If you are at the gym regularly, you know that there are plenty of exercise machines that you can choose from. You can choose from free weights, weight-lifting machines, cardio machines, and more. With all of these exercise options, there is one machine that is perhaps one of the best for both strength training and cardio. That is the rowing machine.
Rowing machines can engage up to 86% of your muscles. This gives you a full-body workout that can increase your strength, improve your endurance, and help you burn more calories than you would from other types of exercise.
Rowing machines have been around for a long time, but they’ve yet to see the modern-day makeover they deserve. For many people, rowing machines bring to mind images of dingy old exercise equipment sitting in a garage or a basement.
That’s where the Hydrow Rower comes in. Hydrow brought the rowing machine into the 21st century with a sleek design, improved construction, and advanced technology (more on this later). We like to think of the Hydrow as the Peleton of rowing machines.
Is this machine worth it? Keep reading our Hydrow Review to find out.
What Is The Hydrow Rower?
The Hydrow is a rowing machine that has a unique design that is unlike any comparable indoor rower or erg machine. You can think of the Hydrow as the Peloton of rowing machines in that it’s main selling points are the sleek design and the built-in classes. Like Peloton, the Hydrow doesn’t take up too much room, nor does it look anything remotely like the rowing machines that you see at the gym.
Here are a few of the most notable features.
Rowers are big pieces of exercise equipment and, if you’re going to feature one in your home, you want to make sure it looks good. The Hydrow Rower features a sleek design that would make any design enthusiast proud. The product is well-built and durable, featuring an aluminum and steel frame with an anthracite polymer body. There’s not much to say here except that the machine looks great and is built with high-quality materials.
Exercise equipment, such as treadmills and fan bikes, can be loud and annoying to members of your household. Hydrow is designed to be as quiet as possible so you can workout without bothering anyone else. The product was designed with noise control in mind. While it’s unlikely that you will get a completely silent workout, the Hydrow rower is quiet enough to avoid bothering anyone else in your home.
The Hydrow is built for comfort and features an ergonomically designed cushioned seat that will keep you comfortable during intense workouts. The machine also features patented mechanisms that make it one of the smoothest rowers on the market.
While the Hydrow itself wouldn’t be considered compact, it is easily storable. You can tilt the machine into an upright position to store it in between uses. There is an upright storage kit (sold separately) that locks the product into the wall for safety.
Here is a comparison of the dimensions:
- Regular: 86″L x 25″W x 47″H
- Upright Storage: 25″W x 33″D x 86″H
The star of the Hydrow is definitely the HD touchscreen monitor. With a front-facing monitor that is measured 22 inches in size, you can listen to your virtual instructors and follow along with the program while listening to high-energy music that is guaranteed to pump you up.
The touchscreen is really what will take your rowing workouts to the next level. You can run through different training programs, rowing simulations, and more. We’re going to discuss this in more depth later in the review so stay tuned!
Who Make The Hydrow?
Whenever we review a product, we like to know more about the company behind the product. Learning about a company can help you better understand the quality of the product so you can feel more comfortable with your purchase.
The Hydrow Rower is manufactured by Hydrow Inc. The company was founded by Bruce Smith, a lifelong rower, and rowing coach.
The company is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in operation since 2017. At this point, it has only created the Hydrow rowing machine and no other fitness equipment. It has garnered plenty of positive reviews since it’s been on the market for the last couple of years. The company partnered with rowing champions across the United States in an effort to make every training interactive with its users.
Hydrow Rowing Classes
Once you look past the sleek design, the Hydrow is a highly functional piece of workout equipment that is designed to give you a full-body workout and maximize your rowing experience.
Hydrow offers a similar home-workout experience as the Peloton bike, in that both machines bring intense, guided workouts to your home gym (or living room). The Hydrow features a 22-inch high definition touchscreen monitor designed to offer a vivid indoor rowing experience.
There are a variety of different programs to choose from, both live and on demand. Here are the main categories:
- Live Classes – Take a live, instructed rowing class guided by one of the company’s athletes or instructors.
- On-Demand Classes – Choose from a library of on-demand classes to find a rowing experience that suits your needs.
- Journeys – Enjoy serene river rowing and navigate your way through scenic routes at whatever pace you are comfortable with.
Needless to say, there are programs that are suitable for just about anyone.
There are four different workout levels that you can choose from: breathe, sweat, push, and drive.
Even if you have never used a rowing machine before, there is always a level that you can use to your advantage. And when the time comes, you’ll be able to go up a level and crank up the intensity of your workouts.
The “breathe” workout, for example, is a low-intensity level that will be more meditative than intense. If you had a hard day at work or having one of those days, workouts at this level can be pretty therapeutic.
You can tweak the resistance settings to make the workouts more or less intense. The machine features a magnetic resistance mechanism that is designed to emulate the feel of actually rowing on a river.
The classes themselves are immersive experiences that are definitely more exciting than simply working out. Here’s an example clip:
How Good Are the Hydrow Workouts?
If you are looking for a rowing machine, there’s no doubt that the Hydrow is best-in-class. If you are teetering between different types of exercise equipment, let’s take a moment to discuss the quality of Hydrow workouts and rowing workouts in general.
Rowers are actually one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment. They can be used to achieve a variety of fitness goals. Here are some of the main benefits of using a rowing machine.
Rowers engage up to 86% of your body, which means you get a full-body workout experience that you won’t get from other pieces of exercise equipment. For example, a treadmill or stationary bike is great for cardio and lower-body exercise, but it doesn’t do too much for your upper-body. The Hydrow engages your entire body which gives you a more well-rounded (and effective) workout.
Easier on the Joints
Rowing is a lower-impact exercise activity. You follow smooth motions that strengthen your muscles without putting too much stress on your joints.
Great for Cardio, Endurance, and Strength
Rowing machines are arguably one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment. They can be used to improve your cardio, endurance, and strength. If you are focused on cardio and endurance, you may do a mid/low-resistance workout for a longer period of time (i.e. 30-60 minutes). If you want to build muscle, you may increase the resistance and do a shorter workout.
Suitable for Different Skill Levels
Rowers can be as intense as you want them to be. If you prefer low-intensity workouts, you can take your time and row slowly (make sure to check out some of the “Journeys”). If you prefer a high-intensity workout, you can bump up the resistance and get to work!
Is Hydrow Rower Safe?
Whenever we review a fitness product, we like to determine whether or not it is a safe option. Overall the Hydrow Rower is safe. Like all workouts, you may risk injury like muscle strain or pulls. Stiff and achy muscles are common even if you have not worked out before. If the soreness gets a bit much, you can take a pain reliever like ibuprofen and place an ice pack on the affected area. A hot shower and rest will also be sufficient options.
How Much Does Hydrow Rower Cost?
Hydrow can be purchased directly on the company’s official website.
The company offers three different purchase packages.
The most basic package is $2,245 and comes with just the Hydrow Rower.
The starter package is $2,520 and includes the machine, a mat to put underneath the machine, a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, and wireless headphones.
The pro package is $2,705 and includes everything you get in the starter package as well as an additional workout kit and foam roller.
Every package comes with free shipping and is backed by the company’s home warranty. The company’s home warranty is broken up into three categories:
- The labor warranty is applicable for 12 months
- The frame and storage kit warranty is applicable for five years
- The components and electronics warranty is applicable for 12 months
It should be noted that all purchases come with a “30-day risk-free trial” period. If you are unhappy with the product during the first 30 days, you can return it for a refund.
When you purchase a Hydrow Rower, you will also need to purchase a membership. You can choose a monthly subscription for $38 per month or you can prepay $456 for the year. The monthly membership gives you access to all of the classes that make the Hydrow worth using.
Hydrow Rower: Is It Worth It?
Now we arrive at the most important part of our Hydrow Rower review. It’s time to answer the question, “is the machine worth paying for?”
There’s no doubt that this is a world-class rowing machine that offers an experience unlikely any other piece of workout equipment. That said, there’s no escaping the fact that the machine is expensive as well. At over $2,000 for the machine and a $38 monthly membership fee, this product is a big investment for most people.
Like any financial decision, you need to make sure it is a good fit for you.
The Hydrow is a high-quality rowing machine with industrial-grade components, a sleek design, and immersive on-demand workouts. As to whether or not it’s right for you, let’s address a few scenarios. Once again, nobody understands your financial situation as well as you, so the ultimate decision is yours to make.
If money is not a concern and you are looking for the best rower on the market, you can’t go wrong with Hydrow. It is priced similarly to the Peloton bike and offers a more versatile workout experience. If I had to choose between the Peloton and the Hydrow, I would absolutely choose the Hydrow every single time.
If you are more cost-conscious (as most of us are), consider the machine’s value to you. How often do you plan on using it? What are your alternative options? Do you plan on canceling your gym membership? The Hydrow makes it easy to get an intense, at-home workout, meaning you and your family may be able to save on gym memberships and/or start exercising more regularly. That said, you will still need to pay for the monthly membership fee so you should be prepared to get a lot of use out of this machine if you plan on purchasing it.
Interestingly, the machine’s price tag may actually get you to exercise more. If you’re spending big money on a piece of equipment, you may end up using it more frequently just to justify the cost. While this isn’t reason enough to buy the machine in the first place, it’s a nice benefit since nothing is more valuable than your health.
When we started our Hydrow review, we thought of the unit as just another one of the rowers on the market. In reality, this is more of an experience than a simple piece of equipment. The Hydrow actually makes you want to workout since each live session feels like an exhilarating experience. You actually feel like you are on a team of rowers treading through water. You get a full-body workout that is both enjoyable and incredibly effective. You may consider getting a foam roller (or Chirp Wheel) and a massage gun for recovery.
Advantages Of Hydrow Rower
- Full body workout
- High-quality speakers and touchscreen display
- Sweat and dust-resistant screen
- Ergonomically comfortable
- Live and on-demand classes
- Immersive home rowing experience
- Virtual instructors include world-class rowing champions
- May be expensive for budget shoppers