Have you ever seen a rowing competition? It’s intense to say the least, and every person in the boat is lean and trim.
That's because rowing is a surprising full-body workout that just about anyone can do. I had a little space in my basement home gym and decided that an air rowing machine would be a perfect addition.
I ended up going with the Stamina Air Rower. It was the perfect combination of strength, comfort, and affordability.
I now make sure to fit in a few rowing workout sessions each week, and I’ve been blown away with the results. My entire body has been transformed!
Keep reading my Stamina air rower review to learn about rowing machines and how to make the most out of a rowing workout session.
1. Stamina Air Rower (Black/Chrome)
The Stamina Air Rower is a fairly standard model, but don’t let that fool you. It still has plenty to offer.
I liked the padded seat, and the footrests are extra large. The monitor displayed everything I needed, including speed, distance, time, and calories burned.
It also folds up easily for storage. If you need to move your rower around a bit, you’ll love the built-in wheels. There are floor protectors as well, to keep both your floors and rower safe.
Overall, each workout was smooth and comfortable with this machine.
2.Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower
This model is a bit of an upgrade. Any serious rower will love the Stamina Ats Air Rower.
I was able to put the rower together myself, but it wouldn’t hurt to have an extra person around to help with the heavier pieces.
Assembly took me about an hour. Everything on this model is adjustable, including the seat rollers and foot pedals.
When I used this machine, I always found myself working out for a bit longer. Maybe it was because of how comfortable the rower was.
3. Stamina X Air Rower
Stamina offers plenty of options, including this superior model. There's nothing about this rowing machine I didn’t like.
It has a monitor that tracks distance, calories burned, speed, and number of strokes.
The seat rail is angled so that each repetition is smooth and efficient.
The footrests pivot, which gave me a larger range of motion. Everything that needs to be is padded, including the rowing handle and molded seat.
I always look forward to my rowing workouts, but when I used this machine, I found myself enjoying my workouts more than usual.
4. Stamina 1402 ATS Air Rower
The price of this rower is a bit higher than most Stamina models, but it’s worth the added investment.
The steel frame is built to last, so you won’t need to replace it until you’re ready to upgrade.
I loved how much of the machine is adjustable, so more than one person can use it safely.
The seat is padded and helped me maintain the right posture to prevent back injury. The footrests had straps to firmly hold my feet so that I didn’t slide at all.
I felt safe and protected with this machine and was allowed to simply enjoy my workout instead of worrying about my technique.
5. Stamina X Air Rowing Machine
This is another basic version, but it still does everything you need it to and then some.
Every glide was incredibly smooth, and thanks to the padded seat and textured grips on the handlebar, my entire air rower workout was always comfortable.
The assembly of this rower was very easy. It only took me about half an hour to get it together. It also folds up for easy storage, making it ideal for anyone with a small space.
You’ll be impressed with the sturdy frame and natural rowing movement.
What Is the Difference Between an Air Rower and a Regular Rowing Machine?
In general, rowing machines are an incredibly effective workout because they combine resistance with cardiovascular training. If you’ve ever used a rowing machine before, you know that good kind of sore feeling you have the next day.
There are two main types of rowing machines, both of which simultaneously work out multiple muscle groups.
But which type is best?
You’re probably familiar with the traditional model found in gyms, often known as a magnet-based rowing machine. This type of machine is usually quieter and uses a magnetic brake to create resistance in the flywheel.
You can choose your preferred resistance setting to customize your workout. These machines are ideal for those that want to work out at home without having to worry about causing a disturbance.
An air rower machine still uses a flywheel to create resistance, but there’s no magnet. Instead, the harder and faster your row, the more resistance there is.
This creates a more intense workout. When done correctly, you can burn more calories and tone muscles faster than with a magnet-based rowing machine.
However, the machine can be pretty loud. If noise levels during your workouts are a concern, you'll need to schedule your workouts appropriately.
Pros & Cons of a Stamina Air Rower
Every type of workout equipment has a list of pros and cons. Here’s the list I came up with after using a Stamina rowing machine in my home.
- Heavy-Duty Frame: I never felt like the machine would give out on me.
- Great Monitor: It’s basic, but gave me all the data I needed to track my progress.
- Stores Well: I loved that I could fold up the rower and save space.
- Low Price: For an air resistance rower, the price is very reasonable.
- Great Workout: What’s probably the most important pro on the list, the Stamina rowing machine provided me with an excellent workout, each and every time I used it.
- Noisy: This definitely isn’t the quietest workout machine you’ll ever use, but sometimes the noise would keep my energy levels up.
- Uneven Workouts: If you tend to take it easy during your workouts, you’ll miss out on one of the best advantages of an air rowing machine, which is working out multiple muscle groups at once. Slow workouts tend to only work out your upper body.
Are There Any Health Risks to Using a Rowing Machine?
If you’ve never used an air rowing machine before, it’s best to take a little time to research them and figure out what you’re doing before you hop on, in order to prevent injuries.
Here are precautions you should always take, whether you’re a newbie or a novice rower:
Just as with any workout, take the time to warm up your muscles. It only takes a few minutes to stretch and prep your muscles for what's about to come.
This will prevent strained and stiff muscles which can keep you from working out the rest of the week or longer.
Pay Attention to Arms and Wrists
Injuries to the wrists aren’t unheard of when it comes to rowing. Avoid twisting your wrists while working out. Make sure to keep your palms straight and facing down with each stroke.
It’s common to want to bend at the wrist, but this can lead to carpal tunnel and other injuries.
Posture Is Everything
When rowing, you need to keep your spine straight the entire time. Slightly leaning back at times is necessary, but for the majority of your workout, your back should be straight.
Never hunch or lean too far back. Lower back injuries can be serious, so always keep your posture in mind while rowing.
How to Use an Air Rowing Machine Safely
Here’s how I approach my air rowing machine workout. Remember that safety is your number one priority. Burning calories and sculpting your muscles comes second!
Adjust as Needed
Take a seat on the machine and place each foot in a footrest. Make sure that your heels are secure. Adjust the machine as needed, so that you’re comfortable.
Decide on Resistance
If you’re using a machine with an adjustable resistance feature, now is the time to set your preferred resistance level. If you’re using an air resistance machine, this step usually isn’t necessary.
Just remember to start with a lower resistance if you’re a beginner or recovering from an injury.
Check the Monitor
Some machines come with pre-programmed workouts. If you’d like, set the monitor to your preferred workout. You can also choose to track your distance, time on the machine, or calories burned.
Start Your Workout
You’ll begin your first rowing motion with an action known as the catch. Hold the handle with your palms down. Keep your knees vertical to the floor and bent, with your chest close to your thighs.
Keep your back straight and contract your abs. Make sure you don’t lean forward or hunch.
You’ll then go into the drive motion by pushing your legs forward while pulling the bar towards your ab muscles. Pull your elbows back just a tad past your core.
The handle should be just an inch or so away from your belly button. If needed, you can lean back slightly at the end of the drive, but don’t arch.
Return back to your starting position by bending at the hips. This is one rowing repetition. I usually don’t count repetitions, as I prefer to row for a certain amount of time.
If you’ve never used a rowing machine before, I wouldn’t recommend going for more than 10 minutes. With each additional workout, you can extend the time as you see fit until you work up to your goal.
What Muscles Are Being Developed When Using a Rowing Machine?
A rowing machine works sections of muscles all over the body. Even after reading a Stamina air rower review or two, I was really surprised to learn everything a rowing machine does, and I loved the results!
You’ll feel the burn right away in your lower body. Rowing requires the use of your legs. When you extend your knees, you’ll be using most of the muscles in your legs, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus.
Your core muscles work hard to stabilize your spine while completing your rowing actions. Your obliques, rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, and erector spinae all engage while using a rowing machine.
There aren’t many muscles in your upper body that won’t be worked while using a rowing machine. Your arms and shoulders contract when you pull on the handlebar. The muscles between your shoulder blades are also used each time you pull back.
There’s one area of the body though that can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life. Your hip flexors are used to pull you forward. Strengthening these muscles can lead to better posture and less back pain.
I had been suffering from mild back pain for years, especially when sitting at my desk for long hours. But I noticed that after a few months of incorporating rowing into my workouts, my back was feeling stronger and I rarely felt discomfort.
Does Using a Rowing Machine Help You Achieve a Flat Stomach?
Using a rowing machine will help you lose weight and tone muscles. Remember that with each rowing motion, your stomach muscles are being engaged as they help support your lower back.
In my experience, your stomach will absolutely look better after completing a series of rowing machine workouts. I began to notice a real difference about 6 weeks in.
Now, I didn’t develop a coveted “six-pack” of abs. But I did lose inches, and I no longer feel the need to suck in my stomach when first meeting someone or while at the beach.
A rowing workout can be a great way to make the most of your other abdominal workouts and reach your goals.
Is There a Weight Limit When Using the Stamina Air Rower?
Yes, there is a weight limit per the manufacturer. Those who weigh more than 250 pounds should not use the Stamina Air Rower for safety reasons.
Ready to start rowing?
Whether you choose a Stamina model or one like the Sunny Health and Fitness rowing machine, I’m sure you’ll be a pro in no time.
I’m also sure you'll love your results. It’s hard to understand how much rowing changes your body until you see the changes for yourself.
Ready, set, row!