Best Rowing Machines for Beginners [2021 Reviews]

Rowing is the best way to tone your muscles, lose weight, and improve your general health. You can also strengthen your cardiovascular health and feel great after your daily exercises. Rowing machines offer low-impact training with amazing results.

For beginners, searching for the perfect rowing machine can be overwhelming. In this list, we have gathered 5 of the best rowing machines for beginners to help you acquire the right one for you.

Our Top 5 Best Rowing Machines For Beginners for 2021

  1. Best budget rowing machine: Women’s Health Men’s Health Rowing Machine
  2. Best durable rowing machine: Stamina Rowing Exercise Machine
  3. Best magnetic resistance rowing machine: Yovital Rowing Machine with Magnetic Resistance
  4. Best combined rower machine: SereneLife Rowing Machine
  5. Best Water Rowing Machine: Sunny Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine

Women’s Health Men’s Health Rowing Machine

Women’s Health Men’s health rowing machine offers you a full-body workout in the comfort of your home. It helps engage your entire body with low-impact workouts that target your forearms, triceps, biceps, shoulders, chest, abs, glutes, thighs, and legs.

With the large 3.5” LCD screen, you can monitor the time elapsed, distance, total count, strokes per minute, calories burned, strokes, watts, and split time. To increase or decrease your intensity levels, all you have to do is pull harder and further give you the resistance you desire.

The machine features 14 levels of calibrated resistance. This equipment has no lag time resistance making the transition between the resistance levels smooth and silent. Hence, the machine is ideal for beginners and challenging enough for pro-athletes.

In addition, it comes with a 30-day free trial My Cloud Fitness App, allowing you to enjoy free workout videos. The machine also features a comfortable seat, textured grip handlebars, and pivot foot pedals with straps to keep the feet secure. In general, the machine is built on a solid and sturdy frame that is also foldable for storage.


  • Large 3. 5” LCDs
  • Solid and sturdy frame
  • Easy to operate, smooth and silent
  • Comfortable molded seat
  • 14 levels of resistance
  • Free My Cloud Fitness app


  • The handlebars stretch up to 4″ inches which are rather uncomfortable for tall people.


For a beginner, this machine is superb and serves every rowing exercise you desire. It is easy to assemble, use, and maintain. The noise level is minimal, and you can use the machine in the late hours without disturbing your family and neighbours. The machine is also compact in size and portable for easy storage.

Yovital Rowing Machine with Magnetic Resistance

Yovital rowing machine opens up a new exercising experience that activates your body muscles and general health. Designed for home use, this machine is ideal for men, women, teenagers, and the elderly.

This equipment is designed with a top-quality solid alloy steel frame, a large flywheel, no-touch magnetic, and aluminium slide rail. These features make the equipment work efficiently, smoothly, and quietly.

Yovital rowing machine features 8 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance. It doesn’t come with any dial buttons to adjust resistance, but you can row harder or slower to increase intensity while avoiding knee strains.

The machine comes with a fitness monitor that displays time, speed, distance, calories, strokes, and pulse rate to track your progress. In general, the machine is well constructed with a durable frame to withstand demanding exercise.

In addition, the machine has an extra-long slide rail to allow tall users up to 6’5” ft to enjoy using the machine. Ergonomic elastic seat, soft-grip handlebar, and foot pedals with straps ensure your exercise sessions are fun and comfortable.

The machine also comes in a foldable design for easy storage. It also has transport wheels to allow you to move the machine from one location to the next. This makes the machine ideal for family equipment with limited space.


  • Patented Magnetic Flywheel
  • 8 Levels Adjustable Resistance
  • Suitable for All Users in Home
  • LCD Console Displays
  • Fully Padded Comfortable Seat
  • Easy to Install, tools included


  • The monitor is too small and outdated


Yovital rowing machine is a wonderful addition to your home gym. It comes with clear instructions and is easy to assemble. The machine operates smoothly and quietly. It comes in a compact design and folds to allow you to save some space. Now you can push your limit and improve your health without ever leaving your home.

Sunny Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine

Elite athletes mainly use the Obsidian surge 500 to build 85% of the body’s muscular system. The rowing machine keeps your training challenging and engaging for long-term results. Without the joint impact, this machine is ideal for people of all ages and those with prior injuries.

This machine comes with a flywheel and 16 fan blades that spin fast to provide higher resistance. Since it’s a water-based machine, you experience harmonious interaction similar to rowing in a large water body. It also features the R2 fitness meter to track all your workout metrics accurately.

It is constructed with lightweight, sturdy steel for durability and reliability. The machine can withstand long and demanding workout sessions without wobbling or crumbling. It is packed with a molded padded seat for functionality and comfort. That way, you can easily get on and off the seat without straining or bending your back.

The rowing machine also features sweat-resistant handlebars to help you focus on your training. For easy storage, the machine doesn’t fold but can lean against the wall for storage. It also features high-density rubber wheels to assist you in moving the bulky machine from one to the next.


  • Water-resistance system
  • R2 fitness meter
  • Extra-long slide rail length to accommodate tall
  • A flywheel with 16 micro-fan blades for unlimited resistance
  • Molded padded seat
  • Non-slip handlebars and pivot foot pedals with straps
  • Rubber wheels  for easy transport
  • The maximum user weight is 300lbs


  • The bolt-on the left foot pedals keeps loosening


The Obsidian 500 surge water resistance machine is heavy-duty equipment eager to help you improve your health. Compared to other commercial rower machines, this machine still needs some improvement, but it is ideal for home use. It accommodates up to 300lbs and performs well. The slide is smooth and silent, offering a serene rowing experience.

Stamina Rowing Exercise Machine

The stamina rowing machine is designed in a simple, reliable, convenient, and affordable frame to help with your muscle toning and cardio needs. It comes with a silver shiny frame that blends in with another home décor perfectly.

This machine is ideal for beginners and features 5 levels of resistance, allowing you to adjust intensity. You can tighten or loosen the knob for a challenging workout. It supports up to 250lbs weight and delivers low-impact training.

With the multi-function monitor, you can track your distance, time used, strokes per minute, calories burned, and scan function. The machine also comes with ergonomic designs that consist of pivoting footplates with straps, padded upholstered seats, and textured grip handlebars.


  • Solid Steel Construction
  • Five levels of resistance
  • Comfortable stitched seat
  • Pivoting footplates with adjustable closure
  • Easy to store
  • Multi-function monitor displays 
  • Padded, upholstered seat


Not for advanced users


Stamina comes in a compact size, making it ideal for an apartment with limited space. It is easy to use, smooth, and silent, creating a peaceful home environment. Use the fitness monitor to track your performance and progress.

SereneLife Rowing Machine

With the SereneLife rowing machine, you can carry out your daily exercises and achieve your fitness goals. The machine is sturdy, durable, and reliable. You can target your forearms, triceps, biceps, shoulders, glutes, legs, and thighs.

This machine uses air and a magnet to create the required resistance. That way you can sports training, weight loss, cardio fitness, and fat burning. You can also track the distance, time, strides, and calories burned using the advanced fitness monitor.

The machine is built with a durable, aluminium metal alloy engineered ABS frame for stability and durability. The machine is strong enough to support up to 250lbs maximum weight capacity. Making it ideal for a family home gym equipment.

You can also adjust resistance using a simple dial that increases or decrease between the 8 levels. That way, you can tailor your needs to your fitness journey.  If you have any issues with the machine, SereneLife customer service is responsive and helps you resolve them fast.


  • Air and magnetic rowing machine 
  • A durable, high-quality rowing machine
  • Supports over 250lbs maximum weight
  • Ergonomic design
  • 8 levels of resistance
  • Responsive customer care


  • The display is outdated


SereneLife is a silent and comfortable rowing machine. It is easy to assemble and use with few attaching parts. It is a great home addition and caters to the needs of different users. You can adjust the resistance levels to avoid creating tension on your knees.

What to look for when choosing a rowing machine for beginners


A rowing machine should be comfortable and support demanding workouts. The padded grips and footrest should keep your arms and feet secure at all times. A comfortable seat is non-negotiable, otherwise, you risk developing lower back pain after a while.


Most rowing machines feature functional consoles. The display allows you to track your progress and motivate you to achieve your fitness goals. You should be able to track your stroke rate, distance, and split time. Some models can also track calories burned and allow you to tailor your workout target goals.

Easy storage

Home equipment should be lightweight and portable, making it easy to move the machine from one place to another. Some rowing comes with a foldable design allowing you to store it under the bed or in a tiny closet. If you have limited space, this should be a priority.


Depending on your budget, there’s a rowing machine that will serve you well. For the pro athlete and commercial rowing machines, be ready to part with over 800$. But for a beginner, you can start with a rowing machine below 500$ to minimize wasting money on a machine that you don’t use regularly.


How long should a beginner use a rowing machine?

For a beginner, you can start rowing for about three to seven minutes with breaks. You don’t need to push your body that hard especially during the first days. You can start with experimenting with stroke rate and power output. Remember to monitor your performance on the attached screen.

Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

Since the rowing machine targets the entire body, including the midsection, you can easily lose stubborn belly fat. Note that the rowing machine raises your heart rate, helping you shed the fat. You have to commit to the exercise routine to see good results.

How many calories do you burn rowing for 20 minutes?

You can burn over 300 calories after rowing for 20 minutes. Of course, it depends on the stroke count, speed, and intensity levels. There’s no standard number that you can expect, but your efforts can yield good results.

How long do you need to use a rowing machine to see results?

Depending on how often you exercise, your training intensities, and your body type, you can start seeing results from a month to six months. Remember, everyone’s fitness journey is different; you cannot compare it with anyone else. Hence, you should work on your progress.


When shopping for a beginner’s rowing machine, you can look for an affordable but durable machine to serve your needs. Consider what you need most, especially regarding resistance type, durability, sturdiness, and overall quality. You don’t have to compromise on anything since it’s beginner’s equipment. Use the 5 best rowing machines for beginners listed above to help you buy an ideal machine for your home.

Happy shopping!

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