It is widely accepted that exercise is one of the best ways that you can improve your health, either mental or physical. The benefits of exercise are widespread, and few workouts can match the effectiveness of cardio, but the importance of muscular training is not to be underestimated.
If you are looking to improve your fitness regimen, there are few better things you can do aside from purchasing equipment so that you can exercise from the comfort of your own home. One of the biggest obstacles between you and getting the right amount of exercise you need is time, and these products can help immensely.
Over the course of today’s article, we are going to be presenting five of the best rowing machines in UK. We’ll take an in-depth look at each of these workout machines and then give a general overview so that you can get an idea of what to expect from the product you have your eyes on.
Finding the best rowing machines doesn’t have to be a challenge, and we hope that we can make it simpler for you. After our reviews, we’ll also be taking a look at some of the most critical features to search for in a rowing machine so that you know exactly what you will be getting out of your model. Without any further delay, let’s get right into our reviews!
Best Rowing Machines in UK 2018 – Comparative Chart
Rowing Machine – Reviews
What is a Rowing Machine
A rowing machine or an indoor rower is an exercise machine that you use the way you would on an actual rowboat. It has different mechanisms and parts that allow you to paddle forward and back, the seat sliding in the manner your boat would were it in the water. Rowing machines are used by sport rowers to train for competition even without access to a boat or a rower. Indoor rowers are therefore highly prized for their convenience for athletes. Recently, indoor rowing has become a competitive sport in its own right.
Rowing machines are also used by non-professional athletes and is a popular form of exercise because it develops most muscle groups, and more importantly, burns a lot of calories even while being a low impact activity.
Types of Rowing Machines
If you’re considering purchasing an indoor rowing machine, here’s a quick breakdown of the kinds of indoor rowing machines you can expect to find in the shops and online, together with the price you might expect to pay. Basically, there are four categories of indoor rowing machine. These are:
- Piston (hydraulic) or cylinder-based rowing machines
- Flywheel rowing machines
- Magnetic resistance indoor rowing machines
- Water rowing machines
Hydraulic Rowing Machines
A hydraulic rowing machine is an excellent option for those with limited space, or where budget is a concern. These rowers are tensioned by air or fluid contained within a cylinder or piston that can be adjusted to increase the degree of resistance. The disadvantage of hydraulic rowing machines is that the exercise position does not allow you to assume a natural rowing stance. Therefore, syncronization between arms and legs is somewhat unnatural.
Flywheel Rowing Machines
The Concept 2 indoor rowing machines is probably the most popular flywheel air rowing machine as used by fitness enthusiasts and health clubs throughout the world. The Concept 2 is also used in rowing competitions all over the world, including the Worlds’ Indoor Rowing Championships and European Indoor Championships.
Flywheel or air Indoor Rowing Machines offers the closest simulation to outdoor rowing. With these rowers, resistance comes from the pulling motion. To increase the resistance you simply pull harder and greater wind resistance is provided from the fan blades. Compared to hydraulic rowing machines, flywheel or air rowers provide a smoother rowing stroke.
Magnetic Resistance Indoor Rowers
The Magnetic Resistance Indoor Rowing Machine provides a silent and smooth rowing action. Unlike the flywheel indoor rowing machine that provides its resistance by wind, the magnetic resistance rowing machine uses a magnetic braking system. Another beauty of the magnetic rowing machine is its silent operation. This is because magnetic resistance produces no friction, resulting in a virtually noise-free work-out. If it’s a magnetic resistance rower you want, these rowers can be purchased using magnetic resistance only, or a combination of air and magnetic.
Water Rowing Machines
Water rowing machines are ideally suited to those outdoor rowers among you. The water rowing machine’s water flywheel imitates the movement of a boat through water. Similar to rowing outdoors, the WaterRowers’ flywheel collects resistance by beating the effects of drag by water on the tank. Like the magnetic rower, the water rowing machine runs silently with just the swishing sound of water as you row. The WaterRower is built with a wooden frame. Vibrations are keep to a minimum and the commercial version of this rower has a metal frame.
How To Choose a Rowing Machine in UK
The first thing that you will want to account for when it comes to choosing the right rowing machine is the size of it. While rowing machines of different sizes will have a bit of variation when it comes to performance, the main reason why you should account for it is to make sure that it will fit in your home gym.
Nobody wants to end up stuck with a rowing machine that won’t even fit into their home, as they will then have to either return it or try and sell it at a loss. Measure the area that you have set out for your rowing machine, and triple-check that it will be small enough to wedge into that spot in the first place.
Many rowing machines come equipped with tracking systems to ensure that you are working out to the best of your abilities and using up as much energy as you need to. The level of sophistication of a rowing machine’s tracking systems can have a significant effect on the price, user-friendliness, and much more.
For example, some models will come equipped with what is essentially a standalone computer, giving you access to graphs and advanced data about your fitness routine. Other models will come with something as simple as a calorie tracker installed, while others yet will have no fitness tracking provisions.
One of the most crucial things to search for in your new rowing machine is an adequate level of reliability. A product that isn’t built to last is one that is quite simply not worth your money. The importance of getting a machine that will work for a long time is further emphasized when it comes to the price of some rowing machines.
If you are going to be paying hundreds of dollars for a home workout machine, you don’t want to come to the sudden realization that you’re stuck with a pile of junk when it stops working. Reviews and customer testimonials tend to the best way to determine whether or not a rowing machine is built for quality.
Ease of Assembly
As with many other home workout implements, you will also want to ensure that your rowing machine is easy enough to put together. Some machines will need two or even three people to put together, and that can be a bit of a challenge to organize when you’re living on your own.
There is also the simple fact that you will want to try out your new rowing machine once you get it, so a shorter assembly process helps cut down on the anticipation when it arrives. Most modern rowing machines feature a modular assembly process where they come in larger pre-assembled sections for greater ease.
One final thing to search for in the best rowing machines is a sufficient degree of portability. If you are the type of person that likes to work out in different areas of your home, you will want to be able to bring your rowing machine into another room without having to call for some help.
Keep in mind that your rowing machine will still have to be relatively substantial so that it won’t tip over while you are using it. To this end, many rowing machines may be heavy, but the best ones come equipped with wheels on the underside to make it easier to move them around the house.
When searching for the best rowing machines, you will want to make sure that they are silent enough to make for a pleasant workout. You won’t want to wake up your flatmates or anyone else in the home when you are working out later during the night, and louder machines simply get annoying.
Different systems of operation will feature varying noise levels, and you may have to choose between smoothness and low sound, though the best rowing machines won’t require compromise.
Benefits of a Rowing Machine
A rowing machine is easily the best fitness machine you can buy because it will give you a full body workout: you get to burn calories and build muscle, in fact you can build several muscles in your body in one session. With each stroke, you get to exercise your back, abs, upper body and lower body too. Unlike in an actual rowboat on the water, your legs will have more to do on a rowing machine because the seat slides forward and back with every stroke.
Those who exercise with other fitness machines tend to favor one extremity over the other, resulting in overly large arms and back, but small legs, and vice versa. The rowing machine lets you work out both extremities at the same time, keeping your body very much in proportion.
Another important benefit of using a rowing machine is that it is kind to your body, unlike other fitness machines out there. Your legs are in full motion when using the rowing machine, but they do not bang heavily on hard, punishing surfaces, making indoor rowing a low impact exercise. This means great protection and care for your knees and ankles.
Since you will be in constant motion, you will be losing a lot of weight while toning the right muscles. Aside from burning calories, and unwanted fat, you will give your heart a good workout too. Many also advocate the powerful benefits of exercising with a rowing machine for your mind. The rhythmic movements of the indoor rower have a calming effect on the brain, easing out any stress that worked itself into your body along the way.
Although the rowing machine is a superb fitness machine, you will have to know the proper way to use one, and just like in any exercise regimen, you will need to learn the right techniques, including how to position your back to avoid cramping and back pain, and the right breathing methods to get the most out of your workout. Once you get the hang of it, it is actually quite easy. It is just a matter of not bending too far forward or leaning to far backward to get the right angle, and sometimes you just have to remember to breathe.
How to Use a Rowing Machine
Using the proper body mechanics and the right techniques while rowing is imperative to avoid muscle injury or back strain. The correct way to use a rowing machine involves different phases, including the catch, drive, finish, and the recovery. Before starting to use your rowing machine, or any other type of exercise equipment, always be sure to warm up by stretching first to protect your muscles.
Step One – Starting Out
With the heels firmly in place and resting in the footrests with the straps around the feet, using an overhand grip hold onto the handles and extend the arms straight out toward the flywheel. Sliding forward until the calves are in the vertical position, leaning forward just slightly at the hips.
Step Two – Drive Phase
Extend the legs, pushing off the footrests, keeping the arms and back straight. Straighten the knees while gradually bending the arms as the upper body leans slightly backward.
Step Three – Finish Position
With the elbows bent, the handles should be pulled in toward the abdomen, extend the legs, leaning back very slightly at the hips.
Step Four – Recovery Phase
Straighten the elbows, which extends the arms and returns the rowing machine’s handles toward the flywheel. As the torso leans forward starting at the hips to follow the fluid movement of the arms, the knees should begin to bend gradually as you slide forward on the seat, returning to the start position.
Step Five – Catch Phase
Much like the start position, the catch phase involves extending the arms straight, with the wrists flat, and sliding forward until the lower legs are vertical. While leaning forward slightly at the hips, you are now in position to begin the next stroke.
Helpful Rowing Machine Tips and Techniques
If you have found yourself wondering, how do I use a rowing machine properly, follow these five simple tips and techniques for rowing to make the most of your workout, and to prevent possible injury:
- Exhale as you pull the handles toward you, and inhale as you then return back to the starting position.
- Remember to always keep your chin away from your chest to ensure you are breathing properly and getting as much air as possible.
- Avoid muscle strain by focusing on the arms and legs doing the work, and not the back.
- When first using a rowing machine, 10 minutes is the recommended maximum amount of time for the first week, adding time as your strength and endurance build.
- As with any type of exercise, always check with your doctor before starting a rowing machine exercise regimen, particularly if you have cardiovascular or back problems. While the rowing machine does in fact provide a good workout for those with lower back problems, using the wrong technique or the wrong form may actually do more harm than good.
Rowing Machine Exercises
It is always advisable for a beginner to start with basic rowing machine exercises that is normal push –pull movement as in the normal process of rowing a boat. This exercise will include the movement of all of the four limbs of your body and at the same time it will also include the abdominal and lower back muscles. As you get use to the rhythm of the movements you can change the level of resistance and at the same time you should decrease the rate of the limb movements as each of the stroke would require greater amount of energy and if you continue with the high speed rowing movements then it is most likely that you would feel exhausted very soon. As soon as you are able to maintain the endurance level in your body you may increase the resistance further or increase the speed of the movements but always remember to do it one at a time.
The basic set of movements is meant to give a complete workout to the muscles of your body. If you are interested to give a through toning up to your upper body muscles then, it is advisable to keep the legs of your body stationary and move your hand with the upper body while going through the rowing motions. By this way only your upper body will get the workout and the lower body would be in a resting position. To get the better results you may increase the resistance level that would help you to build and shape the biceps and triceps, beside that your abdominal muscles would also get a though workout. If you are interested to give a thorough workout to your lower body parts like the legs, thighs and buttock muscles then the upper body movements have to be restricted and the lower body passes through the different levels of resistance.
If you are desirous of burning your excess fat from the body then you are advisable to go through the basic set of rowing movements. It gives the workout to complete set of muscles present in the body and at the same time burns out the extra calories. There are many more movements possible with the rowing machines that you will learn slowly as you get accustomed with your rowing machine.
We hope that this review guide has given you all of the information that you need about these five different products. We have tried to include a little something for everybody in this article. Thank you for taking the time to read over our list of the best rowing machines!