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The Best Home Rowing Machine: Concept 2 Rowing Machine

It’s one of the best known secrets that the Concept2 Rowing Machine Is the best home rowing machine, as well as the best ergometer indoor rowing machine most recommended by rowing coaches, personal fitness trainers and athletes.


Concept 2 Indoor Rower with Performance Monitor 5

Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black
2,348 Reviews
Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black
  • Low impact workout that engages all major muscle groups; work legs, core and arms with a smooth, high calorie-burning motion
  • Track your progress with real-time reliable data; the Performance Monitor 5 (included) self-calibrates for comparable results; connect wirelessly to heart rate belts and apps (not included)
  • Designed to fit most users: 14-inch seat height, adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle.Monitor Arm:ABS plastic
  • Separates easily into two pieces for storage; caster wheels make it mobile; easy to assemble with only eight screws. Space Recommendations- Assembled- 8 ft x 2 ft (244 cm x 61 cm). For Storage- 25 in x 33 in x 54 in (63.5 cm x 83.8 cm x 137.2 cm)
  • Space recommended for use is 9 x 4 feet; 500-pound user capacity; 5-year frame warranty included.Seat Height:14 inches.Users with an inseam of 38 inches (96.5 cm) or more may require an extra-long monorail

Last update on 2020-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why I Like Rowing Machines–and You, Too


I have been interested in rowing machines because I figure they might help keep my knee in decent shape. Since I have had two cartilage and meniscus operations, and one motorcycle plowing into the same knee while riding my bicycle, the last thing I want is to have to get a knee replacement. If you have knee issues, you should also consider one for your exercise.

I have other issues, too. Since I am over 65, I want to keep my weight down and to make sure my calories burned are less than or equal to calories I eat. I want to prevent my muscles from getting weaker. As we age, our muscle mass tends to fall, partly due to age and partly because most seniors are less active and more sedentary.

So the low impact body workout of cardiovascular exercise and muscle conditioning make an at home indoor rowing machine a convenient option. Lose weight…get strong… keep your heart and circulation healthy….what’s not to like?

Before actually buying an indoor rowing machine, I wanted to try one out first. Fact is, rowing machines cost anywhere from a hundred bucks to several thousand dollars. So when you are looking for a good rower how do you know what’s good and what’s not?

The Basics: The Main Types of Resistance Rowing Machines

The Model d Indoor Rowing Machine makes use of air resistance. However there are several other kinds of resistance rowing machines. These use:

However, none of these indoor rowing machines has the performance record of the rowing machine concept2 model. The Murtisol is a budget rowing machine as is the magnetic resistance sunny health fitness sf-rw5515.  The WaterRower is a water rowing machine,  seen on the TV show House of Cards and costs more than the Concept 2 model d indoor rowing machine. Magnetic resistance does work but it has a different feel from the air rower, which athletes seem to prefer. Plus, the Sunny Health and Fitness, while a budget machine, appears to be less reliable than the Concept 2.

A Fitness Professional Demonstrates the Concept 2 Rower

With that in mind, I asked fitness professional physical fitness and personal trainer, Eric Anderson, tried it out myself, and asked him to demonstrate it in person. You can see the complete ‘unedited’ straight to the point interview which demonstrates the Concept2 Model D right here.

Is the Concept2 Model D Really the Top Selling Rowing Machine in the World?

Answer, yes, the Concept2 Model D really is the top selling rowing machine in the world. Of all the dozens of rowing machines that are available, why does the Concept2 enjoy such a great reputation?

I am a researcher. I use various tools that most people don’t have access to, although they’re available and usable taking in to account their cost, and the time needed to learn how to use them. Plus, I have a personal commitment to live a long and healthy life. That is what attracted me to the Concept2 Model D

What Are the Key Factors in The Concept 2’s Great Reputation?

There are several key factors contributing to  the Concept 2 Model D being the World’s Top Selling Rowing Machine. What does it mean to be the best rowing machine, as well as the most popular? [2] A simple internet search shows this machine mentioned consistently.  In fact, “USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committees…..USRowing’s official suppliers include Concept 2…”[3]

Long and Reliable History

  • 40 old Vermont, USA company–Has updated its model rowing machine several times
  • Used both in home gyms as well as boat houses and professional training centers
  • Endorsed by the 2016 US Olympic Team
  • Extremely durable–stands up to demanding use by professionals worldwide
  • People of all ages and fitness levels can use it safely
  • Numerous features that appeal to the beginning user and professionals alike

Computerized Performance Monitor to Track Your Workout

  • Tracks your strokes per minute–measures your progress
  • Backlit LCD display is easy to look at
  • Wireless Bluetooth capability to monitor your heart rate and use with other apps
  • You can play games with it to keep you engaged, or simply use it as a form of meditation
  • Can save your workouts on a USB drive for further tracking

Choose Your Level of Workout

  • 10 Level Adjustable Resistance Flywheel– Adjusts to Your Fitness Goals
  • Very Quiet as You Simulate Rowing Strokes
  • The Machine Rows Very Smoothly, Just Like You Feel in a Boat!
  • Has an Ergonomic Handle

Super Convenient Features for Indoor Use

  • Easy Assembly–uses only 8 screws
  • Easy to Move–Has caster wheel, so it rolls
  • Easy Storage –Separates without need for tools
  • Takes up Little Storage Space– 2 feet, 1 inch x 2 feet, 9 inches x 4 feet, 6 inches
  • Takes up little workout space

Helps You Stay Focused

  •  Can Store Your Workouts on your smartphone
  • Features Many Online apps
  • Daily Email Workout Ideas Available
  • Compare yourself to other users to keep you motivated

High Customer Satisfaction

One review I found particularly compelling since I have knee issues. And my guess is that you do too, if you’re at the For-Knees website.  The guy was a marathon runner, who apparently burned out his knees and now needs a low impact way to stay in shape, instead of miles of knee pounding on pavement.

Here is his review, which you can click on to see for yourself: This Machine May Save My Life

How to Use the Concept 2 Rower 

When using the indoor rower, simply sit in the seat, and adjust the lever on the flywheel. Your training consists of 1 to 10 resistance levels. You can then use the pm5 Performance monitor to decide:

  1. Length of time for your workout
  2. Simulated distance
  3. You can choose intervals of time to row and rest
  4. You can choose to play games that take your mind off the activity itself, such as ‘the fish eating the fish game’, which many people enjoy

The best home rowing machine, the Concept 2 Model D Rower: finger pointing at the tracking screen

What I Personally Like about the Concept2 Model

Since I have had a history of knee problems, I am quite careful with my exercise routine. On the one hand, if I don’t exercise enough, my knee starts acting up, and if I exercise too hard and put too much stress on the knee, it can also create residual pain. With the Concept 2 model D flywheel mechanism, the user can easily set the resistance level.

The Concept2 Model is great for strength training in your home gym. It can take the place of:

  • Treadmills
  • An exercise bike
  • Ellipticals


The other thing I like about it is that it is meditative. As a kid, I used to row a boat at summer camp. When I use the rowing machine, I can close my eyes, coordinate my breathing with the action of pulling and releasing, and imagine myself on a tranquil lake. Rowing is a way to create a peaceful space in life, drop the hectic cares we deal with, and JUST ROW. Simple.

Of course, some people like to listen to music or maybe even an audio book, which is fine, too. In my own case, I am a firm believer in silence. The world is noisy enough and we are flooded with information enough already.

Get seated, set the time and/or distance, and off we go….no news,no distractions, just breathing in and breathing out, feel our heart and muscles respond. When you think about it, that is REAL LIFE. What is more simple than using our body and breathing rhythmically?

Is the Concept2 Worth Its Higher Price?


For some people, the $900+ price tag may be a little expensive. However you could always finance it by, for example paying with Paypal over several months with little or no interest due. Needless to say, you could buy a cheaper rower, and there are some pretty good ones out there, however, they may not be as durable and trouble free as the Concept 2. Plus, the manufacturer has an excellent reputation for taking care of its customers, should the need arise.

The other alternative is to get a gym membership. These memberships vary in price and quality tremendously. And there are some excellent gyms and membership programs, should you choose that route. However, your yearly gym membership fee will probably cost the same as the Concept2 Model, which lasts for years!  So– if you’d like to have one at home or want more info? Click Here!

To sum up, here are its advantages—and disadvantages

Advantages of the Concept 2 Rower

  1. Easy to use–just hop on and with very little instruction, you’re ready to go
  2. Comfortable–Just sit in the contoured seat, pull on the handle bars, push back with your feet.
  3. Versatile–You can adjust the electronic controls for distance, time, even play games to entertain yourself as you work out
  4. Adjustable–A separate lever allows you to adjust the level of strength needed to pull back
  5. Durable–In a even a professional setting with multiple users, the rower Concept 2 needs little or no maintenance.
  6. Safe–It is almost impossible to injure yourself because it is low impact, and easy on your joints
  7. Easy to Assemble
  8. Provides good range of motion
  9. Noise level is reasonable (not too noisy)
  10. Ergonomic Handle
  11. The machine comes in two colors, the black or light gray model


Disadvantages of the Concept2 Model D

  1. The LCD Monitor, which determines the type of exercise you choose requires a once a year battery change.
  2. It doesn’t have a padded seat. Some people complain that the seat is a little hard when using it for longer sessions. Using a foam pad, however, should take care of that issue, should it arise.
  3. In the case of knees, while it does encourage circulation and knee health, it also minimizes impacts on the joints, unlike jumping or going downhill. However, if your knees can’t withstand impacts, that is a positive.
  4. The price of the Concept2 Model D may be a high for some people, although it does have a 5 month payment plan.

Gym Membership vs Home Exercise

If you are looking for resistance training, you can certainly sign up for a gym membership. Prices vary widely from about $29/month to well over $100 per month, depending on where you live. Plus, if you don’t know what you’re doing, paying a personal trainer can cost up to $50 per session. In addition, it takes precious time, to get the gym, change, do the workout, shower, and return home. This results in many gym memberships going to waste, as high as 67%!

So if you can create a space in your schedule right at home, it is not only more time efficient, but in the long run, is a lot less expensive than a gym membership.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between Model D and E? The difference between the two machines is that the Model E has a higher seat. That makes it easier if you have mobility issues, and find it hard to get up or sit down in the lower seat.
  2. How much does it weight? Model D weighs 57 pounds, Model E weighs 65 pounds
  3. How much weight can it bear? It can bear someone weighing up to 500 pounds
  4. Does the machine fold up? Yes, it folds for easy storage
  5. How does the resistance work? The resistance works by the adjustable flywheel, which the user can set to 10 levels


Rowing, whether indoor or outside, is a great overall body workout for both resistance, strength and cardiovascular training. There are many rowing machines available, however, 40 years of excellence, plus the endorsement of numerous coaches and athletic organizations suggest that the Concept2 Model D, or its cousins, theConcept2 Model E Rower if you need a higher seat due to flexibility or mobility issues

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