Hydrow Rower Review: Is This The Right Indoor Rowing Machine For You?

Exercise plays a critical part in the well-being of the human body. When you regularly exercise, you essentially keep your body healthy and can drastically improve your everyday performance. When it comes to a full body workout, hitting the gym for the treadmill and weights is often the go-to solution. This can quickly get boring over time, however. Many people find that once a workout starts to feel boring, they have less motivation to continue with their efforts.

A rowing machine can give you an excellent alternative when you want a full body workout. A rowing machine works your upper and lower body muscles, and they are great for beginners and pros. The Hydrow Rower has become quite a population option for indoor rowing, but also poses as quite an expensive entry in the market. We take a look at what the Hydrow Rower is all about and whether it is a worthy investment in this review.

Hydrow Rower Review

There is quite a large selection of rowing machine options that you can find on the market today. Some of them are portable, whereas others rather focus on offering greater versatility and flexibility. A quality machine can give you a superior experience, which is where the Hydrow Rower comes into the picture.

Hydrow is a company that specifically focuses on the production of rowing machines. The Hydrow Rower is a base machine that gives you the ability to easily customize a package that will provide a suitable structure according to your workout needs and goals. There are also various package options available, with some including additional accessories that can make your rowing workouts more efficient or add some extra convenience to your exercises. It essentially gives you a similar experience as a water rower, but with less inconvenience and noise.

While things seem great with the Hydrow Rower, some people do find that its price tag is a bit high. This especially becomes a concern when you compare these rowing machines to some of the other options that are also on the market. If you are not sure if the Hydrow rowing machine is right for you, then the specifications and features we assess in this review are sure to help you make an informed decision.

Resistance Mechanism

When you are just beginning with a rowing machine, you might want to start out slow. This means if you start rowing, you want a little amount of resistance applied to your workout routine. As you grow more accustomed to a rowing machine, however, you might want to increase the intensity to get a more intense workout. This is why the resistance mechanism that a rowing machine uses is an important consideration that you should take into account.

The Hydrow Rower uses an electromagnetic resistance mechanism. This is one of the features that make these rowing machines such great options. The electromagnetic resistance element is controlled by an internal computer that is built into the rowing machine. This helps to reduce the use of fans and other equipment that can get quite noisy while you are busy with your rowing workouts.

Since a computerized system is used by the exercise equipment, it also helps to create a smoother experience. The computer is able to automatically make adjustments to the resistance levels as you perform your live workouts. In fact, the processors used in the computer system in the Hydrow rowing machine can make as many as 240 adjustments in just a single second. This advanced feature allows the Hydrow rowing machine to adjust according to your current skill level, while also gradually pushing up the intensity to ensure you get an effective workout.

The magnetic resistance also helps to reduce the risk of resistance drops as you begin to get the hang of the current phase at which you are going. By keeping resistance levels steady, you can ensure calories burned and muscles worked are as you expected with this rower in your home gym.

Hydrow Rower Hydrow Rower
  • Easy adjustment for correct foot placement
  • Monitor adjusts 15 degrees and pivots 25 degrees left and right while also folding for easy storage
  • Ergonomically designed cushion with 10-roller system for extra smooth operation
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Top Features

Apart from the magnetic resistance system that the exercise equipment uses, it is important to consider other features as well.

This is a quality rower that uses a steel frame to ensure it provides adequate support for the weight of your body. The combination of an aluminum and steel frame also helps to add a rust resistant element to the structure of the machine. The overall design of the magnetic rower also helps to facilitate a realistic rowing experience.

For many people, one of the major advantages of the rower is the built-in display that comes with the exercise equipment. When you want to do strength training and cardio at the same time, you often face a wall or other equipment that makes up your home gym. This can feel boring and uninspiring. The display on this device gives you the ability to look at rowing videos and access a wide variety of content during your exercise sessions. World class athletes share live rowing workouts to help you stay motivated and understand how you can get the most out of the device.

The screen features a 22 inch diameter and has touch controls. This makes it easier to navigate through the menus of the built-in operating system. Once you are done with your standard workout, you can easily turn to non rowing workouts by simply pivoting the screen. The display allows you to access on demand classes for both on and off rower workouts. These pre recorded streaming workouts let you access Pilates, yoga, and several other types of exercise options.

The fact that the rower does not require any chains, a water tank, or fans offers a comfortable rowing experience during your sessions. There is also a just row mode that helps you focus on a more immersive rowing experience at your own pace. The fact that the machine is incredibly quiet also means you can exercise at any time and won’t be a bother to people who are trying to concentrate or sleep.


Apart from the main features of the rower, there are additional apps that you can take advantage of. One thing to take note of, however, is the fact that subscription to the online system offered by Hydrow is a monthly membership. In order to take advantage of the service, you will need to pay a monthly fee of $19.99. The good news is that this is generally more affordable compared to a gym membership.

Apart from being able to access both live classes and pre-recorded content on the main display of the rower, you can also gain access to these videos on your computer, a tablet, and even your smartphone.

The on demand workouts system works similar to how Hulu and Netflix works. This allows you to easily choose a category of workouts that you would like to perform, then you can access the pre-recorded classes that are available.

There are two different membership options. The basic option is $19.99, which is called the Digital Membership. A more advanced option, known as the all-inclusive plan, gives you access to a larger variation of workouts, including live sessions that serves as a type of personal training element.

You do get access to a 30-day free trial offer when you sign up to the membership for the first time. This is a good option if you first want to test things out before you make any commitments. You can then see what the Hydrow membership offers and if it gives you the great full body workout that you desire.

Workouts And Content

Since the Hydrow rowing machine comes with a subscription service, it is important to understand what you should expect. In this Hydrow review, we want to focus on all of the elements that make up this machine – and this includes the digital content you can use to get a good workout.

When you start up the display on the Hydrow connected rower, you are presented with recommended workouts. You can customize your account and profile to fit your current fitness level, which the device will then use to recommend certain exercises for you.

You do not necessarily have to opt for the recommended exercises that the studio rowing sessions suggest for you. You can also scroll down on this page, which will reveal a wide selection of categories that you can browse.

Here are some of the filters that you can use when you browse the library of workouts on the app:

  • Filter by the various athletes and professionals presenting the workout sessions.
  • You can also filter based on the duration of the workouts, which can range from one to 45 minutes.
  • The workout type can also be selected. Categories include sweat, drive, warm-up and cooldown, beginner lessons, and breathing.
  • There is a selection of mat exercises that you can also access.
  • Another filter allows you to choose a specific destination of the rowing experience you wish to have during your session.

In addition to these options, there is also a serene river rowing option available. This takes you through unguided journeys through various filmed lakes and waterways. The destination options include:

  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont
  • Florida
  • California
  • Texas
  • Scotland

These are not interactive workouts, but rather lets you decide how you would like to exercise at your own pace.

Social Features

Some people may find that adding a competitive element to their workout options helps to keep them motivated. This is why we should also take a closer look at the social features that come with the Hydrow machine.

When you take a closer look at the Hydrow app, you can access a feed tab. This tab essentially connects you to other people who also participate in the studio sessions that are available. You can track how many strokes you take in each session and essentially compare it to others. There is also a racing feature that uses the live outdoor reality technology from Hydrow, which puts you up to a virtual race with other people who are also using this particular machine.

Gamification also plays a role in the social features that are available with the device. This can help you reach your fitness goals faster. Many people find it less tedious to work on their fitness levels when they are awarded for achieving specific goals. This is exactly where the Hydrow rower comes into play.

Pricing, Shipping, And Warranties

A major downside that many people mention when it comes to this particular rower is its price. Pricing for the main Hydrow Rower starts at $2,199. Depending on the specific additions that you want to add to the machine, you might end up paying even more. In addition to the once-off payment, there is also a monthly subscription fee that you need to pay when you want to access the workout streaming service offered by the company.

Compared to other machines that offer you the ability to perform a rowing exercise, these expenses may seem high for some people. It is, however, important to look at the advantages that it offers other electronics from other brands. The structural frame and the flat anthracite polymer body are some of the main elements to consider, as this greatly enhances the durability that the machine offers. The structure of the machine promotes proper form and the aluminum frame ensures you do not have to worry about rust and corrosion over time. Additionally, the use of magnets and a computerized system ensures minimal friction when you step on the pedals.

Fortunately, the company does offer a financing option for those who do not have the once-off fee they charge for the machine. You can pay the machine off in monthly installments over a period of up to 36 months. If you are approved for finance over 36 months, you’ll pay a minimum of $62 per month – but this still remains more reachable compared to the cash price.

The company often provides free shipping offers and there are also frequent promotions that run on these machines. This can further help you save on the overall costs you should expect when you opt for the machine.

Depending on where you live, there are also some cases where you can opt for an assembly service too.

In terms of warranties and guarantees, there is a 30-day trial offer that you can use. If you find that the machine is not what you expected within the first month of use, the company will pick up the device from your home and give you a refund on the funds that you have paid.

The structural frame of the machine includes a five-year warranty. A one-year warranty is applied to the components that come with the machine, which includes the screen hinge, the display itself, the seat assembly, foot straps, and other smaller elements. There is also a one-year warranty offered for the labor required to fix certain faults with the rower.

Hydrow Rower Hydrow Rower
  • Easy adjustment for correct foot placement
  • Monitor adjusts 15 degrees and pivots 25 degrees left and right while also folding for easy storage
  • Ergonomically designed cushion with 10-roller system for extra smooth operation
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.


In addition to the machine itself, the manufacturer offers a range of add-ons and accessories. You can add these accessories to the machine during the initial ordering process:

  • Resistance bands set ($100)
  • Upright storage kit ($80)
  • Mat for machine ($90)
  • Bundled mat set ($180)
  • Foam rollers ($40 each)
  • Yoga blocks ($30 each)

Peloton Row Vs Hydrow Rower

Both the Peloton Row and the Hydrow Rower are popular options for people who want to have an indoor rowing experience. This makes it difficult for some to choose between the two. You may not know which of the two is the right choice – so we are going to take a closer look at a comparison between these machines.


Pricing is an important element for many people, as it helps you better understand whether or not a specific piece of exercise equipment will fit into your budget. Both the Hydrow Rower and the Peloton Row are quite expensive, but you will find that the option from Peloton has a much more significant price tag to it.

While the Hydrow Rower starts at just over $2,000, the basic model of the Peloton Row has a base price of $3,195. Unlike Hydrow, Peloton does not offer any type of financing services for their rowers.

If you do find yourself on a small budget, you can also consider the Hydrow Wave. This is a more compact version from the Hydrow brand, with prices that start at around $1,495.


Nether Hydrow or Peloton charges extra fees for shipping, but you should still consider whether they ship to your particular area.

Peloton decides to ship the main machine and the accessories you use on it separately. Thus, if you decide to add accessories to your order, you will likely receive them about a week or two before your rower arrives. Peloton offers the option to have the rowing machine assembled by professionals directly in your room.


In terms of size, both of these machines have a very similar footprint. The rower from Peloton has a lighter weight to it than the Hydrow Rower, but with similar dimensions.


You do need to pay a membership fee to access on-demand workout content with both of these rowers. Hydrow is the cheaper option, however, with the all-inclusive access membership costing you $38 per month. With Paleton, a similar plan sets you back $44 per month.

Is Hydrow Worth It Without Membership?

When you want to access the video content offered by Hydrow, you will need to pay a monthly membership fee of $29 or more, depending on the plan you choose. It is important to ensure you consider this expense. If you do not want to pay the monthly fee, then you might wonder whether or not it is still worth it to get the Hydrow Rower.

The membership itself does not have a direct impact on the rower’s functions or what you are capable of doing with it. The membership simply opens up access to a streaming service that shows you how to use the device and gives you an idea about the different workouts you can perform on the machine. Thus, you can still refer to YouTube and other sites to get an idea about how a rowing machine works – without affecting the overall efficacy of the Hydrow Rower.

Final Verdict: Is The Hydrow Rower Worth It?

Many people want to give indoor rowing a try to see how it can help them achieve better fitness at home. In this Hydrow review, we considered whether the Hydrow Rower is a good option. For those with the budget, it does offer superior quality and an excellent range of workout videos if you decide to use the membership. On the other hand, if you have a tight budget, you might want to consider the more affordable option from Hydrow. The Hydrow Wave Rower also offers a range of convenient features at just over half the price of the main model from the company. Other than the Hydrow Wave, you can also look at the Aviron Rower and other alternatives if you need more options to consider.


  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-rowing-machine#1.-Rowing-is-a-total-body-workout
  2. https://support.onepeloton.com/hc/en-us/articles/9393338033812-Peloton-Row-Delivery-and-Assembly
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Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Alexandria university and is a practicing plastic surgeon. He’s our expert on all things nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, and flexibility. Dr.Ahmed has been a medical content writer for more than 11 years and his work reached top publications such as the HuffingtonPost

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