The best rowing machines for under £500

Invest in your fitness and wellbeing with the best budget rowing machines.

Mature man working out on a rowing machine

by Angelica Daujotas |

Looking for a piece of equipment that gives you a full-body workout? Look no further than a rowing machine, if used correctly will work muscles in your core, arms and legs.

Rowing machines used to come with a hefty price tag, so it was best to leave that for your trips to the gym, however, you can now source some of the best for under £500!

So, if you're looking to expand your home gym set-up or want to invest in one piece of equipment to elevate your quick at-home workouts, invest in a great rowing machine.

Benefits of using a rowing machine

Full-body workout – rowing is a full-body workout, that uses around 86 per cent of your body’s muscles, from your upper back to your calves.

Low impact – rowing can burn some serious calories without added stress on your joints, it’s even recommended as an exercise option for those with early stages of osteoarthritis.

Great for everyone – rowing is great for people of all ages and all fitness abilities!

Perfect if you're a beginner at rowing, these at-home rowing machines won't set you back too much, with some even under £100, what a bargain! Check out our round-up of the best budget rowing machines to get yourself started on your rowing journey, and who knows maybe we'll see you at the 2022 Olympics.

The best rowing machines for under £500

A user-friendly rower at its most basic. Unlike most rowing machines, this uses a hydraulic cylinder to generate resistance. With ergonomic foot pedals and large padded seating, it's amazing value for the budget-friendly price!

Specs

• Resistance levels: 12

• Dimensions: 137cm x 50cm

• Max user weight: 100kg

Pros

• Excellent price

• Functions well

• Compact

Cons

• Not ideal for 6ft+ people

Smash your fitness goals on the best selling Freedom Air Rowing Machine. Dual air and magnetic resistance help you achieve a powerful, even stroke. The sleek, durable design makes this folding rowing machine a stylish addition to your home gym. With a robust, frame and monorail, this home rowing machine is built to last. The cushioned seat uses a gym-style roller mechanism. Enjoy long, rewarding workouts with a smooth rowing motion and ultimate comfort.

Specs

• Resistance levels: 8

• Dimensions: 230cm x 55cm

• Max user weight: 135kg

Pros

• Smooth and silent

• Good length for taller people

• Folds away easily for storage

Cons

• Bulkier model when in use, requires more free space

The air and magnetic resistance on this rowing machine gives you eight levels of resistance to choose from by adjusting the air outlet. Though not as quiet as a magnetic machine, it isn’t too bad. It's worth having in a closed-off dedicated space, however. It’s almost two metres long which is noticeably more than those above, but it does allow for users up to about 6ft 4. It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

Specs

• Resistance levels: 8

• Dimensions: 196cm x 45cm

• Max user weight: 100kg

Pros

• Well made, basic unit

• Good for taller users

Cons

• No AAA batteries supplied for the screen

A highly-rated magnetic rowing machine for under £200, this is arguably the best value of the lot. It's basic but sturdy, and that is exactly what you want. The frame is alloy steel and is suitable for taller users thanks to the generous slide rail inseam. The display monitor sits just below the bar holder. It’s foldable too, which helps when tidying it away.

Specs

• Resistance levels: 16

• Dimensions: 196cm x 58cm

• Max user weight: 113kg

Pros

• Higher user weight

• Great value

Cons

• No mention of a warranty

Magnetic machines are smooth but rowers that use water resistance give the most realistic simulation of rowing. Like air machines, it’s also very reliable. On this unit, the screen is adjustable to suit your height, and the wide seat is very comfortable. Just be aware that this is also a larger unit thanks to the water barrel, but it does have wheels at the end to make it easier to move. Comes with a one-year retail warranty.

Specs

• Resistance levels: adjusted by water volume (between 12 and 18 litres); the harder you row, the more resistance you have

• Dimensions: 205cm x 40cm

• Max user weight: 135kg

Pros

• Fits taller people

• Best rowing simulation

Cons

• Not as compact as some of the others

Rowing machine for beginners: Five tips to start

Form is super important when using a rowing machine to ensure a successful full-body workout. To understand how to use and get the most out of your new rowing machine, watch this super handy Beginner’s Guide to Rowing video, which includes five top tips to get you started.

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