Concept2 created the original rowing ergometer (or rowing machine) in 1981 as a training tool for competitive athletes. It was quickly adopted by athletes outside of rowing as well for its convenient, effective workout. Since then, our RowErgs have earned a worldwide reputation for unrivaled function, durability, and post-sale customer support.


All Concept2 RowErgs are suitable for home and gym or commercial use. Experience the health and wellness benefits of the sport of indoor rowing when you find the best rowing machine for your needs.

The Concept 2 RowErg is suitable for commercial and home use. The company states that this product is “built by rowers, for rowers.” The company also says the machine is suitable for use by people of all ages and fitness levels seeking a low-impact full-body workout.

Additionally, Concept 2 states that the RowErg is durable and easy to maintain. This product requires two D-cell batteries. The flywheel powers the Performance Monitor during use, which extends the battery life.

Concept 2 recommends that people have a 9-foot (ft) by 4 ft space in which to place and use the rower, which has wheels on the bottom of the frame and divides into two pieces for easy storage. It has a maximum user weight of 500 pounds (lb).

Concept2 Model D


Easy Assembly & Storage

Air Resistance

Wireless Heart-Rate Data



Some Maintenance Needed

Plastic Monitor Arm

Still made in the USA, the Concept 2 Model D rowing machine is considered the gold standard by almost everyone who has used it and can be found in almost every quality gym in the world. The Model D rower is also perfect for athletes of all training levels. There are tons of rowing machines on the market today (the Concept 2 actually created the first rowing machine), but in our opinion and many others, the Model D is still the best rowing machine ever …… at any price point. Yes, we think there is no better rower at a higher or lower price point.

Concept2 Model E


Smooth and quiet

Higher seat placement

Available rail extensions

Quality of display monitor

Wireless heart rate data

Divides in two for easy storage

Ergonomic handle with 10-degree bend


Quite a large footprint

Higher price range

Heavy to move around

The Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Monitor is a high quality machine designed to provide a complete body workout for individuals of any age and fitness level. The flywheel design maximizes smooth operation with each stroke and minimizes noise. The rowing machine is very portable, divided into two sections for storage and provided with mobile casters. The PM5 performance monitor on this rower offers a variety of options, including pre-loaded workouts, games and the ability to transfer data to a computer and online applications. The quick version of this review? The Model E is one of the best rowing machines you can buy, second only to the Concept2 Model D.

The Model E indoor rower is made by Concept2, a rock-solid Vermont-based company that has been a leading manufacturer in the fitness industry since 1976. They are known for building quality products and are often seen as the benchmark for other manufacturers to follow.

Buying Guide

Why should you buy the best rowing machine?

Rowing machines are a great investment because they offer great low-impact fitness benefits and they’re easy to use. The best rowing machines are built to last, as personal trainer Stephen Hoyle explained to Live Science, “A good rowing machine will last you a long time and require very little maintenance. No complicated mechanics, just a chain that needs occasional oiling and a computer That will require the odd battery change.”

Benefits of a rowing machine

When it comes to the benefits of using a rowing machine, it’s hard to know where to start. As mentioned in the introduction above, each stroke uses 86% of your body’s muscles, including every major muscle group. Rowing workouts are also adaptive in that the dynamic resistance generated by the best rowing machines increases as your rowing strength increases. As a result, exercisers of all abilities are able to get what they put in, and you can enjoy both aerobic and anaerobic workouts depending on the length and intensity of your workout.

On top of that, the rowing machine offers a low-impact alternative to classic aerobic exercise (such as running), regular use can provide significant bone-building benefits (according to this study in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage), and many people find the rhythmic action to have a calming, meditative effect.

How to use a rowing machine

One of the main benefits of rowing machines is their ease of use. After all, all you really need to do is sit down and pull. However, if you want to perfect your form, there are a few tips to know – to improve your performance and reduce the risk of injury.

First, make sure you’re sitting comfortably (and correctly). Sarah Fuhrmann, a certified rowing coach and owner of UCanRow2 (opens in a new tab), recommends not falling down, but making sure your sit bones are pointing toward the middle of the seat.

Stroke can then be broken down into four phases; capture, drive, finish and recovery. Alex Dunne, managing director of leading rowing machine brand Concept 2 (opens in a new tab), explains.

Grasp – where your legs are bent and your calves should be vertical. Use your triceps to fully extend your arms as you hold the handles. Your abdominals should be tightened and your torso slightly bent forward.

Drive – Start the drive phase with strong leg muscles, pushing off the pedals while keeping your arms straight. Then, pull the handles toward your abdomen and tilt back slightly.

Finish – This should allow you to bend your elbows and pull the handle into your body just below your chest, with your abdomen stabilizing your torso at a small angle at about 2 o’clock on the clock face.

Recovery – This is how you return to the starting position before starting the drive phase again. First, exercise your triceps by extending your arms straight out and away from your body. Bend your torso forward, then contract your hamstrings and calves, bend your legs and slide them down the track.

Rowing machine for weight loss

Training on a rowing machine burns calories and helps you achieve a negative daily energy balance (or calorie deficit). This means that through exercise, NEAT, TEF (energy used to digest, absorb and metabolize food) and basal metabolic rate (open in new tab), you burn more calories than you consume in a day.

Calorie deficit is the key principle behind weight loss. A 2007 study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (opens in new tab) concluded that “independent of the method of weight loss, negative energy balance alone is the cause of weight loss”.

However, this is one of the many benefits that a rowing machine must provide, and exercise should also be seen as a way to reduce body fat percentage, build muscle, strengthen bones, enhance fitness, etc.


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