5 Best Rowing Machines Under $500

One of the best ways for you to get a balanced form of exercise is to use a rowing machine. They exercise all of your major muscle groups and stimulate your metabolism. However, if you have looked around, then you know that some of them can be outrageously expensive.

It’s safe for me to assume that many of you have no interest spending $1,000 on a rowing machine. The good news? I am here to inform you that you can find excellent rowing machines for a decent price. If you read down below, you will find the five best rowing machines that won’t break your bank.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & FitnessProbably the cheapest rowing machine that you will find is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205. However, it’s not cheap in quality. The comfort is tremendous for the price you pay, especially the pivoting foot plates.

The adjustable foot straps are a nice touch, as well. For such a cheap rowing machine, I am truly surprised at the number of resistance levels available. You can choose from 12 different levels from its hydraulic cylinder resistance system.

As you would expect, the digital computer is very basic in function. However, it still delivers the goods you need: calories burned, total time, total count, count, and scan. While this isn’t necessarily a major downside, there is one that I should point out.

The build to this machine is not up to par with some of the more expensive rowing machines, as there is a 220-pound user weight limit. If you are greater than this weight, I would not advise purchasing this particular rowing machine.

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Runner-Up 1: Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine is definitely one of my favorite rowers available. This is mainly due to its rowing arms, as this offers you a great range of motion and really mimics riding on a boat. It’s also terrific because it allows you to exercise different parts of your arms and back. Changing the shock resistance level is also incredibly easy and allows you to work out on the level that suits you best.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050I only have one complaint about this machine and that is its foot straps. The issue is they don’t hold your feet securely, but there is a solution to this minor issue. If you cut a PVC pipe in half and attach it to the bottom of the straps, it will allow your feet to rest securely. Now, understandably you shouldn’t have to worry about adding an attachment like this, as Stamina should have fixed the issue before releasing their rowing machine. However, it’s a cheap fix and is fairly harmless.

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Runner-Up 2: Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399

If you are anything like me, then you prefer air rowers over magnetic rowers. The main difference? Air rowing machines adjust the resistance based on how hard you work. This is the case with the Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399. The harder and faster you decide to row on this machine, the greater the resistance will be and you will never have to worry about changing it. Much like other affordable rowing machines, the digital computer is very basic and lacks any advanced software.

Outside of the air resistance system, the comfort and portability of this machine truly stand out. The seat is fully padded and upholstered for extra comfort, and the rowing bar is fully textured. Portability wise, you may find it to be the easiest rowing machine to move. It folds easily for storage, has floor protectors to protect from skidding and has built-in wheels to top it off. Lastly, if for any reason you are dissatisfied there is a three-year warranty on the frame and a 90-day warranty on the parts.

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Runner-Up 3: Kettler 7978-900 Favorit

One of the features, depending on your personal preference, that sets the Kettler 7978-900 Favorit Rowing Machine from the rest on this list is the training computer. You can actually program the computer with your desired distance and stroke speed, while also getting video and audio signals when your goals are reached. The computer will also show you information on your number of oar strokes, the speed of strokes, total distance and pulse rate.

Kettler 7978-900 FavoritThe resistance of this machine holds up pretty well, as well. It is powered by two hydraulic cylinders that offer you continuous resistance. Also, much like the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine, it has rowing arms that allow you to swing with a wider motion. There is only one negative, however, and that is storage. Unlike some machines, the storage is awkward. You can fold the rows, but it’s not as portable as some of the others.

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Runner-Up 4: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5623

Lastly, I present to you yet another rowing machine from Sunny Health & Fitness: the SF-RW5623 Air Magnetic Rower. However, this one actually has a dynamic air and magnetic resistance system. There are eight adjustable levels of resistance, with the air rower providing additional resistance. This truly makes for a unique rowing experience. You should also find the seat incredibly comfortable and the sliding to be very smooth.

Sunny Health And Fitness SF RW5623However, the footing can be a little bit of a downer. If you have small feet, you may find it difficult to get them tight enough. Also, the computer display is missing one key function: total distance. I can’t understand why this was omitted, but it doesn’t make the machine terrible. To me, though, this machine should be considered for the tremendous resistance system.

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Summing It Up

In case you haven’t figured it out, if you have been searching, rowing machines can be quite expensive. However, as I have just illustrated, you can find really good ones at a cheaper price. You just have to live with accepting a machine that is not as advanced. Once you do this, I have no doubt that you can be happy with any one of the above rowing machines.