July 30


Bring The River Home With The Hydrow Rowing Machine

By Tami Smith

July 30, 2020

It’s been many years since I’ve worked out in a gym setting thanks to my busy schedule and my two small, needy humans who call me mom. However, when I used to go to the gym, I was always intimidated by the weight training machines. The boldest move I ever made was hopping off the treadmill and onto the stair climber.

But I can proudly say that I am now an ex-cardio bunny who traded in her time working vigorously on the treadmill and elliptical for some dumbbells. One machine that I definitely never tried in the gym was a rower. It’s not that I didn’t think it looked worthwhile, I just didn’t know how to use it and didn’t want to risk looking like an amateur.

When this whole quarantine thing came into effect back in March, my husband who works at a college was able to borrow some gym equipment from the school, with one piece being a rower. Long story short, I fell in love with it and enjoyed adding it to my routine.

When the time came to bring the machine back to school, I was a little bummed, but since we both enjoy it so much we decided to purchase one for our budding home gym. After a ton of research, we settled on the Hydrow Rower.

We’ve had this machine in our home for about a month now. Was it worth the money? Is it really like the Peloton of rowers? Here’s my honest Hydrow Rower review and the verdict of living up to its hype.

What is Hydrow?

Well, it’s a rowing machine, but not just any rowing machine, it’s a Live Outdoor Reality Rower. Say what?

The company was founded by Bruce Smith, former coach of the US National Rowing team. Here’s an excerpt from their website:

“Hydrow exists for a simple reason: to create the best, most compelling pathway to whole health that the world has ever seen.

Together, we’re creating access. The team at Hydrow is dedicated to creating access to experiences that people need in their daily lives. Access to beautiful waterways. To world-class athletes. To challenging workouts. To interactive experiences that bring teams and motivation to life every day for our community.”

What Makes It Unique?

This machine is so much more than a traditional rower. It comes with a built-in touchscreen display that features a whole library of on-demand classes with your subscription service. The classes available range from all different kinds of live-action rowing workouts to exercises that are to be done on the floor. It’s really an all-in-one workout system and platform.

The other thing that drew us in was the fact that it’s incredibly sleek and simple in design. We don’t have a ton of room for equipment in our workout space, so we knew we needed something small and that we were able to move around if need be.

This machine is very sleek and maneuverable with the two front wheels that allow you to move it all around the room with ease. The attached display screen even swivels so that you can comfortably see your classes from the floor when you’re doing a floor workout. That’s a feature I love that I feel is missing from some other equipment with similar options.

Reviews of Hydrow: What Are Customers Saying About The Hydrow Rowing Machine?

According to Trustpilot, 85% of the reviews for the Hydrow rowing machine from real customers are excellent, while only a handful are negative.

After reading all of the negative reviews, it was clear that they all had to do with people not knowing they had to pay an extra $38 per month for the live class membership. However these reviews were promptly addressed by Hydrow's customer support team and mentioned that the membership fee allows them to support their Athletes and production team as they film live content daily out on the water.

Overall, most Hydrow users appear to be extremely happy with the entire process of Hydrow's delivery and set up process. People also mention how safe the rower feels. Most rowers would agree that this is a much needed rowing machine that helps athletes train and get a realistic rowing, full body workout.

For many people who love the Peloton, this company and their product allowed them quick access to the most interactive, realistic rowing machine that can enhance working out from home. Take a look below to read what happy customers are saying.


“Best piece of equipment ever! Love this machine, the workouts and the instructors. Once you start rowing you feel like you are on the water. There is something about the water and the synchronization of the rowing that just pulls you in. I have rowed every day since I received it. Hydrow for life!!!”

Julia Harisson


“I have loved my time with Hydrow so far. I love the recommended workouts, but I also love I can open the library and choose my own if I want. The instructors are great at encouragement and teaching skills as they go. I love the banter they do with us as well as the film crew...it makes it feel "real" (like I am actually rowing with them) and fun. It is a great workout and I can find one to meet my needs each day. I only wish I got done this months ago.”

Natalie Bischoping


“Great trainers who really make rowing fun. Love rowing on the Charles.
Love the stories the team tell. Their college days. Sports they played. I am learning how to row so the basic training rows are great for me. This machine is a piece of art. If done right rowing can work most of your body. I feel it!”

Daniel Hunt

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Benefits of Choosing This Rower

Let’s be honest, traditional rowers can be a little boring. And if you’ve experienced the live class excitement and camaraderie that you get from equipment like a Peloton Bike or Tread or any other brand that offers a similar platform, then it’s tough to just go back to slogging along by yourself. We highlighted the full benefits of a rowing machine for women in a previous post, and it's important that you find out if it is right for you.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of this rowing machine, and why you should strongly consider it:

  • You get to experience live outdoor reality with real-life sounds and stunning visuals that help you to connect to nature and to feel like you’re truly in the water. It’s honestly an epic experience that I find to be both relaxing and exhilarating at the same time.
  • There is a diverse range of workouts to choose from. There are hundreds of live and on-demand options that allow you to choose whatever suits your mood n the moment. There are new workouts added daily, so you never have to worry about getting bored or a lack of variety.
  • You get to experience the team dynamic. I don’t know about you, but this quarantine thing has me going a little crazy some days. I miss interaction! And while this machine certainly doesn’t replace real in-person connection, it does allow you to feel like your part of a team and that you’re not alone during your workouts.
  • The trainers are all elite athletes and are amazing at leading the classes. You’ll probably find yourself connecting with some over the others, which is typical of any platform. I personally love Christine and Dani best, but honestly, I haven’t really found anyone that I dislike. 
  • It’s super quiet. Unlike my treadmill that tends to wake the whole family up while I’m hammering away, the Hydrow Rower is super quiet. It’s the perfect solution to early morning workouts when you want your kids to leave you alone and remain asleep!
  • It’s lightweight compared to other fitness equipment, weighing in at just 145 pounds and it can safely accommodate up to 375 pounds. 
  • It’s a fantastic brand with awesome customer service and support and a dedication to giving back. They have a program in place that donates to Water.org in your name when you row 60 days with Hydrow. Water.org grants long-term access to safe water to an individual in the developing world. I was excited to reach this milestone and to know that I was a part of something bigger than myself and that was doing some good in the world.
Bringing The River Home!

Not only will you be experiencing a thrilling workout, if you use our link you will be getting it for the lowest possible price just for being a reader here at Fit Healthy Momma!

The Potential Downsides

There’s really only one potential pitfall with this product and that’s the price, but really it’s all in the way you look at it. I at first balked at the idea of spending $2199 on a piece of home gym equipment, but when I took some time to consider how much we spent on classes and gym memberships between the two of us over the years, not to mention the time and money spent going back and forth to the gym, I came to the conclusion that’s it’s worth it.

In addition to the cost of the machine, you’ll also need to pay for a membership to their live and on-demand class platform. Currently, the price for access is $38 per month. Again, a little on the pricier side, but totally worth it in my opinion. Prior to purchasing this, I had considered purchasing a Peloton Treadmill for $4299 or a Peloton Bike for $2245 for just the bare minimum package, so Hydrow is actually less expensive than other equipment out there. In addition, comparing hydrow to other smart rowers, it's still the front runner!

They do offer a financing plan if you don’t have the full amount to pay upfront. And they also offer a 60-day in-home trial. If by the end of 60 days, you aren’t satisfied, they will come to take it back from you and refund your money without any hassle. I found this to be very reassuring.

The Verdict: Is it Right For You?

If you’re looking for a fun, interactive, low-impact way to workout from home or enjoy a favorite past time, you’re going to love The Hydrow Rower. Is it an investment? Yes, but it’s an investment into your mental and physical health. 

The world as we once knew it has changed and we’re all finding our own ways to deal with it, to connect with others, to explore the world, and to keep our minds and bodies strong. For me, I’ve dug in even deeper into fitness, finding it to be the release I need when things feel tense or uncertain.

I fully recommend this product for anyone who has ever tried and loved rowing, either in real life or in the gym. Heck, even if you’re someone like me who never did it before, you’re likely going to enjoy the workout and get a ton out of the entire experience.

Get Fit At Home With The Ultimate Rowing Machine!

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