The Best Rowers For Small Spaces That Still Pack In A Good Workout

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compact rowing machine
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If you’re looking for a foldable or compact rower for your home gym, you’re not the only one. After the events of the last few years, many are sticking to working out at home versus the gym. It’s convenient, and if you find budget-friendly equipment, it might even be cheaper in the long run. If you’re unsure because you live in a small space, you can actually find equipment that’s compact, foldable, or both — that way, you can squeeze it in your living room or guest room, or easily put it away when you’re done. Rowers are a great option, because they don’t take up a lot of space, they’re easy to store, and you can find cheap options. (See also: treadmills for small spaces and indoor exercise bikes — we’ve got some suggestions!)

Shop some of the best options ahead and commit to that exercise plan you’ve been considering — we totally support you!

Best Foldable Rowers

The Stamina X Air Rower immediately caught our eye because of its beautiful red color. If you like your exercise equipment to stand out, this is a good option. But guess what? If you also want to be able to tuck your rowing machine away, this is also a good option. The full-body rower is foldable and has wheels so you can put it away while you’re not using it, which is great if you don’t have much extra room. It has a padded seat for a little extra comfort and a display screen to keep track of your workout. Several reviewers also noted how smoothly it rows.

One Reviewer Says: “The build quality is quite impressive, very solid build. I'm 6'3" and 175lbs. While rowing, the machine is very solid, it never wobbled or rocked, the rowing action was smooth and accurate. I have long arms and legs and there is still plenty of seat travel (no limitations). The fan is not overly loud, it's a fan, so there is normal fan noise and I enjoy the breeze and sound. With that said, wearing headphones eliminates any fan noise. I highly recommend this rowing machine.”

You get 16 levels of resistance with the ECHANFIT Magnetic Rower. The full-body machine boasts a quiet ride and can hold a person up to 265 pounds. It’s built to be ergonomic so you’ll be comfortable while you’re working out. It’s also foldable so you can put it away while you’re not using it — perfect for small spaces. It even has a water bottle holder so your hydration is right close by.

One Reviewer Says: “I am extremely pleased with this rower! Assembly was simple, instructions were clear, also came with all necessary tools. Living in an upstairs apartment I was hoping to get a very quiet machine, and this is perfect! Makes almost no noise at all.”

Want to feel like you’re rowing on water? Then, you might want to give the HouseFit a try. Easy to store and move around your home, this rower is foldable and perfect for smaller spaces. It comes with an adjustable LCD monitor and adjustable footplates and comes with an erosion-resistant water tank. Looks-wise, it’d be a gorgeous addition to your home gym.

One Reviewer Says: “Sturdy, works great, and [definitely] worth the price. [The] computer looks to be a well main one and little animation of the rower is a cute touch. Seat comfy and quiet. Well made. Folds easily.”

Ideal for users who are under 6’4” and 300 pounds, this foldable rowing machine can easily be set in a standing position if you plan on having guests over, or just need additional space. With foam handlebars and a cushioned seat for comfort, the pooboo rowing machine has a large LCD monitor that’s easy to see in the midst of a workout.

One Reviewer Says: “It was easy to assemble and seems well built. The selection of resistance is great and easy to change for different users. Another feature I like is the LCD monitor goes to sleep after a few minutes to save the batteries.”

Best Compact Rowers

The Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine also doesn’t take up a lot of space, making it perfect for small rooms and small homes. It has an LCD monitor to track your strikes and foot straps to help hold you in place. The resistance is easy to control with a manual knob, and the seat has a molded design to make it more comfortable while you’re working out. We can appreciate a bit of comfort while we sweat just like the next person!

One Reviewer Says: “I just received my rower, and I was so excited with the quality of this product. I have used rowers before, for CrossFit, and this was the same quality, but for a fraction of the price. It is very mobile, so I can easily move it, and then tuck it away while I'm not using it. So far, its a great product, and I look forward to many rowing sessions!”

Unlike most of the other rowing machines you’ll see, the Stamina Body Trac Glider actually mimics what it would be like rowing on the water. You’re pulling arm bars in a rowing motion rather than one bar on a cord. If you’re looking for a compact rower with a more authentic feel, this is it. The arms also fold in so it’s easier to store, and has everything else you expect in an exercise machine — cushioned seat, display screen, and foot holds.

One Reviewer Says: “Machine is very well made. It is easy to assemble (took about 10 minutes), and it is very quiet. I like the range of motion in that it is similar to actually rowing a small boat or raft, as opposed to the single pull back bar that many rowing machines are made with. The seat glides back and forth smoothly and there is a resistance setting under it with a range between 1 and 12.”

Best Cheap Rowing Machines

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-Full Motion Rowing Machine is small but mighty — which is exactly what you want in a compact rower. It has a weight capacity of 350 pounds, which is much more inclusive than some of the compact rowers on the market. It’s also equipped with an LCD screen to show you all the info you need during your workout, including time, calories burned, strokes, and more. It has 12 levels of resistance to give you a variety of challenging levels. What’s also great about this machine is the price. As far as exercise equipment goes, it’s very budget-friendly, which means you’re getting in a solid workout for not a whole lot of money.

One Reviewer Says: “This rowing machine is so gentle on my limbs. I don't have any health complications or joint problems, but honestly, I hate that really super achy hurt after working out and using machines that I had in the past. After working out on this machine my muscles and whole body are definitely saying whoa! But not in a way that will discourage me from hopping on again when it's time for my next workout. I am actually encouraged to work out more because I'm ‘sore’ but not broken.”

You want to talk about a good deal? Try this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine Rower. You can snag this compact rowing machine for under $100. It’s a no-frills machine that gets the job done. You can strap your feet in and get right to work. It offers 12 levels of resistance and a small screen to keep track of your workout. And that’s really about it. It has nearly 10,000 ratings on Amazon and clocks in at 4.4 out of 5 stars, meaning people really love it.

One Reviewer Says: “Set up was so simple! It is light, sturdy, and even someone who lacks any handy-ness skills whatsoever could set this up in under 5 minutes. Its maneuverability is simple because it is so light. So I could place it in multiple different places before I made a final decision on its long-term home. I can pick it up with one hand no problem.”

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