The popularity of rowing machines in the gym setup, as well as the household and office setup, is becoming higher.
Because with dedicated rowing routines, it is easily achievable to get fat burn as well as higher core strength and perfect body shape.
In the initial setup, rowing machines are thought to be heavy, bulky, and immovable. But with the advancement in the design, portable rowing machines have become popular and useful.
Hydraulic rowing machines are a game-changer as well, reducing the overall deadweight.
In addition to the weight factor, the hydraulic design also offers a large amount of leverage, way more than mechanical means.
Besides, the hydraulic rower is a simple and robust design exercise equipment, which is friendly for tight and intricate spaces.
Listed below are the top 6 best hydraulic rowing machines for the home gym:
- Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050
- Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine
- ProGear 750
- Stamina 1205 Precision
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639
- Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine
See the overview, pros & cons below.
How Do Hydraulic Rowers Work?
Every hydraulic machinery or equipment works in the same manner of reckoning. A force is exerted on the hydraulic fluid at a given point X, and the force is amplified and transferred to a point Y through the fluid medium.
This is highly useful in a way that a small amount of force can generate a large amount of work output.
Utilizing the same philosophy, gym setups use some of the hydraulic exercise rowing machines for the workout.
When an individual performs the rowing action onto the handle, the handle simultaneously moves a piston. However, the piston will move against a given hydraulic fluid, which means there is resistance.
As the rowing stride goes ahead, space constrains within the cylinder mean that more resistance is generated.
Hence, a given stroke of hydraulic rowing machines achieves its action by the cylinder and piston mechanism (or, in some cases, other mechanisms of similar nature).
With such a working method, the design will stay simple, and the working is easier too.
The hydraulic rowing machines do not need external intervention and come with pre-filled fluids.
Are Hydraulic Rowing Machines Any Good? (Pros & Cons)
Just like every other machinery, the hydraulic rowing machines also have their own set of properties. While most are favorable, there are a few drawbacks that follow too.
In the decision to buy one of the hydraulic rowers, a careful sorting of the pros and cons can be highly useful.
What I Like
- Less Space: By utilization of the hydraulic working principle, these rowing machines reduce their core size. Through the reduction in size, the machines are also easy to fit in tight spaces and corners.
- Lower Weight: Due to the absence of any motorized part, the overall deadweight is less. Because of the hydraulic work advantage, there is no need to install heavy parts too.
- Sealed Design: Owing to the hydraulic nature of workout leverage, these machines manage to keep a compact designed. Because of a sealed design for hydraulic cylinders, there is no need for any extra setup interventions.
- More Leverage: Because the design will use a hydraulic fluid medium, more leverage is available for a workout. Hence, a compact design can offer more resistance to higher training credentials than other designs.
What I Don’t Like
- Restricted Leg Space: Because the hydraulic system and the piston assembly are fixed, the footing space is fixed too. Hence, unlike the other variations of the rowing machines, hydraulic ones do not provide wholesome body movement.
- Fixed Resistance on the fly: Because the hydraulic medium is fixed, so is the resistance while under the use. Hence, it is only between the sets or before the start that a user can modify resistance settings.
- Lesser Smooth: as briefed earlier, hydraulic resistance builds steadily, and hence the resistance is not smoothly translated.
- Unrealistic: Due to the hydraulic nature, a lot of users feel the machine lacks a realistic touch. Other rowing machines, especially the water driven ones, are more realistic.
How to Choose the Best Hydraulic Rowing Machines?
Choosing a hydraulic rowing machine can be a cumbersome task because of the various options.
Some of the best hydraulic rowers all stand close to each other in terms of major features.
However, more intricate details can often reveal the right choice in the longer run.
A compact design is often the way to go ahead, especially for an office or home usage.
However, more robust options can also help the gym or CrossFit setups with variable customer nature.
Hence, the design aspect is best chosen depending upon nature and workout requirements and also the frequency of usage.
Even though resistance is not adjustable on the fly, it can be adjusted before commencement.
An option with higher and variable resistance modes is preferred for prominent users.
For beginners or intermediate level users, the ones with relatively fixed values also work fine.
Most outlets, professional or personal, always prefer to go for portable designs. It makes the task easy to shift around the machine and also to make space for other ones.
For home and office ones, it is also essential for the machine to fit in the tight corners.
#4. Front Panel
The panel must have an ergonomic design and the necessary features. Most users want the readily available keys and the holding slots for the purpose of easy and efficient usage.
The front panel can often dictate the buying choice of the modern-day buyer.
The ergometer is a highly useful and integral part of the entire setup. It is the device that translates the raw mechanical input into a workout into digital readings.
These readings give values such as calories burnt, energy spent, and time of workout, etc. Hence, an upfront ergometer with clear digital readings and a robust mechanism is highly preferred.
#6. Auxiliary Features
The auxiliary features are often heavily accountable for luring the buyer.
- Leg straps and support are highly essential for providing a secure strapping for the foot. It also provides comfort to the user through secure working.
- Sensors are recommendable additions for factors such as heart rate and other variable physical parameters.
- Moving wheels and upright storage design can be an added value to store and keep the machine safe.
- The body and the linkages should be made up of robust material that would come with a standard warranty.
Top 6 Best Hydraulic Rowing Machines
The Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 has a body made out of Aluminium and an overall weight of 32 pounds.
The light-weight design means the product is easy to handle and also comfortably capable of moving around by a single person.
Stamina Glider 1050 rower’s handles have a clock like motion and can be moved around on all the three axes.
Besides, the movement is helpful in giving a wide range of motion to the arms for a real-world rowing experience.
Moreover, the product has an ergonomic design with comfortable seating and workability. Footing and large seating arrangements also ensure consumer comfort.
- Full-Range Arm Extension: The pivoted design for the rowing handles give a full-range motion for arm movement. This is helpful to replicate a real motion scenario for a wholesome workout.
- Foldable: The design is foldable and hence can be easily moved around by a single person. It can also be stowed in an upright position for user convenience as well.
- Display: The product has an apt size of LCD that readily gives various physical parameters and workout readings. The display is completely visible at any point in time during the exercise.
- Adjustable Resistance: With the knob given under the sitting arrangement, the resistance is easily adjustable. The adjustable nature makes the product suitable for different levels of users.
- Aluminum Design ensures no corrosion and light-weight structure
- Suitable for office and homes due to portable nature
- Useful for every level of the user due to variable resistance
- Ample space and grip for footing for a safe exercise routine
- No scope for accommodating leg extension because of fixed leg space
- Only suitable for upper-body core strength development
The Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine is one of the rare hydraulic designs that provide wholesome body motion.
For instance, the seat of this particular design has the gliding feature along with the arm extension movement.
Dual Pivot design means the arm can move around in a range of motion about all the three axes.
Moreover, the machine is the closest it gets to developing the real world rowing feeling right at the comfort of home or a professional gym outlet.
The scan LCD in the front can give up to 4 readings and is highly visible and user-friendly.
Meanwhile, the resistance is adjustable before the start of the routine and between the sets as well.
- Customized Seating: The roller design for the seating means that the person moves along with the rowing stroke. It offers a full range of movement for the entire boy and hence a wholesome exercise.
- Dual Pivot: Both arms are pivoted in a way that they can support a wide range of upper body postures. This motion flexibility makes for a complete and fulfilling user experience.
- Wide Footing: The footing is secured with a leg strap and is wide enough to accommodate even the largest of people.
- Easy to move: The product is 34 pounds in terms of deadweight and can be easily moved around and stowed in a variety of positions.
- Easy to stow and easy to move with front-loaded working
- Adjustable resistance with the help of a single know twist at the bottom of the seat
- Bright and friendly LCD screen design for user joy
- Variety of wholesome body movements are supported
- Resistance not adjustable while using
- The handle design is intricate and needs little care for handling
The ProGear 750 is more than just a single usage rowing machine. And the design for ProGear 750 provides as many as six variable motion options and multiple exercise options as well.
With a broad seat, the buyer has custom options for pull-down rows, bent over rows, shoulder extensions, etc.
Moreover, the product design is also changeable as per the consumer needs.
The broad and upright seat can be folded easily. The rowing option in the design utilized the hydraulic resistance to provide a clear and rigorous exercise routine.
Although the seat is smaller than the standard one, it is adjustable to accommodate different leg space options, and the handle is also ergonomic in design.
- Multiple Usage: With more than 6 exercise modes integrated, the product is usable for various exercise routines. This makes it a wholesome piece of workout equipment.
- Adjustable Resistance: The machine has three steps of adjustable resistance option. These settings help to customize the setup as per user needs.
- 180-Degree motion: The handlebars have 180-degree working and are easily accommodative of various upper-body postures.
- Large seat: The back support and large seating are also foldable, which means it can be used both horizontally as well as vertically. This makes it useful for different exercise postures.
- Changing and accommodative design for multiple exercises
- Ample back support for horizontal and upright user postures
- 3-step resistance modes for wholesome usage
- Leg strap and other safety features for smooth and carefree workout
- Supports only moderate user weight
- Needs little extra care while being moved around
Stamina 1205 Precision rowing machine features as one of the most compact options among the best hydraulic rowing machines. Its design is some of the simplest and easy ones to understand and use.
At 47 pounds of deadweight, the product is completely friendly for the users to move around easily by a single person.
Most importantly, this model utilizes a dual hydraulic piston-cylinder mechanism to develop the hydraulic resistance for users.
And you can see that the handle and cylinder assembly have a knob system to adjust the height and indirectly the resistance range as well.
Meanwhile, the product also has a smart and compact LCD screen in the front that monitors heart rate, strokes, and other essential parameters.
- Light-Weight: The product is easy to toe around and can be handled by a single user. It can be stowed in a vertical as well as horizontal position.
- Height Adjustment: The knobs for handle adjustment on both sides are given to adjust the height and configuration settings.
- Simple Design: Dual hydraulic cylinders provide an easy design with no loose ends. The design is also free of any breakage risks.
- Wide Footing: The front footing is wide, spacious, and secured through broad straps. This means the working nature of the foot design is highly secure.
- Easy to move around and stowed in the head-down position
- Suitable for fixed resistance value sets
- Sufficient and secure leg space for people of different heights
- Bright LCD for pivotal health and usage parameters display
- Fixed resistance on the fly
- Fixed seating arrangement means only upper-body workability
The SF-RW5639 produced by Sunny Health and Fitness is one of the friendliest and prominent rowing machine options available.
The design has a pivoted handle for a wide variety of shoulder and upper body movement with smooth functioning.
The seating arrangement is wide and also has mid and side rails for the full-body functioning.
Bottom-located hydraulic resistance cylinder design and adjustment knobs on the bottom of the handle makes the design highly customizable.
The design also has variable leg spacing with secure strapping and an intelligent display monitor in the front.
- Non-Slip Design: The handle, as well as the footing pads, have a non-slip design. Both are provided with a secure grip to make sure the exercise routine is safe and secure.
- Cushioned Seat: The seat has extra cushioning for lower back and hip protection. No undue stresses are accumulated in the joints while working out.
- Higher Weight Support: The product can easily support people who weigh up to 350 lbs. This is one of the highest capacities in the grade.
- Adjustable Resistance: 12-modes variable resistance design means a beginner, as well as a professional user, can get the optimum output.
- Easy to stow and easy to move around by a single person
- Multiple resistance modes through the easy-setting knob
- Extendable handlebars with height adjustment features
- Higher weight support for bulky users
- Intricate handling requirements due to rail design
- The monitor is a bit small for clear viewing
The Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine weighs only 34 pounds and can be easily handled by a single person.
It is easy to stow the machine in the horizontal as well as the laid down position. The hydraulic resistance cylinders are placed underneath and have setting features for customization.
Moreover, the design has a clear and front-located display with multiple features.
Also, it can easily witness and records the heart rate, calories burnt, and other critical workout parameters.
- Symmetry: The design is symmetrical with handles in line with the user body level. It provides for a wholesome upper-body motion and fluidity of workout.
- Adjustment: Hydraulic cylinders make for an adjustable workout regime that is useful for every potential enthusiast.
- Wide Seating: The seating arrangement is wide and highly helpful for middle and old age users.
- Non-Slip: Right amount of gripping at the right places makes the design completely slip-proof.
- Light-weight and can be easily handled for storage purposes.
- Robust design with no chance of breakage
- Cushioned seating for right lower-body support
- Pivoted handle with free movement
- Moderate level of user weight support
- Lower resistance variations as to others in the category
Rowing is a wholesome exercise that requires full-body muscle to involve in and can build high core strength. Moreover, rowing is also beneficial to obtain an attractive physique.
For centuries, coastal people across the world would indulge in rowing as a sport and a livelihood.
With the progress in gym and fitness standards, especially through CrossFit routines, rowing is now universally accepted.
And hydraulic rower stands out for its portable design and affordable price.
Through careful selection among these hydraulic rowing machines, it is easy to find one that has multiple usages and fits in the budget.
Most hydraulic rowing machines are supportive of a closed room and home-based workout routines too.
Hence, these machines are hugely and rightly famous for users of varied demands.
Multifunctional designs can often cost a bit higher and remain on the selective discretion of the purchaser.