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10 Best Rowing Machines Under $500 That Will Actually Help You Get in Shape!

Say goodbye to pricey gym memberships and hello to affordable and effective at-home workouts with the best rowing machines under $500.

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Looking for an efficient, full-body workout that won't break the bank? Look no further than a rowing machine. Rowing machines offer a low-impact yet challenging way to work out your upper body, lower body, and core all at once. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best budget rowing machine for you.

That's why we've compiled a list of the nine best rowing machines under $500, so you can experience the ultimate workout without spending a fortune. From basic models to advanced features, there's a rowing machine on this list for every fitness level and preference.

Our Picks for the Best rowing machines under $500

Definition of "rowing machine"

A rowing machine is an exercise device that replicates the action of watercraft rowing. This type of exercise equipment utilizes two main components; a flywheel and an adjustable lever arm that are used to replicate the action of oars in the water.

Rowing machines are widely regarded as one of the most effective pieces of cardio fitness equipment due to their ability to engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously and offer low-impact workouts with high cardiovascular benefits.

With its vast range of possible exercises, rowing machines can be used for strengthening core muscles, tone arms, and legs, improving posture, and increasing overall endurance levels.

Benefits of a Rowing Machine for the Ultimate Workout

Rowing machines are becoming increasingly popular in gyms and homes, and it's easy to see why. These machines provide a full-body workout that engages both the upper and lower body, making it one of the most efficient forms of exercise out there. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of a rowing machine and why it should be a part of your workout routine.

Low-Impact Exercise

One of the key benefits of a rowing machine is that it's a low-impact exercise. This means that it puts less stress on your joints and is less likely to cause injuries. This is especially important for those who have joint pain or are recovering from an injury.

Full-Body Workout

Unlike other forms of exercise that only work certain muscles, rowing engages the whole body. With each stroke, you're using your legs, back, arms, and core to propel the machine forward. This makes rowing an excellent way to tone and strengthen your entire body.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Rowing is an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health. It gets your heart rate up and increases your oxygen intake, which can help to improve your endurance and stamina over time. Additionally, rowing is a form of aerobic exercise, which means that it can help to lower your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

Weight Loss

Rowing is a great way to burn calories and lose weight. According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound person can burn around 260 calories in just 30 minutes of rowing at a moderate pace. This makes rowing an excellent choice for those who are looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Easy to Use

They are relatively easy to use and don't require a lot of coordination. This makes them a great choice for beginners who may be intimidated by other types of exercise equipment. Additionally, many rowing machines come with pre-programmed workouts and resistance levels, making it easy to get started.


Rowing machines are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. You can use them for short, challenging workouts or longer, low-intensity sessions. Additionally, rowing machines can be used for cross-training and to complement other forms of exercise, such as weightlifting or running.

A rowing machine is an excellent way to achieve a full-body workout that provides a range of health benefits. From its low-impact nature to its cardiovascular benefits and versatility, a rowing machine is a great choice for anyone looking to improve their fitness and overall health.

Types of Rowing Machine

With so many types of rowing machines on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. From hydraulic resistance models to fully-featured digital options, there’s a wide variety of rowers available with features to suit any budget and need. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of rowing machines so you can make an informed decision about which type is best for you.

Hydraulic Resistance Rowing Machines

These are some of the most affordable and portable rowers on the market. Hydraulic rowers vary in price from budget-friendly models to more expensive professional-grade versions with increased features such as adjustable footplates, seat height adjustment, and multiple tension levels.

Magnetic Resistance Rowers

These models offer users a smooth and quiet workout experience due to their frictionless operation. Magnetic resistance rowers feature up to 16 tension levels with computerized displays that show speed, distance, calories burnt, and other important metrics. They are also equipped with comfortable seats, adjustable footplates, and external devices such as tablet holders or music players.

Water Resistance Rowers

Water rowers are designed to replicate the motion of an actual boat on the water. As well as being low-impact, these machines provide a naturalistic feel that really engages your core muscles whilst offering excellent cardiovascular benefits. Prices range from mid-priced aquatic versions to high-end full commercial models complete with LCD screens and sophisticated tracking systems for recording performance metrics during each session.

Air Resistance Rowers

Air rowing machine offer users variable resistance based on their level of exertion; this makes them suitable for both beginners and experienced athletes alike. Thanks to their adjustable headsail system they require no external power source but do come equipped with console displays for examining data such as stroke rate, distance covered, and total time is taken for each session. Air rowers tend to be pricier than other types but provide an unbeatable aerobic workout!

What to consider when buying a Rowing Machine

Buying a rowing machine can be confusing and overwhelming, with so many models on the market. But before you choose a rower, there are certain elements to consider in order to ensure you get the best experience possible. Here we’ll discuss some of the factors to consider when selecting a rowing machine:


The first thing to think about when buying a rowing machine is your budget. Rowing machines vary significantly in price from low-cost hydraulic resistance options up to full-featured, digital water resistance models. It’s important to determine your budget before you start shopping as this will help narrow down your options and prevent unnecessary spending.


Depending on what type of exercise regime you have in mind, there are different features that may be useful for you to look out for. For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight then tracking calorie burn or monitoring performance metrics such as speed, distance, and stroke rate may be beneficial for tracking progress over time. Other features such as adjustable footplates or comfortable seating can make your workouts more enjoyable and ensure your safety during use.


When choosing a rowing machine, pay attention to how much space it requires before bringing it home. Hydraulic resistance rowers tend to take up the least amount of space while air and water resistance models can require quite large footprints due to their bulky components. Make sure you measure the available area carefully in order not only fit the machine but also to provide enough headroom/arm room during each session.

Noise Levels

Another element that should be taken into consideration is noise levels; some rowing machines can produce loud noises which could become annoying for fellow family members or neighbors if used in close quarters so this is something worth looking into before making a purchase decision!

By considering these factors prior to making a purchase, you should be able to find a rowing machine that suits both your needs and budget perfectly!

Our Favorite Rowing Machines To Try

With a budget of $500 or less, there are still many high-quality rowing machines available that can provide an effective workout without breaking the bank. To help you make an informed decision, we've put together a list of nine of the best rowing machines on the market within this price range. Each of these models offers unique features and benefits, so you can find the one that best suits your fitness goals and preferences. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, these affordable options will have you rowing your way to a healthier and fitter you in no time!

Best Dynamic Air Resistance Rower

Stamina ATS Air Rower is an affordable and durable machine that offers intuitive wind resistance that adapts to your desired workout intensity. With just a pull or ease-off, you can target all the major muscle groups, including arms, legs, abs, and glutes. Plus, the ATS Air Rower provides a smooth, gliding rowing stroke, thanks to the oversized, angled seat rail and adjustable nylon straps.

Keep track of your workout stats with the multi-function monitor, which displays your speed, distance, time, and calories burned. And if you need an extra push, the machine comes with free access to müüv, the smart audio coaching app. But don't worry, you won't sacrifice comfort for effectiveness - the padded, sliding seat and textured grip keep you comfortable during even the most intense workouts.

When you're finished with your workout, the sturdy steel construction of the ATS Air Rower folds for easy storage.

Best Rower with High Weight Capacity

One of the most impressive features of Niceday Hydraulic Rower is its max user weight of up to 300 lbs. This means that even if you're a larger person, you can still comfortably use this machine without worrying about it breaking or failing under your weight. Additionally, the 45-inch ultra-long slide rail is designed to accommodate users up to 6'2", making it an inclusive choice for a wide range of people.

It also boasts an enlarged hydraulic cylinder, which serves as the resistance source. This provides a higher tension value and 16 resistance choices, making it the perfect choice for both beginner and advanced users. Additionally, it has an innovative hydraulic cylinder cooling device that extends the single-use time twice as long, making it more durable and long-lasting. The nonslip foot pedals and adjustable foot straps are designed to help users fix their feet in a comfortable position during workouts to minimize the risk of injury.

Furthermore, the easy-reading digital monitor helps you keep track of your exercise progress, including time, stroke count, and calories burned!

Best Magnetic Rower

XTERRA Fitness ERG200 Magnetic Resistance Rower is one of the best magnetic rowers on the market that provides a realistic rowing workout in the comfort of their own home and provides users with 8 levels of magnetic resistance that can be adjusted through the dial resistance knob. The maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds ensures that even heavier rowers can enjoy the full exercise benefits of this machine. The magnetic resistance system gives a smooth, quiet, and maintenance-free experience, while the compact frame design folds up easily for storage or transportation.

Of course, no fitness device would be complete without tracking your progress-the XTERRA ERG200 comes with an LCD display monitor to track speed, time, distance, calories burned, and more so that you can stay motivated and reach your fitness goals faster than ever before.

Best Magnetic Rower with High Weight Capacity

If you're in the market for a high-quality magnetic rowing machine, MERACH Magnetic Rower should definitely be on your radar. This impressive piece of equipment is made of alloy steel material to ensure that it is built to last. The maximum weight limit of 350 pounds means that it can accommodate users of all shapes and sizes, and the sturdy frame ensures that it won't wobble or tip over during use.

One of the standout features of the MERACH Magnetic Rower is the customized smooth and quiet magnetic flywheel system. This makes for an extremely quiet workout, which is perfect if you don't want to disturb others while you exercise. The dual slide rail imitates the wood rowing machine, providing a more stable experience than a single rail. This ensures that the machine won't flip over or move around while you're using it, giving you the confidence to really push yourself during your workouts.

Finally, it offers 16 levels of resistance that you can really tailor your workout to your fitness level. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned athlete, you'll be able to find a resistance level that's challenging enough to help you progress toward your goals.

Best Water Rower

RUNOW Water Rowing Machine is the perfect choice for those who are looking for a quality rower to get effective and low-intensity cardio workouts in the comfort of their home. Constructed out of durable oak wood, this machine is built to last while providing users with an ergonomic seat, adjustable footplates, and quiet rails that remain below 65DB. The soothing sound of rushing water adds to the pleasant experience and users can row up to 265 pounds in weight.

It is easy to assemble and use, making it suitable even for those who have never used a rowing machine before. It doesn't take up too much space either, adding to its appeal as a great all-in-one fitness device. With each stroke, you'll feel your body getting stronger, both physically and mentally.

Best Water Rower with High Weight Capacity

Housefit Water Rowing Machine is built to last, with a stainless steel material and alloy steel frame that ensures durability and stability during even the most intense workout. The water resistance mechanism is a standout feature of this rowing machine. With 6 levels of water, it can be adjusted to match different workout plans for beginners or experts, making it a versatile option for anyone looking to improve their fitness.

The ergonomic cushioned seat is another great feature, it provides excellent support for your hips and back, which is important during long rowing sessions. Finally, the 350 lbs weight capacity of the Housefit Water Rowing Machine is a testament to its rock-solid build.

Best Budget Friendly Rower

If you're looking for a decent rowing machine to use at home, then the Sunny Health Fitness Rowing Machine is a great choice. Made of top-grade steel and featuring an ultra-smooth and quiet elastic cord resistance system with four levels of adjustable tension, this rower provides more resistance that adapts to any fitness level. The maximum user weight is 220 lbs, so even heavier rowers can enjoy the workout benefits of using this machine.

The Large LCD console displays all your stats keeping you informed of your progress along the way. To ensure optimal comfort during your workout session, it comes with an oversized contoured seat with non-slip handles and large foot pedals with adjustable straps.

Best Foldable Rower

Marcy Foldable Rowing Machine is incredible training equipment designed with your fitness goals in mind. With an adjustable magnetic resistance of up to eight levels, you can customize your workout to match your target workout zone. It also features two conveniently placed pedals with a slip-resistant design for safety and comfort. The customizable foot straps can accommodate tall rowers, so you can enjoy a comfortable and effective workout every time.

The padded rowing handle prevents slipping, and the foam seat pad is contoured to keep you comfortable throughout your routine. Plus, with the multi-angle monitor that folds both forwards and backward, you can easily track your progress and stay motivated during your workout.

And when you're done with your workout, the Marcy Foldable Rowing Machine features an innovative foldable design that allows you to store it conveniently. The two built-in transport wheels make it easy to move and store when you're not using it, so you can keep your home gym organized and clutter-free.

Best Rower with Smart Workout App

BodyTrac Glider Rowing Machine is a dynamic rower designed to simulate the motion of actual oars in the water, making it the perfect piece of equipment for those who love the sport of rowing, as well as those who want to improve their overall fitness level. Equipped with a ball-bearing roller system and adjustable hydraulic cylinder resistance, the BodyTrac Glider Rowing Machine allows for a smooth rowing experience.

Designed with a large readout monitor and a device tray, it offers maximum convenience, allowing you to track your progress. The molded padded seat ensures comfort during longer rowing routines, while the textured footplates with straps keep your feet secure and in place.

Another great feature of this indoor rowing machine is that it folds to save space, making it the perfect addition to your home gym.

Best Space-Efficient Rower

With an aviation-standard polycarbonate tank, bearings, and EPDM rubber sealing ring, the resistance system of YOSUDA Rowing Machin is built to last. You'll enjoy the sweet water sound clearly thanks to double aluminum alloy slide rails that provide more smooth rowing stroke. This machine is designed to simulate the authentic rowing experience on the water, making it perfect for anyone who loves the sport or wants to experience the benefits of rowing.

One of the standout features of the YOSUDA Rowing Machine is its compact design. This machine is incredibly space-efficient, and it will fit almost any corner in your home, apartment, or fitness room. In fact, it only covers 4.27ft², making it one of the most compact rowing machines on the market.

Rowing Machine FAQs

Can I get a real workout with an affordable rowing machine?

Rowing machines provide a great cardio workout as well as strengthen your arms, legs, back, and core muscles. They can also help improve your posture and balance. You can adjust the intensity of your workout by adjusting the resistance of the machine.

When using a rowing machine, it’s important to maintain proper form in order to avoid injury. Make sure you’re sitting up straight with your shoulders back and feet firmly planted on the footrests. As you row, keep your arms close to your body and drive through with your legs for maximum efficiency. With regular use, you can expect to see results in no time!

Are there any safety concerns to consider before using a rowing machine?

Yes, there are a few safety concerns to consider before using a rowing machine.

First, make sure you are familiar with the proper rowing technique and form. This will help prevent any injuries from occurring due to incorrect forms. Additionally, it is important to warm up before each session on the rowing machine. This will help reduce the risk of muscle strain or injury during your workout.

Finally, make sure that you adjust the resistance level on the rowing machine appropriately for your fitness level and goals. If it's too high, you may be at risk of overworking your muscles or pulling a muscle while rowing.

How do I properly maintain my rowing machine to keep it in good condition?

Properly maintaining your rowing machine is essential for keeping it in good condition and ensuring that it continues to work well. Here are some tips for doing so:

First, make sure to lubricate the chain or belt on your machine regularly. This will help reduce friction and ensure that your machine runs smoothly. You can purchase a lubricant specifically designed for rowing machines, or you can use a light oil such as WD-40.

Second, inspect the parts of your machine regularly for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any loose screws or bolts, make sure to tighten them up right away. Also check the footrests, seat, and handlebars for any damage or cracks that may need to be repaired.

Finally, clean your machine regularly with a damp cloth or sponge. This will help remove dirt and grime that can accumulate over time and cause wear on the moving parts of your machine.

Are there any tips or tricks for getting the most out of my rowing machine workouts?

Yes, there are several tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of your rowing machine workouts. First, it’s important to make sure that your form is correct. Keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout each stroke. This will ensure that you’re getting the most out of each rep and avoiding any potential injuries.

Second, vary your intensity levels. Try switching between intervals of high-intensity and low-intensity rowing to keep your body challenged. This will help you build endurance and maximize calorie burn. Additionally, try incorporating additional exercises, such as burpees or squats, into your routine to work for different muscle groups and break up the monotony of rowing alone.

Finally, stay motivated by tracking your progress. Set goals for yourself and track how many calories you’ve burned or how far you’ve rowed in a certain amount of time.

How often should I use a rowing machine to see results?

Generally, you should use a rowing machine at least three times a week for 20-30 minutes. This will help you build strength and stamina, as well as improve your overall cardiovascular health.

If you want to see more dramatic results, aim for four to five sessions per week of 30-45 minutes each. During these workouts, focus on varying your intensity levels to work on different muscle groups and increase the intensity of the workout. You can also add interval training or high-intensity intervals to challenge yourself even further.

Finally, remember that consistency is key when it comes to seeing results with any workout routine. Aim to stick with your rowing machine workouts for at least three months before evaluating how effective they are in achieving your fitness goals.


Choosing the right rowing machine for your needs doesn't have to be hard. Whether you're looking for an advanced model with a smart workout app, or one that is space-efficient and foldable, there are plenty of options available. Our article has given you an overview of some of the best rowing machine under $500 options on the market today so you can make an informed decision based on your budget and fitness goals. We hope this information helps you find the perfect rowing machine to help get in shape and stay healthy!