If you are bored with treadmills and exercise bikes, it might be time you try a different form of cardio that can get your blood pumping and tone your muscles at the same time - rowing.
Rowing machines are a great way to burn fat, tone up, and make the gym fun, they workout not only your arms but also your legs by replicating a rowing motion.
Fold up rowing machines are even better if you are looking for a home gym addition due to their compact size and space-saving design, allowing you to get that cardio in without trekking to the gym.
To help you decide on your best fold-up rowing machine, we have compared and reviewed the top devices on the market.
So without further ado, let's get into it!
This highly rated XS Sports rowing machine features a magnetic resistance system that has 10 levels to choose from when rowing.
Significant specifications of the machine are its 4kg magnetic flywheel and LCD, which shows essential statistics such as calories burned, distance and time. Padded handlebars are added as well as wheels for easy storage.
The machine additionally folds up to dimensions of 70 x 50 x 125cm and has a load capacity of 100kg. A one-year warranty is included with the rowing machine for buyers confidence.
To round up this XS sport rowing machine, we can confidently say that the design is one of the most comfortable devices to workout on; thanks to its padded handlebars and wide seat.
This machine is additionally very quiet and is suitable for even tall users.
Disadvantages of the rowing machine have to be padding on the seat, which is said to feel uncomfortable after periods of rowing. The device is further reported to have a light resistance which may not be challenging enough for advanced users.
The Viavito folding rowing machine features a 7kg flywheel and has 10 levels of resistance to choose from when rowing.
Main specifications of this machine are its LCD console display which shows necessary measurements such as time and distance. The model additionally has an 80cm rowing length with 4 rollers.
Design-wise the Viavito rowing machine comes with a steel frame and has an ergonomic seat with large pedals. Folded measurements of the device are 74cm x 53cm x 119cm, and it has transportation wheels for better portability.
Overall, this foldable rowing machine by Viavito is an excellent option if you are looking for a sturdy design with a smooth rowing action. The machine additionally is suitable to use in a small area thanks to its compact dimensions once folded.
Some negatives of this model have to be its paint which is said to flake off easily while in use, the machine also does not lock when folded, which makes it challenging to move around.
This Merax rowing machine comes with an adjustable tension dial that has 8 preset resistance levels.
Feature-wise the machine can be used for standing exercises and has a 110cm slide rail length. The design of the device is made from aluminium alloy and can hold up to 150kg.
Other notable design specs of the machine are its PU padded seat and safeguard pedals that have adjustable straps. An LCD screen is also included, and the machine has measurements of 1900 x 500 x 740mm.
To conclude, the Merax Magnetic rowing machine is one of the top devices on our list in terms of versatility. The model allows standing exercises such as front raises to be performed, and it has a smooth sliding rail for a more comfortable workout.
Downfalls of this fold-up rowing machine are its instruction manual which is written in German; this can make assembly complicated.
The JLL home rowing machine features a direct belt driven 10 resistance levels and can be adjusted by a dial while rowing.
Main features of this machine are LCD monitor which shows 7 measurements such as; total count, calories, distance and time. It further has wheels fitted under the machine making it portable.
Notable design features of this machine are its 100kg max load and folding function which can easily be folded up and unfolded via a spring.
This JLL home rowing machine is overall a smooth and decent device for its price, with easy storage thanks to it's under wheels and spring folding mechanism.
Some downfalls of the machine have to be its pedals which are said to hit the floor when pedalling. The model is additionally reported to have an unstable seat and can be a little complicated to assemble.
If you are looking for a lower-priced fold-up rowing machine, it could be worth checking out this MAXSTRENGTH model.
Feature-wise the rowing machine comes with 4 tension levels of magnetic resistance with a 7kg flywheel and has an adjustable angle LCD screen that displays information such as time.
Measurements of the rower come in at 174 X 38 x 54 cm, and it has a max user weight of 101kg. The design of this machine is made out of heavy-duty steel, and it comes with a cushioned seat plus anti-slip pedals.
For easy storage, this machine can also be folded after use, and it comes with a 12-month warranty for buyers trust.
Overall, this MAXSTRENGTH fold-up rowing machine is one of the top models on our list in terms of value for money and comfortability thanks to its large LCD screen and cushioned seating.
Negatives of the rower have to be resistance mechanism which is said to use elastic bands, the model additionally does not show important statistics such as distance and is said to be unsuitable for heavier people.
To conclude our reviews, the best fold up rowing machine on our list is the XS Sports R310 Folding Rowing Machine due to its extensive range of resistance levels and sturdy design which makes this machine a suitable choice for a home gym.
We also rated this machine at the top of our list because of its efficient folding mechanism which allows the device to be stored away quickly after working out.
As an alternative, we would additionally recommend the Viavito Sumi Folding Rowing Machine thanks to its challenging resistance and ergonomic design which makes the rower very smooth and comfortable to use for long periods.
After comparing the top fold-up rowing machines on the market, its a good idea to familiarise yourself with what features you need to be looking for in your rower.
You may also be interested in learning about the benefits of rowing and what the difference is between magnetic resistance and air resistance models.
Well, not to worry, we've got you sorted with our comprehensive buying guide below.
When it comes to searching for the best rowing machine, there are some essential features you should make sure your model has before investing.
For example, your chosen rowing machine should have a comfortable seat with adjustable foot pedals; this will allow you to use your device for more extended periods without getting uncomfortable.
We have listed out some more key features for you to consider in your model below -
Working out in any shape or form is excellent for your overall health and fitness. Still, rowing, in particular, has some fantastic benefits in comparison to other forms of exercise out there.
We have listed some of the benefits you can get by working out with a rowing machine below -
Air and magnetic rowing machines are both similar in their performance and imitate real life-like rowing thanks to their sliding rail which you push your legs against.
However, there are some small differences in their resistance methods and how they are built.
Air-resistance rowing machines are one of the most traditional versions on the market and use a flywheel of different weights to generate resistance.
The harder and faster you row on these machines, the more difficult the resistance becomes, therefore giving a consistent level of effort throughout your workout. This also means you can stop the machine when you like without having to adjust any settings.
Some downfalls of air resistance rowing machines have to be the noise that is created by the flywheel. The model also tends to be larger due to its design.
Magnetic resistance rowing machines operate by using a magnetic break in their flywheel to perform. This allows you to choose the resistance you want and does not change the harder you pedal.
These machines are very silent in comparison to air resistance models as they use no friction. However, they do still take up a fair amount of space due to their long rail.
Overall, the type of rowing machine you choose doesn't matter unless you despise noise, then you should avoid an air resistance model.
Both rowing machines should be useful in giving you a total body workout.
Can a rowing machine help me lose weight?
Yes, rowing machines can help you cut belly fat as they are a form of cardio, enabling you to get your heart pumping and burn fat! If you combine some sessions with a healthy diet, then you are likely to lose some weight with a calorie deficit.
How long should I row for on one of these machines?
30 minutes per session is an excellent place to start if you are new to rowing. Once your fitness level develops, you could try rowing for more extended periods depending on your stamina.
Are magnetic rowing machines noisy?
No, magnetic resistance is one of the quietest types of rowing machines on the market as they use no friction to make resistance.
Can these machines help me develop abs?
A rowing machine helps tone and bring out abs as they engage your core every time you perform a stroke on the device.
They also help cut any fat, which can bring your abdominal muscles definition out more.
What's the difference is there between air resistance and magnetic?
Air resistance rowing machines operate by using a system of tension that depends on how hard you row. So the harder you row, the more difficult the device gets (more tension), these machines often tend to be a little noisier.
Magnetic resistance models have set tension, so no matter how hard you row, the difficulty will remain the same. This kind of system operates with no friction so has virtually no noise.
Are folding rowing machines easy to set up?
Yes, fold-up rowing machines usually are effortless to unfold and re-fold due to their step-by-step design, its a good idea to make sure your machine's measurements once folded will still be suitable for storage.
Is a rowing machine bad for your back?
No, a rowing machine is not bad for your back as long as you use the correct posture and don't crouch over. Keeping your stomach muscles engaged is a good way to stop this from happening.
What muscles can I workout with these machines?
Rowing machines help develop and engage the following muscles; torso, upper back, front thighs, hamstrings, biceps, forearms, glutes, abdominals and more! They are a total body workout.
How do I fix my fold-up rowing machine if it wobbles?
If this happens, you may want to adjust and tighten your rollers. You should also make sure your machine is kept on a flat surface as this will stop wobbling when working out.
Is there a correct rowing position?
Yes, for the correct rowing position you should make sure you sit up tall with your head neutral and shoulders level, your shins should also be vertical, and your upper body should be slightly leaning forward.
How much do these compact rowers typically cost?
This depends on the quality of what you buy, but compact rowers typically range in between £200-£500 for budget models, however, they can even be more for branded higher quality machines.
Is rowing better than running and cycling?
This depends on what results you want. Cycling and running tend to burn more calories than rowing but don't engage all muscle groups as a rowing machine does.
A rowing machine is perfect for someone looking to get a full-body workout and some cardio in, while at the same time toning and building muscle.
What should I be considering when looking for the best rowing machine?
Main features to consider in a top fold-up rowing machine have to be; resistance type and levels, size, folding mechanism and build-quality.
How does a rowing machine work?
A rowing machine works by you using a 4 step system; the catch (beginning position), the drive (pushing through your legs), the finish (once your legs extended pull the handle in) and the recover which is the reverse motion at a lower speed to get back to the catch.
This motion should be fluid at a set resistance.
Why should I choose a foldable model?
A foldable rowing machine is perfect if you have limited space or you are looking to create a home gym. They tend to be not too expensive and easy to store, you can travel with them also!
Our number one fold-up rowing machine is the XS Sports R310 Folding Rowing Machine because of its wide range of resistance levels and easy fold-up mechanism which makes storing this rowing machine quick and convenient.
We also suggest checking out the Viavito Sumi Folding Rowing Machine thanks to its comfortable ergonomic design which makes rowing for longer periods fun!