Air vs Magnetic Rower Machines

With so many types of rowing machines on the market it is so hard to choose what type. When I first started researching I found that the two main types are an air rower and a magnetic rower. I thought I would put together a guide to give you some help with your choice.

Combining resistance and cardiovascular training into one piece of equipment, rowing machines help build your endurance, muscle stamina and power. Rowing machines make use of a number of muscle groups large and small simultaneously, so they are perfect for improving your overall fitness.

Magnet-Based Machines

Magnet-Based MachinesIf noise is an issue, a magnet-based rowing machine is possibly better suited to your needs. This style uses a magnetic break in the flywheel to generate resistance. The magnets are built into the flywheel, and you choose your resistance setting to meet your exercise needs. Unlike air-based machines, magnetic rowing machines will not increase in resistance the harder or faster you pull.

Despite this, magnetic rowing machines can still offer a physically demanding workout that makes them well-suited for at-home workouts because of the quietness — Sports Unlimited states that they are virtually silent.

Air-Based Machines

Air-Based MachinesThis is the more common of the two rowing machine styles.  An air-based rowing machine uses a flywheel to generate air resistance as you start to pull away from it. The resistance level can be adjusted using a notch on the side of the wheel, allowing you to work out at a comfort level suited to your abilities, sometimes these machines have workout programmes too.

The resistance isn’t determined solely by your setting though, the harder/faster you row, the greater the resistance becomes. According to fitness research, the intensity increases as your workout intensity increases, ensuring that you maintain a high level of expended effort.

This style of machine produces some noise as the wheel turns.

Similarities and Differences

stk62965corBoth types of rowing machines feature a seat on a steel rail that is designed to produce a smooth, gliding motion as you row. Both styles require you to push off with your legs, and after being propelled by this initial burst of movement, you pull with your arms as your legs gradually release and straighten out (not fully extended though as this could result in injury). According to some fitness industry experts, air rowing machines offer the more accurate replication of a real rowing experience, since they provide responsive resistance levels and freedom of movement.


V-fit Fit-Start Single Hydraulic Rowing Machine_V-fit_Fit-Start_Single_Hydraulic_Rowing_Machine_2000x2000Your choice of rowing machine may change depending on your fitness goals. If want to lose weight, choose a low-resistance setting on an air machine or use a magnetic rower. To build strength, an air-driven rowing machine set at a higher resistance level is the better choice, as the difficulty — and muscle-building potential — will increase the harder you exercise. The calories burned using a rowing machine can vary greatly, depending on how long you exercise, the tension setting, speed at which you row and your body weight. A 155-pound person can burn between 246 to 844 calories per hour depending on how hard they exercise and because air-rowing machines increase in intensity the harder you exercise, they will burn more calories per hour than magnet-driven rowers.


57306458Think about your initial outlaw.  How many times will you use it, is it going to be value for money.  The type of machine you buy depends on the workout/results you want, some machines offered by Row Flow provide a more intense workout than others. The amount of space you have is also important to consider. Where will you store it, do you need to pack it away, some machines are inflexible and bulky, some fold away. Whatever your choice, rowing is one of the most effective ways to workout so you definitely won’t be disappointed with the results.