7 Finest Water Rowing Machines of 2022 – SI Showcase

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Water rowing machines are an excellent cardio exercise and a unique addition to any home gym. Similar to rowing in real water, water rowers provide a full-body workout that targets your abs, shoulders, upper back, arms, glutes and legs. Still, despite working nearly all of the major muscle groups, water rower machines are low-impact, which means they’re suitable for all fitness levels.

Whether you’re new to water rowing or a seasoned pro, the rowing experience comes with numerous cardiovascular benefits and can be used for strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or traditional rowing workouts. If you’re in the market for a new piece of fitness equipment, these are our top picks for the best water rower machines in 2022. Read on for a comprehensive guide on what types of water rowers are available, their benefits, how to use them and other considerations to brush up on before making a purchase. We’ll also help you learn how to take care of a water rower machine and keep it clean for years to come.

Our Picks for the Best Water Rower:

XTERRA-ERG650W Water Rower

In our selection of best water rowing machines, XTERRA ERG650W Water Rowing Machine ranks top on our list because of its sleek design, durability and high-quality rowing experience. With more than 15 programmed workouts and six water-based resistance levels, this machine is good for new rowers and experts alike. A durable solid steel frame complete with dual aluminum slide rails means this indoor rower can stand up to even the most intense workouts, and likely last you for years to come. We also love the XTERRA ERG650W because its design keeps comfort top of mind—the machine is made with an ergonomic rowing handlebar, a contoured padded seat and adjustable pedals. One drawback is that you’ll need to manually get up off the machine to change the resistance level, since it depends on changing the amount of water. But if this doesn’t bother you, the XTERRA ERG60W water rowing machine takes the cake for best on the market.


  • Advanced, realistic rowing experience with multiple hydro blades
  • More than 15 programmed workouts
  • Six water-based levels of resistance


  • Not compatible with fitness apps
  • No bluetooth capabilities
  • Changing resistance levels can be time-consuming


  • Dimensions: 20.7 inches L x 26.5 inches W x 79.5 inches
  • Weight: 76 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
  • Max User Height: Six feet, four inches
  • Materials: Solid steel frame with aluminum slide rails
  • Display: 5.6-inch LCD monitor with adjustable angle
  • Bluetooth: Not Bluetooth compatible
  • Warranty: Lifetime for frame, two years parts and one year labor

Purchase XTERRA ERG650W Water Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge

Not only is the Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Obsidian Surge Water Rowing Machine budget-friendly at $649.99, it offers a smart rowing experience that goes above and beyond the price point. Designed to work with the SunnyFit APP, you can follow along to your favorite workouts thanks to a device holder on the rowing machine’s display monitor that can hold your phone or tablet. In addition to its smart capabilities, we’ve also ranked this indoor rowing machine high on our list because of its smooth, stable rowing experience. Floor stabilizers and non-slip handlebars help guarantee that the water rower can withstand repeated pulling. Plus, this machine can be stored vertically for easy storage, which makes it a great fit for those with smaller smart home gyms. While adjustable footplates give users more freedom to move their feet and ankles, some people may not like the pivoting foot pedals feature, so it’s important to consider this ahead of a purchase.


  • Compatible with SunnyFit APP for Android and iOS
  • Easy vertical storage
  • Modes include racing and recovery


  • Heart rate monitor not included
  • Short warranty window for parts
  • Some users may not like the adjustable footplates


  • Dimensions: 78.9 inches L x 22.3 inches W x 32.67 inches H
  • Weight: 91.9 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Max User Height: N/A
  • Materials: Steel slide rail
  • Display: Digital monitor includes a device holder for your smartphone or tablet
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth compatible, works with SunnyFit APP
  • Warranty: Three years for frame, 180 days for other parts and components

Purchase Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Obsidian Surge Water Rowing Machine

Outroad Rowing Machine

For less than $300, you can add a full-body aerobic workout to your home gym without breaking the bank. Outroad Rowing Machine comes in as our best budget-friendly water rower thanks to its low $289.99 price, large water flywheel and lighter weight, making it easy to transport. An ergonomic design with a thick handlebar, adjustable footplates and U-shaped seat helps keep users comfortable, while an adjustable digital monitor displays time, stroke rate, calories burned, distance and more. Outroad Rowing Machine is a great option for those who want to try the indoor rowing experience without splurging on a higher-end buy, or those looking for a simple workout. However, some users report difficulty assembling the machine, while others report inaccurate metrics tracking. Still, for the price point, this is a great entry-level machine for casual rowers or those new to indoor rowing.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to transport
  • Quiet rowing experience


  • Wood frame may not last as long as steel-frame competitors
  • Some users report difficulty assembling the machine
  • Some users report inaccurate tracking


  • Dimensions: 83 inches L x 20.8 inches W x 22 inches H
  • Weight: 59.2 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Max User Height: N/A
  • Materials: Ash wood frame and dual rails
  • Display: LCD monitor that displays time, stroke rate, calories burned, distance and more
  • Bluetooth: Not Bluetooth compatible
  • Warranty: Warranty provided by Asurion, since product is available through Amazon

Purchase Outroad Rowing Machine

TRUNK Water Rowing Machine

Fitness equipment can take up a ton of space, but the TRUNK Water Rowing Machine folds up to the length and width of a large suitcase and can be easily stored away. With a mid-level price point of just $609, this indoor rower provides a realistic rowing experience with a transparent water flywheel that helps users feel like they’re rowing out on real water. It also comes in various shades of wood to match any space or home gym. While some users report that the LCD screen is very basic, the machine’s ergonomic design and functionality outweigh its drawbacks. It can be an attractive option for those who want to keep their fitness equipment out of sight, or, on the flipside, own a statement piece that matches their décor.


  • Easy to store
  • Includes dust cover and phone holder
  • Comes in numerous colors


  • Some users report difficulty assembling the machine
  • Very basic monitor that lacks certain metrics like meters, wattage or splits
  • Some users report that foot straps break easily


  • Dimensions: 82 inches L x 22 inches W x 20 inches H
  • Weight: 64 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
  • Max User Height: N/A
  • Materials: Foldable solid wood timber frame and rubber board
  • Display: LCD monitor that displays time, stroke rate, calories burned and distance (km)
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth compatible with Bluetooth monitor
  • Warranty: Warranty provided by Asurion since product is available through Amazon

Purchase TRUNK Water Rowing Machine

Mr. Captain Rowing Machine

Water rowing machines can be heavy, but Mr. Captain Rowing Machine provides a lightweight alternative. It weighs in at just 58.5 pounds, while most competitors range from roughly 65 to 90 pounds. Designed like a real ship with real water resistance, this stunning red walnut rowing machine is as realistic as rowing machines can get. Best for those who need to transport their rowing machine up or down stairs, this product comes with transport wheels for easy storage and moving. It’s also a good option for a real-life outdoor rowing experience without the high price tag. This machine is also environmentally-friendly and designed with a wood wax oil finish, making it great for sustainably-focused home gyms. Mr. Captain Rowing Machine is Bluetooth compatible with smart devices or the FitShow App. It also offers three workout programs that include manual, interval custom and target training.


  • Easy to move up and down stairs
  • Fair price point
  • Designed like a real ship


  • Few ergonomic comfort features
  • Only three workout programs
  • No separate foot pedals


  • Dimensions: 82 inches L x 22 inches W x 20 inches H
  • Weight: 58.5 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 320 pounds
  • Max User Height: People with a leg length of 47 inches or less
  • Materials: Red walnut solid wood frame with environmentally-friendly wood wax oil finish
  • Display: Customizable smart electronic monitor that displays time, stroke rate, calories burned, distance and more
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth compatible with FitShow App or other smart devices
  • Warranty: One-year warranty on frame, 180-day warranty all other parts and components

Purchase Mr. Captain Rowing Machine

Merax Water Rowing Machine

If you’re new to water rowing, don’t fret—you don’t have to settle on an advanced machine. Instead, consider Merax Water Rowing Machine to test the waters and learn how to row. This indoor rowing machine includes six water-based levels of adjustable resistance that help you build up your skill level from easy to more challenging rows. Once you get into the swing of things, you can challenge yourself even further with a race-mode workout program that mimics an intense rowing competition. Since this product is designed with velcro foot straps, you can comfortably wear your favorite training shoes while maintaining the full rowing experience. Some users report noisy workouts with this machine, especially with the sound of the seat gliding, so you may want to consider noise levels if you live in an apartment or with others.


  • Good for beginners
  • Sleek design
  • Large contoured seat


  • Heavier piece of equipment
  • No Bluetooth compatibility
  • Some users report the machine is noisy


  • Dimensions: 78 inches L x 20 inches W x 25.5 inches H
  • Weight: 72 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
  • Max User Height: N/A
  • Materials: Alloy steel frame
  • Display: Large LCD display that shows time, stroke rate, calories burned, distance and more
  • Bluetooth: Not Bluetooth compatible
  • Warranty: Warranty provided by Asurion since product is available through Amazon

Purchase Merax Water Rowing Machine

WaterRower Classic

For a luxury rowing experience, the WaterRower Classic with S4 Monitor hits all the marks. This sturdy indoor rower is designed to absorb sound and vibration, making it a good option for those looking for a quiet workout. It’s also made with high-quality, premium hardwood that promises to increase the product’s lifespan and stability. Great for those who are eco-conscious, the wood used to make the WaterRower Classic is harvested entirely from replenishable forests and hand-finished with three coats of Danish oil to give it luster. Still, for the high $1,599 price point, some users may be left feeling disappointed, since this product isn’t Bluetooth compatible.


  • Virtually silent workout
  • Eco-friendly design
  • High user weight max


  • High price point
  • No bluetooth compatibility
  • Basic performance monitor


  • Dimensions: 82 inches L x 20 inches W x 22 inches H
  • Weight: 66.5 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 700 pounds
  • Max User Height: Max inseam for users is 37 inches
  • Materials: Walnut wood frame with Danish oil finish
  • Display: S4 performance monitor that shows time, heart rate, calories burned and distance
  • Bluetooth: Not Bluetooth compatible
  • Warranty: Limited one-year warranty on frame, 90 days for replacement spare parts

Purchase WaterRower Classic with S4 Monitor

Ergatta Rower

For an even more luxurious water rowing experience, look no further than The Ergatta Rower. As the most high-tech product on our best water rowers list, this ultra-modern rower includes a sleek 17.3 inch digital touchscreen that tracks metrics and is bluetooth-enabled for heart rate monitors. The full HD touchscreen is Android-powered and has a crisp 1920 x 1080 resolution. While an Ergatta membership is required to access the brand’s full fitness library (sold separately for $29 per month or discounted to $319 for the first year), you can still use the product without one. However, without a membership, you won’t be able to use the racing mode, access your saved workout history or use the personalized workout library, which is calibrated to your fitness levels and goals.


  • HD interactive touchscreen
  • Excellent warranty program
  • Workout programs calibrated to fitness levels and goals


  • High price point
  • Higher height may be a challenge for shorter users
  • Membership required for full fitness library


  • Dimensions: 83 inches L x 23 inches W x 40 inches H
  • Weight: 76.5 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Max User Height: Six feet, eight inches
  • Materials: Cherry wood frame
  • Display: 17.3-inch digital touchscreen with 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth compatible
  • Warranty: Five-year warranty on structural frame, three-year warranty on parts and one-year warranty on tablet

Purchase The Ergatta Rower

Water Rowing Machine Benefits

Rowing workouts can be highly beneficial to your health and fitness levels. While rowing might seem like an intense sport, water rowing machines give just about anyone a chance to reap the benefits of rowing against water resistance—and you don’t have to be a professional rower.

As a low-impact exercise, water rowers are easy on your joints. This means that even people with joint injuries may be able to use water rower machines, as long as your doctor gives you a green light to do so. In fact, research has found that using indoor rowing machines can actually improve rotation in the elbows, shoulders, back and knees by up to 30%, which can be helpful in managing and healing joint injuries or back pain.

In addition to being gentle on the joints, water rowing machines provide a full-body workout that targets nearly all of the major muscle groups. That’s because a rowing stroke includes 65–75% leg work and 25–35% upper body work. Plus, rowing workouts can be great for weight loss. Studies show that rowing five days per week over a period of six weeks reduces fat mass and total body fat percentage. As a cardio exercise, rowing can also strengthen your heart and lungs. It also builds endurance, or how long your body can withstand physical exercise like rowing workouts.

How Do I Choose a Rowing Machine?

When choosing a rowing machine, you’ll want to look at several factors. Here’s what you should consider before making a purchase, and how these items affect your fitness and budget needs.


Before buying any rowing machine, carefully measure the space where you want to keep your rowing machine or home gym. You’ll want several feet to each side of the indoor rower so you’ll have adequate room to workout and get on or off the machine. Some water rowers are much larger than others, so if you’re working with a smaller space, consider buying a smaller machine or an indoor rower that can be folded or stored vertically.


Most indoor rowers track the basics, like stroke count, distance, time and calories burned. As you weigh the pros and cons of different water rowing machines, consider what type of console and programming you’re looking for. A standard console will help you track your metrics, while rowers with more high-tech consoles that are HD, touchscreen or LCD can provide a more interactive or visual rowing experience. Still, while higher-tech consoles might be more aesthetically-pleasing, they can sometimes be harder to use. For easier use and performance tracking, consider an indoor rower with a basic console, especially if you’re new to the sport.

When it comes to programming, you may want to opt for a machine that offers more diverse programs if you’re looking for a rowing experience that can easily change from simple to more challenging. Otherwise, a basic programming combination (such as manual, interval training and custom training) should be enough to offer you a good cardiovascular workout.


Pricing is one of the most important factors in any major fitness equipment purchase. Before looking at products, set your budget and determine how much you’re willing to pay upfront. If the model you’re looking at comes with membership requirements, take a look at your recurring expenses and see if paying for an additional membership is within your monthly budget. Keep in mind that many water rower brands allow payment in installments, especially the more high-end brands, so you may be able to lock in a payment program that allows you to pay off your purchase over time.


A water rower’s construction will play an important role in its stability, durability and overall longevity. It also helps determine its max weight capability. Water rowers made with reinforced steel, for example, might hold up better over time than those made out of wood (depending on the finish). Wood rowers, on the other hand, provide a more realistic outdoor rowing experience that mimics the real thing and can often accommodate a higher weight capacity. Regardless of the frame material, it’s important to look for features like anti-slip pads, padded seats and other ergonomic features that will not only keep your rowing steady, but keep you comfortable.

Resistance Levels

The number of resistance levels offered by a water rower will determine how easy or hard your workouts can be. Water rowers with higher resistance levels mean you can train more intensely, while machines with lower resistance levels offer a simple rowing experience for new or learning rowers. Instead of using magnetic resistance or air resistance, water rowers rely entirely on water to change resistance levels. Rowers that use water resistance tend to be more quiet than rowers that use air resistance, since air rowers have a noisier flywheel that operates off of wind. Before deciding on a water rower, consider how seriously you want to train and what amount of resistance levels will help you achieve your fitness goals.

Ease of Use

As you compare water rowers, determine how much time you want to invest in your product. For an indoor rower that’s easy to use and doesn’t require much setup or programming, a lower-end investment will likely do the trick, especially if you’re looking for basic fitness training. For more complex or challenging training, you may want to lean towards a water rowing machine that offers more customization options. Though navigating different workout programs can be time-consuming, it may be worth it for those who have very specific training goals.

Keep in mind, however, that water rowers require upkeep for their water tanks, so be prepared to clean them on occasion or raise or lower the water levels to change resistance, depending on the model and brand you buy.

How to Use a Water Rower Without Getting Injured

Good technique is essential to using a water rower without getting injured. Poor posture can result in injury, so keeping the correct form is important during your entire rowing workout. Low back pain is one of the most common injuries people get from indoor rowing machines. Studies have found that 25–81% of injuries reported by male rowers were in the lower back, so posture should always be top of mind when you’re doing rowing workouts. To keep good posture, aim to avoid rounding your shoulders, which can lead to injury or low back pain. Instead, relax your shoulders and try to let your arms hang naturally at your sides. You’ll also want to engage your abdominal muscles during each stroke, which helps take pressure off of your spine.

Overuse or overdoing your workout can also lead to injury. Research shows that people who train more often are more prone to lower back pain, for example. It’s important to always listen to your body and take rest days when needed. If your arms, legs or back are feeling painful, or if you just aren’t up to doing a rowing workout, let yourself rest and try again another day.

Water Rower FAQs

Since water rower machines aren’t as common as other types of fitness equipment, like treadmills or exercise bikes, there’s a lot to learn about how they work, how to properly use them and how to get the most benefits from your rowing experience. Here’s everything to know.

How many days a week should I row?

Like any other aerobic exercise, aim to row up to five times a week if it’s your primary form of exercise. The CDC recommends that adults get 150 minutes, or 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, for maximum health benefits. Be sure to give yourself rest days, however, since rest days are important to helping your body and muscles recover in-between workouts.

Is a water rowing machine good for weight loss?

Exercising on a water rowing machine can be a great way to lose weight if it’s part of your fitness and health goals. That’s because water rowing is a form of endurance exercise, which turns body fat into energy. If you use a water rowing machine for a high-intensity interval training, or a HIIT workout, you can burn even more calories. Studies show that people who do HIIT cardio workouts like indoor rowing lose 28.5% more fat than people who do moderately-intense, but continuous exercise.

What muscles get toned when rowing?

Indoor rowing is a full-body workout, so it targets nearly every major muscle group in the body. Your muscles get toned in two ways from rowing against water resistance: First, using your legs to push back puts tension on your hamstrings, glutes and calves. Second, the pulling motion tones your quads, forearms, biceps, lats and core. This combination of pushing and pulling ends up giving you a total-body workout.

Is a water rower or magnetic rower better?

A water rower isn’t necessarily better than a magnetic rower or vice-versa, since they both provide a full-body workout. Instead, which is better for you will ultimately depend on your individual needs and interests. If you’re looking for a workout that replicates being out on the water, then a water rower will give you a more realistic rowing experience. However, water rowing machines can be noisy, so if you live in an apartment or a home where noise level is an important factor, then you may want to lean towards buying a magnetic rowing machine. Magnetic rowers are almost entirely silent, and they’re usually available at a better price point.

How do you get water out of a water rower?

Water rowers do require some upkeep by their owners, and that includes managing the water inside the machine. To get water out of a water rower, the process can seem a bit complicated, but often gets easier with time once you get the hang of it. Depending on which type of water rowing machine that you have in your home gym, you’ll likely need to use a siphon pump to empty the tank, which you can buy online or at any home improvement store or retailer.

To remove the water, insert the tube of the siphon pump into the water rower’s tank and slowly pump the water out. After, discard the old water and/or refill the water tank with clean water. Many water tanks can be kept clean with purification tablets, which you can use every six months (or every three-to-four months if your water rowing machine is in direct sun). You shouldn’t have to change the water if you use purification tablets, but if the water tank still gets dirty, you can drain it, clean it with rubbing alcohol and then refill it with clean water.

Final Thoughts

Water rowing machines can be an excellent addition to any home gym. Not only can indoor rowing machines strengthen major muscle groups, but cardio exercise can boost your heart and lung function. With a variety of rowing machines on the market, there are options for different budgets, interests, fitness needs and skill levels. Although water rowing machines require more upkeep than other at-home fitness equipment, they’re worth the time and investment thanks to the great workouts they provide.

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.

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