The 5 Types of Rowing Machines and Their Benefits

A rowing machine provides the cardio and muscular endurance you want in a great workout. However, you’ll need to choose the rowing machine that fits your preferred exercise style, as each machine option has various benefits that can improve your session. Below, discover the five types of rowing machines for your home gym and the benefits that each provides.

How Rowing Machines Function

Any rower you use involves resistance from various sources. This resistance is integral for strengthening your muscles and increasing your flexibility as you pull the bar and push out with your legs. The resistance typically comes from a spinning component, such as a wheel, and has different resistance settings that make the wheel difficult to move.

The resistance of the wheel’s movement makes rowing machines valuable to anyone’s workout routine. The benefits stemming from each type of rowing machine distinguish them from other residential gym equipment and the resistance training they provide.

Water Rowing Machines

The objective of a rowing machine is to simulate the feeling of rowing a single scull, which promotes rhythmic movement for consistent exercise for multiple body parts. Use a water rowing machine for a feeling most similar to rowing on the water, as it uses water in its structure.

The tank at the front of the machine contains water with pads inside. The pads move through the water when you pull the bar and push out with your legs, creating resistance that makes the effort more intense. You can adjust this resistance by adding water to the tank or releasing some of it.

The Benefits of Water Rowing Machines

These machines create a feeling of being out in the water and experiencing the act of rowing with oars. Water rowing machines provide a calm workout, thanks to the sound of rushing water every time you row. Many use water for resistance training, whether they practice boxing combos in a pool or propel themselves across a pool’s floor to practice running.

The water resistance in this rowing machine creates a similar training experience and helps you strengthen your body. The machine is easy to maintain with water purifying tablets to prevent the water from causing corrosion. Use this rowing machine for a quiet yet intense exercise.

Air Rowing Machines

Just as the water rowing machine uses water, the air rowing machine uses air resistance for a challenging workout. This type of rower uses a flywheel that takes in the air as it spins. The air creates resistance as the wheel turns and makes movement challenging.

How fast the flywheel spins depends on how hard you row, and as you pull harder, you create more resistance for a tougher workout. A shutter on the wheel controls how much air it takes in, but the resistance still changes depending on the force of your rowing.

The Benefits of Air Rowing Machines

Air rowing machines are common and often found in gyms thanks to their simple design and use of air. Using air creates a natural movement that your body acclimates to since your rowing sets the tone for how much force you need to put into the workout.

These rowers are typically foldable, making them a great fit for any room in your house. These machines work well for a gradual increase in resistance training since the resistance adjusts to how hard you row, and you’ll have the option to go at any pace you want until you feel ready to row harder.

Magnetic Rowing Machines

Like the air rowing machine, this type of rower also uses a flywheel. The difference between the two is this rower uses magnets. The flywheel contains metal and has magnets inside, creating resistance in the wheel as it spins.

The force of the magnets produces significant resistance, so you’ll need to pull with great effort to fight against that magnet force, creating an excellent and highly intense workout. You can adjust the resistance level by moving the magnets closer to the flywheel’s surface, as the magnetic current pushes against the wheel’s movement.

The Benefits of Magnetic Rowing Machines

Since this rowing machine relies on magnets for movement and has a closed area around the flywheel, the machine requires little maintenance or cleaning. This type of rower is a great home rowing machine since the magnets create a silent resistance as you row. Thanks to the magnets inside the flywheel, you’ll have more freedom to change the resistance and ensure you have the right amount of intensity for your workout sessions.

Hydraulic Rowing Machines

These rowing machines are noticeably compact compared to the other options. Hydraulic pistons replace wheels or paddles and create resistance from the pistons moving the fluid inside its containment.

The fluid will heat up as you continuously row, creating less resistance. Rowing this machine involves two handles instead of a bar. Each handle links to one piston for resistance on each side during your workout.

The Benefits of Hydraulic Rowing Machines

The compact size of the hydraulic rowing machine makes it convenient workout equipment for any space. The separated handles provide opportunities for one-handed rows for focused resistance training. The pistons’ movements are soft and won’t make much sound, making this another great rower for a quiet workout.

Hybrid Rowing Machines

A hybrid rowing machine combines the air and magnetic resistance of an air and magnetic rowing machine in one flywheel. Though they are less common than other rowers, this type of rowing machine has great resistance training benefits and adjustable settings thanks to the combination of rowing machine types.

The Benefits of Hybrid Rowing Machines

With the adjustable magnet and shutter of the flywheel, you’ll have the benefit of choosing multiple settings to adjust the resistance. The air resistance makes rowing feel natural, and the magnetic resistance provides less noise.

Similar to the air rowing machine, the hybrid rower increases in difficulty as you row with more effort. Combining two types of rowing machines is a great way to have more options in your workouts and double the benefits you gain as you row.

The different options for rowing machines grant a variety of ways to improve your gains. Consider these types of rowing machines and their benefits for you and your home gym, and get into better shape with each row.

The 5 Types of Rowing Machines and Their Benefits