Best Hybrid Rowing Machines
Looking for a multi-purpose fitness machine? There are a few rowers on the market that can also act as a cycle or a mini home gym. Combo machines are hit or miss at the best of times, but there are a few exceptions to the rule. Hybrid rowers can allow you to save space and double your workout options. They allow you to easily convert your rowing machine into a low-impact recumbent bike or a strength training station, sometimes with just a quick change to the seat. They can deliver an affordable solution to help tone your heart and all your major muscle groups with one machine. But keep in mind that this all comes at a price. They often are not as durable as a specialized ‘one way’ machine. Check out our top 3 hybrid rowing machines on the market below, and scroll down to learn more about rowers in this category.
Our Top Three Hybrid Rowing Machines
Hybrid Rowers—What To Expect
As hybrid rowers vary from machine to machine, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what you’ll get from each model. Generally, hybrid rowers act as a cycle and a rower. More often than not with these machines, brands have to cut corners in places like the quality of components to achieve this dual functionality. This in turn can detract from the model’s overall durability. But there are some exceptions to the rule. Take the Avari Conversion II Rower Bike for example. Durability and features are not comprised for the dual rower/bike purpose here. Just keep this in mind when you are browsing other hybrid machines. It’s no wonder that brands have to make some sacrifices to deliver each side of the coin. With a hybrid rower, you won’t be getting as durable a rowing machine as say, a water rower. And if it supports cycling, you may not be getting as smooth a ride as a standard recumbent bike. That said, if getting a dual-purpose machine to mix up your workout routine is a top priority for you, you should browse the top rowers in this category. With a dual-purpose rowing machine, you’re getting two different types of workouts. So you could look at it this way: with a hybrid machine you are saving money as you have two machines in one, and you are saving space in your home gym as there are two machines compressed into one model.
How Do Hybrid Rowing Machines Work?
Hybrid rowing machines are unique fitness machines designed for home gyms. Most of these machines switch from a rower to a bike (or vice versa). Usually, this just involves removing a pin, adjusting the seat, and pinning again. This allows the machine to support two popular exercises: rowing and cycling.
How Powerful Is The Resistance?
The resistance on hybrid rowers is preset from light to heavier levels, and depends on the machine and the type of exercise it supports (rowing or cycling). Resistance can be controlled manually by a dial or electronically via the machine’s console. Overall, resistance varies by model. On a cheap magnetic hybrid rower, a rider might choose from five resistance levels. On a better model they might choose from 20 resistance levels. If it uses purely air resistance, it may not even have preset levels, and instead just adapt to user effort.
1. Avari Conversion II Rower Bike
These combination rower/recumbent bikes aren’t particularly common, as most people are looking for either one type of equipment or the other, however the Avari Conversion II Rower Bike is one of few examples that are surprisingly well executed for the price of entry. It comes in just under the $700 mark, and aside from having a very short warranty the few negatives we found with this machine can’t really be counted as dealbreakers. So often with these machines we see brands cutting corners in other place in order to deliver this added functionality, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here outside of some shorter than standard warranty terms. Given the price range there’s little surprise that this machine is only rated at a weight capacity of 250 lbs—pretty much standard until you get into rowers closer to $1,000.Read the Full Avari Conversion II Rower Bike Review
2. Stamina Conversion II Rower Bike
Stamina is already well known for its affordable rowing machines, and by incorporating a pedal system into its magnetic drive system and adding a rigid locking system to its seat, you’re looking at a very versatile piece of equipment. Already dubbed a ‘two-in-one workout machine”, you could fairly go further and actually call it three-in-one. With the footplates installed just behind its drive unit, the rowing bar can also be used for arm and back strength training workouts. Simply stand straddling the seat rail, with your feet firmly planted on the footplates. from there you can easily and comfortably perform bicep curls, front raises, bent-over rows, and a host of other exercises. Priced at $799, this machine seems quite reasonably priced, and seems to hold up reasonably well in the long term.Read the Full Stamina Conversion II Rower Bike Review
3. Total Gym Row Trainer
The Total Gym Row Trainer is not a conventional rowing machine by any stretch. Its general construction and use of bodyweight resistance it much more aligned with the design of rowing benches found on conventional weight training racks. Add a sliding seat track to the mix—as found on a rowing machine—and you’ve got a unique piece of equipment that delivers a reasonable amount more versatility to your workout routine. Two different incline settings are available to amplify the resistance load, and Total Gym encourages users to thing of the machine as more of a training bench than a rower, suggesting things like adding a bicep curl motion to your row, or other techniques using the brand’s optional multi-grip handle.Read the Full Total Gym Row Trainer Review