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Concept2 RowErg Review (2024): New Name, Same Great Rower

concept2 rowing
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Concept2 RowErg

The Concept2 RowErg is far and away the best rowing machine we’ve ever tested. In fact, it’s among the best pieces of fitness equipment we’ve ever used. This is also a widely held belief among Concept2 users, as proven by our Concept2 RowErg review.

rowing machine

Yes, the RowErg is an expensive piece of cardio equipment, costing nearly $1,000 shipped, but with an excellent workout, extreme durability, and a very high resale value if you decide to sell it, this is as safe a recommendation as we’ve ever made.

The Concept2 RowErg is made in the United States, is regarded as the gold standard by almost everyone who has used one, and can be found in nearly every high-end gym worldwide. The RowErg is ideal for athletes of all skill levels.

PROS:

  • Best-selling rowing machine in the world
  • Easy assembly
  • Accommodates users up to 6.6 feet tall and 500-pound weight
  • Ergonomic seat and handlebar
  • Seat is 14”
  • 10-degree angle on handle for natural grip
  • Adjustable airflow
  • Performance Monitor 5 (PM5) monitor
  • Nickel-plated steel chain
  • Adjustable footrests

CONS:

  • Priced around $1,000
  • Few built-in workouts

The Concept 2 RowErg can be found in almost any CrossFit box, and with good reason. It has a weight capacity of 500 pounds, can accommodate people up to 6 feet 6 inches tall, and is extremely durable. It was previously known as the Concept2 Model D Rower or Concept2 Model E Rower and is the best-selling rowing machine on the market, with air resistance that can be adjusted to suit your fitness level.

It can be disassembled into two pieces for easy storage or hung on the wall if you work out in a small space.

Concept2 RowErg Video Review

Rowing With The Concept2 RowErg

Concept 2 has performed well in all aspects of its business model. Every step of the process, from purchasing to quick delivery to excellent packaging, is meticulously planned. We were pleasantly surprised when we assembled the RowErg. Putting this together was a piece of cake. It only takes about 10-20 minutes to complete the setup, giving it a 5 out of 5 for assembly. You’re ready to row after attaching eight screws and a quick clip to the monorail. It was nice not to have to do the equivalent of a pre-workout by setting up the rower before I could train on it. Thank you, Concept 2!

This rower’s build quality is durable and does not feel cheap. Concept 2 is a commercial-grade rower, which means it was designed to withstand the abuse of frequent use at the gym or CrossFit box with little maintenance required. The rower’s front legs are aluminum, and its rear legs are steel. It also has an aluminum I-beam monorail and a stainless steel seat track. The 96-inch length and 24-inch width can support users up to 6.6 feet tall and 500 pounds. In addition, you can choose between a matte or black finish.

That’s great, but what’s the point of having a rower that can withstand years of use but isn’t comfortable enough to use for years? You won’t have to worry about that with the RowErg. Concept 2 has refined their products to provide superior quality and comfort. The rowing motion on this rower is extremely smooth. The seat glides effortlessly along the monorail, and the chain that pulls the flywheel does not snag. When you combine all of these components, you get a smooth catch, drive, finish, and recovery motion. That is one of the primary reasons Concept 2 is the preferred choice among professional rowers.

All rowing machines have a seat and a handlebar (thanks, Captain Obvious), but not all are ergonomic. Concept 2 improved the ergonomic design of the RowErg. The RowErg’s seat is contoured and padded, so it conforms to your bottom for comfort during long rowing sessions. I did, however, discover that several users who had logged a lot of meters on the Concept2 mentioned that the seat became harder over time. So you can expect some changes to your seat in a few years, whether it’s a folded towel or a removable seat pad. The handle is ergonomically designed, with a 10-degree bend for a natural grip. The handle is covered with molded rubber grips, which help absorb sweat.

A number of users (including the manufacturer) mentioned that new rowers should expect blisters on their hands during initial use, so if you have soft hands, you might want to wear workout gloves (we won’t judge you).

Are you a barefoot rower? You’re not alone; many barefoot rowers adore Concept 2’s footrest design, particularly the heel-rest, which appears to have been designed specifically for barefoot rower comfort. The footrests are flexible and have a dialed-in design, allowing rowers to get their “shins vertical” even if their ankles are not flexible. The pedals’ ergonomic contour allows for easy adjustment without the use of tools. The Concept 2 design is sophisticated, with the proper angle to reduce joint pressure during workouts. The footrests are adjustable to accommodate a variety of sizes. The footrests are comfortable for both barefoot and shoe-wearing rowers.

Although the Concept2 is classified as a ‘variable’ resistance rower, users can still change the “feel” of the rowing stroke using the damper setting. The different “gears” will give you a different feel while rowing, similar to how gears on a bicycle do. The higher settings (6-10) simulate a slower, heavier boat, while the lower settings (1-5) simulate a sleeker, faster boat. The damper feature is all about personal preference and is extremely user-friendly. It also makes the RowErg suitable for rowers of all levels, from novice to elite.

What Can Be Improved?

Although the Concept2 RowErg is exceptional, it is not always perfect (nothing is). The only thing we would like to see improved is the PM5 Performance Monitor. Even though we raved about it, it remains very simple. With Peloton becoming so popular due to classes, the ability to use a rower in a similar style would be ideal. A company called Hydrow has developed a similar piece of equipment, but for rowing. However, the actual rower has not received as many positive reviews as Concept 2, so combining the technologies would be fantastic.

Why Buy A Concept 2 RowErg?

If you’re not a professional rower or training for the World Rowing Cup, why would you buy a rower? I’m glad you asked. You should search Google for images of “Rowing Teams,” because these guys and gals are in fantastic shape. Why? They tend to row excessively. Rowing is a full-body exercise that keeps your heart rate elevated. It’s one of the most effective conditioning exercises you can perform.

With each stroke, almost every part of the body is used. Rowing is a cardiovascular workout because it involves moving your body’s large muscle groups repeatedly over an extended period of time. This form of exercise is well known for its health benefits. Everything from immune system boosting to cholesterol improvement and risk reduction for a variety of chronic health conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and stroke. Not to mention that rowing can burn up to 1,200 calories per hour.

A rowing machine is ideal for both sprint and low-intensity steady-state training. This is demonstrated by its use in CrossFit gyms around the world for a diverse range of people. The Concept 2 Rower is also a compact piece of exercise equipment that requires very little space, making it ideal for those who train at home. Many companies now sell RowErg wall hangers, but they are unnecessary because the rower can be stored upright in a corner.

To be honest, for the majority of people, the rower is the first piece of conditioning equipment we recommend. It has a low impact on joints and the skeletal system, can be used by anyone weighing less than 400 pounds (probably much more), has an incredible resale value, is practically bomb-proof, and provides one of the best full-body conditioning workouts and cardio machines of any machine, including the best treadmills, quality exercise bikes, or air bikes.

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