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About Rowing Machines

Rowing is an excellent form of exercise to get and stay in shape.  The rowing exercise works a vast range of major muscles and helps improve your overall cardiovascular fitness and endurance.  The rowing motion is also a low impact exercise, so it is safe for all ages and fitness levels.  The rowing machine is a perfect, cost-efficient option for your home gym whether you choose a fluid rower, air rower or a magnetic rower.  With a wide selection available from Budget Fitness, selecting the right machine for yourself might seem overwhelming.  To help, we have produced the handy guide below to assist you in finding the machine that is right for you.  We have a large selection to suit all budgets and spaces so you're sure to find the right machine for you. 



  • Varied muscle use: Rowing is second only to cross-country skiing in overall muscle management, using over 82% of the body's muscles

  • Minimum impact: Rowers work most of your joints through a significant and beneficial range of movement, without damaging your joints.

  • Reduced stress: During cardio exercise, endorphins are released into your bloodstream. This release of endorphins produces a natural high, which in turn relieves stress.

  • Boosted energy levels: Exercise of any kind will increase your energy levels, and rowing is one of the best forms of exercise to help increase your overall energy.

  • Total body workout: A massive benefit of rowing is that it works your entire body, rather than an isolated muscle group.

  • Ideal for a number of users: Rowing machines are a good option for those seeking weight loss, cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone, flexibility, strength, or endurance. They are also recommended for competitive athletes and people recovering from injuries.

  • Increased lung capacity: Rowing will help improve your lung capacity, making you stronger and healthier.


Do you want a realistic on-water simulation, or perhaps you prefer a quiet motion? There are varying resistance types available with rowers. The most realistic rowing motion is supplied by fluid rowers/, which are powered by water. Here are the three categories of rower and their resistance types:

FLUID: The most realistic of all options, fluid rowers accurately simulate on-water rowing by increasing the resistance in direct proportion to the pace at which you row. Water powered, you can adjust the amount of water in the resistance tank to increase or decrease the overall pressure and resistance. Fluid rowing machines tend to have a smaller footprint compared to air rowers.

AIR AND HYDRAULIC: Sometimes combined with magnetic resistance, air rowers closely match the simulation of a true rowing experience. This is second only to fluid rowers. Powered by a flywheel, wind is used for resistance. These rowers can be a little noisy.

MAGNETIC:  Quieter in operation than other rowers, magnetic rowers use powerful electromagnets to provide adjustable degrees of resistance. Although quieter in operation, magnetic rowers mostly lack the feel offered by quality air and fluid rowers. 


Your available area: It’s imperative that the rower you buy fits comfortably into your allocated space. Measure the length, width and height of the available area. When measuring, make sure you allow extra space for getting on and off the machine. Fluid rowers store vertically to save space, so be sure to bear that in mind.

Standard of construction: A quality rower will feature well-finished, solid construction with an aluminium seat rail. Duel rails are quieter than single rails. The machine shouldn’t be unsteady when you sit on it. Another sign of a high-quality machine is a decent seat runner. To test this, move the seat to one end of the rail and tilt that end of the rower up a couple of inches. A good runner and rail will allow the seat to roll freely to the other end with minimal tilting.

Comfort factors: If you’re tall, it’s worth checking that you can use the machine comfortably, so a longer seat rail would be wise. The seat should feel comfortable, even after you’ve completed your workout. Some rowers have higher seats, which you may prefer, particularly if you’re tall. Make sure your feet can be comfortably secured in the footplates. Many rowers come with adjustable footplates with handy straps. Lastly, the handle should feel comfortable to hold and offer good grip, even when your hands are becoming tired and sweaty.

Quality of movement: Look for a smooth and even feel with no jerkiness or points where resistance suddenly drops away, especially at the beginning of the stroke. Check the range of the movement -  when you’re as far forward on the runner as possible (i.e. buttocks as close to the heels as possible) with your arms fully extended and holding the handle, the handle shouldn’t have reached its start position.

Console and programmes: Rower consoles display your workout statistics, which will include at least your speed, distance, time and calories burned. More advanced models offer additional options, such as heart-rate monitoring or dedicated programmes, ideal if you want workout variety. The more advanced the options, the higher the price bracket so it’s important to consider whether programmes are important to you.

Weight capacity: We recommend choosing a rowing machine that can handle about 20kg more than your own weight to guarantee stability when you’re rowing

Storage and portability: Rowers are amongst the most compact of home cardio equipment and tend to have a long, narrow footprint. Fluid rowers can be stored upright, which is useful if you’re tight for space. This is usually a very simple process for one person to do single-handedly. Rowers often come with transport wheels for easy transportation so make sure you check for these if you’re likely to be moving the machine from place to place.


  • Floor Mats:  A mat placed under your rowing machine will help protect your floors from wear and perspiration and will also give your treadmill increased stability. 

  • Heart rate monitors and belts:  Many rowing machines offer wireless monitoring of the user's heart rate.  Some utilise belts for even more accurate readings.

  • Advanced Programming:  Select brands and models offer the purchase of modules for additional workout programmes. 


Should you require any further information about rowing machines or any other product offered by Budget Fitness or if you feel we could help you in any way, we would be pleased to hear from you.

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