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June 30, 2021 12:36 pm

Hydrow Rower Review: Is this indoor rowing machine worth the money?

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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 chore 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 rowing from home and enjoyed adding it to my routine.

What kind of results can you expect right out of the gate with rowing machines?

The answer is quite simple - a full body workout, which makes rowing unique to begin with. The hydrow rower brings tremendous value to your fitness exercising routine in that you can work all muscle groups at once. It's one of the best smart rowing machines out there, and I'm going to explain why!

The hydrow vs the smart rower competition is fierce to say the least, which is why I'm going to break everything down for you right here, right now. So, let's get our oars out and see if we really can "feel the river."

This hydrow review will be all about what makes this indoor rowing machine unique. To make things simple, I'll show you how Hydrow is a one-of a-kind rower based on the following criteria:

  • A quick introduction to the rower
  • What makes it unique?
  • Benefits of choosing this rower
  • Potential downsides
  • Summary of customer testimonials
woman working out with hydrow at home

The Hydrow Indoor Rower Reviewed: A Full Body Workout At Home

Well, it’s a rowing machine, but not just any rowing machine, it’s a Live Outdoor Reality Rower that can give you the full body workout you've been looking for to bring that heart rate up a notch! It's also equipped with a 1080p HD touch screen and an option to upgrade to their array of fitness content on demand. Say what?

There are a handful of connected rowing machines hitting the market hard right now such as the Ergatta and Aviron rowers. Those are a little different, but it's good to know which ones are making a big splash.

The company was founded by Bruce Smith, former coach of the US National Rowing team, and they wanted to provide their community with a real life rowing experience. The video below is their new "Hydrow Brand Anthem," which featured the tune of "Row Your Boat." See more videos like these on Hydrow's YouTube channel.

The Unique Full Body Workout That Gets Your Heart Rate Pumping!

The Hydrow rower machine is so much more than a traditional rower. It comes with a built-in HD 22 inch touchscreen monitor that features a whole library of on-demand classes with your subscription service. The classes available range from all different kinds of live-action workouts to exercises that are to be done on the floor. It’s really an all-in-one full body workout system and platform that produces excellent heart rate monitor stats.

Sleek Design

The other thing that drew us in to Hydrow was the fact that it’s incredibly sleek and simple in design. It has an anthracite polymer body and looks like a real high quality rowing boat. 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.

Easy to Move Around The House

The hydrow rowing 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 (especially rowers) with similar options.

rowing benefits with hydrow

Benefits of Choosing The Hydrow Rower

Let’s be honest, traditional rowing workouts can be very 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 the Hydrow rower is right for you.

Like most successful exercise equipment brands, the Hydrow Rower is made of high quality materials, consisting of an aluminum and steel frame. Hydrow's 1080 full HD touch screen and other electronics mixed with my favorite magnetic resistance, I can get a great rowing session in anytime, thanks to their live classes with my monthly subscription.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of the Hydrow rowing machine, and why you should strongly consider it, even with a considerable price tag:

Hydrow Offers A real-life rowing experience (Feel the River)

Even if you're new to rowing, 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.

Variety of on-demand workouts

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.

Off-rower fitness training

This is a new feature that they offer, and it's taking off, literally. Users love it and there's a variety of off-rowing workouts to choose from such as:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Resistance training
  • Strength training

These off Hydrow workouts are designed to compliment your rowing workouts. Here's a video from their youtube channel that shows one of the coaches using the multi-resistance brand kit for off-the-rower workouts.

Team and community atmosphere

You get to experience the team dynamic with the Hydrow rower. I don’t know about you, but this quarantine experience 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.

Championship level coaching and instruction

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.

Reduced machine noise with Electromagnetic Resistance

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!

Lightweight / non-heavy

It’s lightweight compared to other fitness equipment, weighing in at just 145 pounds and it can safely accommodate up to 375 pounds.

Hydrow is A world-class brand that cares

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.

The Potential Downsides With The Hydrow Rower

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 exercise 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.

Price (But there are Great Pricing Options)

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.

Summary of user reviews that purchased the hydrow rower

According to Trustpilot, 85% of the reviews for the Hydrow rowing machine from real customers are excellent, while only a handful are negative. There are a total of 2,887 customer user testimonials as I write this, which is more than enough sample size to base your decision off of.

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.

The Verdict: Is hydrow worth the money?

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 Hydrow 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.

*Fit Healthy Momma is reader-supported. We research, review and recommend only the best products we trust. We may receive a commission on some (but not all) links located in our content.

About the author 

Tami Smith

A fitness enthusiast, Tami Smith is an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life!

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