Rowing Machines and Types of Resistance

rs96_water_rower_studio232Rowing is one of the best exercises due to the fact that it targets so many muscles at the same time, working your upper body, lower body, and your core muscles, while also providing a great aerobic work out. Rowing machines come in a wide variety of styles but all break down into four categories based on the type of resistance they use to create the work out. The four types of resistance for rowing machines are air, magnetic, hydraulic, and water.


Some things to consider when selecting the type of water machine that is best for you are noise, the type of floor your rower will be on, and the type of work out you want to experience. Air resistance rowers can be noisy and hydraulic rowers can develop annoying squeaks after awhile, making both the magnetic and the water resistance rowers the quietest of the options. If you’re going to have your rower on a hard wood floor, you may want to put a mat underneath it to lessen the vibration from the machine, which will also quiet the noise. If you’re using your rower in a small space, the way the machine can be stored will also be a concern. Apart from these issues, here’s a quick guide to the differences between the four types of resistance for rowing machines.


Air rowing machines have been around since the 1980’s and are very popular types of rowing machines. Air rowing machines use a flywheel to replicate the resistance that you get when rowing on water so the faster you row, the faster the flywheel spins, producing more air, and therefore more resistance. Air rowing machines provide a wide range of resistance and smooth action. The main downfall of this type of machine is the noise factor, although this is the type of machine found in most commercial gyms.


rs112_waterrower_6_1Magnetic rowing machines are very quiet and are popular for home use. While magnetic rowing machines are quiet and usually smaller, making them a great choice for a home gym, the magnets do not simulate water resistance and therefore offer up a different type of work out. They work well enough for a basic work out but fail to provide the overall work out that rowing on water produces.


The hydraulic rowing machine tends to be the cheapest and the smallest rowing machine on the market but it gives the least beneficial work out. Using a hydraulic rower will give you a work out, but the work out won’t be smooth and the hydraulic system does not replicate rowing on water. While they tend to be small, quiet, and cheap, they are the least favored among rowers.


The best and most popular type of rowing machine among rowers and those who wish to achieve the most beneficial work out is the water rowing machine. Water rowing machines create resistance by using real water in a tank attached to the machine. This gives the rower the smoothest, most realistic, and most beneficial work out possible. Water rowing machines are quiet, easy to maintain, and can be easily stored, although the machines themselves tend to be larger than the other options. The best type of rowing machine available is a water rowing machine for a total work out and realistic experience.

Comments are closed.