Best Rowing Machine Under 500 – Introduction
What’s the best rowing machine under 500 on the market today in 2022?
Cardio workouts don’t come much more effective than rowing.
Using a rowing machine can help you tone up all your major muscles, burn fat, get fit, and improve your cardiovascular health.
Rowing is also easy on your joints, good for your posture, and provides a very time-efficient full-body workout.
Not to mention that rowing machines are an excellent deadlift alternative for a bad back.
Best of all, rowers are ideal for home exercisers, especially when you live in a cold climate.
They’re often a better choice than treadmills or ellipticals, particularly if you have a low-ceiling basement or garage.
However, with so many rowing machines to choose from, it can be hard to pick the best model for your home gym.
In this guide, we explain what to look for in a home gym rower and the six best rowing machines for under $500.
What to Look for In A Rowing Machine Under $500
To the uninitiated, one rower is much the same as the next.
However, differences in features and specifications mean that some rowers are better than others, so it makes sense to pick the machine that best suits your wants, needs, and budget.
These are the features to look for in a good indoor rowing machine.
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Types of resistance
Rowing machines use one of four types of resistance.
Each one has a slightly different feel, and the best one is primarily a question of personal preference.
Your options are:
Fans are one of the most popular types of resistance.
The harder you pull, the more resistance there is, making this type of machine ideal for more advanced exercisers.
However, by adjusting the airflow, you can lower the resistance, making fans suitable for less experienced exercisers, too.
On the downside, fans can be noisy.
Some rowers have large sealed water drums with internal paddles.
This provides a very realistic rowing sensation.
Water rowers are usually quieter to use than fan rowers, but they’re also heavier and less portable.
You’ll also need to fill the drum with water and change it periodically as the water will turn green over time.
There is also a small risk of leakage.
Hydraulic rowers are low-tech, but that’s what makes them so affordable.
Light and all but silent in use, hydraulic rowers are compact and usually very portable.
However, hydraulic pistons tend to weaken over time and need to be replaced every couple of years.
Otherwise, your workout will gradually become easier.
Electromagnetic resistance provides a smooth, almost silent workout, making this type of rower ideal for home use.
However, these rowers are often big and heavy and need an external power source to work.
They don’t usually provide as much resistance as fan or water rowers, so they may not be the best choice for fitter users.
However, the resistance is often more variable.
Most rowing machines have a built-in computer that measures your workout performance.
Depending on the model, the display will show a range of metrics, including:
- Cadence (strokes per minute)
- Heart rate
Some performance monitors also have built-in workouts to follow and can be programmed for interval training workouts.
The functions and features depend on the model you choose, so make sure the computer on your rower provides you with the information you need.
Comfort matters during rowing workouts.
The best rowing seats are cushioned and contoured so you can concentrate 100% on your workout and not on how much your butt hurts!
Comfort is a very personal thing, and what works for one person may not work for another.
However, if a lot of reviews mention an uncomfortable seat, you should probably look at an alternative model.
You can make your rowing seat even more comfortable by adding an after-market foam or gel seat pad.
Size and storage
Most rowers are pretty long, so make sure you have space in your home gym to use one.
While most home rowing machines are portable to an extent, their length can mean they’re not all that easy to move and store.
You may just have to leave it wherever you install it.
However, some rowers are foldable or are easily dismantled between workouts.
Long story short, make sure you take length and ease of storage into account before buying your rower.
Unreliable workout equipment is nothing but a waste of money and space!
Look for products with extended warranties and backed with high levels of customer service.
Also, check out the long-term reviews for information on reliability.
Light commercial rowers are generally more durable than rowing machines made exclusively for home use.
Best Rowing Machine Under 500 – Top Picks
Now that you know what to look for in a rowing machine under $500, here are six of the best models around!
#1. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower
- WATER PERFORMANCE: Instant resistance is available with the flywheel and 16 fan...
- DESIGN: Constructed with lightweight sturdy steel, for solid performance and...
- ERGO EFFICIENT: Molded padded seat is designed to be comfortable and functional....
- FITNESS TECHNOLOGY: The R2 fitness meter is designed to accurately track all...
- EASY STORAGE: High density non-marking rubber wheels are perfect for easy...
Sunny Health and Fitness make reliable, well-priced, and feature-packed fitness equipment.
This Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rower provides a realistic rowing workout, and the built-in performance monitor is packed with handy features.
If you are looking for a gym-quality rowing machine at a fraction of the price, this Sunny Model SF-RW5713 Rowing Machine is a great option.
- Compact design
- Wide, cushioned seat
- Adjustable, non-slip pedals with straps
- Ergonomic, non-slip handle
- Multi-function LCD monitor
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Weight capacity 300lbs
- Maximum user height 6’ 8”
- Built-in transport wheels
- It can be stored upright to save space
- Water-resistance mechanism
#2. Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine
- 【Durable and Comfortable Material】Our rowing machine uses high-quality...
- 【Adjustable Resistance and Foot Straps】Magnetic tension system with 8 levels...
- 【Clear LCD Display】Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine equipped with a large LCD...
- 【Easy to Use and Move】Simple operation for you to use it easily. With the...
- 【Full Body Exercise】Use it for an effective aerobic workout. It can not only...
The Magnetic Rowing Machine provides a smooth, quiet workout.
It’s a compact machine that is ideal for smaller, lighter exercisers.
With ten different resistance levels and a detailed display monitor, this machine has features that should appeal to all users.
This Goplus Folding Rower is also foldable, which is a big bonus if you want to store your rower between workouts.
- Electromagnetic resistance for a quiet, smooth workout
- 10 levels of resistance
- Sturdy, steel frame
- Adjustable non-slip footplates
- Transportation wheels
- Foldable for easy storage
- Multi-functional LCD performance monitor
- Padded, contoured seat
- Non-slip padded handlebar
- Weight capacity 220lbs
#3. Stamina ATS Air Rower
- EFFECTIVE, PROVEN RESULTS: Provides a nearly unsurpassed aerobic workout without...
- DYNAMIC AIR RESISTANCE: One of the main benefits of air resistance is that it...
- LCD WORKOUT MONITOR: During your routine, track speed, distance, time and...
- EASY ASSEMBLY AND STORAGE: Once assembled the rower is 77” long x 18.75”...
- WARRANTY INCLUDED: The Stamina 35-1403 air rower rowing machine comes with a...
If you want an intense rowing workout, an air-resistance rower is arguably your best choice.
The harder you pull, the heavier the resistance will be, which means air rowers are suitable for even the most advanced exerciser.
That’s why they’re popular with CrossFitters and used for dryland training by competitive and recreational rowers.
The Stamina Air Rower is a budget-friendly air rowing machine that’s ideal for home use.
- Large fan with dampers to fine-tune the resistance
- Carbon steel frame
- Multi-function LCD performance monitor
- Padded seat and handlebar
- Adjustable non-slip footplates
- Maximum user weight 250lbs
- Foldable for easy storage. It can also be stored upright
#4. XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower
- Combination of air and magnetic resistance provides enhanced resistance with a...
- Padded rowing handle for superior grip, feel and comfort with a full 80.7" of...
- Large contoured seat maximizes comfort and performance while the 20" raised seat...
- Large 5.5" bright blue backlit monitor with adjustable angle displays all your...
- Ten effective workout modes offer a wide variety of workouts including distance,...
Are you having trouble deciding between an air rower and one with magnetic resistance?
This XTERRA Fitness rowing machine combines both types of resistance to deliver a variable, smooth, and authentic rowing experience.
Made from high quality components and built to last, this ERG700 Air and Magnetic Rower is a very high-tech rowing machine that should provide many years of reliable workouts for a very affordable price.
- A unique combination of electromagnetic and air resistance
- 16 resistance levels
- Foldable for easy storage
- Easy to read multi-functional performance LCD screen
- Padded, contoured seat and handlebar
- Strong powder-coated steel frame
- 350lbs weight limit
#5. ProGear 750 Multi-Function Rower
- 2 independent hydraulic cylinders for tension resistance. 3 hydraulic resistance...
- 3 adjustable rowing positions accommodate different user heights. Slide rail...
- 3 adjustable incline rowing angles. LCD display indicates scan, time, rep count,...
- Large pivoting textured anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable straps keep your...
- Over 10 additional workout exercises including rows, curls, shoulder presses,...
While rowing provides a very comprehensive workout, some muscle groups don’t get much attention, such as your chest and triceps.
This Multi-Function Rower from ProGear doubles as a hydraulic workout station, so you can strengthen your entire body as well as get fit and burn calories.
Compact, light, and budget-friendly, this ProGear 750 Model is the ideal rowing machine for anyone looking for an all-in-one workout solution.
- Twin independent hydraulic arms
- 3 resistance levels
- Folds flat for storage
- 22lbs weight capacity
- Padded seat and adjustable back support
- Ten additional exercises, including shoulder presses, biceps curls, and chest presses
- Compact design
- Non-slip foot pedals with straps
#6. Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine
- Displays 6 functions simultaneously: Time, Distance, Energy Consumed, Strokes,...
- Two industrial strength hydraulic pistons provide resistance which can be...
- Resistance levels can be set to any one of the 50 knurl marks on each oar to...
- Biomechanically correct footplates offer a natural pivoting action providing a...
- Includes an infrared earlobe clip sensor to measure pulse rate electronically;...
Hydraulic rowers have been around for decades, and while they’re usually light and cheap, they don’t tend to be hardwearing, comfortable, or enjoyable to use.
This hydraulic rower from Kettler bucks this trend.
Designed and made in Germany, the Kettler Favorit is a heavy-duty hydraulic rowing machine that’s ideal for small exercise spaces.
It’s light, portable, and folds flat for very easy storage.
While this isn’t the most feature-packed rower for under $500, it is one of the most compact.
- Twin hydraulic arms
- 50 resistance levels
- Almost silent operation
- LED performance monitor
- Padded, contoured seat
- Pivoting footplates with straps
- Earlobe heart rate monitor
- Ultra-smooth gliding rollers
- 280lbs maximum user weight
#7. SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
- DIGITAL MONITOR: The large LCD console displays time, count, calories, total...
- EXTRA LONG SLIDE RAIL: At 48 inches in slide rail length, and 44 inches in...
- ADJUSTABLE MAGNETIC RESISTANCE: With a simple twist, you can increase or...
- TRANSPORTATION WHEELS: Built-in transportation wheels for easy portability....
- NON-SLIP FOOT PEDALS: Textured non-slip foot pedals will ensure safe footing...
If you’re looking for an intense, full-body workout, look no further than the Fitness SF-RW5515 Model.
This rower offers all of the necessities for an intense yet enjoyable rowing workout in the comfort of your own home.
It is built with a magnetic resistance system for a smooth, quiet ride, while the large LCD monitor displays all of your essential workout stats.
This Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine also has a comfortable and ergonomic seat design with 8 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance.
- 8 resistance levels
- Easy transport wheels
- Foldable design
- Large LCD console
- Cushioned and contoured seat
- Non-slip foot pedals
- 48-inch extra-long slide rails for tall rowers
- 300lb weight limit
The Best Rowing Machines Under 500 – Wrapping Up
Rowing delivers a great, full-body workout that’s also low-impact and easy on your joints.
You can use a rower to get fit, lose weight, or train for a sport.
They also have an excellent muscle-toning effect.
Most gyms have rowers, and they’re a great choice for home exercisers, too.
Commercial rowing machines can cost as much as $2000 or more.
That’s a hefty chunk of change!
However, for $500 or less, you can get a very serviceable rower that’s ideal for home use.
Most home rowers are light, compact, and easy to store.
However, they still have many of the features found on more expensive models.
There are several different types of rowing machines to choose from, including air rowers, water rowers, and hydraulic rowers.
They all have pros and cons, and each one can help you reach your fitness goals.
Use this guide to help you choose the best rower for your home gym.
Once you’ve installed your rower, you’ll have the perfect home workout machine at your fingertips!
When you want an option to improve your aerobic conditioning and build your muscles, a rowing machine is an excellent piece of equipment for your home gym.
See the 13 Remarkable Ways How Rowing Changes Your Body for more details on this fantastic exercise.
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