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Rowing machines are great for full-body workouts and can help you achieve your fitness targets without requiring additional exercises. No matter your level of expertise, you may want to pick up one of these practical machines for your home fitness sessions. With many options to choose from, you may require some assistance with getting the rowing machine that is the right fit for you.

To help with this, we evaluated various products to make sure we found the best rowing machines in Canada for 2024. We based this evaluation on features that Canadians find relevant when choosing a rowing machine. Let’s uncover what these rowing machines have to offer you.

Best 7 Rowing Machines for Canadians in 2024

  • Best Overall: NordicTrack RW900 Rower
  • Best Magnetic Resistance: DMASUN Foldable Indoor Rower
  • Best Near-Silent: YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine
  • Best Display: Echelon Row-S Connected Rowing Machine
  • Best Storage: Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine
  • Best for Full-Body Workouts: Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine
  • Best for Beginners: Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine

Why Did We Choose These Rowing Machines in Canada?

No matter your fitness level, there’s a rowing machine on this list for you. We evaluated each option based on features that Canadians value, from beginners to fitness gurus. They each stood out in different ways, earning their place on our list. Here’s why we chose each of the best rowing machines in Canada.

The NordicTrack RW900 Rower is our choice for best overall. This option features SMR technology to provide full-body workouts with low impact and without making too much noise. It has a smart HD touchscreen and a range of digital resistance levels, as well as a selection of trainer-led workouts.

The DMASUN Foldable Indoor Rower has the best magnetic resistance on our list. With 16 quiet resistance levels, users at any fitness level can get a great start on their fitness journey.

The YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine is a near-silent machine that can be an ideal choice for those seeking quiet workouts at home. This option is foldable, which makes it easy to store when not in use. The rowing machine is suitable for all fitness levels and provides great durability thanks to its heavy-duty build.

The Echelon Row-S Connected Rowing Machine, on the other hand, has the best display we found. The large 22” touchscreen allows you a front-row seat to all your workout programs and streaming platforms.

Sunny Health and Fitness’s Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine offers the best storage option. This machine folds down small so you can easily store it when you aren’t using it.

If you’re looking for a full-body workout, the Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine is your best option. That’s because you can use it for upright exercises, too. The lack of a console makes it simple to use this machine for other tension exercises.

“If you are just getting started on your fitness journey, the Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine is a great place to start. A lower price point, smooth resistance, and a smaller footprint offer the perfect introduction for new rowers.

Best Rowing Machine in Canada: Quick Menu

Best Overall

NordicTrack RW900 Rower

It's Great For:

The NordicTrack RW900 Rower is a powerful option that is ideal for Canadians wishing for low-impact full-body training. The rowing machine comes with SMR technology, providing a quiet exercising option. There are 26 levels of digital resistance, and you can select the intensity that suits you best at any given time.

This option has a 22” Smart HD touchscreen that can be tilted to provide a better view no matter your angle on the rowing machine. The SmartAdjust engineering allows you to get a tailor-made experience from the rowing machine that easily adapts to your preferences and workout style.

The touchscreen display includes a high-quality 30-watt sound array that can create an even more immersive training experience. You can use this display to participate in an ample selection of trained-led workouts. These include automatic trainer control which allows you to focus on the workout session while your trainer takes care of adjusting intensity levels.

You can build up your progression by following a workout series on the rowing machine. There are various programmes designed to keep you motivated by providing you with different challenges as you progress in your fitness journey. There are also monthly challenges and other milestones that can help you achieve your goals.

The rowing machine keeps track of heartbeat and calorie burning time to make sure you get the best out of it whenever you use it. You can also access comprehensive training stats via the machine. These will show you how to improve your efficiency while using this NordicTrack rowing machine.

Key Features

  • SMR Technology. The rowing machine uses Silent Magnetic Resistance to provide a quiet workout experience. It doesn’t clank or rattle when you row.
  • Premium Sound Quality. The smart HD touchscreen display has the additional benefit of 30-watt sound quality to make your workouts more immersive.
  • Trainer-Led Workouts. This option offers access to numerous trainer-led workouts that include automatic trainer control for even more practicality.
  • In-Depth Stats. Those who use this rowing machine can check out in-depth analysis of their stats whenever they exercise.

Our Expert’s Take

“The NordicTrack RW900 Rower is a premium, high-quality machine that uses innovative technology to help youa chieve a full-body workout. The tracking and touchscreen display make it easy to track your fitness goals.”

Best Magnetic Resistance

DMASUN Foldable Indoor Rower

DMASUN Rowing Machine 350 LB Weight Capacity Foldable Rower with 16 Levels Magnetic Resistance, LCD Display & Comfortable Seat Cushion, Rowing Machines for Home Use
DMASUN Rowing Machine 350 LB Weight Capacity Foldable Rower with 16 Levels Magnetic Resistance, LCD Display & Comfortable Seat Cushion, Rowing Machines for Home Use

It's Great For:

While most of the rowing machines on our list offer magnetic resistance, The DMASUN Foldable Indoor Rower does it best. The tension here is quiet, sensitive enough that you aren’t going to disturb anyone in your house. There are also 16 different adjustment levels, which can help you achieve your fitness goals by slowly increasing resistance as you improve.

This machine works to create a low-impact environment for your workout. If you have knee issues, rowing machines are already some of the best exercises you can get. This machine works to keep your knees from feeling any impact or strain, so you don’t have to limp away from the machine at the end of the workout.

It’s comfortable in other ways, too. The soft ergonomic seat offers an intuitive curve for your body. It slides smoothly along the rail during strokes, preventing snags that might cause you to lose your rhythm. When you’re finished with the machine, you can tilt it onto its side and store it against the wall. It’s the next best thing to a foldable design.

The non-slip handlebars are comfortable as well, offering you the best of both comfort and safety. While you’re working towards your fitness goals, you can check your rowing time, distance, count, calories, and strokes per minute on the LCD monitor. It’s easy to read and simple to navigate, so you always know exactly how you’re progressing.

Key Features

  • Quiet System. The magnetic resistance design provides Canadians with a quiet fitness experience. No matter when you work out, you won’t be disturbing other members of your household.
  • Low-Impact Training. Those who need to keep their knees and ankles protected should consider this machine. It provides full-body workouts with low impact.
  • Comfortable Seating. The seat on the rowing machine is ergonomic and intuitive, adapting to your body to ensure comfort and support. 
  • Adjustable Levels. With 16 adjustable tension levels, you can customize your workouts to your needs at any time. Changing the tension level doesn’t require a lot of work, either.

Our Expert’s Take

“This quiet option provides extensive full-body workouts without skimping on comfort. It’s extremely quiet and offers multiple adjustable levels for users at all fitness levels.”

Best Near-Silent

YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine

YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine 350 LB Weight Capacity - Foldable Rower for Home Use with LCD Monitor, Tablet Holder and Comfortable Seat Cushion
YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine 350 LB Weight Capacity - Foldable Rower for Home Use with LCD Monitor, Tablet Holder and Comfortable Seat Cushion

It's Great For:

The YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine is a near-silent option that is great for beginners and for those very used to this type of workout. The technology used for this rowing machine creates a smooth experience that can also be quiet. With a noise output level that can go as low as 16dB, this foldable rower is a practical solution for any Canadian household.

There is an ergonomic seat designed to provide support and soft cushioning while you exercise. The large foot pedals can suit most shoe sizes and features a non-slip surface with adjustable straps. There is a wide handlebar reinforced with soft foam with a non-slip surface that is also moisture-absorbing. The nylon rope on the rower has withstood numerous strain evaluations to ensure its resistance.

The portability of the machine is ensured by the 2 transportation wheels, located on the front stabilizer. The foldable design also includes balance regulators for additional stability and balance so that you can work out without experiencing wobbling. It offers 8 resistance levels that can fit the needs of beginners and experienced rowers.

There is an LCD monitor with an easy to read display that keeps track of your rowing time, count, total count, calories, and distance. The handy tablet holder can fit most tablets, as well as phones. This can help you get the most out of your fitness sessions on the rower. The thickened steel heavy-duty steel frame increases the stability of the machine for extra support.

Key Features

  • Near-Silent. This machine has a low noise output that can provide a near-silent exercising experience. If you often work out when others are sleeping or resting, you’ll be able to continue without disturbing them.
  • Portability. The rower is foldable and has large transportation wheels on the front stabilizer to create ease of movement. 
  • Comfortable Surface. The ergonomic seat is soft and supportive, and the non-slip surface on the pedals increases the feeling of comfort. There are also adjustable straps to create a more personalized fit.
  • LCD Monitor. The display can show you some essential statistics as you row, which will keep you aware of how you are performing.

Our Expert’s Take

“The near-silent operation of this rowing machine makes it ideal for those who need a quieter workout. It’s comfortable and ergonomic, too – you can get your workout in without discomfort or excessive noise.”

Best Display

Echelon Row-S Connected Rowing Machine

Echelon Row-S Connected Rowing Machine Base View

It's Great For:

The Echelon Row-S Connected Rowing Machine is the perfect example of a high-end rower. This option might be a little rich, but it does offer some of the best features on our list. First is the display. This 22” HD touchscreen is your portal to the Echelon Premium app, which comes with a host of live and on-demand classes, as well as personal instructors and waterway courses to help make your workout interesting. This touchscreen is completely immersive, as well as bigger and more informative than any of the other machines on our list.

This rower uses smooth magnetic resistance, but you don’t have to stick with the manual options you chose. A toggle on the handlebars allows you to increase or decrease the tension as required, meaning you can test your limits to see how your body is improving.

This machine offers adjustable pedals and handlebars. The pedals have adjustable straps to keep your feet right where you want them. It folds down for storage, meaning that you don’t always have to navigate around it. It folds up small enough that it won’t be in your way while you’re doing other things.

Everything about the Echelon Row-S Connected Rowing Machine makes it convenient and comfortable. They want you to have an effective workout, so they’ve included all the tools to make your workout count.

Key Features

  • Large Touchscreen. The 22” touchscreen display on the rowing machine provides a comfortable display while keeping numerous apps and features within your reach while you exercise.
  • Easy Storage. This rowing machine folds easily when not in use, so you can store it without taking up much space. It doesn’t take up much room when stored, so you can reclaim more of your home.
  • Adjustable Options. You can adjust the handlebar and pedals on the rowing machine to make sure they provide a comfortable and practical fit that suits your body.
  • Wide Range of Tension Levels. The rowing machine includes 32 tension levels to assist with getting the best resistance at all times.

Our Expert’s Take

“The Echelon Row-S rowing machine offers great tension levels and adjustability. It’s easy to store it when not in use, too. It won’t be hanging around in your living room between workout sessions.”

Best Storage

Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor, Bottle Holder, 109 cm Slide Rail, 129 kg Max Weight - Synergy Power Motion - SF-RW5801, Silver
Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor, Bottle Holder, 109 cm Slide Rail, 129 kg Max Weight - Synergy Power Motion - SF-RW5801, Gray

It's Great For:

The Sunny Health and Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine is one of the smallest rowing machines in Canada for 2024. That’s because it folds up small, giving you plenty of room to work around it if you need the space for something else. The folding is convenient and doesn’t take much muscle at all, so just about anyone can do it. If there isn’t much room in your home gym, this is the perfect option for you.

There are 16 levels of tension available on this machine. It’s no slouch when it comes to tension levels, ensuring that you have a smoother path to reach your fitness goals. Multiple convenient features help, too – the large, padded seat and longer rail make it comfortable for most users to use this rowing machine.

The simple digital monitor keeps track of time, calories, count, and total count as you work out. This can help you track how your goals are changing over time. The back of the machine features a water bottle and device holder. You’ll be able to watch your favorite shows or workout programs while you row.

Finally, the handlebars and pedals are completely non-slip. The pedals include an adjustable strap, which will help adjust to the size of your foot. When you’re finished with the machine, you can fold it up, lean it up on its transport wheels, and store it wherever you have room.

Key Features

  • Ergonomic Design. This rowing machine uses a wide, padded seat, non-slip pedals, and non-slip handlebars to make your workout sessions more comfortable. 
  • 16 Resistance Levels. The smooth magnetic resistance levels scale with you, so you can easily push yourself to improve over time.
  • Easy Transportation. You can turn this rower onto its smooth wheels once it’s folded, making it simple to store it and move it around. 
  • Comfortable Use. The machine includes a bottle holder and a device holder, so you have everything you need on hand for a great workout experience.

Our Expert’s Take

“This rowing machine works well for our experienced users, but it’s also perfect for those who are just getting started. Multiple levels of comfortable resistance make it great for those at all fitness levels.”

Best for Full-Body Workouts

Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine with Bluetooth Workout Tracking Built-in, Additional Full Body Extended Exercises, App Compatible, Tablet Holder, Rowing Machines for Home Use
Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine with Bluetooth Workout Tracking Built-in, Additional Full Body Extended Exercises, App Compatible, Tablet Holder, Rowing Machines for Home Use

It's Great For:

If you prefer a full-body workout (or more of one, since it’s a rowing machine), choose the Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine. Here, you won’t find a large console obscuring your vision. Instead, a small console that shows simple statistics really makes this rowing machine simple. There’s a device holder, which can keep your device seated over the display. This can help keep you from checking it and allows you to watch a show or movie while working out.

The real versatility comes with the realization that there isn’t a console in your way. Because of the way this rower is laid out, you can use the handlebars as a standard tension workout. Keep your muscles and core working with a series of curls, raises, and other exercises. This is a unique feature of Fitness Reality, as most rowers notice that the console gets in the way.

The LCD display helps keep track of time, distance, total count, calories burned, and strokes per minute. If you want to keep this information to compare to past and future workouts, be sure to connect the Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine to your Bluetooth phone or tablet. These apps can keep track of your progress or fitness plan and how it’s progressing.

The length of the rail makes this one of the best options for multiple different heights. The rail is large enough to accommodate users between 4’9” and 6’4” tall. If you fall within these parameters (and most people do), you can adjust the seat to your height for a more comfortable experience.  

Key Features

  • Versatility. The rower can be used for several types of training sessions, as there is no console to interrupt flow. You can use it however you want to get the results you need. 
  • Connectivity. This rowing machine can be connected to other apps that can keep track of your workouts and also sync with other gym equipment.
  • Great for Tall Canadians. Thanks to the increased length of the rail, this is an ideal option for Canadians on the taller side. 
  • Upright Use. The lack of a console creates additional opportunities. You can use this rowing machine for vertical exercises whenever you wish to alternate fitness sessions.

Our Expert’s Take

“This versatile rowing machine provides many exercising alternatives, as well as increased length and great connectivity with apps.”

Best for Beginners

Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine Rower with 12 Level Adjustable Resistance, Digital Monitor and 100 KG Max Weight
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine Rower with 12 Level Adjustable Resistance, Digital Monitor and 100 KG Max Weight

It's Great For:

The Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine is the perfect entry-level machine for those who are new at rowing. This beginner machine uses hydraulic tension, a smooth alternative to other types of tension featured in larger machines. It also features a smaller footprint than some of the machines elsewhere on our list. If you have a smaller space to work out, this machine can help you get the job done.

With 12 tension levels, users at any level of expertise can find resistance that works for them. The tension adjustment knob is located below the handlebars and turns easily to help you select the level that you want. You don’t have to go through any complicated process to increase tension or reduce it. 

This rowing machine is fully adjustable, too. The pedal straps adjust to your feet and pivot, allowing you the angle you need to get your best workout. The foam handlebars and ergonomic, cushioned seat make it comfortable to use this rower for longer workout sessions. Users of all heights and sizes can adjust to find the levels that work best for them. Though it has a compact footprint, it can accommodate taller users as well. 

The digital monitor helps you keep track of important metrics like time, count, and calories burned. You can keep track of your goals and how you improve over time by keeping track of these metrics after your workout. When you are done working out, the transport wheels make it easy to store this machine wherever you have the space for it.

Key Features

  • 12 Hydraulic Resistance Levels. This rowing machine offers 12 levels of smooth resistance powered by hydraulics, so your rowing is smoother and more comfortable. 
  • Fully Adjustable. You can adjust the foot pedals and stabilizers to help you level this rowing machine so that you can get the most comfortable angle every time.
  • Easy Tension Selection. The tension selector is located below the handlebars on a simple knob, making it easy to select the tension that works for you. 
  • Comfortable. Despite its smaller size, multiple features (such as the foam handlebars, ergonomic seat, and pivoting pedals) make this rowing machine more comfortable for users of all sizes.

Our Expert’s Take

“This rowing machine from Sunny Health & Fitness is ideal for those who are just starting out. Smooth tension, comfortable features, and a lower price point make it ideal for newer users.”

Comparing the Best Rowing Machines for Canadians

CategoryRowing MachineResistanceTension LevelsMax WeightDisplay
Best OverallNordicTrack RW900 RowerDigital26115 kg22” Smart HD Touchscreen
Best Magnetic ResistanceDMASUN Foldable Indoor RowerMagnetic16118 kgLCD Monitor
Best Near-SilentYOSUDA Magnetic Rowing MachineMagnetic8158 kgLCD Monitor
Best DisplayEchelon Row-S Connected Rowing MachineMagnetic32159 kg22" HD Touchscreen
Best StorageSunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing MachineMagnetic16129.3 kgDigital Monitor
Best for Full-Body WorkoutsFitness Reality Magnetic Rowing MachineMagnetic14113.4 kg3.5” LCD Display
Best for BeginnersSunny Health & Fitness Rowing MachineHydraulic1299.79 kgDigital Monitor

How We Selected These Rowing Machines in Canada

We’ve spent years finding the best products for your home and lifestyle. From sleep accessories to mattresses, exercise machines, and more – we’ve seen it all, and we’re only bringing you the best. We evaluated each of the best rowers in Canada (as well as a few that didn’t quite live up to our expectations) based on the following performance areas.

  • Resistance Type. The type of resistance a rowing machine uses makes a huge difference in how well it works, and which users will enjoy it. Because of this, we tried to find a variety of different resistance options. There’s something for everyone on our list.
  • Tension Levels. How many tension levels does the machine provide? The more tension levels available, the more you can test yourself. The more you can progress along your fitness journey, too.
  • Weight and Height Capacity. All users cannot use every rowing machine. These machines have weight capacities and height capacities that must be followed. We tried to include a wide range of rowers for users of every size and height.
  • Size. If you have a smaller space for your home gym (or no permanent space at all), you’ll want a rowing machine that has a smaller footprint and stores well. We looked at both of these factors before recommending rowers.
Why Should You Use a Rowing Machine

Why Should You Use a Rowing Machine?

A rowing machine uses a tension and resistance system, which allows you to mimic the motion associated with rowing a boat. Rowing machines have several benefits. They provide a full-body workout, so you’ll work for more muscle groups than with other exercises. Rowing is accessible for all fitness levels, as it’s an intense low-impact exercise that won’t stress your joints.

Rowing is mostly leg work, though there is a good amount of trunk and upper body work in each stroke. When you are using a rowing machine, you are using all of the following muscle groups below. Each different part of your stroke works a different group, making a rowing machine a powerful full-body workout.

  • Calves
  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Obliques
  • Abdominal muscles
  • Arms
  • Pectorals

That’s not the limit of how beneficial a rowing machine can be, though. It’s great for those who want an alternative to treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals. Rowing also helps you build power and endurance better than most of the other exercises you can perform in your home gym.

How to Choose a Rowing Machine for Canadians

Now that you’re ready to start rowing, how do you choose the right machine for you? You should choose an option that suits all of your needs, including the special features you value in your workout. The following features can help you choose the best rowing machine in Canada. Make sure to keep these things in mind as you shop.

Resistance Type

There are a few different types of resistance that rowing machines use. The type of resistance can determine how firm the tension feels, as well as how many tension levels are available.

  • Magnetic Resistance. Magnetic resistance is extremely durable but usually isn’t very strong. If you’re prone to rowing slowly, a magnetic rower can be a great option. It’s also one of the quietest options, perfect for your apartment or exercise while others are busy. Magnetic rowers offer a lot of adjustment when it comes to resistance.
  • Air-based Resistance. Air resistance adjusts tension based on your rowing intensity. They produce a lot of noise, but they also provide smoother movement than other options. Air-based rowers are best for users who already know how to row.
  • Water-based Resistance. This type of resistance feels more realistic than other types. Machines that use water resistance can be expensive, but they are also more versatile in general than other options.

You should choose the type of resistance that works best for you. Some might work better than others for your needs, so make sure you look into which type of resistance your prefer.

Tension Levels

Rowing machines have a set number of tension levels. These levels allow you to raise and lower tension depending on your skill level and the intensity of your workout. Some rowing machines have just a few different tension levels, which can be great for beginners. However, some users prefer to have a wider range of tensions to choose from. This is especially true for experts and those who want to use the rower to track fitness progress.

A rowing machine should have at least 6 tension levels. This is a great place to start if you are just beginning with rowing machines. If you are an absolute beginner and you want to slowly increase the resistance as your fitness level improves, you should choose a rower that has over 30 different resistance levels.

This allows you to slowly ramp up the tension as you improve over time. If you’re interested in using your rower for the long haul, consider the tension levels it offers. Choose the tension system you prefer for your workout routine.

Weight Capacity

When you use a rowing machine, the seat moves along the rail as you push with your legs and pull with your arms. Because of the way it works, each machine has a weight limit. You should be careful about observing this weight limit. If you put too much weight on the machine, it can become unstable. It could damage the machine or lead to injury.

If you exceed the weight limit, you could also void the machine’s warranty. To stay safe and keep your machine in proper working order, make sure to choose a machine with a weight limit that exceeds the weight of any user.

Height Capacity

The size of the rail and the height of the seat are some of the best indicators of the height restriction on each rowing machine. If you are very tall, you should choose a machine that is equipped to handle taller Canadians. For example, some machines are great for those up to 6’6”, while others top out at 6’4”.

Unfortunately, most rowers that aren’t equipped to handle these heights are only large enough for users up to 6’2”. If you are taller than this, consider choosing a machine that specifically caters to taller users.


Rowing machines can get large, especially when you choose some of the more luxurious options on the Canadian market. On our list, we’ve included the dimensions of each rower. This can help you decide if it will fit into your room, or if you need to choose a machine that works out better. Keep in mind that some machines fold for storage. We’ll talk about those machines in just a moment. If the size is a large factor in your rower decision, consider looking into one that folds down for storage.


The display, or console, on each rowing machine is a vital piece of equipment. Some machines come with touchscreen options, while others use LCDs or backlit consoles to display your statistics. Others connect to your smartphone directly, so they don’t display any information on a screen. The choice here is mostly personal. What type of display do you want? What type of statistics and metrics are most important for you when you’re working out?

Once you know what numbers you’ll be looking for, you can choose a rower that displays those metrics. Otherwise, choose one that connects to a fitness app with the figures you want to be displayed.

The display should be easy to navigate and simple to read. You should be able to look down and view your stats at a glance without any issues.


Rowing machines can be long. The slide deck is one of the longest pieces of exercise equipment available, especially in machines with a taller height capacity. Most Canadians won’t be able to leave a rowing machine out all the time, especially when they have other gym equipment to use.

Thankfully, most rowing machine companies have considered this. Most options can fold or unscrew, becoming two separate pieces. This allows you to store it easily, without it becoming a hassle in your closet. If you’re worried about moving the entire weight of the machine, consider choosing an option that comes with built-in transport wheels. These wheels can help make moving the machine easier once you have it folded up and ready to store.


Like all exercise machines, you might want your rower to connect to an app. Apps might provide workout routines, videos, courses, and more. They can also keep track of your workout statistics over time, helping you compare your progress and explore exactly how effective your workouts are. Some rowing machines may connect to proprietary apps via Bluetooth. Others might connect to common apps available for most machines.

If you use a particular fitness app, make sure to check your options with each rowing machine. Choose an option that connects to your fitness app if possible, so you don’t have to switch. If you have other workout equipment, consider which apps and connectivity options you use there for comparison.


To become viable for users of different heights, a rower must adjust. There should be multiple adjustment points, including the handlebars, pedals, and seat. Everyone will need to adjust the rower to fit their height and proportions. Otherwise, you won’t be getting a very effective workout. Look for rowing machines that provide multiple points of adjustment, especially if you are shorter than average or taller than 6’2”.

Handlebars and Pedals

Aside from the seat, you’ll be interacting with the handlebars and pedals more than any other part of the rowing machine. These parts must be comfortable to use. Handlebars should come with soft-touch features, ergonomics, or other options that make them easier to hold. Anti-slip options for both handlebars and pedals deserve your consideration. If your hands or feet slip during a stroke, you might injure yourself. As a result, look for anti-slip options. Pedals should also have adjustable straps to keep your feet planted.

Above all, every part of the rowing machine that you interact with should be comfortable to use. If it isn’t, you won’t want to use the machine as often (and won’t get any of the great benefits!).

Noise Level

If you’ve ever seen a rowing machine in use at a gym, you know they can be loud. Noisy rowers are disruptive when you use them at home. Neighbours and other family members might hear every moment of your workout, even if you’re in another room or on another floor. This is especially inconvenient if you work out early in the morning or late at night.

To avoid disturbing those around you, make sure to choose a quieter noise level. Air-based resistance is the loudest option available. Water-based resistance is a little quieter, but magnetic resistance should be the quietest option for those who need to sneak their workouts in.


Smoothness is sometimes overlooked when shopping for rowing machines. While you don’t necessarily have to look for the smoothest possible machine, it can make a difference. Machines with smoother tension can lead to a more effective workout, especially when it comes to magnetic resistance.

On the other hand, a rower that isn’t as smooth can put a little more strain on your muscles and interrupt the perfect flow of each stroke. While there’s no way to measure smoothness, there are some general rules. First, magnetic tension is the smoothest available. Air-based tension is controlled by how you work the machine, so it can be smooth if you have some experience. Water-based tension is firm and realistic, so it can be a little bumpier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rowing machines are a great piece of gym equipment that will work for the majority of Canadians. These machines provide superior upper and lower body workouts and give you the option of multiple resistance levels. Rowing machines have a variety of features and sizes and come in a range of costs. No matter your fitness levels, a rowing machine is a good choice for your next piece of exercise equipment.

One of the best perks of using a rowing machine is the ability to choose your workout type. Those wanting a high-intensity cardio workout can set the resistance to be a little lower while working quicker to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. For those who want to focus on strength training for the day, setting the weights and resistance to be higher while working on harder sets is also a possibility. Rowing machines can provide a full-body workout that can be paced to personal preference.

Rowing machines in Canada are built to last and have a lifespan of many years. These machines are easy to care for, and with proper maintenance, like routine cleaning and inspection of the machine parts, you can expect it to work properly as long as you have it. Many rowing machines include a warranty, so make sure to register your equipment as soon as you buy it and keep all original receipts.

Users with small children, sensitive pets or other household members who work from home will want to choose gym equipment that isn’t noisy. Rowing machines do tend to be noisier machines, so Canadians should look for the quietest option possible. Machines that use magnetic resistance are the quietest rowing machines, while those that use air resistance are the loudest. If you have to purchase a rowing machine that is on the louder side, you can try and place it on a gym mat that will help absorb some of the sounds.

Many Canadians live in smaller houses or don’t have a dedicated home gym to store full-size exercise equipment. Those needing a more compact option that doesn’t skimp on features or capabilities will love the Sunny Health and Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine. This rowing machine easily folds up when not in use and can be stored in a closet, ideal for those who have limited storage space.

Rowing machines, like all home exercise equipment, need continuous cleaning to ensure a hygienic workout space. Users should always wipe down a rowing machine after use, preferably with a cleaning solution that is approved for use on your equipment. Never place your rowing machine by direct heat, or store it in a damp area like a garage to prevent mould and mildew.

Rowing machines come with multiple levels of resistance and tension, and beginners may not be sure how to choose the right one. For those unsure about how to get started on a rowing machine, always start with the lowest level of resistance. If you are comfortable and can easily row without feeling challenged, you can safely move up levels until you are comfortable with the tension level, but without straining or hurting yourself.