Reasons to go for a rowing machine under $200
When you have a set budget of $200, you need to consider your options well, so you purchase a rowing machine that suits your needs as well. The good news is that there are lots of rowing machines in this price range, and while they may not come with all the bells and whistles of premium models, they are the perfect choice for beginners.
Rowing machines offer a complete workout – they put most of the muscles in your body to work, including the back, arms, and legs. This means that you can hit all muscle areas in a single workout, and even affordable rowing machines are likely to get you fitter in no time. If you aren’t a pro athlete in need of the best equipment and don’t need a machine with shiny backlit LCD monitors and Wi-Fi connectivity, models under $200 would be ideal for you because they provide you with a quality full-body workout without breaking the bank.
How to pick the best rowing machine under $200?
In order to pick the best rowing machine under $200, it’s important to have a look at some essential features, such as tension system, resistance levels, weight capacity, rail length, comfort level, type of digital monitor, as well as dimensions and weight. You should also make sure that the model you go for suits your living arrangements, meaning that you need to decide whether you want it to have the capability to fold, so you can store it away when not in use.
The two main types of tension systems you can find in inexpensive rowing machines are hydraulic and corded.
Most of the models we tested feature a hydraulic system, which means that the rower gets the tension from the air or fluid that’s compressed in an adjustable piston.
Hydraulic machines are highly popular mostly because they allow rowers to pull in a straight line and can replicate the movements of real oars.
On the other hand, corded rowing machines, such as the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606, get their resistance from elastic bands that allow you to exercise with different tensions. These machines generally tend to be cheaper than air rowers, but they come with the drawback of not being able to increase the resistance when you pull harder.
There are other types of tension systems, including air and water resistance, but they are often more expensive than $200.
Having variable resistance levels is important for rowing machines because you may want to be able to increase the intensity of your workouts as you build up your body. Most of the models we reviewed, including the Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine, come complete with adjustable resistance levels, so you can choose to go all-in for a complete workout that leaves you sweaty or just row gently in front of the TV for a more relaxing workout.
The way you can adjust resistance levels varies from one rowing machine to another, but generally, you can do it with the help of a dial or lever. Lower resistance works well for your cardiovascular system, whereas high resistance provides an anaerobic session because the muscles work harder with the pull.
The weight capacity varies from one model to another, but generally, you can expect budget rowing machines under $200 to have a weight capacity of at least 250 lb. This means that you don’t have to pay a lot for a high weight capacity machines, as there are lots of options available out there for heavier users. For example, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 has a weight capacity of 350 lb.
The length and quality of rail are very important in a rowing machine. The length is particularly important if you’re taller than average (over 5’10), and in this case, you should try and find a rowing machine with a rail as long as possible, such as seen with the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639.
By having a long rail, you can achieve wider strokes, which is important for the quality of the workout. You should also look at the quality of the rail to make sure it is durable and doesn’t make too much noise.
A soft seat allows you to remain comfortable for the duration of your workout, so try to choose a machine that comes with one, like the Goplus Hydraulic Rowing Machine, for example. Other elements that make a rowing machine comfortable are the handles, which should feel fairly thick in your hand and come with a foam grip. You should also have a look at the pedals when assessing how comfortable a rowing machine is. Some models feature fixed pedals, whereas others have swiveling pedals to release pressure from your ankles.
Most rowing machines come with a display monitor, such as the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050, which comes in very handy during your workout because it shows you information about time, distance, calories, rpm, and more. Some of the best models also give you extra information, including split time and average intensity.
The dimensions of the rowing machines are important because they determine whether you have enough room in our home to use the machine and store it away when not in use if it’s a foldable model. For example, our Editor’s Choice model is quite large at 50″ x 24″ x 18.5″, but you can choose from models with reduced dimensions as well if you don’t have space for a full-sized rowing machine. For example, the Goplus Hydraulic Rowing Machine has dimensions of just 42.5″ x 33″ x 8″.
Just like in the case of dimensions, it’s important to consider the weight of the machine as well. The weight determines how easy it is to assemble and move the machine, but also how stable it is when you use it. For a lighter model that you won’t have trouble moving around by yourself, consider the Goplus Hydraulic Rowing Machine, which only weighs 30 lb. But if you’re interested in a model that’s more stable, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is a better choice at 39 lb.
What else can be important?
When shopping for a rowing machine, it’s also important to look at other features, such as the existence of transport wheels, for example. These come in very handy if you intend to move the machine around the house often, as you won’t have to drag it around.
Some models are easy to fold, which is great because they won’t be in your way when you exercise. These rowing machines may be less robust than fixed models, but they are the perfect choice for those who don’t have a lot of space at home.
Finally, don’t forget to look at the overall build quality of the rowing machine you’re purchasing. Models made from steel, such as the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050, are highly durable and are bound to last longer than models that are made from lighter and cheaper materials.