7 Best Rowing Machines Under $500 [2020 Reviews and Guide]

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It’s a nuisance for some people to hit the gym on a regular basis due to lack of time and several other reasons. But the fact remains that you have to work out in order to keep your body well and healthy. To tackle this issue, there should be a provision of indoor workout equipment that can fulfil the requirement of exercise. One of the most popular equipment in this regard is Rowing Machine which can become your best workout companion. It can help you in strengthening your muscles as well as tone your body. By burning a large number of calories from home, you can build your muscles without hitting the gym.

You can find Rowing Machines in tons of varieties. Of course, there are premium machines as well as budget machines. While premium machines are equipped with better features, budget machines don’t have any significant flaw. In fact, they work almost as good as premium machines. Furthermore, if you are a novice when it comes to workout then it is better to opt for a budget Rowing Machine. That’s why today we will take a look at some of the best rowing machines under 500. You can get a budget-friendly rowing machine with this budget and get down with your workout. 

7 Best Rowing Machines Under $500

For this list, we took a survey on various rowing machines in the market. In the end, we came up with 7 best among them. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5622 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Pros

  • It has dual function pads.
  • The seat is well-padded and provides sufficient comfort.
  • The machine can be folded.
  • Wheels are provisioned for transportation.

Cons

  • No holders are attached.
  • Slide Rail Material – Steel
  • Resistance Levels – 8
  • Foldable – Yes
  • Weight Capacity – 220 lbs

Sunny Health and Fitness have been in the business of fitness equipment for a long period and their magnetic rowing machine is one of their best products. This indoor exerciser by Sunny is one of the best rowing machines under $500. It can become a great asset for keeping up with your daily workout schedule if you intend to buy it.

The rower is equipped with a magnetic tension system. This magnetic system is used for altering the resistance level of the machine. You can change it manually by rotating the knob. In total there are 8 different levels of resistance that can be selected. As per your convenience, you can select any of them by simply rotating the knob on a particular level. 

Textured large footpads are provided in this machine which offers optimum grip to the foot. These pads can fully cover your feet and don’t let it slip during exercise. These are dual functions, meaning that you can do both upright rows and bicep curls. A huge seat is provisioned in the back which is filled with foam providing you nice comfort. The handlebars in this are made with anti-slip characteristics so there aren’t any problems with slipping. So as you do fast-paced exercise, you don’t have to worry about slippage of hands. For transportation, there is ease in the form of transportation wheels. Wheels are attached on the lower steel pipes and with this, you don’t have to drag the machine.

2. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

Pros

  • The machine is super quiet in operation.
  • There are 12 different workout programs.
  • The frame is stable and durable.
  • Assembly is easy.

Cons

  • Warranty is quite low.
  • Weight Capacity – 275 lbs
  • Foldable – Yes
  • Frame material – Aluminium
  • Dual Magnetic Control system for varying resistance.

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower is a great mid-range exercise machine and one of the best rowing machines under 500. This is one of the most compact rowers so if you are lacking space, you should opt for this exerciser.

The frame of the rower is made of aluminium. Since aluminium is lightweight in nature, it considerably reduces the weight of the machine. Furthermore, it makes the mower strong and sturdy. The frame provides good stability even on high levels of resistance. It is also quiet in nature and doesn’t make any squeaking noise. 

A polyurethane seat is featured in the machine which is large in size. It is quite comfortable to sit on due to uniform padding in it. You can also slide it up and down as per your convenience without any issues. Just like the seat, handlebars are also padded to give additional comfort as you exercise on the machine. 

For the resistance, the machine uses a dual magnetic control system. In this system, a metal flywheel is kept inside the housing. The magnet is used for varying resistance levels by moving it towards or away from the flywheel. In total there are 12 programs included in the machine with 6 pre-set and other manuals. With the maximum weight capacity of 275 lbs, this machine can carry out your workout sessions without any hitch.

3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Pros

  • Due to magnetic resistance, the machine is silent in operation.
  • It is cheap for its performance.
  • Sufficient weight carrying capacity.
  • It can be folded.

Cons

  • It has a basic monitor.
  • Resistance Levels – 8
  • Frame Material – Heavy Duty Steel
  • Monitor displays time, strokes, calories and total strokes.
  • Weight Capacity – 250 lbs

As a great asset for a cardiovascular workout, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 holds the key to solve your home workout-related problems. This is one of the cheapest and effective workout equipment you’d find in the market.

The mainframe is constructed with heavy-duty steel, making the machine extremely strong and durable. For its price, the build quality is impressive and is made to last long. Non-slip handlebars are used for the machine in order to provide user optimum comfort. With this feature, the chances of slippage are reduced to a great extent. The padded seat also helps in this case as it is big and makes you comfortable as you workout. 

In this, footpads are quite big ensuring that it covers the biggest of feet. With that, it eliminates slipping chances and provides a proper fit for your foot. You can also attach foot straps as an extra provision for securing your foot. So regardless of the intensity level, the foot will remain stable and intact.

This magnetic rower features a total of 8 resistance levels. Just like other rowers, you can change the resistance level simply by rotating the knob. As you increase the level, the intensity of workout goes on increasing. The adjustable resistance works quite well with people who want different resistance on different occasions which makes it one of the best rowing machines under $500.

4. LifeSpan Fitness RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine

Pros

  • Assembly takes a minimal amount of time.
  • The machine is ergonomically balanced.
  • It has a good warranty for its price.
  • It can be folded for reducing space.

Cons

  • It has only 5 levels of resistance.
  • Frame Material – Steel
  • Resistance Level – 5
  • Seat – Injected Foam
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs

As an effective low impact strengthening exerciser, LifeSpan Fitness RW1000 Indoor Rowing machine is capable of meeting your cardiovascular training requirements. As an indoor machine for a workout, it saves a lot of time.

The usual magnetic resistance is used for varying pace levels. This rowing machine features 5 different resistance levels that can be adjusted by adjusting the knob. In most of the rowing machines, you’d find 8 levels of resistance so this might seem like a downer, however, its ultra-silent characteristic makes up for that. Since the machine is equipped with a patented Eddy Current Drive System, the exerciser remains extremely silent even during heavy workouts. This works particularly well if you are watching TV or working out when everyone is sleeping.

The comfort factor is well taken care of in this feature by LifeSpan Fitness in the form of padded hand grips. So even if you workout for a long period of time, your hands will be free from swelling and you’ll get the maximum amount of comfort. The 14-inch injected foam seat also contributes to increasing comfort of the rowing machine. 

The machine is capable of taking loads as high as 300 lbs which is actually remarkable for a standard rowing machine. Furthermore, it is priced quite low which makes it one of the best rowing machines under 500.

5. Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

Pros

  • It has a good weight carrying capacity.
  • The monitor is easy to view.
  • It comes with 7 different preset programs.

Cons

  • The comfort of the seat is mediocre.
  • Frame material – Steel 
  • Weight capacity – 275 lbs
  • Foldable – Yes
  • 12 workout programs

Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower is one of the most efficient rowers considering that it delivers great performance even being priced low. 

In comparison with other rowers, this one is quite compact but that doesn’t take away its strength. As the frame is made from steel and with extruded aluminium beam, it produces the ultimate combination of strength and stability. The nylon strap used in this pulley system too is quite durable and can withstand intense workout.

It goes without saying that comfort is one of the major factors when it comes to rowing machines and this feature doesn’t lack in that section. For starters, the machine uses padded handles which reduces the strain on the hand as you exercise. In addition to that, footrests are pivoted in such a way that they follow the natural movement of the user. If you are afraid of your foot swaying away while you exercise, you can use foot straps as well.

The monitor in this indicates multiple performance indicators such as time, distance, count, calories, strokes, pulse and watts. The monitor displays all parameters at the same time so you don’t have to switch for viewing each parameter. 

6. Circuit Fitness Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine (AMZ-979RW)

Pros

  • The frame is durable and stable.
  • It comes with wheels for easy transportation.
  • Assembly is quite easy.
  • Quiet in operation.

Cons

  • There’s no pulse indicator.
  • Frame Material – Steel with Aluminium and ABS plastic
  • Weight Capacity – 300 lbs
  • Resistance levels – 8 (lever operated)
  • Anti Slip seat and footpads.

As great equipment for conditioning your physique at your home, this rowing machine by Circuit Fitness is one of the best rowing machines under $500.

The frame of the machine is made of steel just like usual rowing machines but aluminium and ABS plastic is also integrated into some areas for a better build. Aluminium is used for side grooves where seat slides and ABS is used for covers and footrests. Due to this spectacular combination of material, the machine is capable of withstanding loads up to 300 lbs. Compared to other standard rowing machines, it is a lot more. Corrosion resistance powder is also applied to the frame so that it can last for an extended period of time. 

The seat is around 13” wide which is enough to accompany the user. Furthermore, it has an anti-slip characteristic, ensuring a good amount of comfort as you exercise. The seat is not of the best quality but it does its job pretty well considering the price of the machine. It is filled with mould injected high-density foam and makes sure that your workout goes well.

For adjusting resistance it features a lever that is placed on the front side. Unlike knobs, you have to move the lever in order to change the intensity of the workout. It doesn’t have any dynamic response and resistance can only be changed by changing the lever position.

7. TUNTURI R30 Cardio Fit Series Rower

Pros

  • It has a space-saving design.
  • The maintenance requirement is less.
  • Comes with adjustable straps for a secure fit.

Cons

  • No backlight on display.
  • Frame Material – Steel and Aluminium
  • Weight Capacity – 240 lbs
  • Resistance Levels – 8
  • Warranty – 2 years

TUNTURI’s R30 Cardio Fit is one of the best rowing machines under 500. It has a commendable resistance system that supports you in your workout.

The frame of the rower uses steel and aluminium for its construction. As already mentioned earlier the combination of steel and aluminium ensures sturdy and stable operation. So even if you operate the machine at a high resistance level, the machine will be able to keep up with it. Compared to general rowers, this one is a bit large but being foldable in nature, it takes minimal space for storage. This exercise is also strong against corrosion due to its anti-corrosion coating.

There are a total of 8 different levels of resistance in this machine with each level with different intensity. A knob is provisioned for changing resistance level. The first level offers negligible resistance while 8th level imposes maximum resistance, making the workout more challenging. 

A well-contoured seat is included which takes care of seating arrangement. This isn’t particularly hard but the softness isn’t of the highest quality. But still, it can support you for an extended period of time without taking a toll on your body. 

Factors To Consider While Buying The Best Rowing Machine Under $500 – Buying Guide

Frame Material

In most cases, Steel is used as a material for frames. One of the major reasons for using steel frames is that it is fairly stronger than other materials. Because of that weight carrying capacity is also increased. Sometimes a combination of steel with some other materials is used (like aluminium, plastic etc) for better support and stability. Before purchasing a rowing machine, ensure that frame material is durable and keeps the machine stable while in operation.

Resistance 

In most of the cases, rowing machines use magnetic resistance systems. While some machines use a knob or lever for changing resistance level, some use the full force of a strap for evaluating resistance. It is recommended to choose a machine with more resistance level as you can perform a variety of workouts with that. Most of the machines have 8 levels but in some cases, they may be more or less.

Comfort

Seats, handlebars and footrests are highly responsible for ensuring the comfort of the rowing machine. Make sure that seat is well padded and doesn’t put any strain on your body. Also, the seat should be large enough to accompany you. On the other hand, handlebars should have sufficient grip so that your hands don’t slip during a workout. If these bars are enveloped with foam, it will enhance the user’s experience. 

Best Rowing Machines Under $500 – FAQs

Q. How many calories can a rowing machine burn?

You can burn up to 1000 calories for an hour using a rowing machine.

Q. Should rowing machines be used daily?

If you are a regular user of a machine then you can use it daily for a fixed period of time but it is recommended to take a rest at least once in a week.

Q. What muscles are engaged in a workout while using a rowing machine?

Almost every muscle in your body is strengthened during a workout. 

Final Verdict

So this is all about rowing machines priced under $500. As mentioned earlier, even low priced rowing machines can produce ultimate workout sessions so you don’t have to worry about their performance. In the list, we reviewed 7 best rowing machines under 500 and all of them are capable of working you to the bone with high durability. In order to get the best rowing machine, you will have to ensure that it is well built and fulfils your comfort requirement. The machines mentioned in the list are all capable of ticking those boxes and can work as optimum exercise equipment.

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