Best rowing machine for building muscles

This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn affiliate commission, from qualifying purchases.

The best rowing machine for building muscles is the one that is great for your lower body muscles like hamstrings and calves, as well as upper body muscles like the biceps and back.

Do you want to build strong and lean muscles? If so, then a rowing machine is the best piece of fitness equipment for your needs. I’m sure you’ve seen them at the gym or fitness store. They look like mini surfboards with oars, and they’re called rowing machines. If you want to know more about the best rowing machine for building muscles, read this article!

A rowing machine provides an intense cardiovascular workout that can help strengthen your arms, back, core and legs all at once. This type of exercise will also improve your balance as well as make you more flexible which will be beneficial in everyday life. Plus, rowing machines are inexpensive and easy to use; it’s definitely worth checking one out!

We went through the most honest rowing machine reviews and compiled the best rowing machines 2021. So, take a look at these products.

4 Best rowing machine for building muscles 

  1. SereneLife – best Air and Magnetic Rowing Machine for building muscles
  2. XTERRA Fitness ERG200 – best Folding Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine for building muscles
  3. XTERRA Fitness ERG700 – best Folding Magnetic Resistance Rower Rowing Machine for building muscles
  4. Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine – best Ergometer with Digital Monitor Rowing Machine for building muscles

Comparison table of 5 best rowing machines for building muscles

SereneLife Rowing MachineSmart fitness rowing machine, quiet and smooth gliding, pedal-style footrests, foldable77.2 x 16.1 x 29.9 inches L x W x H250 pounds weight
XTERRA Fitness ERG2003.7” LCD monitor with adjustable angle, 8 levels of magnetic resistance, large contour seat and pivoting foot pedals, compact frame design71.9 x 20.7 x 31.5 inches L x W x H55 pounds weight
XTERRA Fitness ERG700 RowerBuilt-in HR receiver, 16 levels of resistance, 10 effective programs, a combination of air and magnetic resistance, 5.5” blue backlit LCD, ergonomic design97 x 18 x 38 inches L x W x H80 pounds weight
Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing MachineFoldable, 4 levels of adjustable resistance, floor stabilizers, large anti-slip pedals, digital monitor64 x 14 x 21 inches L x W x H34.5 pounds weight

Benefits of using a rowing machine:

If you are looking for the best rowing machine for building muscles, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we have jotted down some benefits of using a rowing machine and recommend some machines that might be perfect for your needs. The best rowers are designed to allow for different levels of difficulty and can be adjusted to enable users with differing fitness levels to work out comfortably.

Multiple workouts:

Firstly, rowing machines are a great way to improve your stamina while relieving stress at the same time. A rowing machine has several benefits including effective weight loss, increased muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. The best rowing machine for building muscles gives you a thorough workout, which can help to strengthen your muscles and improve cardiovascular health.

Home convenience: 

Nowadays most people are interested in finding an effective way to get fit without having to spend too much time doing it. A home gym allows busy individuals to exercise when they want by simply getting out their equipment from under their bed or putting them away after use. This makes building muscle and burning fat easier than ever before.


Another main benefit of a rowing machine is its affordability. They’re great for people who don’t want to spend too much money on a traditional gym membership. They are also easy to use and store, and they provide a full-body workout.

Now that you know about the many benefits of using rowing machines, why not purchase your own? They are affordable for everyone to use at home or in their garage gym. You can burn fat quickly with just thirty minutes per day on one of these units!

What are different types of rowing machines?

Rowing machines are a great way to get in shape and build muscle. They offer many benefits for those who want to use them as part of their fitness routine. There are different types of rowing machines on the market, so it can be difficult to know which is best for you or your needs. This article will discuss some of the most popular rowing machine types, as well as why they’re such great choices! To get an idea of the best rowing machine for building muscles, take a look at these types discussed below.

Air rowing machine 

Air rowing machines are a great option for rowers who want to work their arms, legs and core while maximizing caloric output. Airflow over an internal flywheel generates resistance that increases as you Row faster- this means the harder you row; meaning greater muscle engagement! 

A good machine will have multiple levels of intensity so users can choose between higher intensity workouts or lower intensities if they’re just starting out so they can also be the best rowing machine for beginners.

Water-based rower

As its name suggests, this type of rower uses water as its resistance source instead of air or magnetic fields like other types do. Water rowers use a water flywheel (paddles) in the tank of moving water connected to handles. When you pull back on these, they revolve around and create drag against it, producing resistance that makes rowing more challenging but also easier on your arms because there’s less work for them!

Magnetic rowers:

Magnetic rowers are a kind of rowing machine that uses magnets to create resistance. The flywheel on one side is attached by a chain so it can spin freely while you pull or push against its magnetic field for resistance when exercising at home (or in the gym). Resistance levels vary depending on how close your console controls get adjusted – either mechanically using sliders or digitally through software adjustments

Hydraulic rowing machines:

Rowing with this device can provide an excellent workout for both upper and lower body muscles. The resistance comes from pistons attached at the handles which makes it feel more realistic than using air or fluid alone-although it does take some getting used to in order to achieve optimum gains from these types of workouts.

The best rowing machine for building muscles 2021 – Which one should you buy? 

With so many rowing machines on the market today, it can be difficult to know which one is the best rowing machine for building muscles. Here, we will review the top 5 rowing machines of 2021 and help you decide which one might be a good fit for you!

1. SereneLife – best rowing machine for beginners for building muscles

Product Review:

SereneLife Rowing Machine is a new and innovative way to get in shape while having fun. This lightweight rowing machine features air and magnetic resistance system that gives you all the benefits of rowing without putting too much pressure on your joints. It’s the best rowing machine for beginners or those who want to build up their endurance level. 

The padded seat moves back and forth, imitating the movement of real rowing, so you can get a full-body workout that targets both your upper and lower body muscles. It’s a great way to get into shape, tone your muscles, and burn calories without even realizing it. The resistance is adjustable so you can change it at any time.

Technical details:

The dimensions of the item are 77.2 x 16.1 x 29.9 inches with a weight recommendation rating of 250 pounds. The color of this rowing machine is black. It features magnetic or air resistance forces along with an aluminum frame that provides extra support when at full extension on either end due to its strength properties.



  • The new generation of rowing machines. 
  • It combines the best features from the air and magnetic rowers
  • Provides an excellent workout experience.


  • Air resistance system with a smooth gliding motion that will not create noise.


  • Pedal-style footrests allow you to exercise in the most natural way possible as if you were on an actual boat! 
  • This type of footrest is used by professional rowers all over the world.


  • This air rower folds up easily for storage when not in use
  • It is the best choice when you are low on space.


  • Ergonomic design
  • Variable resistance
  • Smooth stroke


  • Some complain about monitor

Why do we recommend this product?

SereneLife Rowing Machine is the best rowing machine for home use. It has a full-body workout and it is very easy to assemble. It’s an affordable rowing machine, which can be used by both men and women of all ages. 

2. XTERRA Fitness ERG200 – best rowing machine 2021 for building muscles

Product Review:

XTERRA Fitness ERG200 Folding Magnetic Resistance Rower is the best rowing machine for the home. This compact, folding magnetic resistance rower features a smooth, stable motion and offers easy storage or transport with its compact frame design. 

The XTERRA Fitness ERG200 is perfect for any fitness level and can be used to burn calories or build strength. It features an incredibly smooth and stable motion provided by the magnetic resistance system, which is friction-free and incredibly quiet. 

A comfortable padded seat ensures the most comfortable workout possible on this rower. The monitor allows you to track your progress with multiple data readouts including time, stroke count, distance, calories burned, and more.

Technical details:

The 8 Manual Dial Settings for resistance mechanism allow you to adjust how hard it will be. The item dimensions of 71.9 x 20.7 x 31.5 inches and 55 pounds weight make this an ideal gym or home fitness equipment that can hold up to 250 pounds of weight. Being black in color and aluminum and alloy steel also makes it an attractive choice. 



  • Monitor your workout progress on the large, easy to read LCD monitor. 
  • The monitor can be adjusted to your preferred angle so you can keep track of how much time has elapsed, calories burned, distance covered, speed and pulse rate.


  • Adjustable magnetic resistance allows you to easily change the intensity of your workout as needed. 
  • Eight levels of resistance allow you to start out at a low intensity and gradually increase it as your fitness.
  • The contoured seat design provides comfort while the large foot pedals offer stability during rowing.


  • This rower is compact enough to fit in most rooms without taking up too much space.
  • Assembly is quick and easy with no tools required!


  • Solid unit
  • Decet assembly
  • Quiet 


  • Resistance is a bit low according to users over 6”

Why do we recommend this product?

The XTERRA Fitness ERG200 Folding Magnetic Resistance Rower is a compact, portable rower that folds up for easy storage or transport. The incredibly smooth and stable motion makes it perfect for home gyms as well as commercial fitness facilities. This rower features a magnetic resistance system that is friction-free, which means no noise and no wear on the flywheel.

3. XTERRA Fitness ERG700-best portable rowing machine for building muscles

Product Review:

The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower combines both air and magnetic resistance to give you a smooth, comfortable workout. It is the best ergonomic design rowing machine for building muscles that is designed for comfort and ease of use. 

It features an 80. 7” travel length with 10 levels of resistance so you can find your perfect level of intensity as well as a large 5. 5″ backlit LCD display to track distance, time, calories burned, and more! This rower also includes ten effective programs for a variety of workouts including interval training, fat burn mode, and more.

Technical details:

The rowing machine is a 97 x 18 x 38 inches of alloy steel material that weighs 80 pounds and comes in black color with an LCD screen for display so you can see your progress as well as keep track of calories burned while working out or changing Resistance levels needed based on which body part needs assistance most at any given time!



  • The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower comes with a built-in heart rate receiver that will allow you to monitor your heart rate while exercising.


  • This rower offers 16 levels of resistance, which is more than most other rowing machines in its price range. 
  • You can adjust the level of resistance depending on your fitness level and what kind of workout you want to do.


  • There are 10 different programs that you can choose from when using this rower. 
  • Each program is designed for a specific type of exercise or training goal, such as losing weight or building muscle mass.
  • The ERG700 is a combination of air and magnetic resistance, providing the ultimate workout.


  • The 5.5″ blue backlit LCD monitor tracks time, distance, and calories burned.


  • The ergonomic seat adjusts to fit all users. 
  • It also pivots from side to side for maximum comfort during workouts.


  • Superior feel and comfort
  • Solid and tough machine
  • Good for tall and overweight users 


  • Some users faced difficulty tightening the footstraps

Why do we recommend this product?

The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower combines both air and magnetic resistance for a total of 16 levels of intensity. The rowing handle is ergonomically designed to provide comfort and support as you row. 

4. Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine – best advanced design rowing machine for building muscles 

Product Review:

Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine is a great way to get fit at home. It is the best home gym rowing machine for building muscles. Its sturdy steel frame provides long-lasting durability, while the oversized seat and foot pedals provide comfort during your workouts.

The dual directional elastic cord resistance system allows for 4 levels of adjustable tension as you row, giving you a full-body workout as it tones your arms, legs, and back. 

The large LCD console tracks time, count, calories burned, and strokes per minute so you can monitor your performance as you work out. This rowing machine features dual directional resistance to provide a more challenging workout than other indoor rowers.

Technical details:

 The item dimensions LxWxH measure 68 x 14 x 21 inches making this fitness equipment convenient enough to take from one room as well as being relatively lightweight – weighing just over 34.5 pounds with a maximum capacity set at 220 pounds. Made of steel material and grey in color, expect nothing but quality through and through when using this amazing piece.



  • This rowing machine is perfect for those who live in small spaces. 
  • It can be easily folded and stored away when not in use.


  • The Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine provides four levels of adjustable resistance, allowing you to increase the intensity of your workout as you get stronger.


  • The floor stabilizers on this rower will keep it secure while you’re working out, so that it doesn’t slip or move around during use.


  • The rowing machine is designed with large anti-slip pedals to provide a comfortable workout for users of all sizes.


  • The digital monitor allows you to track your progress and set goals. 
  • It displays time, calories burned, distance, and speed.


  • Easy storage
  • Provides good workout
  • Easy assembly


  • Users expect the hardest resistance to be better

Why do we recommend this product?

The Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms is a great way to get a full-body workout at home. The oversized seat and large, non-slip foot pedals make it easy to work out comfortably.

Best rowing machine for building muscles Buying guide:

If you’re considering buying the best rowing machine for building muscles and keeping it at your home gym or office exercise room, we have compiled this buyer’s guide to help you learn about the different features available on these types of machines. 


The first you need to consider while buying a rowing machine is your purpose. Are you planning to use it at home or will you require a machine for the gym? If your budget is high, buying an ergometer with all features available can be a good idea.

Flywheels and brake system:

The second feature you need to consider while purchasing rowing machines is flywheels and brake systems. The flywheel of Best Rowing Machine acts as a counter-weight during workouts where resistance level increases when the user rows harder, creating higher inertia that demands more effort from his/her part in order to maintain the same pace as before – This means better results!

Noise level:

The third factor to consider is the level of noise. While some may prefer a hydraulic system that offers smooth operation along with quiet workout sessions, others might want magnetic type because they don’t create any vibrations on the impact on hardwood floors, etc., making them suitable even for use in the early hours of the morning.


If you are on a tight budget, but still want an effective rowing machine to help you burn off calories and tone up your muscles then consider your budget before your purchase.  You should go for the rowing machines that cover maximum features and low on budget. These machines give you the benefits of both cardio and strength training without having to go for separate workouts.


Q. Can you build muscle with a rower?

  1. A rowing machine is a perfect way to seriously commit and focus on your workout. Not only can you use it for cardio, but also as an effective full-body strength training routine that will work every muscle in a variety of ways so all areas get worked hard. A good rowing machine can be an effective way to gain muscle mass. It engages all the muscles and works diverse groups of your body, helping you work up a sweat in short time spans!

Q. How long should you use a rowing machine to build muscle?

  1. Rowing time spans can be split into different categories depending on the purpose. There are three different times that you can row for. 30 minutes at moderate intensity, 15 minutes with high-intensity and also 5 – 10 minute sessions of light cardio exercise to help maintain your heart health like walking or biking outside are generally ideal for most users. However, it is important to find the best rowing machine for building muscles and the right balance that suits your purpose of rowing. 

Q. Can you get ripped from rowing?

  1. Rowing is a great way to improve your stamina and overall strength. It gets you into shape, builds muscles and gives an all around workout!  It also works on overall strength, fitness levels as well as muscle development! You will be able to see your muscles grow as you get stronger and more toned without even feeling like it.

 You get ripped and enjoy rowing without the pain. Rowers are great for those who want a program that will get them in shape but don’t like being sore after each workout or having to go through rigorous workouts.

Q. Does a rowing machine burn fat or build muscle?

  1. Rowing is one of the most efficient ways to burn fat and build muscle. The best rowing machine for building muscles can be used for both training or cardiovascular health, it has been proven that by burning 400 calories in 30 minutes you will have accumulated enough energy for an entire day! 


The best rowing machine for building muscles is one that suits your needs. We’ve compiled our top 4 recommendations, but be sure to consider what you’re looking for in a fitness machine before buying the first model you see. If getting into shape and improving your strength are goals of yours, then we hope this list has helped! Now it’s time to shop around and find the perfect option for you.

Leave a Comment