Hydrow Rower: The Next Evolution in Studio Rowing Equipment?

Hydrow Rower The Next Evolution in Studio Rowing Equipment, September 2021

I don’t live near a body of water, so the most exposure I get to rowing is either indoor training machines, or the Summer Olympics.

Because of this limited exposure, I was also blown away to learn that rowers are among the most fit athletes on the planet.

Surprised? Consider this fact: according to technogym.com, Pete Reed, who is a British 3 time-Olympic champion rower, has a lung capacity of 11.68 litres, the largest ever recorded. To put that into perspective, the average person’s lung capacity is only 6 liters.

Here are the health benefits of a high lung capacity: improved long-term health, a highly efficient cardiovascular system, and increased exercise endurance, to name a few,

But the question remains, if I am not getting access to a rowboat and body of water any time soon, how can I take advantage of the intense cardiovascular and respiratory benefits that rowing provides?

The answer is actually quite simple. Say hello to the Hydrow Rower, an indoor rowing machine completely reimagined to give you the ultimate indoor rowing workout experience.

What Exactly is the Hydro Rower?

Even since I learned just how effective rowing is to a person’s overall long term health, I knew that a high quality indoor rowing machine was going to be my home gym purchase.

The only trouble was, it was difficult to decide which rower to purchase.

Here was my dilemma: I am not one for indoor cardio exercises. If I am going to bike, I will always pick a bike ride through my neighborhood over a spin on a stationary bike machine. 

Same goes for running. While these activities are weather permitting, they are generally really accessible no matter where you live.

Rowing is different, though. No matter how I cut it, there was just no way I was investing in a boat, and there were no rowing teams near me. I knew indoor training was the only feasible way for me to start incorporating rowing into my daily workouts.

So now that you understand my dilemma, let me explain how the Hydrow Rower solves this problem of not loving indoor cardio workouts, and why it quickly became my top choice premium rowing machine.

The Hydrow Rower is specially designed to feel just like you are rowing through water. You might have tried rowing on indoor machines before, and let me tell you right now, using the Hydrow Rower is a totally different experience. The Hydrow website accurately describes it as “immersive”.

How is this possible? The Hydrow Rower uses patented drag technology to mimic the feeling of pushing against the resistance of water as you row. Pair this with a 22 inch HD touchscreen that shows your boat rowing through picturesque rivers as you row and I promise you, in the throes of an intense sweat session, the Hydrow Rower will honestly have you convinced that you are sailing over open water. 

Premium Features that Make the Hydrow Rower the Next Evolution in Rowing Equipment

Now, I can talk all I want in this Hydrow Rower review about just how impressed I personally am with the Hydrow Rower, but you deserve some hard facts too. Here are the top features that make this innovative rowing machine the top of its class:

Smooth, Comfortable Ride

The designers of the Hydrow Rower took their time to make sure even the smallest details of this rowing machine is comfortable no matter your workout style. 

During both short and intense bursts of interval training and long time sessions or repetitive rowing, the Hydrow Rower gives a smooth ride, thanks to its 10 roller seat system, ergonomic seat, and electromagnetic technology.

Silent Sweat Sessions

When you purchase and use your Hydrow Rower, your neighbors will thank you. Aside from my laboured breath and workout beats, training sessions on my Hydrow Rower are silent.

I credit this to the rowing machine's durable webbed strapping that moves noiselessly through its rowing system. 

Motivational Technology

I make this distinction because I sometimes find that indoor cardio equipment that is too teched out becomes distracting from the workout;

I spend more time connecting my Spotify to the machine’s speakers than I do actually breaking a sweat.

Good news is, the tech features on the Hydrow Rower operate only to motivate and improve your workout, keeping you on this rower for longer, more effective sessions each time.

How? While you row, the Hydrow Rower’s HD screen creates an immersive experience that feels like you are rowing alongside top rowing athletes who are demonstrating perfect form and giving encouraging words throughout your workout.

Some of these workouts are even streamed to you live from all around the world, so you really do feel like you are taking part in something a lot bigger and team oriented than just a routine cardio workout.

For me, this means that I am focusing on my exercise performance rather than what my dog or partner is doing in the other room, or what I want to snack on afterwards.

The Hydrow Rower also has a wide workout library, so that you can have the motivation to workout no matter what kind of day you’ve had. When I am feeling energized and like I can take on the world, I opt for a high impact rowing workout that really allows me to feel an effective muscle burn and heart rate increase.

For more low key days, and even my active recovery days, there are restorative rowing workout options that help me clear my headspace and relax. 

Finally, the Hydrow Rower workout library also offers you workouts that take you off the rowing machine and onto the mat to stretch, do yoga, and do pilates, so the Hydrow Rower really becomes a full body, all in one trainer. 

If all of this sounds super enticing, well, it's because it is. But also know that all these additional workout features come through a membership that you need to pay monthly for, which is charged separately from the rower (or you can bulk buy a 1 year membership). 

The membership is $38 a month (plus tax), which is a lot less than most gym membership fees. And, one membership can be shared amongst your family, making the value of the Hydrow Rower membership even better than single gym membership.

On each account, every user can individually access their favourite pre-recorded and live workouts, along with tracking their fitness progress.  

It’s a Work of Art

I am an old-school gym guy, so I don’t care much for how my equipment looks, but even I am wowed by the sleek design of the Hydrow Rower.

Not to mention, this is an indoor rowing machine that will likely find a home in people’s living rooms or basements, and naturally whatever you are living spaces should be visually appealing. 

The Hydrow Rower is no exception to this rule. This premium rowing machine is modern, compact, and finished with rounded edges and attractive grey hues that will complement any interior decor.

What are the Benefits of Rowing with the Hydrow Rower?

I talked a lot earlier about what an incredible workout rowing is. Let me explain exactly how working out on an indoor rowing machine, particularly the Hydrow Rower, can help you achieve incredible fitness results.

Rowing is a Full Body Workout

According to the Hydrow Rower website, rowing on one of these machines uses 86% of the muscles in your body. Honestly, I believe this because I can feel it after the workouts.

When you train on a Hydrow Rower, you are building your legs, core, back, arms, and your lung capacity and cardiovascular system.

All of these training effects have huge benefits for your overall health. 

While you can choose to incorporate other types of training into your weekly workouts with the Hydrow Rower, like weight lifting or a team sport that you play, it is not actually necessary. 

Just by training on the Hydrow Rower regularly, you can lose weight and meet your fitness and strength goals. 

Rowing is Low Impact

When a workout is low impact, it means that it does not put a lot of extra pressure or strain on your joints.

For example, running is a high impact exercise because the repeated movement of landing on each of your feet with every step eventually takes a toll on your knee and hip joints. 

On the other hand, rowing is a low impact exercise because you are in a seated position, performing a smooth movement that does not create extra stress on the body. This is all enhanced by the Hydrow Rower thoughtful and ergonomic design that takes care of your body and form so that you can exercise for longer sessions, comfortably. 

Suited for Users of All Fitness Levels

When you exercise with the Hydrow Rower, you are in total control of your pace, workout intensity, duration, and form.

It is easy to control the resistance on the Hydrow Rower because it is computer controlled, allowing you to quickly change up the intensity of your row resistance mid workout or between users.

This makes the Hydrow Rower a workout machine that is suitable for most users, no matter their age or fitness level.

I say most, because it can be difficult for some folks with limited mobility to get in and out of the rower because it is close to the ground. Aside from that, the Hydrow Rower is a really accessible rowing machine that everyone in your family can use and benefit from.

It also really helps that the Hydrow Rower’s screen displays pro rowing athletes exercising along with you. Worried about your form? Just watch the top rowers and match their body positioning to make sure you are getting maximum benefits from your training. 

Great for Mental Health

Hydrow Rower The Next Evolution in Studio Rowing Equipment, September 2021

Now, we know that rowing on the regular can greatly improve your physical health, but the benefits do not stop there.

There is something about rowing; it is a freeing, smooth, and repetitive motion that responds to what you presently need.

Push harder for an intense sweat session, or slow down and row easy to relax your body and ease your mind.

In this way, using the Hydrow Rower has great benefits for your mental health as well. 

No matter what kind of day I’ve had, rowing puts me in a meditative state that quickly makes me feel more positive and energized to take on what life throws at me. 

Adding a Hydrow Rower to Your Home Gym

Ready to take the plunge into realistic river rowing across open water, but from the comfort of your own living room? Here are the details you need.

In terms of measurements, the Hydrow Rower is designed to be compact enough for any indoor or home workout space, without compromising on workout effectiveness.

The total dimensions of the Hydrow Rower are 86″L x 25″W x 47″H. You can also store the Hydrow Rower in an upright position to save more space when it is not in use. 

To achieve this, you will have to purchase the Upright Storage Kit from Hydrow that is sold separately from the rower itself.

Once installed, the Upright Storage Kit changes the Rower’s dimensions to 25″W x 33″D x 86″H when the rowing machine is not in use. This is the perfect option for folks who have smaller workout or living spaces.

Another important factor when addings a Hydrow Rower to your home gym is how much it weighs.. In total, the Hydrow Rower is 145lbs and when this rowing machine is in a box, it is 197lbs. You’ll want to keep this in mind when moving the rower into your home, and most likely arrange for some help.

Who can use the Hydrow Rower machine? The limits are pretty inclusive. The Hydrow Rower can support weight up to 375lbs and leg length up to a 36” inseam.

If you have more than one person in your home using the Hydrow Rower, the foot bed can be quickly and easily adjusted to make sure that it is comfortable for different sized users, and this also allows for proper form while rowing. 

Where to Buy the Hydrow Rower?

There is only one way to be sure that you are purchasing the official Hydrow Rower and not a copycat machine of lesser quality: get it from the Hydrow website.

When you purchase your Hydrow Rower from Hydrow, you also benefit from free standard delivery, a 1 year home use warranty, and a 30 day risk free trial.

You can also peruse the website for Hydrow Rower accessories to make your workout even more personalized and effective for you, like a heart rate monitor to pair with your rowing machine, or a mat workout kit to maximize the effectiveness of your warm ups and cool downs.

Now, let’s talk price. The Hydrow Rower is not a cheap piece of gym equipment. It is currently priced at $2,245. But, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. The Hydrow Rower is a high quality, durable, and long lasting rower that will withstand the test of time (and the sweatiest of workouts). 

My Final Hydrow Rower Review


  • High quality and durable design
  • Extensive and motivational workout library
  • Smooth ride, just like rowing on water
  • Stylish, modern design
  • Quiet while in use
  • Comfortable seat and handles
  • Live workouts so that you feel like you are part of a team
  • Immersive 22” HD Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Adjustable resistance and foot positioning to suit different users


  • Pricier model
  • Membership price is separate

Overall, the Hydrow Rower is a premium rowing machine that is revolutionizing the world of indoor rowing by providing you with a personalized, immersive, and motivational training experience that benefits both your body and mind. An investment in this rower is truly an investment in your health and your future self. 

Denver Matheson

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