Crossfit Rowing Machines: The Best Models to Use

crossfit rowing machines

As the weather warms up and we start to shed our layers of clothes, what we find underneath can be alarming. In order to get ready for summer, you will have to commit to a serious exercise routine. CrossFit is a great program for building strength and stamina and shedding unwanted winter weight, but some of the equipment is not appropriate in a home gym—large truck tires, heavy-duty chains and ropes, and climbing walls can make for unsightly home decor. CrossFit rowing machines will help you achieve the beach body of your dreams, and they can be packed up and easily stored when not in use.

With so many products on the market today, selecting the best CrossFit rowing machine can be daunting. Never fear, we have taken the guesswork out of choosing the best product for you by reviewing the top CrossFit rowing machines on the market today. Continue reading to discover what we believe is the best CrossFit rowing machine for you.

Product FAQs


rowing machines

Image from Pixabay

1. What Are CrossFit Rowing Machines?

2. How Do CrossFit Rowing Machines Work?

3. Where Can I Buy CrossFit Rowing Machines?

How We Reviewed


The products in this list were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, and Where to Buy.

Overall Price Range


Pricing for CrossFit rowing machines varies widely. The machines reviewed in this article vary in price in accordance to the features each of them has to offer. There are the models within the low to average price range and then there are those from the average to expensive or high price range.

What We Reviewed


  • Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
  • Water Rower Club Rowing Machine
  • HCI Fitness Prorower RX-750 Indoor Water Rowing Machine
  • Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
  • Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine
  • LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine
  • First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro II Black Reserve
  • Stamina DT Pro Rower
  • Stamina ATS Air Rower
  • Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine
Features

The Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine provides a low impact workout that engages all major muscle groups — it works legs, core, and arms with a smooth, high calorie burning motion. You can track your progress with real-time reliable data via the included self-calibrating performance monitor, or connect wirelessly to heart rate belts and apps. The unit is designed to fit most users with a 14" seat height, adjustable footrests, and an ergonomic handle. It separates into two pieces for easy storage, and caster wheels make it easy to move.

Pros

  • Self-calibrating performance monitor included
  • Adjusts to fit most users up to 38" inseam
  • Comes apart for storage

Cons

  • Seat is uncomfortable
  • Not much resistance
  • Phone holder not included
Features

The WaterRower Indoor Rowing Machine targets compound muscles such as arms, legs, and back. It imitates rowing motions and gives you a workout just like if you were actually rowing a boat. It is constructed of solid ash hardwood with Danish oil and urethane. The patented water flywheel provides natural rowing dynamics with adjustable resistance levels, making it suitable for people with joint issues. It has a maximum user weight of 1000 pounds and fits up to a 38" inseam. The included S4 performance monitor displays intensity, calories per hour, stroke rate, heart rate, and more.

Pros

  • Solid ash hardwood frame
  • Patented water flywheel
  • S4 performance monitor display

Cons

  • No water level indicator on tank
  • Syphon not airtight
  • Chair is small
Features

The HCI Fitness Prorower is ideal for serious workouts. It features an innovative Hydro-Power Drive system that imitates the dynamics of actual rowing. It has a polycarbonate water tank and an internal paddle system. The water acts as the main resistance system. Rowing faster will give you a more intense workout, and rowing slower will give you a slow, steady workout. Your workout will be smooth and relaxing, with an on-the-water experience that sounds and feels like the real thing. The unit includes an oversized display panel to track details like heart rate, distance, and exercise time. It has an ergonomically designed hand grip that allows for a comfortable workout. The frame folds for easy storage.

Pros

  • Uses water for resistance
  • Oversize display panel
  • Folds up for easy storage

Cons

  • Difficult to set up
  • Poor instruction manual
  • Bungee cord fails quickly
Features

The Velocity Rower features drum magnetic control and electronic tension control that produce optimal friction to build muscle strength and endurance. The aluminum frame extends outward and contains the ergonomically designed molded foam padded seat that keeps the lower back muscles stress-free. The foot pedals are made of non-slip material to give more balance and allow you to maintain an ideal position. The unit also features an LCD display that allows you to monitor pulse rate, exercise duration, the number of strokes, and more.

Pros

  • Drum magnetic control and electronic tension control produce optimal friction
  • Ergonomically designed molded foam padded seat
  • LCD display

Cons

  • Rower stability is poor
  • Display does not turn off
  • Front end lifts up when rowing
Features

The Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine features two industrial strength hydraulic pistons that provide resistance. It can easily be adjusted by moving the piston clamps to the various knurl marks on each rower oar to provide a wide range of resistance. The ergonomic footplates have natural pivoting action that provides a full longitudinal rowing motion. The thick, padded seat has steel ball bearings that glide smoothly along a steel track. The unit features a display that shows six functions simultaneously and it includes an infrared earlobe clip sensor to measure pulse rate.

Pros

  • Industrial strength hydraulic pistons provide resistance
  • Thick, padded seat
  • Infrared earlobe clip sensor

Cons

  • Clamps do not grip tight and need constant adjustment
  • Does not provide resistance to legs
  • Display functions intermittently
Features

The LifeSpan Indoor Rowing Machine is the recipient of the 2008 Gear Awards Seal of Excellence. It features a smooth and quiet eddy current drive system with a 16.5-pound flywheel. The unit has five levels of resistance conveniently controlled by a resistance knob that is located directly below the display. The frame is solid steel, and it folds for easy storage. The rower includes padded hand grips, a comfortable 14" injected foam seat that supports up to 300 pounds, and large swivel foot pedals with Velcro straps. The three-LCD console provides distance, calories, time, strokes, and strokes per minute. The console uses two AAA batteries and requires no external power supply. It has a 300-pound maximum user weight.

Pros

  • Eddy current drive system
  • Five levels of resistance
  • Three LCD console

Cons

  • Display works intermittently
  • Front lifts up during strenuous workouts
  • Pulleys develop a squeak
Features

The First Degree Fitness Indoor Water Rower is engineered with a steel head frame with American ash side rails for superb durability. Built-in transit wheels make this unit easy to store when not in use. It features multiple levels of resistance to provide the ideal workout for any level of fitness. The twin tank has a triple bladed impeller for a smooth, uniform water stroke. The LCD display shows time, distance, strokes per minute, calories burned, heart rate, and more. The unit has adjustable footplates with straps that secure the heels and an angled surface to assist leg drive. The contoured seat allows easy mounting and dismounting.

Pros

  • Multiple resistance levels
  • Twin tank with triple bladed impeller
  • Adjustable footplates with straps

Cons

  • Bungee spindle chafes noisily
  • Some tanks leak
  • Doesn't provide a high level of resistance
Features

The Stamina DT Pro Rower is designed to bring the power and durability of commercial rowers to your home gym. The unit features Stamina's unique Dual-Resistance Technology — magnetic resistance and airflow resistance technologies work simultaneously to establish a dynamic rowing stroke that requires serious effort. The stainless steel and aluminum rowing beam are commercial quality, and the high-strength nylon strap produces quiet rowing strokes. The product is shipped with an LCD monitor that includes 12 pre-programmed rowing routines and a heart rate transmitter chest strap.

Pros

  • Multiple resistance levels
  • Twin tank with triple bladed impeller
  • Adjustable footplates with straps

Cons

  • Bungee spindle chafes noisily
  • Some tanks leak
  • Doesn't provide a high level of resistance
Features

The Stamina ATS Air Rower activates 85% of the body's muscular system to burn calories and fat quickly, build total body strength, and improve your heart health with a low impact workout. The unit features dynamic air resistance that matches your pace. If you want more resistance you row harder, for less resistance you can ease off. The LCD workout monitor will track speed, distance, time, and calories burned. It has an upholstered, padded seat, adjustable footplates, and a padded rowing handle. The oversized angled rail solidly supports the sliding seat. The unit comes with floor protectors, built-in wheels, and a folding frame.

Pros

  • Multiple resistance levels
  • Twin tank with triple bladed impeller
  • Adjustable footplates with straps

Cons

  • Bungee spindle chafes noisily
  • Some tanks leak
  • Doesn't provide a high level of resistance
Features

The GoPlus Magnetic Rowing Machine uses a high-quality aluminum beam with six wheels for a smooth and quiet rowing experience. The magnetic tension system has eight levels of adjustable resistance. The large, anti-slip foot pedals have adjustable foot straps for added security. The large LCD screen displays calories, strokes per minute, elapsed time, and more. The fully padded seat and non-slip grip handlebars will keep you comfortable while you exercise. The built-in wheels make it easy to transport.

Pros

  • Multiple resistance levels
  • Twin tank with triple bladed impeller
  • Adjustable footplates with straps

Cons

  • Bungee spindle chafes noisily
  • Some tanks leak
  • Doesn't provide a high level of resistance

The Verdict


Based on our research of CrossFit rowing machines, we feel the best product on the market is the Concept 2 Model D rowing machine. It is the standard that all other CrossFit rowing machines are held to. The performance monitor allows you to track your workout, and the adjustable resistance gives you the option of a high-intensity workout or a longer, slower routine. Whether you are a super athlete or someone looking for a low impact workout, you will not be disappointed with the Concept 2 Model D.

Featured Image from Pxhere

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below