The ProForm brand was established in the mid-1980s to serve the mass market. It is owned by ICON Health and Fitness, a leading worldwide distributor of numerous fitness equipment brands. ProForm’s rowing machines have been mostly geared towards the entry level market, but more recently they have been upping their game with newer models that compete in the mid to upper register of the rowing machine category (for home use). With recent model updates, the brand now has two new models that are very closely aligned with NordicTrack in terms of specifications and access to interactive training.
Top ProForm Rowing Machines
ProForm Rowing Machines
With the addition of a couple of new models, ProForm now has three different rowers in their catalog. At the bare-bones level, the 440R is ProForm’s entry level rowing machine. Its key selling features are the fact that it delivers 8 levels of magnetic resistance at a very low price point, and that it is designed in a way that allows it to be used for a variety of different workouts.
Next up is the new 750R—a machine capable of connectivity with iFit interactive training, which ProForm bundles into the purchase of the machine. To keep costs down, this model has a well designed tablet holder built into the top of its LCD monitor—one fitted on an adjustable arm to accommodate a broad range of user heights.
The range-topping model from ProForm is their new Carbon R7 Rower—a model that comes in quite similar to the 750R (and is priced around the same dollar figure as well). This rower offers 26 levels of resistance, and comes equipped with adjustable handlebars to suit your size and preferred rowing position.
- Interactivity: Though not an absolute necessity in the category, ProForm is one of very few offering streaming video training programs, which can be a great motivator for those who are new to at-home workouts
- Build Quality: As a general rule, ProForm machines (regardless of category) are typically well built considering their respective categories.
- Easy-to-Use Console: Regardless of the model in question, the LCD consoles on all of the brand’s consoles are simple and easy to use.
- Light Resistance: In many shoppers’ reviews, the resistance on the ProForm rower is criticized as weak. This model isn’t the best choice for people who are already in good shape. Also, the resistance is controlled with a knob instead of digitally. Digital controls can be more convenient.
- No Programs On Entry Model: ProForm’s 440R rower doesn’t have preset workouts. More expensive rowing machines have programs that automatically adjust the machine’s resistance. With the 440R Rower, tension adjustments are made manually.
- Questionable Longevity With Heavy Use: For entry level rowers—people looking to row a couple of times a week—the more affordable 440R should last fine, but it is not built to a level that can sustain heavy use over time.
- Small Seat: Some have found the sliding seat on ProForm rowers to be a bit small. It can be uncomfortable for larger riders.
- Weight Capacity: The maximum weight capacity is 250 pounds, which is light compared with the maximums of other brands’ rowing machines.
Overall ProForm rowing machines mostly land in the middle of the pack, with their big selling point being iFit interactive training, if this isn’t a priority for you, we’d recommend looking at other models in the same price bracket.
1. ProForm 440R Rower
On the more affordable end of the rowing machine spectrum, the ProForm 440R 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 rower instantly becomes a multi-function workout station. This allows its users to do high rows, bicep curls and other workouts as well as using the machine for conventional rowing. The rower 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.Read the Full ProForm 440R Rower Review
2. ProForm Dual Trainer Bike/Rower (Discontinued)
The ProForm Dual Trainer Bike/Rower is an odd machine that has now been discontinued by the brand. It was designed with multi-functionality and space savings in mind. The machine combines both a rowing machine and recumbent bike into a single unit, providing workout diversity in a very affordable package. Though speculation at this point, the buying demographic for a recumbent bike is different from that of an affordable rowing machine. While this machine may have appealed to a small segment of the market, it generally would not be the first choice in either category for someone looking for either an affordable bike or rower.Read the Full ProForm Dual Trainer Bike/Rower (Discontinued) Review