ProForm 440R Rower Review
On the more affordable end of the rowing spectrum, the ProForm 440R rower is a special offering on account of a very simple yet thoughtful bit of product design. By adding two small footrests at the front of the unit, the rowing machine instantly becomes a multi-function workout station, allowing its users to do high rows, bicep curls and other workouts as well as using the machine for conventional rowing. The machine is not without its flaws—its size is restrictive for users over six feet tall, it doesn’t have a good reliability track record, and its construction feels a bit flimsy when compared to some other rowers in the category—yet overall it could still be a smart buy based on your specific needs and interests. If you’re new to rowing, on a budget, and on the smaller side in terms of physical build, we would still recommend it.
The ProForm 440R rower is a dynamic fitness machine that serves as both a rower and a stand-up pulley station. Demanding very little space, it can support cardiovascular training, as well as low impact strengthening exercise for your whole body. It operates quietly, and can be folded upright after your workouts to save space in your home. It has made our list of best rowing machines for its price category.
How it works: The rower and pulley station use a light flywheel for resistance. Tension is adjusted via a control knob with eight resistance settings, letting you build up strength over time the same way you would with conventional weights in the gym. An LCD screen shows large readouts for elapsed time, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes (or reps) and calories burned. The console does not have any sort of pre-programmed workouts built into it, which is somewhat common for this price range.
The monitor is battery powered so the rower can be placed anywhere in your home without worry of being near a power outlet. When exercise is through, you can fold the 440R vertically to reclaim floor space. The machine is quite light, and it has wheels for easy transport too.
Where the machine really starts to fall flat is in its overall build quality, reliability, and warranty. Out of the box, most of the time people are impressed, but those who use the machine heavily will quickly begin to see failures, especially once out of its pitiful 90-day parts and labor warranty. The argument is made that ‘you get what you pay for’ but with contenders like the the Stamina X Rower in the mix that’s a pretty hard argument to make.
Originally this hybrid rowing machine cost $999, but ProForm now sells it online for just $349. Compared with most top rated rowing machines it has a significantly lower cost, but between the several concerns noted above this lower price makes sense.
The ProForm 440R can comfortably fit people up to 6’ tall. Here are some features that riders like.
- Two-in-one: Exercise options are multiplied with the 440R’s pulley station. While standing, you can pull its handle upward to do a variety of strength training exercises for your upper body. While seated, you can row for overall strength and cardiovascular fitness.
- Low seat height: The seat height is low, which some exercisers prefer.
- Easy-to-use console: The ProForm monitor is easy to use and shows distance, time, calories, stroke count and strokes per minute. It is battery powered, so the machine operates without a power cord.
- Space saving design: This rower is just 76.6″ long, making it slightly smaller than average, and it can be made more compact for storage. The rail can be folded vertically with ProForm’s SpaceSaver design.
The ProForm 440R Rower isn’t ideal for everyone. Here are some possible drawbacks.
- Light gesistance: ProForm’s website advertises the resistance on the 440R as being “light, medium and heavy.” Many customers would disagree; the resistance is relatively light even at the strongest level. It isn’t a good fit for people who are already in good shape.
- No programs: ProForm’s rower doesn’t have preset workout programs. More expensive rowing machines include dozens of workouts that automatically adjust the machine’s resistance. With the 44R Rower, the rider makes all the adjustments manually.
- Cheap parts: This unit weighs about 60 pounds, which isn’t so substantial, and contains some lower quality parts. In particular customers have complained that the tension cord is prone to fraying and snapping, and a broken cord costs more than $100 to repair. The 400R isn’t built for heavy use.
- Small seat: The seat is rather small. It is uncomfortable for bigger people.
- Weight capacity: The weight capacity is 250 pounds. That is light compared with the competition.
- Warranty: The warranty is very short, with ProForm hoping you’ll pay for an extended version. Parts and labor are only covered for 90 days. There is a five-year frame warranty.
The ProForm 440R could be satisfactory for the sale price of $349, but you’re buying at your own risk here. Its resistance is best for people who are new to rowing, and its size is most appropriate for people with smaller bodies.
If you have good upper body strength already, or want a rowing machine with better durability, then we recommend choosing one of the several alternatives on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
76.6" L x 20.5" W x 38.3" H
Maximum User Weight Capacity