Rowing Machines Under 500

Best Rowing machines Under $500 (2024)

Today, we’re diving into the world of rowing machines, those sleek contraptions that promise to whip you into shape without the hassle of hitting the water. Whether you’re a seasoned rower or a complete newbie to the rowing game, finding the right machine can be a bit like navigating uncharted waters. But fear not, because we’ve got your back. We’ve scoured the market to bring you the lowdown on the best rowing machines that won’t break the bank, all for under $500. So, strap in (or rather, strap on your rowing shoes), because we’re about to row our way to fitness nirvana!

Things to Look For in a Budget Friendly Rowing Machine

Before you click that “buy now” button, let’s talk about what separates the mediocre rowers from the top dogs. Here are a few key features to keep your eyes peeled for:

Resistance Mechanism: One of the most crucial aspects of any rowing machine is its resistance mechanism. You’ll typically encounter three types: air, magnetic, and hydraulic. Air resistance offers a more dynamic and natural rowing feel, while magnetic resistance provides smoother, quieter operation. Hydraulic resistance, on the other hand, tends to be more compact and budget-friendly.

Build Quality and Durability: You don’t want to invest your hard-earned cash in a flimsy rower that falls apart after a few sessions. Look for sturdy construction, preferably with a steel frame, to ensure your machine can withstand your most intense workouts.

Comfort and Adjustability: Let’s face it, if your rowing machine feels like sitting on a bed of nails, you’re not going to stick with it. Opt for a model with a comfortable seat and ergonomic handlebars. Additionally, adjustable resistance levels and footrests will allow you to customize your workout to suit your fitness level and goals.

Size and Storage: Unless you’re blessed with a sprawling home gym, space is likely at a premium. Consider the dimensions of the rowing machine and whether it can be easily folded or stored away when not in use.

Display and Tracking Features: Many modern rowers come equipped with fancy LCD screens that display vital workout metrics like time, distance, strokes per minute, and calories burned. While these bells and whistles aren’t strictly necessary, they can add an extra layer of motivation and accountability to your workouts.

Benefits of Using a Rowing Machine

Now that we’ve covered what to look for in a rowing machine, let’s talk about why you should consider adding one to your home gym arsenal. Here are just a few of the many benefits of rowing:

Full-Body Workout: Unlike some other forms of cardio, rowing engages nearly every major muscle group in your body, from your legs and glutes to your core, arms, and back. It’s like getting a total-body workout in a single stroke (pun intended).

Low-Impact Exercise: If you’re nursing achy joints or recovering from an injury, rowing can be a godsend. The smooth, fluid motion puts minimal stress on your joints, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a low-impact cardio option.

Cardiovascular Health: Rowing is a fantastic way to get your heart pumping and improve your cardiovascular fitness. By challenging your heart and lungs, rowing can help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular ailments.

Calorie Torching: Want to burn some serious calories? Rowing has your back. Depending on your intensity level, you can torch upwards of 600 calories per hour on a rowing machine, making it a highly efficient way to shed those unwanted pounds.Versatility: Whether you’re looking to build endurance, strength, or just blow off some steam after a long day, rowing has you covered. With adjustable resistance levels and a variety of workout programs, you can tailor your rowing routine to suit your fitness goals and preferences.

Best Rowing Machines Under $500

Magnetic Rowing Machine

The SF-RW5515 rowing machine by Sunny Health and Fitness is a budget-friendly option designed to provide a solid workout experience without breaking the bank. With its sturdy build and versatile resistance system, it aims to cater to both beginners and experienced rowers alike.


  • Affordable Price Tag: The SF-RW5515 offers excellent value for money, making it accessible to those on a tight budget without compromising on quality or performance.

  • Smooth and Quiet Operation: Equipped with a hydraulic resistance system, this rower provides a smooth and quiet workout experience, allowing users to row without disturbing others or being disturbed by noisy machinery.

  • Compact and Space-Saving Design: Thanks to its compact footprint and foldable frame, the SF-RW5515 is ideal for users with limited space. It can be easily stored away when not in use, making it a convenient option for home gyms or small living spaces.
Water Rowing Machine

Introducing the FITNESS REALITY 3000WR Bluetooth Water Rower, a cutting-edge fitness solution designed to help you achieve real results through high-intensity interval training (HIIT). With customizable workout intervals, superior water resistance, and advanced features like a large LCD display and Bluetooth connectivity, this rower is poised to take your fitness journey to the next level. Let’s dive into its features to see how it stacks up against the competition.


  • Customizable HIIT Workouts: The FITNESS REALITY 3000WR sets itself apart with its three customizable HIIT workout intervals, allowing users to tailor their training sessions to their individual fitness goals and preferences. Whether you’re aiming to improve endurance, burn calories, or build strength, this rower offers the versatility and intensity needed to push your limits and achieve real results.


  • Superior Water Resistance: Unlike rowers with flat-positioned water tanks, the angled water tank of the 3000WR provides better resistance for each stroke, resulting in a more effective and challenging workout experience. With six water resistance levels to choose from, users can easily adjust the intensity to suit their fitness level and desired challenge.


  • Advanced Features and Comfort: Equipped with a large 4.5” LCD display, the 3000WR offers clear visibility of essential workout metrics, including time, distance, strokes, and calories burned. Additionally, it boasts 13 race options, five standard workout goals, and a large cushioned seat to keep users comfortable and motivated throughout their workout sessions. The pivoting console post ensures optimal console view angle for added convenience and ease of use.


  • Bluetooth Connectivity and MyCloudFitness App: With Bluetooth connectivity and the free MyCloudFitness app, users can take their training to the next level by setting workout goals, tracking progress, and accessing additional features and resources to support their fitness journey. This integration adds a layer of interactivity and accountability, empowering users to stay motivated and focused on their goals.
Obsidian Surge Water Rower

The Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine, SF-RW5713, promises to revolutionize your workouts with its innovative design and dynamic water resistance system. With the ability to engage up to 85% of the body’s muscular system and offering a smooth, low-impact rowing experience, this machine aims to deliver superior results in a shorter period of time. Let’s explore its features and benefits to see if it lives up to the hype.


  • Dynamic Water Resistance: Unlike traditional rowing machines that rely on mechanical resistance systems, the Obsidian Surge 500 utilizes water resistance to create a smooth and steady rowing experience. The 16 hydro blades mimic the dynamic movements of competitive rowing, providing users with unlimited resistance and a unique workout experience with every stroke.
  • Comprehensive Fitness Tracking: Equipped with the R2 Fitness Meter, this rowing machine accurately tracks essential workout metrics, including time, distance, strokes, and calories burned. Additionally, it is compatible with ANT+ heart rate technology, allowing users to monitor their pulse and gauge the effectiveness of their workouts in real-time.
  • Compact and Space-Saving Design: Constructed with lightweight yet sturdy steel, the Obsidian Surge 500 is built for performance and durability. Despite its robust construction, it features a space-saving design that allows users to store it upright when not in use. With convenient transportation wheels, moving the machine from one location to another is effortless, making it suitable for both home gyms and commercial settings.

Overall, the Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine, SF-RW5713, stands out as a versatile and effective fitness solution for individuals seeking a challenging yet low-impact workout experience. With its dynamic water resistance system, comprehensive fitness tracking capabilities, and space-saving design, it offers a compelling option for users looking to elevate their fitness routine to the next level

SF Air Rower

Designed to offer a connected and customizable workout experience, this rower integrates seamlessly with the SunnyFit app, allowing users to cycle alongside expert trainers, view real-time performance metrics, and access a vast library of workout videos. Let’s explore its features to see how it can elevate your fitness routine.


  • SunnyFit App Integration: Connect your mobile device via Bluetooth to the SunnyFit app and unlock a world of fitness possibilities. View live metrics, access customized workout plans, explore 100+ workout videos, and compare your results on the rowing leaderboard—all from the convenience of your device.


  • Digital Monitor: Stay in the zone with the onboard digital monitor, which tracks essential metrics including calories, count, time, total count, and scan. Concentrate on the rhythm of your strokes while staying informed about your progress and performance.


  • Dual Resistance System: Experience dynamic air resistance that adjusts with each stroke, complemented by a 16-level magnetic resistance system for added consistency. Rowing with two different resistance mechanisms offers a unique workout experience and allows for endless customization to suit your fitness goals.


  • Non-Slip Handlebars: Ergonomically shaped and padded handlebars enhance grip and comfort during your rowing sessions, ensuring a secure and comfortable workout experience.


  • Device & Tablet Holder: Follow along with your favorite Sunny Health & Fitness training videos on your tablet or mobile device, keeping you motivated and engaged throughout your workout.


  • Upright Storage: After your workout, simply tilt and stand the rower upright for easy storage, minimizing its footprint and maximizing space efficiency in your home gym or living area.


There is no shortage of options for rowers at this price point. Whether you’re a seasoned rower, or just getting started, a rowing machine is a great way to stay fit in a busy world.

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