Magnetic Vs Air Rower: Which Is Better?

Magnetic Vs Air Rower: Which Is Better?

Rowers have been around for centuries and are still a popular form of exercise today. There are two main types of rowers: magnetic and air. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will break down the pros and cons of each type of rower so that you can make an informed decision before purchasing one. Let’s get started!

Magnetic Vs Air Rower

What Are Magnetic Rower Machines?

A magnetic rowing machine, or rower, is an essential workout equipment for anyone who wants to develop a strong upper body and core. These flywheels are designed to simulate the feel of actual rowing on water. This type of workouts is called “ergonomical” because it allows you to exercise with your full body weight in a sitting position. The best exercise machines are the ones that are easy to use and allows you to enjoy an efficient full body workout, while also being safe for your joints.

What Are Air Rower Machines?

Air rowing machines, also known as air rowers, are a type of equipment used in sporting activities. They often provide resistance when someone is rowing on them. Air rowing machines can either be suspended or fixed to add resistance and also to help the person with their workout routine. The amount of resistance provided by an air rowing machine is determined by the person with the machine. If someone desires less resistance, they can row faster and vice versa if they desire more resistance. When people see air rowers in gyms, they may become curious about them and want to know how an air rowing machine works before using it.

How Does An Air Rower Work?

An air rowing machine works in a similar way to other exercise machines. They provide resistance while someone is working out and can help them to lose weight and gain muscle tone. Air rowers also work the person’s cardiovascular system like other forms of cardiovascular exercises such as jogging or cycling. Here’s an air rowing machine sample routine:

On an air rowing machine, there are handles with handles on either side where someone places their hands when they begin using it. When using an air rower, people will usually place their feet on foot plates before gripping onto the handle bars so that they have stability. The person then starts pulling back on the handle bars by applying pressure downwards until their arms are completely extended behind them. Once the arms are extended, they’re then pulled back towards the person with some resistance still applied by the machine. The arms are then extended forward and pulled back again to complete one full rowing motion. Air rowers usually have a seat that is connected to a chain or strap as well as a fan wheel which provides the resistance that the air rowing machine needs to work.

What Are Some Benefits Of Using An Air Rower?

  1. Air rowers provide an easy way to exercise. This makes them the perfect piece of equipment for home use when one doesn’t want to pay gym membership fees or can’t afford a personal trainer. When using an air rowing machine, people are able to perform full body workouts with little effort because they allow their users to sit during the movement instead of standing like traditional rowers do. This easy way of exercising allows people to improve their health with minimal effort.
  2. They are portable. Rowing machines that use air resistance require no electricity to operate, making them highly portable. When people are done using an air rower they can easily deflate the product and carry it to wherever they need to store it with little effort. This makes it easy for anyone to move an air rower around their home or office as needed.
  3. The price range is affordable for most budgets. Most rowing machines cost between $800 and $2,000 because of the advanced technology used in them such as hydraulic pistons and computerized settings; however, when people buy an air rowing machine they do not have to worry about paying extra money for these technological advancements since all they is add weight to a product. This lack of technological advancements, in turn, makes air rowers very affordable.
  4. They are silent during operation. Unlike other pieces of equipment that make whirring noises as they generate power, air rowers operate quietly so people can watch television or listen to music while using the product with few distractions. Since many people use their rowing machine when watching television or listening to music it is important for them to not hear any extra noises; however, this would be annoying if their piece of equipment was loud and made whirring sounds as it operated.
  5. Air rows will never need to be adjusted by a professional because the tension used by the product is controlled entirely by the user who operates its foot pedals. Allowing users to control the tension allows them to properly regulate how much resistance they offer during exercise.
  6. Since air rowing machines do not require electricity, they can be used anywhere. This advantage allows people to use their air rower when camping or on vacation so they don’t have to miss out on a workout opportunity due to a lack of equipment.
  7. They are safe. Rowing machines that use air resistance provide a smooth workout, so people won’t fall off or lose their balance as they exercise. Falling off an equipment piece could lead to injuries, but since all air rowers allow for fluid movements it is easy for anyone to stay balanced and on top of the product as they work out.
  8. Air rowing machines do not require a lot of space in order to operate, unlike other pieces of fitness equipment which need plenty of room due to their large size. An air rowing machine takes up very little floor space because its area can be adjusted according to how much product is being used by a user at a given moment in time.
  9. They offer a low impact workout, as opposed to other rowing machines which provide a high impact workout. This low impact workout is perfect for those who have joint or back problems because it minimizes their chance of injury during exercise.

What Are Some Benefits Of Using A Magnetic Rowing Machine?

1. Great for cardiovascular fitness.Rowing is one of the top exercises to burn calories and gain cardiovascular health. The heart rate increases in a short time and maintains that elevated level of activity throughout the workout session, which can be 40 minutes or more. According to Harvard Health Publications: “The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week (such as brisk walking or tennis) to improve their health and prevent heart disease.” (1).

2. It’s a full body workout. A rower gives one the ability to work all muscle groups in the body with one machine. The legs, core, back, arms, and shoulders are engaged while rowing. No need for specific arm workouts or leg workouts – it’s all done at once!

3) Rowing is a low impact activity. Because most of the movement takes place at the catch point where there is no compression on the joints, rowing can be an ideal form of cardio for people with joint issues such as arthritis or chronic joint pain.

4) It is fun! This may seem like an odd characteristic to list, but it can be surprisingly true. There’s something about rowing that just feels good and relieves stress. Get the body moving, challenge yourself, enjoy the scenery, embrace competition – it’s all part of a great workout.

5) Low start-up cost. A quality rower will cost $500-$2,000 depending on features. Of course there are variations in pricing so do your research before buying one…but you don’t need to break the bank to get started with this exercise machine.

6) It has low maintenance costs. There are no belts to replace nor oil to change with magnetic resistance rowing machines which makes them very low maintenance compared to other cardio equipment.

7) Can be used recreationally or competitively. Rowing is an event in the summer Olympics, but it can also be a fun way to stay fit and exercise for pleasure. Many people will row at the health club, but if space allows they may opt to purchase their own machine so they can row in the privacy of their home.

8) Much more affordable than other types of cardio. Joining a gym or taking classes might provide great overall fitness, but there are hidden costs that aren’t necessarily apparent immediately – membership fees, monthly dues, yearly registration fees! Plus these activities typically don’t offer much in the way of long-term health gains like rowing does. As far as rowing goes, instead of purchasing a $3,000 treadmill which you use for 30 minutes before it becomes obsolete or is relegated to the basement, you can buy a decent rowing machine for less than half that price and get many more years of enjoyment out of it.

9) Rowing offers mental benefits. Unfortunately the majority of people these days sit in front of computers all day at work, sit in cars on their way to/from work, then watch TV when they get home. If only there were more hours in the day… Well, there’s no device that will magically give one more time (unless it’s an alarm clock), but adding exercise like rowing into your schedule might help with stress relief and overall – especially if one is grumpy or irritable. If you put on headphones and row to music (keeping the resistance low enough so it doesn’t feel like a sprint), time might fly by faster than expected…

10) Rowing exercises are fun! Even though most people will have never tried rowing before, they’ll be surprised by how much they enjoy it after just one workout.

Features Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Resistance Operation Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Magnetic Resistance: Adjusting resistance on a magnetic rowing machine (like the Kettler Kadett) is performed through turning a dial situated next to the footrests. The resistance can be set to five different levels, with the lowest setting being the easiest and the highest level being the most difficult.

Air Resistance: Adjusting resistance on an air rowing machine (like Concept2) is performed by changing the rotational speed at which a fan inside of one of its flywheels has been turned. This change in speed alters how much drag there is on said flywheel, and thus creates more or less wind for you to row against.

Control Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Magnetic Resistance: Most magnetic rowing machines have only 1 control that changes both the damper setting as well as its maximum potential output, which makes them very easy use even for beginners who are just learning what their current ability level is.

Air Resistance: Most air rowing machines have a large variety of different control options, such as changing the damper setting, altering its maximum potential output and performing a number of different workout profiles. This makes them much more suitable for advanced users who already know what each one does and how to use it.

Strength Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Magnetic Resistance: Magnetic resistance has been proven to activate a larger proportion of slow twitch muscle fibers, which are employed in endurance type activities like rowing. This can be great if you’re doing low intensity workouts that require a steady pace over long periods of time because you won’t fatigue as easily or quickly.

Air Resistance: Air resistance has been proven to activate a larger proportion of fast twitch muscle fibers, which are employed in power type activities like rowing. This can be great if you’re doing high intensity workouts that require an all out sprint towards the end because it forces your body to adapt by developing more fibres.

Noise Level Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Magnetic Resistance: Both magnetic and hydraulic rowers are very quiet, even at their highest setting.

Air Resistance: Due to the large fan inside of them, air rowers tend to produce quite a bit of noise, making them unsuitable for places where this will be an issue.

Capacities Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Magnetic Resistance: Both magnetic and hydraulic rowers are very lightweight, which makes them easily transportable.

Air Resistance: Due to the large fan inside of it, air rowers are commonly made out of heavy duty materials like steel because it strengthens them over time instead of wearing away with use like magnets do. However, they still tend to come in at a much lower weight than hydraulic resistance rowing machines due to their perfect balance between weight and durability.

Ease Of Use Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Magnetic Resistance: Despite the fact that most magnetic rowers have a very large number of different resistance options, they are actually extremely easy to use. You won’t need to read the manual or anything like you do with hydraulic or air resistance machines. Just sit down, grip the handle and start rowing!

Air Resistance: Air rowers are even easier than magnets due to their simple one touch operation where you simply press a button for it to begin.

Cost Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Magnetic Resistance: Both magnetic and hydraulic rowers tend to come in at under $1,000 in price.

Air Resistance: Air rowing machines tend to be the most expensive of all resistance types because they use a very high tech fan for their operation which is why they range from around $1,500 up to and over $3,500.

Material Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Magnetic Resistance: Both magnets and hydraulics are almost always made out of heavy duty stainless steel with aluminum undercarriages.

Air Resistance: The piston inside of air rowers is a large fan, making them able to produce more resistance but they are also made out of heavy duty materials like steel because that’s the only thing that will last over time when being used at such high tensions. They can also have metal undercarriages for added durability.

Warranty Of Magnetic Vs Air Rower:

Magnetic Resistance: Most magnetic rowing machines come with either a 5 year or 10 year warranty due to their incredible durability and reliability.

Air Resistance: Air rowers tend to have a warranty that is either 1 year or 2 years long due to their higher maintenance needs and complicated nature.

Why Bother With Magnetic Rowing Machines?

Most people think magnetic rowing machines are just another gym machine when in fact they are more than that! They are an effective way to work your upper and lower body, as well as increasing cardio fitness. Rowing is a workout that provides a full-body exercise that can improve your cardiovascular system and muscles. It is also the perfect opportunity to connect with nature right from the comfort of your home.

They simulate rowing on water by using a damper setting for changing the intensity of your workout. A higher setting will give you a more intense workout, which means better results in less time.

The Most Effective Way To Workout On A Magnetic Rower:

  1. Don’t let your arms do all the work. When rowing, use a full body motion and lean back as you pull the handle towards your chest. Then lean forward as you release the wheel from your legs.
  2. Use keeps your feet hip-width apart to have a more effective workout on magnetic rowers. Your knees should be at a 90 degree angle with your thighs parallel to the floor.
  3. Keep your grip tight as it is important for an effective workout without causing hand or wrist problems later on. You can either hold onto the handle or place it overtop of yours if you prefer the feel of a rope in your hands instead of a plastic paddle-like grip found on most magnetic rowers.
  4. Concentrate on your breathing to avoid losing coordination between your arms and legs, which can happen with an incorrect rowing motion. You need to breathe out as you pull the handle towards your chest and then pull hard with both arms until they are fully extended. As you complete the movement, contract your abdomen to help support your lower back, lean forward slightly at the hips, keep a straight back and bend your legs until they are about 45 degree angle. Then push through your heels as you stand up completely before beginning another stroke. Once you reach full extension of each limb, begin pulling again using the same technique as before by leaning back slightly at the hips without arching or rounding of your lower back. The goal is for your legs to move one after the other in an almost ‘paddling’ motion.
  5. As you row, make sure your knees don’t lock out when doing a seated row because this can cause damage to your lower back. Keep the movement fluid and smooth while avoiding jerky movements that are unsafe for your body. You should also keep your shoulders down with back straight at all times during the exercise.
  6. Keep your head up throughout the exercise to avoid hunching over as you row and keep your neck in line with spine.
  7. Breathe out as you pull towards you, and breathe in as you release the handle for a fluid motion that will help you increase stamina without becoming fatigued too early on during an intense workout.
  8. To increase the effectiveness of your workout, you can add in some arm-only rowing to work on toning your upper body without working too hard on your legs.
  9. To improve leg strength and calorie consumption at the same time, try adding in some split jacks or running in place when you are resting between rows to incorporate more of a cardiovascular workout.
  10. Keep your back straight at all times to avoid unnecessary strain on your lower back and allow for a fluid motion that’s low impact on the joints but still engaging enough to keep you challenged with each workout.
  11. Most importantly, do what feels comfortable for you! If it hurts, stop immediately. Don’t push yourself to the point of injury just because someone else is encouraging you to do so.
  12. Keep your legs bent at all times with feet flat on the rower mat for maximum leg strength output per row.
  13. Make sure there is no space between your hands and the handles when they are closed completely to avoid injury or hand problems down the road.
  14. Avoid jerking, pulling and pushing motions as they will take a lot of focus away from your workout and can lead to fatigue.
  15. Keep your back straight at all times with stomach muscles contracted during an intense workout for maximum calorie burn potential.
  16. The next time you turn on your rowing machine, give these tips a try and you’ll be on your way to building lean and toned muscles in no time!

Who Are Air Rowing Machines Suitable For?

  1. Strength & Weightlifting Athletes

A number of strength and weightlifting athletes have adopted the use of rowing machines as a supplementary exercise to assist in developing core strength and increasing muscle hypertrophy.

  1. Cardiovascular Fitness Athletes

Rowing is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that

burns calories more efficiently than most other forms of cardiovascular exercise, making it suitable for cardiovascular fitness athletes – anyone from marathoners to tri-athletes – looking to improve their aerobic capacity and endurance can benefit from regular rowing training.

  1. Recreational Athletes and Gym-Goers Alike!

While by no means must you be aiming to break into International or Olympic caliber sports in order to reap the benefits of incorporating air rower workouts into your training, the great thing about these machines is that they are suitable for users of all abilities.

While the onus is on the user to adjust their input in order to obtain a workout commensurate with their athletic ability and fitness stage, none but Olympic athletes need apply when it comes to rowing intensity.

  1. Anyone Who Wants To Work Their Core and Upper and Lower Body Muscles Simultaneously

There’s a reason why so many people who lift weights incorporate rowing into their weekly workouts: because it works! Rowing can be used as an effective weight-lifting supplement because it hits almost every major muscle group in the body at once – each stroke requires you to pull back against resistance using your biceps before moving your arms to pull up and back with your lats, requiring you to then push down against the footrests with your legs before pushing upwards into a standing position where you then shrug or bend forward and pull back against resistance using your trapezius muscles (upper), latissimus dorsi muscles (middle), rhomboid muscless (lower) and core.

  1. Anyone Who Wants To Improve Their Posture

Rowing is an exercise that forces athletes to maintain good posture as poor technique can result in injury – it is for this reason that rowing is often recommended by healthcare professionals as part of a rehabilitation program for those suffering from lower-back pain caused by sitting too long at a desk or driving or those suffering from knee-related issues.

  1. Anyone Who Wants To Improve Their Fitness And Lose Weight

Rowing’s high calorie-burning capacity, low impact nature and ability to be carried out in almost any location makes it an ideal supplementary exercise for those who are looking to lose weight or improve their level of fitness.

  1. Anyone Looking For A New Challenge

Unlike running, cycling, swimming or cross training machines which have a seemingly endless array of settings at your disposal, the air rower has just one workout setting: you! The ergometer setting challenges the user by measuring how much oxygen they consume during their workout so that they can never predict what sort of workout they will receive on any given day; it is this feature that makes rowing such a popular training method with athletes who are looking to increase their level of fitness.

The only way you’re ever going to improve is by challenging yourself on a daily basis, which is precisely what the ergometer setting will allow you to do!

  1. Anyone Looking For An Injury-Free Form Of Exercise

As stated previously, rowing involves movements that require the user to use every major muscle group in their body over an extended period of time – this ensures that there are no weak links in your overall strength and that muscles work together rather than against each other.

This results in an exercise that is entirely suitable for beginners as well as those looking to push themselves regardless of experience or athletic ability, making it ideal for anyone looking for a form of exercise that will not result in injury.

  1. Anyone Looking For A Full-Body Workout In Under 30 Minutes

Rowing a 2k distance on an air rower machine burns as many calories as running at 8mph for thirty minutes – but unlike running requires you to use not only your core muscles, glutes and legs, but also arms, shoulders and upper back too! In less than half the time compared with jogging or sprinting…

  1. Anyone Who Wants To Keep Fit And Healthy

Rowing offers all of the benefits of cardiovascular exercise without any of the associated risks – it is for this reason that rowing is often recommended by healthcare professionals to patients recovering from injury or illness or simply those who are looking to improve their overall fitness levels.

Things To Consider When Choosing The Rowing Machine.

There are many different styles of rowing machines available. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. The following is a list of 10 things that you should consider when looking to purchase your first machine or your next one!

1. Rowing Machine Type

-Water Rower: Pro’s: More realistic feel, mimics actual rowing motion, no impact on knees. Con’s: Requires a large amount of space to store.

-Air Rower: Pro’s: Slight impact on joints, cheaper than most other types. Con’s: Noisy and bouncy stroke.

-Magnetic Rower: Pro’s: Silent with a smooth stroke, can be adjusted according to user preference. Cons: Expensive and larger than rowers that use a flywheel.

2. Resistance Type

-Piston Driven: Pro’s: Very similar feel to being on the water, virtually no maintenance is needed after purchase besides oil changes every now and then. Cons: Machine is non-adjustable which means one level of resistance will be provided for all users at all times.

-Flywheel Driven: Pro’s: Much more quiet than piston drive machines, has some adjustability. Cons: Bounciness of the stroke and noisiness is reduced but still present, if resistance isn’t changed regularly it can cause a buildup of damaging heat on magnets inside flywheel.

-Air Resistance: Pro’s: Silent with a smooth stroke, uses wind generated by fan instead of being generated from within machine which allows for a continuous flow throughout the entire stroke even at an easier pace. No need to change between resistance levels as you would have to do on other types. Can be adjusted according to user preference just like magnetic rowers. Con’s: Can be difficult to due to size and shape of the fan blades which is difficult to see when it’s in use.

-Water Resistance: Pro’s: Stroke feels very realistic on the body, no need to change between resistance levels as you would have to do on other types. Can be adjusted according to user preference just like magnetic rowers. Con’s: Difficult and expensive to maintain, must drain water from tank after each use and depending how much it is used this could wear out pipes if not taken care of properly.

3. Computer Functions & Features

-Computer Included: Con’s: Higher initial price point due to added feature.

-Heart Rate Monitor: Pro’s: Users can monitor their heart rate during workouts which can be beneficial for fitness training purposes. Cons: You must wear a heart rate monitor around your chest and must be within range of the receiver.

-Fan Speed Monitor: Pro’s: Check how hard you’re working by adjusting fan speed up or down according to what level you want to work at. Cons: You still have to remember if you were on level 2 or 3 during your last workout as there is no way for the rowing machine as it would be as simple as turning the knob left means more resistance and right means less resistance.

-Workout Programs: Pro’s: Gives users some variety when it comes to their workouts. Cons: Must purchase higher end models that offer multiple programs, not necessary for beginners and can lead to boredom after using program a few times already.

-Heart Rate Control: Pro’s: Calculates and displays your target heart rate in real time so you can stay within your ideal training zone. Can affect the resistance level to keep users working in their desired heart rate range. Cons: Must wear an added chest strap around your body which must be within range of the receiver to get accurate readings.

-Data Tracking: Con’s: Some rowers do not offer data tracking at all, must purchase higher end models for this feature to be used. Not necessary for beginners because there is no need yet for them to track any data during workouts until they are experienced enough with fitness training purposes.

4. Comfort & Ergonomics:

-Comfort: Rowing machine offers a very smooth and comfortable rowing stroke. Cons: Perhaps the only drawback as some rowers have been known to be stiff and can cause discomfort in those with sensitive joints after extended use.

-Ergonomics: Very ergonomic as they are usually used by two hands on oars that move synchronously together, has a handle attached to a chain which provides for a natural arm movement when rowing back and forth. Cons: Water resistance models have harder ergonomics because of the added water tank but this is necessary so it does not break down as easily or quickly. Air models do not offer ergonomic handles as much since their main source of resistance comes from the fan blades which are difficult to see as they spin.

-Material: Most rowers offer a heavy aluminum alloy base with reinforced steel beams, molded plastic seat and handles made from high quality rubber. Cons: Air rowers can suffer from breakdowns due to the fact that their main source of resistance is not as durable as water or magnetic types because wind generated by fan has a harder time lasting as long as currents created by water or magnets in magnetic rowers.

-Adjustability: Some rowers come with nonadjustable footrests which can be an inconvenience if you’re taller than average height since using lower settings will cause your knees to hit the seat cushion of the rowing machine. With other models, there is a pin that allows you to adjust the length of the seat rail making it easier for taller rowers.

-Footbrace: Footbrace can help increase your leg power and also gives a better overall workout by involving more of the legs, hips and gluteus muscles. Some rowers come with adjustable foot straps which allow you to focus on certain areas of your feet for different types of workouts. Cons: Not every rowing machine offers this feature due to higher production costs but some brands will still include it into their models.

5. Extra Features

-Built In Programs: If you plan to use your rower for fitness and not necessarily as a means of transportation then you might want to consider getting a model with preset workouts programmed into the computer. Pros: Can help keep users entertained and engaged by varying their workout levels and types depending on what is programmed into the computer at that time. Cons: Must purchase higher end models as beginner rowing machines usually do not offer this feature due to added production costs.

-Wireless Connection: Some rowing machines now offer wireless connectivity which is now possible thanks to Bluetooth technology. With this, users can now connect their smartphones or other electronic devices with compatible apps such as Google Fit, Apple Health and many more others that rely on bluetooth connections and collect data about heart rate, calories burned, pace and type of workout all through the rowing machine itself. This technology may be more expensive than others but it is worth if you are looking to track your fitness goals.

-Heart Rate Monitor: If you plan to use your rower for cardio workouts or other types of workouts designed to bring about increased heart rate then it might be wise to invest in a model that includes this feature. Pros: Heart rate monitors can help users keep their workouts at optimum levels depending on what their current heart rate readings are (too low or too high) Cons: Must purchase higher end models as beginner rowing machines usually do not offer this feature due to added production costs.

-Adjustable Seat Rail: Allows users with different heights to adjust their seat heights depending on their fitness levels. It also allows the user to maintain the same feel of using the machine over time as they can adjust it to fit their body’s changing needs.

-Built In Fan: Air rowers require airflow coming from someplace and this is where built in fans come into play. These are usually placed right below the console area or on top of the flywheel housing making them easier to access during use.


So, which rowing machine should you buy? If you are looking for a quality machine that will last you many years, we recommend purchasing a magnetic rower. However, if you are looking for an affordable machine that still offers a great workout, then an air rower is the way to go. Whichever type of machine you choose, be sure to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

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