Navigating the Waters: Choosing the Best Rowing Machine for CrossFit

Rowing machines are a core part of the CrossFit workout regimen. Offering a full-body workout, these machines push your cardiovascular endurance to its limits while toning your muscles. But, with a market saturated with various models, how do you choose the best rowing machine for CrossFit? Let’s dive in.

What to Consider When Choosing a Rowing Machine

When browsing the market for the perfect rowing machine, consider these key elements:

1. Resistance Types

Rowing machines offer four main types of resistance: air, magnetic, hydraulic, and water. Each type offers unique benefits and drawbacks.

  • Air Resistance: These machines use a flywheel to create resistance. The harder you row, the more resistance you’ll encounter. It’s a favorite in CrossFit gyms due to its smooth operation and scalability of effort.
  • Magnetic Resistance: Here, resistance is adjusted with a magnetic brake system. While it’s quieter than air resistance rowers, the rowing experience may not feel as natural.
  • Hydraulic Resistance: This type offers adjustable resistance via hydraulic cylinders. However, it might not provide the smoothest rowing experience.
  • Water Resistance: Mimicking the feel of rowing on water, these rowers use water-filled flywheels for resistance. The resistance increases with faster rowing, offering a realistic experience, but they can be pricier.

2. Build Quality and Durability

CrossFit workouts are high-intensity, so your rowing machine needs to handle the pressure. Look for solid construction, quality materials, and positive user reviews concerning longevity.

3. Data Tracking and Connectivity

Modern rowing machines often come equipped with performance monitors for tracking data like stroke rate, distance, and calories burned. Some even connect to apps for additional tracking and interactive experiences.

4. Size and Storage

Consider the space in your gym or home. Some rowing machines are foldable or have wheels for easy storage.

Top Rowing Machines for CrossFit

With these factors in mind, let’s explore some top contenders for the best rowing machine for CrossFit.

1. Concept2 Model D

Arguably the most popular rowing machine in CrossFit, the Concept2 Model D offers air resistance with a robust build, capable of withstanding intense workouts. Its performance monitor is top-notch, tracking all essential data and connecting to various apps.

2. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

For those seeking a natural rowing experience, the WaterRower is an excellent choice. With a beautiful wooden design and water resistance, it offers a smooth, quiet workout.

3. NordicTrack RW Rower

Offering dual air and magnetic resistance, the NordicTrack RW Rower is versatile and quiet. Its standout feature is the iFit compatibility, offering interactive training sessions.

4. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

An affordable option, this magnetic rowing machine from Sunny Health & Fitness provides a robust construction and a decent performance monitor. Though it might not offer the high-end features of other models, it’s a solid choice for those on a budget.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best rowing machine for CrossFit depends on your personal preferences, workout goals, and budget. By considering the factors we’ve discussed and looking at some of the top models on the market, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision. Remember, the best machine is the one that gets you excited to workout. Now, let’s get rowing!

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