Best Lightweight Rowing Machines for Your Home Gym

If you’re looking for a high-intensity, low-impact cardio workout that engages multiple muscle groups, rowing machines are an excellent choice. And despite their long frame, compact and lightweight rowing machines are available on the market that can easily fit in small spaces.

I have spent countless hours testing and reviewing various lightweight rowing machines to bring you comprehensive information on what to consider before buying one. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, this article is perfect for you.

Apart from engaging your upper and lower body, rowing machines are versatile and can be paired with other exercises like kettlebell swings to create a complete full-body workout. So let’s dive into the top compact rowing machines on the market and what they offer in terms of features, portability, and value.

Image Model Prices
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine
JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine
HOMCOM Rowing Machine HOMCOM Rowing Machine

Benefits of Rowing Machine

When it comes to working out, a rowing machine is one of the most versatile and effective pieces of equipment. Not only does it provide a full-body workout, but it also offers numerous benefits that can help you achieve your fitness goals faster.

1. Low-Impact Exercise

Unlike running or jumping, rowing is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on your joints. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals who want to improve their fitness without putting too much stress on their bodies.

2. Full-Body Workout

Rowing engages multiple muscle groups at once, including your legs, core, back, and arms. This means that you can achieve a full-body workout in just one exercise session.

3. Improved Cardiovascular Health

Rowing helps to increase your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular health. This can lead to better circulation, lower blood pressure, and a reduced risk of heart disease.

4. Increased Strength and Endurance

Using a rowing machine regularly can help to build muscular strength and improve endurance. This means that you will be able to work out for longer periods of time without getting tired.

5. Weight Loss

Rowing is an excellent exercise for weight loss as it helps to burn calories and increase your metabolism. By incorporating it into your fitness routine, you can achieve your weight loss goals faster.

Best Lightweight Rowing Machines in UK

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine is an excellent piece of exercise equipment for people who are on a tight budget but still want to get their workout done at home. What makes this machine standout among others is its lightweight and compact design. Weighing only 20lbs, it is super easy to move around and store when not in use. You can even fold it up and fit it in a closet, making it perfect for people who have limited workout space at home.

This rowing machine uses a single hydraulic piston system that provides twelve levels of resistance. It is suitable for beginners and intermediate users who want to improve their fitness level without putting too much strain on their joints. The sliding seat helps in engaging your legs, core and upper body, providing a full body workout. Furthermore, the pivoting foot pedals, foam handlebars, and cushioned seat provide exceptional comfort that allows you to concentrate on the workout.

The rowing machine comes equipped with a basic digital monitor that displays time, rows, total rows, and calories burned – a simple feature but adequate enough for tracking your progress. The adjustable pedal straps ensure that your feet stay securely in place and the stabilizers ensure the machine remains stable and sturdy even during intense workouts.

One of the most significant advantages of this rower is its price point. It is one of the most affordable rowing machines that still provides good quality and durability. However, like any product, there are a few drawbacks that are worth mentioning. Since it uses a single hydraulic piston system, it might not be sufficient for users with advanced workout needs. The seat isn’t particularly comfortable, but this is a common issue in most rowing machines.

JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine

JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine

JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine
The JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine is a perfect choice for those looking for a lightweight, compact, and foldable rowing machine. It is a highly recommended product for its quality and reasonable price.

The machine is designed with an advanced belt driving system that allows for a rapid engagement for a highly effective training result. It is also equipped with inbuilt wheels that make it easy to transport from one point to another. This ensures that the user can use it in different areas within the home with ease.

One of the machine’s most significant perks is its LCD monitor display that allows the user to monitor their workout progress with ease. The monitor displays total count, calorie count, count per minute, distance, and time, giving the user an accurate progress update in each session.

The JLL R200 rowing machine’s lightweight and compact design is a significant selling point. It is easy to store in small spaces when not in use, making it perfect for those who have limited space. Once folded, it takes minimal space, making this machine an excellent purchase for those living in smaller apartments.

The JLL R200 rowing machine has a maximum user weight capacity of 100kg, making it non-ideal for bigger individuals. However, this weight capacity is considered average for most people not heavily involved in extreme workouts.

Finally, the 10 levels of magnetic resistance make it an excellent choice for novice and intermediate rowers looking to get the right amount of challenge for their workouts. This machine is quiet and smooth, making it a perfect addition to any home gym or living space.

HOMCOM Rowing Machine

HOMCOM Rowing Machine

HOMCOM Rowing Machine
The HOMCOM Rowing Machine is an excellent option for those who need a compact and foldable rowing machine. This lightweight and easy to store machine is a great choice for apartment owners, people with limited space, and those who want to move their home gym equipment frequently. The ability to fold the machine and store it away in a closet or under the bed is a major plus for anyone who wants to save space.

This machine comes with adjustable resistance levels that offer a smooth and quiet row for different workout levels. The multifunction LCD monitor console displays time, count, calories, total count and scan, which is useful for tracking progress. The machine has an ergonomic design, which provides optimal comfort while giving a full-body workout that targets all major muscle groups, including arms, legs, back, abdominal, hips, and more.

The machine has a padded wide seat for a comfortable ride and non-slip grip handlebars. It’s user-friendly and easy to operate, making it ideal for beginners. With its solid build quality, it provides stability and durability during workouts.

The main downside of this machine is that it may not be suitable for individuals taller than six feet as it lacks the extended rail. Additionally, the machine may not have enough resistance for experienced athletes, which could hinder their workouts.

Tips for Buying a Lightweight Rowing Machine

Dimensions – Storage and In-Use

The dimensions of a lightweight rowing machine play a significant role in ensuring whether it can be stored in a small space or not. Often, rowers fold up to take minimal storage space, but they may require a significant area during exercise. So, if you have a cramped apartment, it’s better to check the size of the machine when in use as well.

You need to create ample space around the rowing machine to make it easier to get on and off the machine. So, it’s crucial to check the dimensions of the rowing machine before buying to ensure you have space for it.

Additional Features

Rowing machines come with different features like an LCD screen displaying basic workout stats such as distance, pace, and time. Some machines even come with interactive touchscreens that allow you to follow along with classes or do virtual rows and workouts. Depending on your preferences, you may or may not want these additional features, so it’s essential to know what to look for.


When looking for a lightweight rowing machine, you can choose between cheaper models that can be both affordable and long-lasting. You don’t have to break the bank to get a decent rowing machine for your workout regime. So, research well and look for the best options available in your budget.

Finally, keep in mind that buying a rowing machine is not just an investment but also a long term commitment for your health and fitness. So, make sure to consider all the aspects and invest wisely in a machine that can support your needs and goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is rowing machine good for belly fat?

If you want to lose fat around your belly, a rowing machine can be a great workout equipment to include in your routine. It is an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health and burn calories, which can ultimately lead to fat loss.

Rowing works out multiple muscle groups, including your core, arms, back, and legs, making it a full-body workout that can help you lose weight from all over your body, including your belly.

Moreover, as rowing is a low-impact exercise, it reduces the risk of injuries commonly associated with other high-intensity exercises like running. Rowing also puts much less pressure on the joints than other exercises.

However, to achieve significant fat loss, you need to ensure that you create a calorie deficit by combining your rowing workout with a healthy diet. Rowing for at least 30 minutes, five times a week, can help you maintain a calorie deficit necessary for weight loss.

Does rowing make thighs bigger?

Many people are hesitant to try rowing for fear of developing bulky thighs. But rest assured, incorporating rowing into your fitness routine is unlikely to cause an increase in thigh size. Unlike lifting heavy weights, rowing is primarily a cardiovascular exercise that burns calories and strengthens muscles without building bulk.

Rowing on a machine is excellent for overall fitness, as it works the entire body, including the legs. However, rowing engages the muscles in a different way than squats or lunges. While these exercises primarily target the quadriceps, rowing also engages the hamstrings, glutes, calves, and even the core.

Rowing is an excellent way to tone and strengthen leg muscles without adding bulk, making it a great option for those who want to achieve long, lean muscles. It’s also a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints, making it perfect for individuals of all fitness levels and ages.

Is Rowing Better Than Treadmill?

Treadmills are great for those who want to focus primarily on burning calories and losing fat. Running on a treadmill can burn more calories than rowing, and it’s also an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health. A treadmill can be a fantastic addition to your fitness routine if you want to intensify your cardio workout while staying indoors.

On the other hand, a rowing machine provides a full-body workout that engages many muscles simultaneously. If you’re trying to lose weight while also building muscle and improving your overall fitness, then a rowing machine is the right choice for you. Unlike a treadmill, a rowing machine can help you tone your arms and legs. It’s also an excellent low-impact workout that won’t damage your joints.


In conclusion, investing in a lightweight rowing machine can make a significant difference in your fitness journey. From our review, it is clear that the top picks on the market are designed with user comfort and convenience in mind. These machines are easy to maneuver, assemble, and store, and they provide low-impact full-body workouts that can help you burn calories, tone muscles, and enhance cardiovascular health.

If you’re looking for an effective and efficient workout that doesn’t require a ton of space, a lightweight rowing machine is an excellent option. Remember to consider your budget, fitness goals, and user preferences when choosing the right model for you.

In summary, we hope this article has provided you with valuable insights on the best lightweight rowing machines available. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, incorporating a rowing machine into your routine can help you achieve your fitness goals faster and more conveniently. So, what are you waiting for? Start rowing yourself to better health and fitness today!