout for your biceps, pecs, and abs, which helps you develop a stronger core. Because you need to maintain a strong grip on the oars, you’ll also develop stronger hands and wrists, which is a big plus for anyone who enjoys activities such as climbing or yoga.
Now back to the aesthetics, this version of WaterRower’s natural wood line of rowers comes in beautiful Black Walnut, which the company chose for its superior sound and vibration absorption. It’s hand-made in the USA and comes with excellent warranties and customer service. Overall, WaterRower is known for the quality of their rowing machines and the Classic is no exception.  And if you do want to get this rower just as an attractive conversation piece, it easily stores upright against a wall.  That said, we strongly recommend using The WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine for fitness, not just eye-candy.
One downside of the Waterrower for me are the footrests. Whilst they are perfectly adequate if you want to row in shoes, rowing barefoot, which is something I like to do, is impossible. The plastic is completely square at the bottom and has sharp edges that cut into your heels. I also found that my shoes get caught when trying to put them in and out of the holders, which is a bit irritating.

Indoor rowing primarily works the cardiovascular systems with typical workouts consisting of steady pieces of 20–40 minutes, although the standard trial distance for record attempts is 2000 m, which can take from five and a half minutes (best elite rowers) to nine minutes or more. Like other forms of cardio focused exercise, interval training is also commonly used in indoor rowing. While cardio-focused, rowing also stresses many muscle groups throughout the body anaerobically, thus rowing is often referred to as a strength-endurance sport.
Rowing is a low impact sport with movement only in defined ranges, so twist and sprain injuries are rare. However, the repetitive rowing action can put strain on knee joints, the spine and the tendons of the forearm, and inflammation of these are the most common rowing injuries. [9]If one rows with poor technique, especially rowing with a curved rather than straight back, other injuries may surface, including back pains. Blisters occur for almost all rowers, especially in the beginning of one's rowing career, as every stroke puts pressure on the hands, though rowing frequently tends to harden hands and generate protective calluses. Holding the oars too tightly or making adjustments to technique may cause recurring or new blisters, as it is common to feather the blade (previously described). Another common injury is getting "track bites", thin cuts on the back of one's calf or thigh caused by contact with the seat tracks at either end of the stroke.
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The proper ratio of effort is about 75 percent lower body and 25 percent upper body. Ensure you’re hitting that by driving through your legs and keeping your hands relaxed. Posture plays a big part, too. Concept 2 recommends imagining your upright profile at noon and tilting from the 11 o’clock position (drive) to the 1 o’clock position (recovery).
The weight adjustment calculator can be a helpful tool because it provides a way to compare indoor rowing performances between people of different weights. It shifts focus away from absolute power toward power to body weight ratio. If you have a large friend who always beats you indoor rowing, challenge them to a weight-adjusted race! Continue Reading ›
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