5 Best Rowing Machines for Seniors – Right Device for Your Excersise (Winter 2022)

Selection of the best rowing machines for seniors - from budget-friendly to high-end, with various resistance types and levels, fit for home use and regular training
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Last updatedLast updated: October 31, 2022
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Over 30% of adults over 60 years of age suffer from various pains in the body, have troubles with walking and holding objects. This all is the result of muscle mass loss, which can be easily avoided with full-body exercise. And we’ve picked the right machine to keep your elders healthy.
In our quest, we’ve considered more than 20 high-rated products and ultimately picked 5 best rowing machines for seniors, with the [first_products] standing out as the top pick. Since these machines are for seniors, we’ve ensured that we picked products with great comfort of use. We’ve considered weight capacity so overweight seniors could keep up their exercise schedule. To ensure the results, we’ve picked machines with various types of resistance – from classic magnetic to advanced air and water. Read on to find more!

Top 5 Rowing Machines for Seniors Review 2022

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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 8708 people in the past 30 days
9.8
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.3
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.3
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.7
9.8
1
Features
  • Overall dimensions: 20.47 x 84.65 x 43.7 in
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Type: magnetic
  • Resistance level: 32
  • Warranty: 30-day money-back policy, 1-year limited warranty

More features: 30-day free Echelon membership, 120 lbs machine weight, built-in device holder, foldable

The Echelon Smart Rowing Machine is our editor’s choice because it has almost everything you need in a rowing machine, including app compatibility. And it helps seniors push their limits by offering a whopping 32 levels of magnetic resistance. Notably, the resistance controls are on the handlebars, enhancing the ease of use. Moreover, this rowing machine boasts a foldable design that makes it fit in smaller spaces for convenient storage. As if that wasn’t enough, the workout device features built-in wheels for easy transport. Additionally, it sports a rotating console that holds your smartphone or tablet in place while you exercise your muscles.

Clearly, the Echelon Smart Rowing Machine has what it takes to satisfy the most demanding seniors. More specifically, it is ideal for seniors craving full-body workouts as well as people who weigh up to 300 pounds. Furthermore, this Echelon rowing machine is suitable for those who want live training from instructors. It is compatible with an app that offers countless possibilities, including more than 3,000 live and on-demand fitness classes. Best of all, this machine offers you a free 30-day trial of the Echelon Premier Membership that allows you to experience various fitness classes.

Why is it special?

  • 32 resistance levels provide plenty of options for everyone
  • Ergonomic handlebars deliver comfortable workout sessions
  • Foldable design makes travel and storage a breeze
  • App compatibility brings the gym home
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee protects the user's investment

What are the flaws?

  • After the first month of purchase, buyers need $40 to keep enjoying video instructions via the app
https://youtu.be/zqZz2nRgwXI
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 4070 people in the past 30 days
9.7
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.6
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.6
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.5
9.7
2
Features
  • Overall dimensions: 22 x 86.5 x 50.4 in
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Type: air, magnetic
  • Resistance level: 26
  • Warranty: 1-year on labor, 2-year on parts, 10-year on frame

More features: 130.6 lbs machine weight, 30-day iFIT Family membership, 22-inch interactive display, foldable, adjustable pedals

At first glance, you can see why the NordicTrack RW900 Rower is our premium pick. It sports an elegant and luxurious design that everyone will want to have in their fitness room. Impressively, this rowing machine is more than the luxury it exudes; it also boasts the best features. It features an SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance and inertia-enhanced flywheel for a smooth exercise experience in your home. On top of that, this rower offers a staggering 26 resistance levels that help you set effective fitness goals. 

When it comes to display, the NordicTrack RW900 Rower has the edge over the Echelon Smart Rowing Machine, thanks to its 22-inch HD interactive touchscreen. 
Besides, the NordicTrack rower fits the bill if you’re looking for a rowing machine that offers on-demand workout lessons and helps you track your exercise, fitness scores, and personal metrics. It uses iFIT Trainer, a software, to stream live and on-demand workout sessions to help you try new moves. Besides streaming workout instructions, this iFIT Trainer auto-adjusts your rowing machine’s resistance for optimized workouts that meet your goals. Additionally, this machine is ideal for those who weigh up to 250 pounds. 

What stands out?

  • Big touchscreen display streams on-demand iFIT workouts and fitness data
  • Automatic trainer control optimizes workouts
  • 26 digital resistance levels deliver several exercise options
  • The foldable design ensures compact storage
  • A one-year labor warranty, two-year parts warranty, and 10-year frame warranty

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Software glitches frustrate workout tracking
https://youtu.be/5ilWY6Z1aGo
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 8451 people in the past 30 days
9.5
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.4
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.3
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.3
9.5
Features
  • Overall dimensions: 19 x 78 x 23.2 in
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Type: magnetic
  • Resistance level: 8
  • Warranty: 3-year limited

More features: 60.9 lbs machine weight, LCD console, 48-in slide rail length, non-slip handlebars and pedals, built-in transportation wheels, floor stabilizers, foldable

If you believe you must spend up to $1,000 to buy an efficient and effective rowing machine, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 will change your mind. In our experience, this rower offers the best value of any rowing machine on the market. Not only does it come at a relatively affordable price, but it also boasts many top features. For example, it has a large LCD console that displays fitness data, including count, total count, calories, and scan. Furthermore, the machine features non-slip foot pedals that ensure safe footing during vigorous workouts. Additionally, it offers eight resistance levels that keep your workouts challenging.

Needless to say that the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 rowing machine is a perfect choice for seniors who want an effective rower that won’t dig a hole in their pocket. It’s cheaper than the Echelon Smart Rowing Machine and NordicTrack RW900 Rower, but it maintains exceptional quality. Also, this rower is ideal for seniors who prioritize their comfort. It boasts a very comfortable and fully padded seat. As if that wasn’t enough, the machine has built-in transportation wheels for convenient transport. Finally, this Sunny Health & Fitness rower is suitable for seniors who weigh up to 250 pounds. 

What do we love it for?

  • A large LCD console helps to track and achieve fitness goals
  • Non-slip foot pedals ensure optimum safety during workouts
  • Transportation wheels ensure comfortable storage and transport
  • The non-slip foam-padded handlebar provides comfort during long rowing sessions

What were we disappointed with?

  • No distance monitoring, making it a bit difficult to track workouts efficiently
https://youtu.be/_C-8w8U1AN4
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 2576 people in the past 30 days
9.3
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.9
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.0
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.1
9.3
4
Best Water Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality 3000WR Rower

Features
  • Overall dimensions: 20 x 77.3 x 34 in
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Type: water
  • Resistance level: 6
  • Warranty: 3-year limited

More features: 71.9 lbs machine weight, 4.5 in LCD screen, 19-inch slip-resistant grip, large seat, customizable workouts

The Fitness Reality 3000WR Rower uses water to provide excellent resistance, and it’s the best water rowing machine we encountered during our evaluation. It offers six adjustable water resistance levels. Furthermore, this rower sports a large 4. 5″ LCD that shows your workout data. Also, the machine offers five standout workout goals and 13 race options that enhance your fitness sessions. On top of that, the console has three workout goal settings. Additionally, the machine features 19-inch slip-resistant handlebars that provide a comfortable grip for each stroke.

Unlike the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515, the Fitness Reality 3000WR Rower uses an app to track your workout sessions. It uses the free MyCloudFitness app, which lets you track your workouts, set workout goals, and do even more. Like the Echelon Smart Rowing Machine, this product offers a 300-pound weight capacity that can carry almost every senior. It also offers a premium subscription on the app that gives access to tons of trainer-led videos, personalized workout programs, and more perks.

What are our favorite features?

  • Plenty of workout goals and options to explore
  • A large LCD offers easy workout tracking
  • 300-pound weight capacity is universal
  • Handlebars give a comfortable and secure grip

What could be better?

  • Footrests seem flimsy, taking away from the workout experience
https://youtu.be/qI03zyrekf0
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 8731 people in the past 30 days
9.0
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.8
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
8.9
Features & Benefits
Product Review
8.7
9.0
5
Best Home Rowing Machine for Seniors

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

Features
  • Overall dimensions: 58.25 x 42.5 x 18.13 in
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Type: hydraulic
  • Resistance level: 
  • Warranty: 90-day on parts, 1-year on frame

More features: 38 lbs machine weight, LCD monitor, fit for users from 4’9” to 6’4” tall, foam-padded hand grips, foldable, 46-in glider length

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 rowing machine is another top-notch product on our list. It has everything to be the best home rowing machine for seniors. This rower uses full-motion rowing arms that nicely work the arm and back muscles. And it also features a multifunctional LCD monitor that displays stroke count, total stroke count, current workout time, and calories burned. Furthermore, the rowing machine lets you set the hydraulic cylinder resistance to match your preferred workout intensity level. Additionally, it boasts a comfortable seat, foam-padded hand grips, and textured footplates with straps. 

No doubt, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 rowing machine is an excellent option for seniors who want an effective rower at home. Moreover, unlike the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 rower, it offers a workout app. The app, which comes with your purchase, offers personalized training, custom workouts, and an assembly video that eases your experience from the start. In stark contrast to the Echelon Smart Rowing Machine and NordicTrack RW900 Rower’s apps, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 rowing machine’s app does not require a subscription. 

What makes it stand out?

  • LCD monitor displays workout data
  • Footplates include straps to keep seniors completely safe
  • Compatible with a free app that offers plenty of fitness options
  • Arms fold nicely into the frame for compact
  • Easy assembly

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • The legs struggle to stay in place, which can be frustrating
https://youtu.be/Camkv9v7ZW4

Things to Consider

Identifying the best rowing machines for seniors is a difficult task that requires knowing the right places to look. If you don’t look in the proper places, you have a low chance of getting the best. Rest assured, you have nothing to worry about since you’re here.
As promised, we’ve developed a comprehensive buying guide to help you learn the factors to consider when shopping for the best rowers. Read on to find the perfect rowing machine.

How to Use Rowing Machines: Tips for Elderly

It’s no secret that the elderly are a bit vulnerable compared to young persons. So, we’ve developed some tips to help seniors have a great rowing experience.

Safety advice

5 Best Rowing Machines for Seniors - Right Device for Your Excersise (Winter 2022)

It is necessary to follow safety rules when using any exercising equipment

Here are some safety tips for seniors using rowers:
Warm up before rowing: Always stretch and warm up your muscles before using the rowing machine.
Use low resistance: Start rowing with the lowest resistance settings and gradually proceed to higher levels. Never rush your progress to avoid hurting yourself.
Watch your speed: There’s usually the temptation to row fast but try not to give in. Going too fast puts unnecessary pressure on your back. So, go slow and steady. And if you want to add some speed, ensure that your arms keep up with the pace of your legs.
Take breaks: You don’t get an extra reward for going at the same pace throughout your workout. It’s okay to take breaks whenever you feel the need for them.

However, if you have weak knees and can’t keep up, we recommend a quad cane. You’ll find a high-quality option from our list of the best quad canes.

Exercise

Here are three major steps for exercising with rowing machines:
Step 1: Catch 
Sit tall on your rower with your back upright, arms straight, and knees and ankle flexed, pushing your shins almost vertically. Then, pull down your shoulders and brace your core.
Step 2: Drive
Start pushing with your legs and remain bracing your core. Hinge at your hips after the legs are straight. Then, lean back to around 45 degrees. Next, pull the handlebars toward your torso. For emphasis, the body movement’s order: legs, core, hips & shoulders, and arms.
Step 3: Finish
Keep your legs extended, back and shoulders leaning away from your legs, hands pulling in toward your body, and elbows tucked in toward the torso. Keep the exercise going until you’re tired.
If you just had leg surgery or an injury, you may want to opt for a lightweight mobility scooter. It’s a good thing we already have the best lightweight mobility scooters for seniors in our review. So, choose your favorite.

Maintenance

Keep the following maintenance tips in mind when using a rowing machine:

  • Don’t exceed the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit
  • Check and tighten every screw regularly
  • Wipe down the outside of the machine with household cleaner after each workout
  • Store your rowing machine in a dry room
  • Lubricate the chain between the handlebars and flywheel regularly

How to Pick the Best Rowing Machines for Seniors

As we suggested earlier, there are a lot of factors to consider before picking the best rowing machines for seniors. We will discuss all the vital factors below:

Assembly

5 Best Rowing Machines for Seniors - Right Device for Your Excersise (Winter 2022)

Rowing machines are bulky devices and we advice using help to assemble the device

Rowing machines typically come unassembled, meaning you’ll have to put them together yourself. Generally, machines that are easy to assemble come with easy-to-understand manuals and instructional videos.
For example, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 rowing machine comes with a video that has simple and direct instructions for seamless assembly. The Echelon Smart Rowing Machine also offers simple assembly instructions that ease the process.
Moreover, we’ve ensured that all the products on our list are easy to assemble. So, if you’re going outside our list to pick a rowing machine, read user reviews to learn about the product’s ease of assembly. Besides ease of assembly, ensure that the rower you choose is easy to maintain.

Comfort of use

Seniors generally have limited strength. So, it doesn’t help to choose an uncomfortable rowing machine for them. When shopping for a rowing machine for a senior, you must prioritize the comfort of use.

That means you must choose rowers with foam-padded seats, padded handlebars, and safe footrests.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of rowing machines with these comfortable features. There is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 rower with non-slip foam-grip handlebars. The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 rowing machine also sports footrests with straps.

Alternatively, you may want to opt for a comfortable pedal exerciser to exercise your muscles and joints. Check out options in our review of the best pedal exercisers for seniors.

Weight capacity

As you’ve seen in the reviews of the best rowing machines for seniors, every rowing machine has a weight capacity. No rower has an unlimited capacity. So, you can’t ignore the weight capacity of a rowing machine if you’re plus-size.
You’ll find machines like the NordicTrack RW900 Rower that cannot take more than 250 pounds, and there are some like the Echelon Smart Rowing Machine that can accommodate up to 300 pounds. You’ll want to go for the latter if you weigh more than 250 words. Essentially, you should choose a rower with a suitable weight capacity to carry you without damage.

Overall dimensions and weight

Size is another factor you cannot overlook when shopping for a suitable rowing machine for seniors. A product’s overall dimensions will help you learn whether it’s a larger or smaller machine.
From our list, you can choose the larger NordicTrack RW900 Rower or, the smaller Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 rowing machine. Ensure that your preferred product can fit the dedicated space for it at home. Ultimately, your choice is all about what makes you comfortable.
Additionally, you should consider the machine’s weight. It shouldn’t be heavier than what you’re comfortable with. The lighter the rower, the easier it is to move. We highly recommend rowing machines with wheels. Even if they’re heavy, transport is hardly a concern with them.

Ergonomics

Fatigue, discomfort, and injury can occur with rowing machines, but ergonomics usually limit the chances of such conditions. So, you need to consider only machines with excellent ergonomic designs if you care about your comfort. For instance, ergonomic handlebars like the ones on the Echelon Smart Rowing Machine reduce discomfort to the barest minimum.

Tensions levels

5 Best Rowing Machines for Seniors - Right Device for Your Excersise (Winter 2022)

In rowing machines you can choose various tension levels that fit your muscle strength to make rowing more challenging

Tensions or resistance levels are the numbers of resistance options rowing machines offer. As you might have noticed with the products on our list, there’s no fixed number of resistance levels for all rowing machines.
For example, you have the Echelon Smart Rowing Machine with an impressive 32 resistance levels and the Fitness Reality 3000WR Rower with only six. So, the choice is in your hands but remember that the more the resistance levels, the higher your exercise options.

Type

Every rowing machine provides some amount of resistance. However, the sources of their resistance often vary. For instance, the NordicTrack RW900 Rower uses air and magnetic sources, while the Fitness Reality 3000WR Rower uses water. Also, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 rowing machine uses hydraulic resistance.
Overall, rowing machines use water, hydraulic, air, and magnetic resistance. Unsurprisingly, all the resistance types have their advantages and disadvantages. The water and magnetic resistance are exceptionally smooth but typically heavier than necessary. In contrast, the air resistance is light and best replicates the feel of rowing on water, but it’s pretty loud.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose your preferred resistance type.

Display

Every rowing machine gives you a display option, but their sizes vary. Some with large screens like the NordicTrack RW900 Rower show calories, distance, and speed simultaneously, but other simpler models like the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 display only time.
We’ve picked models that have a display with big numbers and buttons or could be used with a personal smartphone. So, the choice is in your hands.

Durability and warranty

Rowing machines are not cheap. So, you must take durability seriously when shopping for these machines. We’ve ensured that we pick only durable products for this review but if you’re choosing a different product, ensure that you read plenty of user reviews to know what to expect.
Moreover, most rowing machines come with warranty offers. We recommend products that come with generous warranty offers. The NordicTrack RW900 Rower is an excellent example of that sort of product.

FAQ

Which health issues will prevent elders from using rowing machines?

Wrist or hand injuries are the only health issues preventing elders from using rowing machines. Otherwise, rowing machines help to recover from health issues such as arthritis and common injuries. If you have a back injury, use a rowing machine with supervision.

How long should a senior use a rowing machine?

A senior should use a rowing machine for 20 to 30 minutes daily. A total of 150-minute workout weekly will keep the elderly fit and healthy.

Is there an age restriction for using rowing machine?

There’s no age restriction for using a rowing machine. In fact, fitness experts encourage seniors to exercise with rowing machines because they help build bone density, burn fats, and build physical strength & stamina.

Our Verdict

This article has reviewed some of the best rowing machines on the market, with the Echelon Smart Rowing Machine coming out on top. It boasts an incredible 32 magnetic resistance levels—you won’t get that number from most products. This rower also has a foldable design and wheels for easy storage and transport. Right behind this machine is our premium pick—the NordicTrack RW900 Rower. It offers an exceptional 26 resistance levels. The machine also sports a 22-inch HD interactive touchscreen display that keeps you informed of your real-time fitness data.
Besides, we can’t conclude this article without a special mention of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 rowing machine, which offers the best value. The rower features a large LCD console and is relatively cheap. Apart from introducing you to the best rowing machines, we’ve provided vital information to identify the top options. So, get shopping for the best!

References

1.
The Intensity and Effects of Strength Training in the Elderly
The elderly need strength training more and more as they grow older to stay mobile for their everyday activities. The goal of training is to reduce the loss of muscle mass and the resulting loss of motor function.
2.
How can strength training build healthier bodies as we age? National Institute on Aging
Read about how NIAfunded researchers are seeking to better understand how strength training may contribute to healthier bodies as we age.
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