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Water Rower Vs Air Rower

December 02, 2018

The rowing machine is another piece of gym equipment to look for if you want to quickly burn calories, build muscles and improve endurance. However, gone are the days when your only option is to get a gym membership to be able to utilize this excellent machine for a cardio boosts. Manufacturers make top quality rowing machines nowadays and are equipped with features like foldable design, transport wheels for easy relocation and quiet resistance designed exactly for home use.

Is a rowing machine the next addition to your home gym? Or perhaps you are searching for an effective cardio machine that will challenge you every day? You are in the right place! Air and water rower are the two types of rowing machines to choose from. This article will help you decide which one to purchase or use in your upcoming gym workout session.  

What is a Water Rower                                             

If you haven’t seen a water rower yet, it has a large tank of water at the front with long rail and adjustable seat. Water rowers can be made from wood, aluminum and stainless steel. The most popular brand is WaterRower.  You can find a lot of manufacturers providing a wide range of choices when it comes to style, type and price.

How does it work? Water serves as the resistance of this type of rowing machine. It has paddles inside the water tank that spins when you pull the rowing handle thus creating resistance when you apply force. In order to increase the resistance and intensity of the workout, you just need to row faster.  

Pros

  • Very smooth - no jerking
  • Gives a real-life rowing experience
  • Soft swooshing sound of water
  • Little maintenance required

Cons

  • Large footprint
  • High cost

What is an Air Rower

An air rower delivers smooth rowing stroke thanks to its long rail and adjustable seat. It is available in the market at low, medium and high prices depending on the features, built and quality. A model like the BodyCraft VR200 Rowing Machine comes with a foldable design and transport wheels for storing convenience. Some of the popular brands of air rowers are BodyCraft, Concept2 and NordicTrack.

The Air rower uses a flywheel and fan for other models to produce resistance. These are connected to the chain of the rowing handle which spins as you pull a stroke similar with the water rower. Modern air rowers are also built with dampers allowing you to control the resistance. Adjusting the damper settings to high will result in a more challenging workout while the low setting is for an easy pace.

Pros

  • Has longer main rail to accommodate taller people
  • Imitate the resistance felt when rowing on water
  • Sold in low to high price range
  • Little wear and tear

Cons

  • Large footprint
  • Quite noisy

The Difference

As you have read, the difference between the water and air rower is mainly the resistance, then noise level and price. In terms of cost, you can get a decent air rower at $300 but the price for water rowers typically starts at $700. But if you are willing to make an investment to ensure you stay fit and active, you can find a top of the line air rower below $1000 like BodyCraft VR200 Rowing Machine and this is the same with water rower.

Regardless which of these two types of rowing machines you chose, you are sure to get the full benefits of a total body workout. If your goal is to burn calories faster, a HIIT rowing workout is worth the try. Happy rowing!


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