On a rowing machine, you don’t want to be wearing clothes that are too baggy as the fabric can get caught between the seat and the beam it slides on.  It’s not a disaster if that happens, but it can get annoying if your shorts keep getting caught there while you’re trying to get a serious workout.   It’s better to wear shorter, tighter-fitting shorts (nothing ridiculous), but just enough to ensure it doesn’t the material doesn’t hang down.


The International Rowing Federation (French: Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron, abbreviated FISA), responsible for international governance of rowing, was founded in 1892 to provide regulation at a time when the sport was gaining popularity. Across six continents, 150 countries now have rowing federations that participate in the sport.[3]
For the workouts, it’s not only critical to make sure that you maintain proper technique, but also that “you are properly warmed up for these workouts, especially the power sessions,” says Frandsen. He recommends starting slowly by adding one or two of these sessions, most of which are between 30 and 40 minutes in duration, per week before your strength training workout and then build from there. 
The recovery phase follows the drive. The recovery starts with the extraction and involves coordinating the body movements with the goal to move the oar back to the catch position. In extraction, the rower pushes down on the oar handle to quickly lift the blade from the water and rapidly rotates the oar so that the blade is parallel to the water. This process is sometimes referred to as feathering the blade. Simultaneously, the rower pushes the oar handle away from the chest. The blade emerges from the water square and feathers immediately once clear of the water. After feathering and extending the arms, the rower pivots the body forward. Once the hands are past the knees, the rower compresses the legs which moves the seat towards the stern of the boat. The leg compression occurs relatively slowly compared to the rest of the stroke, which affords the rower a moment to recover, and allows the boat to glide through the water. The gliding of the boat through the water during recovery is often called run.
Unlike high impact exercises, which can damage knees and the connective tissues of the lower body, rowing's most common injury site is the lower back. Proper technique is a necessity for staying injury free, with a focus on both mechanics and breathing, as correct rhythm, exhaling on the drive and inhaling on the recovery, is a stabilizing force for the upper body. Non-rowers commonly overemphasize the muscles of the upper body, while correct technique uses the large muscle of the thighs to drive much of the stroke. Also, good technique requires that the angle of the upper body is never too far forward, nor too far back, both of which jeopardize the lower back and compression injuries on the knees and hip flexor muscles. Proper technique however, can only be achieved if the design of the exercise equipment enables proper technique. The ubiquitous rigid, single-piece handle does not follow the natural movement of a user's hands, wrists, and forearms as the stroke progresses. It does not ensure or enable the bio-mechanically correct alignment of the hands, wrists, and forearms with the direction of the applied force. Typically, the user finishes the stroke with the wrists in an angulated position. It is incorrect to criticize this as "bad technique", when the equipment itself is the cause. Through no fault of their own, regular users of indoor rowers equipped with the standard single-piece handle, are prone to repetitive strain injury and chronic wrist pain (see more on this in "Rowing Technique" section, below).

On theme with C2’s interchangeability, models D or E are essentially the same machine. When we talk about one we’re talking about both. The Concept 2 E is just 8 pounds heavier but is made out of stronger stuff all around — what’s plastic on the model D is aluminium on the model E, and what’s aluminum on the model D is welded steel on the model E. The only noticeable variations are seat height and display position.
In the rowing machine category, there are a lot of models to chose from. They range in price from under $100 to well over $1500.  As you can imagine, you’re getting a different type of row machine at those ends of the spectrum, but within that variety there’s something for everyone.  To help guide you, we’ve listed our favorite row machine models and brands by price below:
Braked flywheel resistance models comprise magnetic, air and water resistance rowers. These machines are mechanically similar since all three types use a handle connected to a flywheel by rope, chain, or strap to provide resistance to the user – the types differ only in braking mechanism. Because the handle is attached to the resistance source by rope or similarly flexible media, the trajectory of the hands in the vertical plane is free making it possible for the rower to emulate the hand height difference between the stroke and the return. Most of these models have the characteristic sliding seat typical of competitive on-the-water boats.
Row, Jimmy, row…🎶 What’s one of the best things about using the WaterRower? There’s no such thing as an age limit when it comes to using it because of its ability to provide a workout with minimal impact on the joints. You don’t have to take our word for it, but we think you might want to take this fellas. Jimmy is 93 years young and hopped on the WaterRower for the first time yesterday. Let’s hear it for Jimmy!
Rowing events use a systematic nomenclature for the naming of events, so that age, gender, ability and size of boat can all be expressed in a few numbers and letters. The first letter to be used is 'L' or 'Lt' for lightweight. If absent then the crew is open weight. This can be followed by either a 'J' or 'B' to signify junior (under 19 years) or under 23 years respectively. If absent the crew is open age (the letter 'O' is sometimes used). Next is either an 'M' or 'W' to signify if the crew are men or women. Then there is a number to show how many athletes are in the boat (1,2,4 or 8). An 'x' following the number indicates a sculling boat. Finally either a + or – is added to indicate whether the boat is coxed or coxswainless.
There’s no denying that this machine will work your arms, but the majority of your drive should be coming from your legs. While the arms should be constantly, well, rowing, your legs should be taking on most of the work by bending and pushing your body back up. Generally our legs are much stronger than our arms, so it makes sense that they should be doing more than the rest of your body—especially in the case of the rower. And be sure to use them to drive straight back, not upwards—lest you fall out of the seat (ouch).
Because of the vast array of products that might contain one of the chemicals or ingredients on the list, we must include Proposition 65 warnings in our communications with you. We are required to use exact wording as specified by the state of California. While the warning sounds alarming, the purpose is to notify you of the potential risk so that you can make an informed buying decision.
Yes! The mother of indoor rowing competitions is the CRASH-B Sprints, held annually in Boston. The Charles River All-Star Has-Beens started when the U.S. boycotted the Olympics in 1980 — during the same era that Concept 2 launched their Model A; necessity met opportunity. CRASH-B is still held with aplomb and doesn’t require any special qualification of its applicants.
When you rest! From the “finish” position, the correct sequence is to move the hands away from the body first, then pivot from the hips to get back into that strong body position forward (your shoulders should be in front of your hips) and finally break the knees to roll up the slide to the starting “catch” position. “This movement should be blended together so as not to be too rigid, but the handle needs to get out past your knees before you start to roll up the slide so the handle doesn’t have to go up and over your knees,” says Teti. It can also be helpful to keep in mind that the handle should remain on one horizontal plane for the entire stroke and recovery, instead of bobbing up and down.
In a 1988 US patent (US4772013A), Elliot Tarlow discloses another non-elastic chain/cable take-up and handle return strategy. Described and depicted is a continuous chain/cable loop that passes around the flywheel sprocket and around and between fixed pulleys and sprockets positioned fore and aft on the device. The handle is secured in the middle of the exposed upper horizontal section of the chain/cable loop. Although somewhat lacking in aesthetics, the Tarlow device does eliminate the stated disadvantages and defects of the ubiquitous elastic cord handle return. Tarlow further argues that the disclosed method provides an improved replication of rowing because in actual rowing the rower is not assisted by the contraction of a spring or elastic cord during the "recovery" portion of the stroke. The rower must push the oar handle forward against wind and oarlock resistance in preparation for the next stroke. Tarlow asserts that the invention replicates that resistance.
Press through your heels and use your legs to forcefully start a stroke. Once your legs are fully extended and your torso is perpendicular to the ground, explosively pull the handle toward your sternum. Focus on keeping the handle’s chain straight. Then hinge at your hips to lean your torso back to the ten- o’clock position. The handle should be just below your ribs.

One of the major deciding factors between water and air rowers is price. Water rowing machines are often found in higher price ranges with the lowest model going for $700 and the best models starting around $1,100. Air rowers are found in every price range starting at $300 and going as high as $1,000+. The affordability of air rowing machines makes them very popular.


This affordable rowing machine is streamlined, simple to use, built well, has a comfy seat with a realistic rowing movement, and especially good for a newbie. Because the cost of this machine is less than $150, it is popular on the net. As it has a hydraulic rower, resistance is provided by just one piston under the main key column. Along with a comfy cushioned seat, LCD screen, this machine provides 12 hydraulic cylinder resistances.
Assembly was challenging. One of the rails could not be attached because the embedded screw in the cross-beam was too crooked to fit into the hole on the rail. I had to place a nut on it to protect the screws and tap until it was true enough cap nut to be attached. The foot board is slightly wider than the top board. I will sand this to match when I reapply the finish. This will need to be done because the wood has a dry, ashy appearance. The wood is beautiful and mostly uniform. This rowing machine is a nice product, but the build quality of the unit I received was disappointing. I felt lucky that the gashes in the carton did not damage the product as the packaging was optimistic. The leading competitor I use at the gym seems to provide slightly more resistance. It is beautiful and useful, but with room for improvement.
NordicTrack creates machines that work in gyms and at home nationwide. If Peloton and Concept 2 were to have a baby, you’d get the RW900. Your first year of an iFit membership, which can be used on the RW900, is free, so you can enjoy workouts from trainers like Alex Silver-Fagan and Jay Wein that range from 10 to 60 minutes. And it’s not just rowing workouts. Thanks to the iFit app, you can pick from cross training, boot camp, HIIT and active recovery workouts — both on and off the rower. The digital screen transports you to the Olympic Training Center in San Diego, where Susan Francia, two-time Olympic gold medalist, leads you in a workout. Whereas the entry-level RW200 uses air resistance to challenge you, the RW900 uses a magnetic resistance that’s quiet and tough, in addition to the air resistance. You can pick up the RW200 today (for just $599), or wait for the RW900 which ships in December.
At last, after spending God knows how many hours of your life pounding away on the treadmill or sitting on a stationary bike, you've had enough. No longer shall your workouts involve around some version of a glorified human hamster wheel equipped with a tiny television that is, for some reason, only capable of tuning in to the local PBS affiliate. You, my friend, have decided to be a rowing machine bro, not unlike Armie Hammer in that one movie where the rowing machine bros were so badass that he decided to play two of them at once. Your feet are strapped in, your earbuds are positioned perfectly, and your carefully curated Head of the Charles playlist is ready to go.

Take 20 strokes as powerfully as you can while still maintaining correct technique, then take 10 strokes very light. That’s one rep. Rates for these power strokes should be between 20 and 24 strokes per minute. The goal should be to hold as low of a split as possible for each 20-stroke piece. Use the light strokes in between reps to regain length and correct your posture. Take a short break, no longer than 6 minutes, between the sets.
The most recent models of the erg, produced by Concept 2 (pictured above), have a screen with different options for what measurements or figures you want to see during your workout. Using the screen, you can monitor calories expended and watts produced, but “the vast majority of rowers will set the screen to track their 500-meter split or just simply ‘split,’” according to Teti. The stroke rate, which appears on the screen as “SPM,” refers to the number of strokes you are taking per minute. Typically the split and stroke rating have an inverse relationship, meaning that when you increase your stroke rating, the split should go down.
The frame is beyond durable and is designed for absorbing sound and vibration. There’s no creaking or other sounds that you might expect from wood components. It has a low center of gravity that keeps the rower in place while exerting full rowing power. The polycarbonate water tank is equally durable and practically indestructible. The Classic Rower doesn’t have any moving parts that can wear out, or belts and pulleys that need to be maintained.
This affordable rowing machine is streamlined, simple to use, built well, has a comfy seat with a realistic rowing movement, and especially good for a newbie. Because the cost of this machine is less than $150, it is popular on the net. As it has a hydraulic rower, resistance is provided by just one piston under the main key column. Along with a comfy cushioned seat, LCD screen, this machine provides 12 hydraulic cylinder resistances.
Now we start to decrease the intensity and increase the volume of these workouts, which will improve overall endurance and stamina. Complete this workout, 10 minutes of rowing at a hard steady-state pace (that’s one set), and take 3 minutes of rest between each set. The rates are set slightly lower so you should be able to focus on technique and solidify your posture at the catch, as well improving overall stroke length.
This piece of finely tuned, hand-crafted, water-resistance workout equipment also sits at the top end of the rowing machine spectrum. Employing a water flywheel that helps to mimic the feel of rowing in actual water, the natural wood WaterRower Rowing Machine will bring you a smooth, yet challenging workout that is as tough as you want it to be. If rowing is one of the best exercises you can do for your body as far as natural motion with low to no-impact, then the WaterRower is one of the best machines to do it on.
Rowing has long been recognized as the perfect aerobic pursuit, with naturally smooth and flowing movements that don't tax the joints but do boost the heart rate. Now you can take your rowing experience to the next level with the commercial-quality WaterRower Club rowing machine. Using the same principles that govern the dynamics of a boat in water, the WaterRower Club is outfitted with a "water flywheel" that consists of two paddles in an enclosed tank of water that provide smooth, quiet resistance, just like the paddles in an actual body of water. As a result, the machine has no moving parts that can wear out over time (even the recoil belt and pulleys don't require lubricating or maintaining). More significantly, the water tank and flywheel create a self-regulating resistance system that eliminates the need for a motor. As with real rowing, when you paddle faster, the increased drag provides more resistance. When you paddle slower, the resistance is less intense. The only limit to how fast you can row is your strength and your ability to overcome drag. And unlike conventional rowing machines, which tend to be jerky and jarring, the WaterRower Club is remarkably smooth and fluid.
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