Rowing Machines


If you're looking for fitness equipment that focuses on low impact exercise to strengthen the arms and shoulders as well as major muscle groups, then a rowing machine is for you. Rowing machines combine the benefits of aerobic exercise with strength, muscle toning and flexibility through resistance.


  • Hydraulic - this type of rower gets its resistance from the two pistons attached to its handlebars. these rowing machines use hydraulic cylinders to provide resistance. When you pull against the fluid or air compressed inside the pistons, you get resistance. This is the only type of rower that will let you have different levels of resistance on either side as you can adjust the level of resistance on each handlebar independently. They tend to have a less realistic feel than some other types of rower, although these machines tend to take up less space and are generally great value.

  • Magnetic - these rowing machines use powerful electromagnets to provide you with adjustable degrees of resistance. Magnetic rowers give a smooth action that makes you feel like you're rowing across water. Unlike air-based machines, magnetic rowing machines will not increase in resistance the harder or faster you pull. Despite this, magnetic rowing machines can still offer a physically demanding workout that makes them well-suited for at-home workouts because they are also generally a lot quieter than other types of rowers. See our best-selling BodyMax R100 Folding Air Rowing Machine.

  • Water - Water rowing machines accurately simulate real rowing by increasing the resistance in direct proportion to the pace at which you row and are designed to replicate the dynamics created by a boat in water. They also allow you to adjust the amount of water in the resistance tank to increase or decrease the overall pressure and resistance. However, water rowing machines tend to be bulkier and heavier than other types. The BodyMax H2Row Rowing Machine features natural water resistance.

  • Air - sometimes combined with magnetic resistance, air rowers offer a close representation of the actual rowing experience, second only to water rowers. Air rowers are powered by the resistance of moving a fan against air. The resistance on some rowing machines can be altered by adjusting a damper, but on most other air rowing machines the intensity is increased by rowing faster, as you would if you were rowing on water. The Taurus Row-X Air Rower offers unrivalled function, durability and stability.


Rowing machines can take up a fair bit of space, especially more expensive models as they tend to have more generously sized seat rails. If you have quite long legs you will need a machine with a good length seat rail, whereas a shorter user may be able to get away with a more compact model. Measure the space you have available and compare it to the dimensions of the rowing machine before making your choice.

If lack of space is a concern there are several models available that will fold for storage to free up some of that much needed floor space for other things when the machine is not in use. A lot of rowers due to their size do have a quick fold option which reduces their length almost in half; they normally work by releasing a spring loaded pin towards the centre that enables the rail to fold inward. The only real downside to having a foldable rower is that it can reduce the stability and integrity of the machine but this is only really relevant if it's getting regular heavy use which is why commercial rowers don't fold.


Rowing machines can vary quite substantially in terms of both style and quality - and so does the price. Remember that with all exercise machines you generally get what you pay for so it is always a good idea to spend a little bit extra to get a durable and more comfortable machine. As you go up in price not only will the build quality be better but you are also likely to find extra features that will add to the comfort, convenience and motivational power of the machine.

Budget models are generally priced under £200. Mid-range rowing machines start at around £200 and go up to around £600. Here you will get smooth magnetic resistance and preset programs on more advanced consoles. The best machines can go for up to £1200+. At this level, you can more closely replicate gym-level equipment and you'll get a lot of style as well as substance. For example the wood-effect natural WaterRower range.


This may not be to relevant for a lot of people but if you're tall then it's important to ensure that you have a rail length that's long enough to allow your legs to fully extend. You also don't want a thin and flimsy seat rail so try to make sure it's quite a thick, tubular piece of steel framework as it's going to take a lot of wear and tear.


  • Flywheel - with the magnetic machines the size of the flywheel plays a large part on the quality and how quiet the rower will be. The common rule is the larger the flywheel the better the quality, this been said they don't require as large a flywheel as bikes or cross trainers so anything above 4kg should be satisfactory.

  • Seat - ideally the seat should be grooved or ergonomically designed instead of flat to conform to your body's natural shape. It should also be foam for comfort, the glide roller wheels that the seat moves back and forth on are also better with bearings inside for a smooth motion and slow deterioration.

  • Handlebars - the strap and handle are most prone to wear and tear, snapping straps are all too common amongst cheap rowers under £100. More expensive models above this feature thicker, long lasting straps with comfortable foam grip handles for easier use.

  • Footplates - On some rowers foot pedals are fixed and on others they have a swivel design to release some pressure off your ankles, choosing between this is simply down to personal preference but it's worth noting down. Expensive models will use larger foot pedals so will be more accommodating for taller users.

  • Console - Most rowers will come with a monitor but some will be more advanced than others. Whether you should get a rower with a high performance monitor or just a basic one is purely a personal preference. A basic rower monitor will display workout data like your distance, time and speed. More advanced models will include features like heart rate monitoring, calorie counters and allow you to race against a virtual boat. Others will include a USB port so you can export the data from your workouts to your laptop or computer and upload to third-party fitness tracking apps.


  • LFconnect allows Apple and Android devices to interact with compatible Life Fitness equipment. It tracks progress, lets you access personalized workouts, provides motivation and engagement, and serves as an in-workout display on cardio equipment.

  • Kettler S Fit App has three different modes. In the FUN mode you can experience an effective workout, where the focus is very clearly on enjoying the training. Choose a meal or drink and simply work off the calorie. In the CHALLENGE mode, there are realistic training routes with different terrain profiles. The EXPERT mode provides a detailed record of all important training data. As a result, competitive athletes can always keep an eye on their pedal, pulse and heart rate, the distance covered and their exact speed, and they can complete the predefined programme more professionally.

  • RowPro is next-generation software for indoor rowing at home, designed exclusively for Concept2 by Digital Rowing Inc. RowPro provides a 3D graphics display, plus training plans, a 3D coaching clinic, and a built-in rowing log.

  • Row Active is an app designed by British Rowing which includes audio coaching sessions. This is a great idea for home training because like a fitness class, you get the instruction instantly and each session is aligned to your specific fitness goals.

  • The LiveRowing App is tailored for rowing machine athletes to enable them to connect, analyse and compete while on the Concept2 Indoor Rower.


If testing a rowing machine isn't feasible, then it's important to read reviews. Many of our rowing machines include reviews with honest feedback from customers.


As with any other piece of home fitness equipment be sure to check the warranty on the rower before making your purchase. Most rowing machines will come with at least a one year parts and labour warranty with manufacturers of higher quality rowing machines offering a two or even three years warranty.


Powerhouse Fitness carries many easily recognised rowing brands with long-standing reputations. You may be familiar with brand names like WaterRower, Concept2 and Life Fitness. Powerhouse Fitness also carries exclusive brands such as, BodyMax, cardiostrong and Taurus.


Workout 1 (Endurance):

  • You have six minutes to row 1,000 meters. If you finish early perform an all-out sprint of burpees.

Workout 2 (HIIT):

  • Sprint for 1,000 meters, rest for 3:00

  • Sprint for 750 meters, rest for 2:30

  • Sprint for 500 meters, rest for 2:00

  • Sprint for 250 meters, rest for 2:00

  • Sprint for 750 meters, cool down

Workout 3 (Beginner):

  • Row 250 meters

  • Rest 1 minute

  • Total duration: 20 minutes

Choose from a large range of Rowing Machines all available with free UK delivery and many rowing machines come with 0% finance options available.