The 7 Best Foldable Rowing Machines of 2024, Tested and Selected by Our Certified Pros

After you decide that bringing home one of the best rowing machines can deliver the total-body burn you’ve been craving, just one question remains: “Where the heck am I going to put this thing?” Well, you’ve come to the right place. The best foldable rowing machines have foldable rails, bending display arms, and even frames that slide in and out like your underwear drawer. 

If your training space is more studio than penthouse, rowers with compact designs like these can help you maximize their square footage. Our team of certified fitness pros tested over 20 rowers to find foldable models that can deliver the full-body cardio benefits and strength gains of their full-sized brethren. (1)(2) Read on to see if one of the foldable rowers we tested is a match for your space.

The 7 Best Foldable Rowing Machines of 2024

Best Foldable Rowing Machine Overall: Hydrow Wave Rower

Most Durable Foldable Rowing Machine: AssaultRower Pro

Best Mid-Range Foldable Rowing Machine: Echelon Row

Best Foldable Water Rowing Machine: Ergatta Rower

Best Foldable Rowing Machine for Beginners: ProForm Pro 750R Rower

Best Foldable Rowing Machine for Small Spaces: Merach 950 Rower

Best Budget Foldable Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Rower

About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level-1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations.

How We Tested and Chose the Best Foldable Rowing Machines

Our team of collegiate rowers, certified personal trainers, and CrossFit coaches have tested more than 20 rowers. As part of BarBend’s equipment testing methodology, we utilized a multi-point scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) to rate rowing machines across 11 categories, like footprint, portability, durability, and more. Here are a few of the factors we prioritized during our time on the best foldable rowing machines.

Foldability: The rowers on our list feature either folding rails or display arms that help minimize their footprint when not in use.

Type of Resistance: Rowing machines can utilize magnetic, water, and air resistance, and we sought to include options for each training modality to appeal to the preferences of a variety of athletes. 

Dynamic Programming: We worked to prioritize rowers that can engage the user with engaging workouts, whether they be pre-programmed into the console or available via an integrated app.

Budget: Along with fitting in your space, your new rower needs to fit in your budget. The rowers here span the range of budget, mid-range, and high-end options.

Adjustability and Ergonomics: When you scroll through our list, you’ll find the adjustable resistance, seats, and displays to accommodate athletes of a variety of shapes and sizes. 

Best Foldable Rowing Machine Overall: Hydrow Wave Rower

Hydrow Wave Rower

Hydrow Wave Rower

This luxury rower is equipped with a 22-inch touchscreen display and offers automatic adjustments to the resistance based on your rowing efforts.

Shop Hydrow


Price: $1,695

Resistance: Magnetic

Weight: 102lbs

Weight Capacity: 375lbs

Dimensions: 80″ L x 19″ W x 43″ H

Display: 16” HD touchscreen

Warranty: 1-year


Foldable display arm enables vertical storage

Auto-adjusting magnetic resistance simulates water rowing

16-inch touchscreen can stream live and on-demand workouts

Quiet operation


Its $1,700 price is on the high end of the average for rowers

Classes require a Hydrow membership ($44 monthly)

The handle can get slippery pretty quickly

It’s lacking a fan

The smooth magnetic resistance system on our top pick, the Hydrow Wave Rower, follows your lead as it works to simulate the feeling of rowing on the open water. Live and on-demand classes are available via the Hydrow app, as are scenic rows along the River Thames and Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne. After you finish a row, the display arm can fold down to enable vertical storage with the optional wall mount. While that foldable arm won’t shrink the footprint of the rower, it will allow it to hang more flush against the wall.

[Related: Best Magnetic Rowing Machines]

While you can manually change its variable drag factor — between 50 and 300 levels — it’s difficult to do so mid-workout. Instead, as our lead video reviewer Jake Herod, NASM-CNC, explained, it may be best to simply row harder and let the Wave adapt to you. “The default setting of 104 provides the most natural feeling. While rowing, you’ll notice the resistance automatically adjusts based on how hard you row,” he said. “It directly correlates to your overall effort.”

See what else he liked (and disliked) about the Hydrow Wave Rower in the below video review.

With a 16.1-inch touchscreen pumping out virtual rows, the tech capabilities and programming onboard the Hydrow Wave both earned a 5 out of 5 from our tester. While Herod thinks the trainer-led workouts are worth the price of admission, he says the $44 monthly subscription is relatively high. 

Our tester on the Hydrow Wave Rower.

“This is pretty pricey compared to a lot of other membership plans out there,”  he says. “But…you’re going to have more available classes at your disposal than you’ll know what to do with.”

Our tester called the Wave one of their favorites and rated its value 4 out of 5. Still, compared to most rowers, the $1,695 is at the top of the average price range of $1,000 to $1,700. Also, if you want the vertical wall mount, that will run you another $190. 

Our tester raising the Hydrow Wave Rower vertically.

Herod points out, however, that despite its somewhat slippery handle and the lack of niceties like a fan, he finds it reasonable. “Since this is a luxury rower, you’re going to be paying a luxury price tag,” he said. “While I think it’s worthy of that price tag, it might not be in everyone’s wheelhouse.”

Read our full Hydrow Wave Rower Review.

Most Durable Foldable Rowing Machine: AssaultRower Pro

AssaultRower Pro

AssaultRower Pro

The AssaultRower Pro features a powder-coated, steel frame that can withstand the elements and support users up to 350 pounds. This air rower is also human-powered, so you won’t need to plug anything in before you take off on your ride.

Shop Assault Fitness


Price: $999

Resistance: Air

Weight: 109lbs

Weight Capacity: 350lbs

Dimensions: 92” L x 22” W x 45” H

Display: LCD monitor

Warranty: 7-year frame, 3-year moving parts


Built with a combination of steel and aluminum

Monitor folds down for flush vertical storage

Dual front wheels allow for easy transport

Fan-powered resistance is unlimited

Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility


Basic LCD display tracks metrics

Does not offer interactive programming

Fewer preset workouts than the similar Concept2 RowErg 

The commercial-grade AssaultRower Pro combines powder-coated steel and aluminum to create a true beast of a rower. With steel-plated footplates, corrosion-resistant hardware, and a four-way stabilizer system, it earned a 4.5 out of 5 for durability from our tester, a certified personal trainer, and was an easy choice for the most durable foldable rowing machine.

“This rower uses a ton of steel in the build,” our tester noted. “That makes its overall weight a bit heavier, but all that steel can hold up to daily wear and tear.” All that steel adds up to a 109-pound overall weight, which is a few pounds higher than most rowers we have tested, but should still be light enough to relocate without assistance, especially with the help of its dual transport wheels. 

“I was thrilled that it could store it vertically,” they said when they rated its footprint and portability 4 out of 5. “For cramped apartments or CrossFit boxes, the ability to just lift it up and set aside makes for easy storage.”

While it would be nice if the sliding rail folded to cut down its footprint, our tester appreciated the folding monitor. “When you have it upright, folding the monitor in keeps it from jutting out from the wall as much,” they said.

Its sleek design is similar to that of CrossFit darling Concept2 RowErg, but it weighs almost double and has one key difference. “The weight capacity on the RowErg is 500 pounds, compared to the AssaultRower Pro’s 350-pound capacity.” While 350 pounds should be plenty for most people, this could be part of the reason Concept RowErg is considered the gold standard among CrossFitters.

Best Mid-Range Foldable Rowing Machine: Echelon Row

Echelon Row

Echelon Row

This Echelon rower is more compact than others and it’s budget-friendly. You can choose from 16 levels of resistance and mount your tablet on the device holder.

Shop Echelon


Price: $999.99

Resistance: 32 levels of magnetic resistance

Weight: 106.5lbs

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Dimensions: 84” L x 21” W x 45” H (unfolded): 40” L x 21” W x 60” H (folded)

Display: Pivoting device holder

Warranty: 1-year (5 years with Echelon Fit membership)


Budget-friendly price of $999.99 with some high-end features

Foldable rail reduces length by more than half

Bluetooth handlebar controller adjusts 32 resistance levels

Rotating device holder 


Content must be streamed via your mobile device

Its 300-pound weight capacity is below average

Plastic around internal components

If Goldilocks was in the market for a rower, we’d recommend her the Echelon Row. The reasonable $999.99 price tag lands it at the lower limit of the range we see for most rowing machines, but this mid-range rower surprises with features like a Bluetooth handlebar controller. The quick adjustments it provides allow you to take on sprint or HIIT rowing workouts without missing a beat.

Our tester on the near-identical Echelon Row-s.

The jump from “mid-range” to “high-end” usually hinges on the amount of technology on board a rowing machine. “You can also choose between a smart rowing machine and a ‘not smart’ one, meaning one that has a fancy screen that streams stuff or one that has a simple LCD screen that reads out basic metrics,” says BarBend expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC.Smart rowing machines are more expensive and usually require a monthly subscription to access full functionality.”

Our tester using the Bluetooth resistance controller on the near-identical Echelon Row-s.

In Echelon’s family of rowers, the Echelon Row-s, which is $900 pricier than the Row, might be considered the overachiever, given that it has a huge 22-inch touchscreen where athletes can take virtual classes. Aside from the screen, they have the same build, which earned it a durability score of 4 out of 5 from our tester, a CrossFit Level-1 trainer. “The aluminum rail is sturdy, but it uses plastic to house the internals,” they said. “Plastic doesn’t typically do as well as steel or aluminum in home gyms.” 

Our tester preparing to fold the near-identical Echelon Row-s.

Instead of an HD touchscreen, you can slot a smartphone or tablet into the pivoting device holder and follow rowing workouts from any of the best fitness apps. No matter how you decide to train, the Bluetooth resistance controller lets you rapidly adjust the magnetic resistance mid-stroke. Our tester used the identical handlebar on the Row-s. “Switching up the resistance was super easy with the Bluetooth controller,” they said.

Read our full Echelon Row Review.

Best Foldable Water Rowing Machine: Ergatta Rower

$200 Off

Ergatta Rower

Ergatta Rower

The Ergatta rower is ideal for athletes who want an elevated home workout experience. You can choose from pre-programmed workouts, games, and competitions to make your row more interesting, or you can select an open row to simply push your limits. This machine will adjust as your strength and stamina increase to challenge you even further.

Shop Ergatta


Price: $2,499

Resistance: Water

Weight: 105lbs

Weight Capacity: 500lbs

Dimensions: 86” L x 23” W x 40” H

Display: 17.3” HD touchscreen

Warranty: 5-year frame, 3-year parts, 1-year display


Water resistance helps create natural rowing feel

Our tester finds the “whoosh” of this machine soothing

17.3-inch HD touchscreen streams engaging, interactive workouts

Elegant locally-sourced cherry wood design


Gamified interactive programming requires $29 monthly subscription

The $2,499 price is well above the average for rowers

Wood build is not as durable as aluminum or steel

In an ideal world, we’d all have miles of water and our own canoe to get our rowing workouts in. As we wait for that utopia, we have the best water rowing machines to help us reach our fitness goals. We especially like the Ergatta Rower, a water rower that we feel can really evoke the feel of rowing in a lake or river, especially when compared to rowers with magnetic or air resistance systems. Whether you fire up a gamified virtual workout on its immersive 17.3-inch HD touchscreen or close your eyes and visualize an actual regatta, its “unlimited” resistance means your effort will match your speed.

Our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, noted the two hallmarks of water rowers when she assessed rowing machines for BarBend. “Water rowers also provide unlimited resistance, and can also better replicate the feeling of an IRL rowing experience,” she says. “They do, however, tend to be louder and take up more space than magnetic rowers, which provide more consistent resistance while making less noise.”

Our tester strapping in their feet on the Ergatta Rower.

When our tester strapped in to take the Ergatta Rower for a spin, the “whooshing” noise was more of a feature than a bug. “It’s almost meditative,” our tester said. They also thought the cherry-wood design was as aesthetically pleasing as the sound of the water, but only rated its durability 3.5 out of 5. 

“I’m not sure the wood will hold up as long as an aluminum build,” they pointed out. “That said, the weight capacity is 500 pounds, so Ergatta seems to believe in it.”

Our tester setting the Ergatta Rower down.

Compared to the trainer-led rows on offer from other fitness apps, our tester prefers the unique gamified workouts on offer from the Ergatta app, which has a monthly subscription cost of $29. “I actually prefer Ergatta’s style of programming,” they said, rating the Ergatta Rower’s tech a 4 out of 5. “I think the system is really clever, using games and competition to keep you pushing yourself. It’s also a more simple programming, which is appealing. There isn’t too much to mess with and I get all the most important data.”

Read our full Ergatta Rower Review.

Best Foldable Rowing Machine for Beginners: ProForm Pro 750R

ProForm 750R Rowing Machine

ProForm 750R Rowing Machine

The ProForm 750R is a sturdy 116-pound magnetic resistance rower. It’s practically silent and offers 24 levels of resistance to challenge your strength and endurance throughout your workout. Plus, you’ll get three free years of iFit with it, so you can stream virtual rowing classes across the globe.

Shop ProForm


Price: $699

Resistance: Magnetic

Weight: 116.6lbs

Weight Capacity: 250lbs

Dimensions: 86.5″ L x 22″ W x 45.5″ H (unfolded); 43” L x 22” W x 45.5” H (folded)

Display: 5” LED monitor

Warranty: 5-year frame, 1-year parts and labor


Twenty rowing workouts for beginners come preloaded

Its $699 price point is well below average

Integrated with interactive programming from iFIT

Foldable steel rail reduces length by nearly half

Twenty-four magnetic resistance levels provide quiet operation


Lacks Bluetooth speakers and water bottle holder

Its 250-pound weight capacity is well below average

Five-inch display for metrics, but no touchscreen

As opposed to riding an exercise bike or running on a treadmill, not many people have had the real-world experience of rowing. The ProForm Pro 750R is our top pick for beginners because it offers 24 structured preset workouts, along with integration with iFIT and its library of trainer-led rows. If you have yet to set aside dedicated space for a home or garage gym, the steel rail folds, reducing its length by almost exactly half.

Our tester folding the ProForm 750R.

iFIT consistently earns scores of 5 out of 5 from our team, but perhaps even more appealing for beginners is its $699 price tag. That’s $300 to $1,000 less than the average range for rowing machines and our tester, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level-1 coach, scored its value 4.5 out of 5.

[Related: iFit Review – Is Virtual Coaching The New Normal?]

Not only can iFIT transport you to a studio rowing class or scenic location like the English Channel, but our tester pointed out another convenient perk for beginners. “If you sync up your device, iFIT classes can adjust your resistance automatically,” they said. That means you won’t need to fiddle with the settings mid-stroke, allowing you to focus on your form. 

Our tester adjusting the settings on the ProForm 750R.

There’s a teensy 5-inch display on the console that tracks your metrics, but you’ll need your own device to follow iFIT workouts or stream apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Plus, its lack of Bluetooth speakers means you’ll need headphones or be at the mercy of your device speakers. “I had to supply my own screen, but that was easy since there’s a shelf built into the console for tablets and smartphones,” our tester noted, scoring its tech capabilities 4 out of 5.

Our tester on the the ProForm 750R.

With over 17,000 total workouts onboard, you can also use your membership to take on off-machine classes such as strength training, yoga, or Pilates. “I just love iFIT. It’s so easy to filter and find the workouts I wanted (and you need to with so many options),” our tester said. “The scenic locations and trainer-led instruction make it so worth it.” 

The “worth it” they are referring to is its $39.99 monthly subscription. If you think of iFIT as a one-stop fitness shop, we think the variety and convenience is, in fact, worth it for beginners.

Read our full ProForm 750R Review.

Best Foldable Rowing Machine for Small Spaces: Merach 950 Rower


Price: $1,199

Resistance: Water

Weight: 85.18lbs

Weight Capacity: 350lbs

Dimensions: 83.86″ L x 21.65″ W x 23.62″ H (unfolded); 50.24″ L x 21.65″ W x 23.62″ H (folded)

Display: LED monitor

Warranty: 2 years


Frame collapses like a drawer, reducing footprint by 45 percent

Oakwood build absorbs sound and vibration for quiet operation

Dual water and magnetic resistance system


Narrow foot placement is not ideal

Our testers were not impressed with the programming

Collapsing the frame was difficult for our tester 

In cramped apartments or small home gyms, a rowing machine can easily gobble up 12 or 14 square feet. If you don’t have room to squeeze a loveseat-sized rower into your space, the unique drawer-style collapsing frame on the Merach 950 Rower may be the answer. (3

Our tester using the Merach 950 Rower.

As opposed to a foldable rail, the half of the oak wood frame that the seat rides on simply lifts and slides under the water tank and console. This reduces its footprint by 45 percent, making it closer to a coffee table than a couch. (4)

Two of our testers completed multiple workouts on the 950 Rower and one needed a minute to figure out the collapsing frame. “I’ve never seen a frame like this, so at first, it was tough to figure out how to lift and slide it in and out,” they said, rating its durability and portability both 3 out of 5.

[Related: Best Compact Exercise Equipment]

However, another tester — a certified personal trainer — rated those both categories 4 out of 5 and noted just one potential long-term issue. “Overall, it was incredibly stable,” they said. “It was fine when I actually used it, but the sliding system just introduces more moving parts and is just something else that could jam or break down over time.”

The collapsible frame of the Merach 950 Rower.

This tester also called out a subtle aspect of the frame that may affect some users. “The foot placement felt more narrow than other rowers,” they reported, scoring its ergonomics 3.5 out of 5. “People with poor mobility in their ankles or hips might find that uncomfortable. It also sits pretty low to the ground, which, again, could be a problem for anyone with mobility issues.”

Best Budget Foldable Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Rower

Sunny Health & Fitness Rower

Sunny Health & Fitness Rower

This Sunny Health & Fitness rower is perfect for athletes who are shopping on a budget. This one has a magnetic resistance and a small digital monitor to track your stats.

Shop Amazon


Price: $399.99

Resistance: 16 levels of magnetic resistance

Weight: 60.9lbs

Weight Capacity: 250lbs

Dimensions: 89″ L x 18.9″ W x 23.6″ H (unfolded); 43.3” L x 18.9” W x 52.4” H (folded)

Display: LCD

Warranty: 3-year frame, 6-month parts and components


At $399, it’s far more affordable than most rowers

Free SunnyFit app streams rowing workouts

Steel rail folds, reducing its length by more than half


250-pound weight capacity is way below average.

Small digital monitor, but no touchscreen

Flywheel housing and foot cradles are plastic

If you’re short both on space and cash, the Sunny Health & Fitness Rower is one the best budget rowing machines we’ve tested and can help on both fronts. The $399 price tag comes in roughly $600 to $1,300 less than most rowers, so after taking it for a spin, our tester — a certified personal trainer — rated its value 4 out of 5.

“It costs way less than most rowers, so this is great for people who don’t need all the bells and whistles you get with pricier options,” they said. Some of those bells and whistles, like a touchscreen or automatically-adjustable resistance, are replaced by a small LCD monitor and modest resistance range of 16 levels.

What stood out to our tester was its footprint and portability — a 4.25 out of 5. “Being able to fold it up and store vertically saves a ton of space,” they noted. “It’s odd that it doesn’t have wheels, but when I picked it up, it was about as heavy as picking up my medium-sized dog. I think any semi-fit person could move it around pretty easily.”

During their workouts, our tester felt this affordable rower was rather comfortable and rated its adjustability and ergonomics 3.5 out of 5. “I was surprised by how comfortable the seat is, especially compared to other rowers,” they said. “The padded seat is wide and reminds me of a recumbent exercise bike seat because it has a lot of padding.”

[Related: Best Budget Home Gym Equipment]

While its durability wasn’t quite on the level of high-end models, our tester rated it 3 out of 5. “It didn’t shake or wobble at all, but there is a lot of plastic in the build,” they said. “The sliding rail is steel, but the foot cradles and flywheel housing are both plastic. I don’t think it would last for a decade, but I wouldn’t expect it to just crumble unexpectedly.”

Benefits of The Best Foldable Rowing Machines

From maximizing your space to maximizing your calorie burn, foldable rowing machines offer efficient total-body exercise. BarBend expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, says that the benefits of indoor rowing machines are no longer a well-kept secret. 

Our tester on the Hydrow Wave Rower.

“Once reserved for rowing athletes as a way to train indoors, rowing [machines] have made it mainstream, and that’s for a lot of good reasons,” she said. “Rowing is an effective form of exercise, engaging most of the body’s muscles and significantly working the cardiovascular system.” (5) Here are some other benefits of foldable rowing machines. 

Save Space: Whether it’s a foldable rail or display arm, the folding mechanisms on these rowers can shrink their footprints by up to half.

Total-Body Workout: Each stroke recruits muscle groups in your legs, back, arms, and core, making rowing an efficient full-body rowing machine workout. (6) As BarBend’s lead video reviewer Jake Herod, NASM-CNC, points out, “Not only are [rowers] going to improve your cardio, they’re also going to tone your muscles at the same time.”

Low-Impact Cardio: Because you’ll remain seated, you can save your joints from absorbing impact during other forms of cardio, like running. In fact, studies have also shown that a vigorous 30-minute row can burn more calories than running at a 12-minute-mile pace. (7)

How Much Do The Best Foldable Rowing Machines Cost?

As you peruse our list, you’ll see a wide price range that stretches beyond the average range of $1,000 to $1,700. The budget-friendly rowers we picked start as low as $399.99 and the high-end models reach up to $2,499. Take a look to quickly compare how much these foldable rowing machines will set you back.

What to Consider Before Buying The Best Foldable Rowing Machines

Whether you’re a collegiate rower in a crowded apartment or a newbie still figuring out how to use a rowing machine, think about the kind of training you want to do and just how it will fit into your space and budget. Here are a few important considerations as you check out our top foldable rowers.

Available Space 

From bare-bones, budget-friendly options to tech-forward smart rowers from brands like NordicTrack or Peloton, most rowing machines will take up roughly 12 to 14 square feet. That’s a slightly smaller footprint than the average loveseat, so when you think about where your new rower will go, ask yourself, “Could I fit a couch in here?” (3

Our tester on the Merach 950 Rower.

When you bust out your measuring tape, our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, recommends that taller users focus on the length. “Tall people should check the overall length of the rower, but more importantly, the length of the slide rail, to determine whether they’ll be able to achieve full range of motion,” she says. “It’s common for budget rowers to be shorter, which makes them unideal for tall individuals.”

Resistance Type 

Most rowing machines use one of four types of resistance systems: air, water, magnetic, or hydraulic. Here’s a quick rundown: 

Air: No set range of resistance and the loudest of the three. 

Water: Unlimited resistance and can better replicate the feeling of real-life rowing.

Magnetic: More consistent resistance and tend to be quieter. 

Hydraulic: Uses pistons filled with air or fluid and are typically compact machines.

Still confused? As BarBend expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, explains, each type uses different mechanics. “The flywheel mechanism dictates the rower type: Air rowers use fan flywheels; water rowers use fan flywheels against the resistance of water in a tank; magnetic rowers use electromagnetic resistance; and hydraulic rowers, which are less expensive but functionally limited compared to the other three types, use hydraulic cylinders in the handles to create resistance.”

Preferred Style of Training 

Before dropping significant cash on a rowing machine, make sure it supports the kind of training you need. Beginners may appreciate the virtual at-home workouts of rowers integrated with leading fitness apps. On the other hand, simpler machines could also be good for firing up beginner indoor rowing workouts.

The 16-inch touchscreen on the Hydrow Wave Rower.

Capritto also notes that rowers offer more than just cardio workouts: “Rowers are also versatile pieces of equipment: You can use them for high-intensity interval training and steady-state cardio exercise. They can also be used for some strength training exercises, like pikes, for added versatility.”

Best Foldable Rowing Machines FAQs

What is the best foldable rowing machine?

With its foldable display arm, computer-controlled magnetic resistance, and 13-inch foot pedals, the Hydrow Wave Rower was an easy choice for best foldable rowing machine. After subscribing to the Hydrow app, you can stream on-demand classes on the 16-inch touchscreen. The resistance can adjust automatically during those classes to help keep your focus on your stroke instead of the controls.

What is the best type of rowing machine to buy?

Both non-folding and folding rowing machines can be broken down into three categories based on how they provide the resistance you feel in each stroke. Air rowers use a fan to generate an unlimited range of resistance, but they are the loudest of the three. Water rowing machines most closely simulate the feel of rowing, but magnetic rowers offer the consistent resistance that can be good for training while keeping the noise to a minimum.

Can you get in shape by just rowing?

Rowing machines have been shown to burn more calories in 30 minutes than running at a 12-minute mile pace. (7) Because losing weight requires staying in a calorie deficit — burning more calories than you consume — rowing can be an efficient way to stay in shape when coupled with a healthy diet.

Is 20 minutes a day on a rowing machine enough?

Depending on your fitness level and goals, you may find that 20 minutes on a high-quality rowing machine offers a rigorous enough workout to help you meet them. If you want to lose weight, tracking your calories burned during a row is an important data point for staying in a caloric deficit. Along with torching calories and getting your heart rate up, rowing has also been shown to engage muscles all throughout the body. (8)


Nystoriak, M. A., & Bhatnagar, A. (2018). Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 5, 135.

Ian Gee, T., Caplan, N., Christian Gibbon, K., Howatson, G., & Grant Thompson, K. (2016). Investigating the Effects of Typical Rowing Strength Training Practices on Strength and Power Development and 2,000 m Rowing Performance. Journal of human kinetics, 50, 167–177. 

Jaramillo, C. (2022, December 29). A guide to sofa dimensions & sizes. SeatUp, LLC.

The Ultimate Guide to end table & coffee table sizes. Wayfair. (n.d.).

Relationships among muscle characteristics and rowing performance in collegiate crew members. The Sport Journal. (2022, January 14).

Volianitis, S., Yoshiga, C.C. and Secher, N.H. (2020). The physiology of rowing with perspective on training and health. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 120(9), pp.1943–1963.

Calories burned in 30 minutes of leisure and routine activities. Harvard Health. (2021, March 8).

Kang, S. R., Yu, C. H., Han, K. S., & Kwon, T. K. (2014). Comparative analysis of basal physical fitness and muscle function in relation to muscle balance pattern using rowing machines. Bio-medical materials and engineering, 24(6), 2425–2435.

The post The 7 Best Foldable Rowing Machines of 2024, Tested and Selected by Our Certified Pros appeared first on BarBend.


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