Rowing machines are arguably one of the best pieces of exercise equipment, giving you a grueling cardio workout as well as explosive power and muscle endurance. But while there are plenty of benefits to using (and owning) a rowing machine, do they outweigh the cost of buying one? As with most exercise equipment, it’s more an investment in your health, which can be hard to put a price tag on, but whether it’s good value for money will depend on how much you actually use it. So, if you’re looking to invest in a rowing machine without leaving your wallet sore, where can you find the cheapest models? How much is it going to cost you? Canstar Blue investigates.
Cheap Rowing Machines
To help with the heavy lifting, Canstar Blue has narrowed down some of the cheapest rowing machines currently available on Appliances Online:
- ProForm PFEVRW41016 R600 Rowing Machine – $778 ($1,299RRP)*
- Pure Design PD-PR5AO PR5 Peritus Rowing Machine – $999*
- Pure Design PD-PR7AO PR7 Peritus Rowing Machine – $1,199*
- Pure Design PD-PR9AO PR9 Plus Rowing Machine – $1,399*
- Waterrower 120AO A1 Rowing Machine – $1,479*
- BH Fitness Signature Series Magnetic Rowing Machine S1RW – $1,699*
- WaterRower 100AO Natural Rowing Machine – $1,705 ($1,879RRP)*
All prices are accurate as of April 2020.
ProForm PFEVRW41016 R600 Rowing Machine – $778*
A regular in the fitness equipment market, ProForm has a number of rowing machines available, with the R600 one of its entry-level models. Weighing in at just under 40kg, the R600 comes with a foldable design and transport wheels, making it easy to move around the house or home gym, or store away if you need a bit of extra space. The R600 also comes with 10 resistance levels and a number of pre-programmed workouts to help you dip your toes into the world of rowing exercises. It also comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Pure Design PD-PR5AO PR5 Peritus Rowing Machine – $999*
Pure Design is also no stranger to the fitness equipment market, with a number of rowing machines available for fitness junkies and newbies to check out. The PR5 Peritus rowing machine is one of Pure Design’s entry level models, featuring six levels of resistance, which can be manually adjusted, as well as a progress monitor to help you keep an eye on your workout and exercise statistics. Like most modern rowing machines, the PR5 can be folded away for easy storage, and comes with wheels to help you transport the 34kg machine around your home gym. The PR5 also comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Pure Design PD-PR7AO PR7 Peritus Rowing Machine – $1,199*
If you’re looking for something with a bit more to it than the PR5, the PR7 from Pure Design may be more your speed, with up to 16 levels of resistance available, which can also be changed via a remote on the handlebar, meaning you can leave the manual labour for when you’re actually working out. The progress monitor is also adjustable to ensure you always have an eye on your workout timer, which can be programmed to either interval or target to help you during your workout. Like the PR5, it also comes with a one-year warranty, along with wheels and a foldable design.
Pure Design PD-PR9AO PR9 Plus Rowing Machine – $1,399*
Another step up if you’re really looking to go hard during your next workout, the PR9 rowing machine may cost a bit more, but you also get a few extra goodies for your dollar. The PR9 comes equipped with 16 resistance levels, again programmable via the handlebar, with the progress monitor compatible with the Pure Design app via Bluetooth so that you can keep a record of your workouts, times and vitals. As with other Pure Design rowing machines, the PR9 comes with a foldable design for easier storage, as well as wheels and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty for peace of mind.
Waterrower 120AO A1 Rowing Machine – $1,479*
A brand built around water-resistance rowing machines, the A1 rowing machine is Waterrower’s flagship model, and also one of its most affordable. Coming equipped with a water flywheel for realistic resistance, the A1 rowing machine also features a monitor to help you keep track of your workout time, intensity and distance rowed, with the model coming with a phone or tablet holder so that you can set up a few YouTube videos to distract you while you row. Weighing just 28kg (excluding the water you put in the tank), the A1 Waterrower comes with transport wheels, although you won’t be able to fold this away for storage.
BH Fitness Signature Series Magnetic Rowing Machine S1RW – $1,699*
Another big player in the fitness equipment market, BH Fitness has a number of rowing machines on offer, including the Signature Series range. The S1 model comes equipped with 16 resistance levels to put you through your paces, as well as a LCD display monitor that is compatible with Polar heart rate monitors to show your heart rate on screen during your workouts. While weighing over 50kg, the S1 additionally comes equipped with wheels for easier maneuverability around the house, with a foldable design for storage.
Waterrower 100AO Natural Rowing Machine – $1,705*
If you’re really looking to cut down on your PB time, or you’re looking to get the edge for when you actually hit the water, the Natural rowing machine may be the one for you. Coming equipped with the S4 Performance Monitor, which showcases your workout intensity, duration and other performance statistics, it can also be plugged into your laptop via USB to be used with the We-Row online training software, where you can train and race others online, giving you that racing experience. The Natural Waterrower also comes with transport wheels and a phone or tablet holder.
Are cheap rowing machines worth buying?
As with most things fitness-related, you often get what you pay for. The cheapest available brand or product isn’t always going to get you as far – or last you as long – as you’d like. That’s where product reviews can come in handy, to give you an idea of what people who’ve bought or used any particular model have to say about it. The people’s gospel never lies!
That being said, there are some good buys to be had, and you don’t have to go for the top-shelf to get the health benefits from a rowing machine either. When in doubt, aim for mid-range models or keep your eye out for clearance or end of year sales.
In the meantime, brands and models on the more affordable side of the price scale can help you get your health back on track, or at least on the right path. It goes without saying, you may not find all the bells and whistles you’d expect on the more expensive rowing machines, but if you’re looking to simply put in the hard yards and get sweaty, a cheaper rowing machine will fit the bill perfectly.
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