Interactive Rowing Machines: Just A Fad Or Are They Actually Worth It?

The advancement of fitness equipment has revolutionized the fitness industry forever. It is an impressive addition, but is it also overrated?

One of the most applauded developments is the new wave of interactive rowing machines, which have gained much attention recently.

If you like to keep fit but are feeling overwhelmed with choice when it comes to your fitness equipment at home, you should definitely consider an interactive rowing machine. Known for their ability to provide live and on-demand workouts, these machines have become an inevitable success amongst fitness enthusiasts. It’s no wonder companies like Hydrow is keen to curate some of the most impressive interactive rowing workouts. You can learn more about the Hydrow rowing machine at

Benefits Of Using A Rowing Machine

In contrast to other training machines, rowing machines offer a thorough workout for your whole body at a low load. You get a full-body workout without having to hop from one device to another.

Rowing activates muscle mass more than other activities such as running or cycling. Rowing machine workouts activate the abdomen, shoulders, chest, triceps, wrists, gluteal muscles, tendons, and calf muscles.

Rowing machines are low-impact machines, which do not overwhelm the body. Rowing machines activate the whole body, both upper and lower. They offer much less impact training than running and other forms of cardio. Rowing accelerates the heart rate and builds stamina in the body.

According to Harvard Medical School, moderate rowing at a moderate pace burns around 250 calories in 30 minutes and as high as 440 calories when rowing at a vigorous pace over 30 minutes. When you combine the daily rowed with a healthy, balanced diet, it’s a great way to get active and stay in shape. Exercising as a rower offers you several benefits such as stronger muscles, full-body training, increased stamina, and more.

Training and Classes In Your Living Room


With an interactive rowing machine, you will be able to experience having your own personal trainer and studio-style training sessions without ever setting foot in a gym or even having to leave your home.

Interactive workouts are facilitated by monthly or yearly memberships you can sign up for when purchasing your rower. These machines will captivate you with live classes, on-demand videos, and numerous streaming modes.

The competition for these machines is increasing all the time and each company offers something unique. From Hydrow and Ergatta to newer models such as the Aviron and LIT Strength Machine.

If you enjoy being coached by a trainer then you will love these types of machines.

Most of the machines come with hundreds of workout variations ranging from dynamic workouts to result-oriented and game-based. If workout out with a fast-paced trainer is not for you then these machines also offer calmer scenic rowing which allows you to row at your own leisure with a picturesque view.

If you have concerns about storage space then this is a genuine concern as these rowers are bulkier than the more traditional ones. Although you can store many upright you won’t be able to detach them and store them away like you would a Concept2.


Interactive rowing machines all come with some kind of membership which gives you access to their catalog of workouts, classes, games, and community, amongst other things that will depend on the company. Some offer free live sessions, while others use membership subscriptions. Most come with a built-in monitor that allows you to stream all the content that machines have to offer which is one of the biggest appeals of these types of machines.

Some however do not have a built-in screen, but a holder for the tablet. This is the case with the LIT Strength Machine. But it’s unusual for these rowers to not come with a monitor nowadays. Another rowing machine to which you can connect your tablet. Rowing machines radiate comfort and are one click away in terms of resistance level.

Resistance Type and Performance

These rowing machines have been developed with the end-user in mind and illicit the highest levels of rowing performance.  Adjustable resistance levels and monitored progress ensure a smooth experience for the individual.

These machines usually come with either magnetic or water resistance. These machines offer quieter rowing for people who prefer or need their machines to be less noisy. In stark contrast, air rowing machines are much louder.

Simpler customizations can also be used to create a more immersive experience. The Echelon has simple customizations that can be used and managed to get a more intense experience.

This rowing machine is an ideal machine for people who want to quickly and efficiently build stamina, both indoors and outdoors.

You get a console at the front of your machine which displays performance and date tracking metrics and progress such as heart rate monitoring, calorie counter, time spent, and the number of rowed meters. This is populated based on the real-time functions of each season.

Final Thoughts

Fitness comes first for every piece of fitness equipment. It can be as high-tech as you like but if it doesn’t do the job then it’s effectively useless.  But these machines really do offer something extra to standard models.

If you have no interest in trainer-led workouts or scenic views then there is no need for you to take the leap. A standard machine (Concept2 rower) will suit your needs just fine. Plus these machines are not cheap! Expect a connected rowing machine to set you back at least $1500, and in most cases more. Especially when you add the membership fee on top of the actual rower itself.

But taking everything into account, if you have the money to invest then you will certainly have an impressive piece of exercise equipment in your hands that will provide a unique training experience. And considering the state of the world, having equipment like this in your home can certainly come in handy.

These machines have revolutionized training in the fitness industry, and I expect training will only get more and digitized in the future.

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