Updated: Aug 16
Combining strength training workouts with cardio, rowing provides a total body workout, exercising your arms, core and legs, yet it’s low impact, meaning it’s perfect for people of all ages and fitness levels. Finding a rowing machine is easy, but finding a budget rowing machine can be overwhelming and cause a migraine—especially when many websites offer machines that cost thousands of dollars. Luckily, those looking for a machine have Fitscope by their side, and readers will find the top five budget machines (machines that are high quality but priced under $500) as decided by Fitscope below.
Sunny Health & Fitness is dedicated to providing quality machines at an affordable price, and the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine provides exactly what one can expect from the brand. With a 48” side rail and 44” inseam that’s easily adjustable, the rower can be used by people of all heights, while the foldable design allows a person to store it anywhere in their home or apartment. The 8 level magnetic resistance allows users to easily tailor their workout to their fitness levels, and the digital monitor tracks time, calories burned, count and total count so workouts are easily tracked. The floor stabilizer and nonslip pedals ensure a smooth experience for the rider, while the cushioned seat provides comfort. At $233, the bike is perfect for the budget conscious exerciser.
Commonly praised for how quiet it is, the Fitness Reality 1000 Magnetic Rower has all the bells and whistles one would expect with a rowing machine, including a large LCD display that shows total count, calories, strokes per minute, distance, time and scan along with a 14-level magnetic tension resistance to ensure users can vary their workouts. The large, cushioned seat and extra-wide foam handlebars give the user the most comfortable workout experience possible, while the stabilizing footpads allow the machine to convert to a strength training machine, allowing users to complete upright and bent-over rows, front raises, curls, triceps extensions and more. Finally, the machine folds for easy storage and can be used by users up to 6’6” tall.
At $260, this machine is affordable, and perfect for exercisers of all sizes (it can be used for those between 4’9” and 6’5”). With 16 different resistance levels that are easily changed with the turn of a knob, this machine is perfect for the plethora of rowing workouts Fitscope offers its users. The padded handles, cushioned seats and non-slip foot pedals guarantee the user receives a comfortable workout while also being safe and secure on the rower. Finally, the LCD monitor keeps track of all of the data, including their repetitions per minute and workout time, people need to know during their workouts.
The Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine has the largest height values of any machine on our list, letting rowers between 4’2” and 6’7” use the machine. If storage space is an issue, the machine folds up and at only 34 pounds, is easily moved around the home. The adjustable hydraulic resistance is easily adjusted with the manual control knob, so users can adjust their workout depending on their fitness level. The steel frame construction and foot straps are just like what one would see with higher-end machines, promising a steady, safe surface while working out, while the molded seat allows a comfortable workout experience while the machine glides across the machine for one of the smoothest rowing experiences one can imagine. Finally, the easy to read LCD screen monitors your time, row count and calories burned, scrolling through each metric for six seconds. Finally, the arm handles’ unique shape allows the rower to decide their arm positioning, meaning they can decide to focus their efforts on their shoulders, arms or chest while rowing. At $159, this is one of the cheapest rowing machines on the list, but that should not turn anyone off from this machine; it’s easily confused for a higher end machine on the market and will allow anyone to reach their fitness goals.
Schwinn has been known to create quality bikes for years, but they also manufacture some of the best exercise on the market, including the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower 100660. It’s just under $500, but it’s easy to think this bike cost ten times that! With the most extensive tracking system on the list (it tracks users’ workout time, stroke, recovery, calories, count, distance and pulse). The oversized, cushioned seat allows for a comfortable workout experience, and the console is adjustable to adapt to a variety of heights. Both easy to clean and fold, the machine can be cleaned with a simple wipe down and stored anywhere in someone’s house or apartment. The machine has ten different levels of magnetic resistance to tailor the workout to the user’s needs, while the nylon transmission system is quiet. Finally, the machine features high quality steel bars to ensure a steady, safe ride. The best part? Schwinn offers the following warranties on the rower: 10-year frame, 3-year part and 1-year labor. Again, this isn’t the cheapest option on the list, but it will last users for years to come.
Rowing is a great exercise for individuals at any fitness level, and these rowers will give users an amazing workout at a price that won’t break the bank, and they all pair excellently with a Fitscope Studio rowing workout. Whether one is just learning how to use an ERG or looking to use rowing as part of their HIIT workouts, they’ll be able to reach their fitness goals with Fitscope Studio’s rowing workouts. Not quite ready to take the plunge on a machine? Totally understandable. Check out Fitscope’s strength and yoga workouts to see what we’re all about—without any machinery required. Learn more by clicking here.