Water Rowing Machines: Upscale Fitness Machines

Water rowing machines are often more expensive than other models of indoor rowers, but there’s a reason they don’t come cheap. They are often the most costly to manufacture and some parts are usually made from pricier materials such as solid hardwoods rather than steel and aluminum. Water resistance rowers offer a stylish alternative to the sleeker, more industrial models of hydraulic, magnetic or air resistance rowing machines currently on the market.

How Water Rowers Work

Water rowing machines use revolving fins or paddles in an enclosed tank of water to provide the necessary resistance for a workout. The paddles essentially replace the flywheel found on other types of rowers. When you pull on the handlebars, the paddles revolve in the closed, sealed tank, creating drag that increases the resistance as you increase the speed of your pull. The combination of water mass and drag creates a reliable, variable resistance that some users feel is more realistic than that provided by magnetic or air resistance.

Water Rowing Machines

Keep in mind that water storage tanks are fairly large. When you combine the weight of the machine itself with the weight of the water required in the tank, you end up with a very heavy piece of equipment. Water resistance rowers are also longer than other types of rowers because you have to accommodate the full range of movement for the legs as well as the oversized water tank. They aren’t the best choice for apartment dwellers.

Why Some Users Love Water Rowing Machines

Many indoor rowers prefer the action of water rowers because it is smoother and quieter than air or hydraulic rowers. Some feel this is the closest to the feel of actually rowing on water because some air rowers have a “dead spot” where resistance drops momentarily during the stroke cycle. Competitive indoor rowers and athletes often choose water rowers for this reason, although some still prefer the feel of an air resistance model.

Pros

If you’re looking for a high end piece of exercise equipment, there are several water rowing machines that will fit the bill. There are several reasons they’re popular for at home use.

Water Resistance Rower

  • The water tank and paddles provide a soothing sound that many users enjoy but that isn’t so loud that neighbors will be disturbed.
  • The sliding seat provides a full body workout.
  • Many water resistance rowers are crafted partially from hardwoods, giving them a more attractive appearance.
  • There is a bit of “flex” in wooden models for a stroke with more give.
  • Consistent resistance with each stroke.
  • Most models allow for adjustable resistance levels.
  • The feel of actually rowing on water is realistic.

Cons

As with any type of sport or fitness equipment, there is also a downside to water rowers.

  • The water in the tank needs to be changed periodically.
  • A leaking water tank can cause property damage and require expensive repairs.
  • These machines have the largest footprint of all types and are often very heavy, weighing well over a hundred pounds, making them too cumbersome to move or stow away when not in use.
  • They are usually the most expensive style of rowing machine on the market.

If you have the chance to try out a few water rowing machines, you’ll quickly know whether you like the feel of them and whether you’re willing to invest in one for your own workouts. If you can’t try them out, our reviews will give you a good idea of which ones are the best for your situation.

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