Air Rowing Machine vs Magnetic Rowing Machine: Which Is Better for Strength Training?

If you are confused about the whole air rowing machine vs magnetic rowing machine debate, worry no more. Here is a comprehensive guide that details the differences, benefits and cons for either type of rower

Air Rowing Machine vs Magnetic Rowing Machine: Which Is Better for Strength Training?

If you are confused about the whole air rowing machine vs magnetic rowing machine debate, worry no more. Here is a comprehensive guide that details the differences, benefits and cons for either type of rower.

Rowing machines are a trendy piece of equipment that enables you to perform full-body workouts. One of the best known benefits of rowers is that they allow for low impact workouts. So you will not be at high risk of sustaining injuries when using a rowing machine.

However, there are many models on the market which may put in a predicament. Luckily, you don’t have to worry as we will be guiding you today. The two best options you can get are an air rowing machine vs magnetic rowing machine.


What Is An Air Rowing Machine?

An air rowing machine is the most popular option on the market that many people opt for. As the name suggests, the equipment relies on air to offer you a high workout experience. It involves the use of a flywheel to create resistance which can be varied.

What Is A Magnetic Rowing Machine?

A magnetic rowing machine is less popular than the air model but offers a high workout experience as well. In this tool, the flywheel contains a magnet that creates resistance through friction. So you do not rely on air in this equipment model.

Air Rowing Machine: Key Features

Here are the top features of an air rowing machine that will help you understand how it works:

  • Damper Lever

The top feature of an air rowing machine is that it has a damper lever on the side. You can use this part to improve or reduce the resistance by adjusting the flywheel’s airflow. Thus, you can put the equipment in one setting to enjoy maximum benefits.

Another thing you should remember is that an air rowing machine responds to your speed as well. This means that you can control your resistance by rowing the machine at a particular pace.

When you row the machine faster, the resistance will increase as more airflow is created by the flywheel. However, this will also make it tougher for you to row further. This is how the air rowing machine enables you to perform challenging workouts.

  • Advanced Monitors

One of the key features of air rowers is the display monitor. It can display basic values for workout progress tracking – whereas some other models come with more advanced option that can show more such as the drag that the flywheel may be experiencing.

Besides that, the machine can also calculate the flywheel’s deceleration rate. The key benefit of the calculations is that you can use them to perform the recovery stroke effortlessly. Simply put, they help you manage the workout better.

Furthermore, the display monitor also relays your workout duration, speed, distance, calories burned. That is why this type is used in Olympics, indoor competitions, and gyms. It also for easy comparison of user workout data etc with another person using the same model – making it ideal for professional use.

Magnetic Rowing Machine: Key Features

Here are the top features of a magnetic rowing machine to understand it well:

  • Dial Or Button

As we said earlier, a magnetic rowing machine has a built-in flywheel magnet for creating resistance. This is why you can choose the setting on the machine easily. You can do this by turning the dial/knob on your equipment.

Keep in mind that some models do not come with a knob for changing resistance. In such a case, you must look for a button on the monitor to adjust the level. This will enable you to determine the intensity and difficulty level of your workout.

A key feature to note is that the magnetic rowing machine does not respond to your speed. This means rowing fastly or slowly will not change the resistance in any way. So if you have set the level to five, then the machine will operate at the setting unless you increase the value using the dial.

  • Good Monitors

The magnetic rowing machines also come with monitors with basic and complex features. So you can view your workout data and customize your session according to it. However, there is a feature that is unique to the magnetic rowing machine’s monitor.

This equipment allows you to perform preset workout programs to enjoy more flexibility. You will have to plug the machine into an outlet to use the functions. Besides that, the monitor display is backlit and will adjust your resistance during the program.

A key example to understand the preset program is that you can set the machine into a mountain mode. So as you row, the resistance will increase and decrease automatically to mimic the journey of moving on a hill.

However, keep in mind that this tool’s accuracy of the monitor of a magnetic rowing machine offers a lower level of accuracy to that of an air rower. This is why this magnetic rowers are mainly preferred for personal use. If you need a rowing machine for more competitive or professional use, it is best to invest in a water rower.


Air Rowing Machine vs Magnetic Rowing Machine: Key Similarities

The important thing to remember is that both types of rowing machines have some key similarities. Their exterior look and design is similar in most cases. Both the machines come with a seat that is attached to a steel rail platform.

Besides that, both machines require you to perform gliding motions to use the equipment. You will have to push on the device using your legs to make the initial stroke. Then for recovery, you will have to use your arms while releasing the legs.

Another similarity of both models is that they offer the same feeling of rowing in the water. So if you want to have the same experience as the actual sports, both the machines are suitable.


Air Rowing Machine vs Magnetic Rowing Machine: Which Muscles Do They Work on?


air rowing machine vs magnetic rowing machine


Rowing machines allow you to perform full-body workouts, which is why an air rowing tool and magnetic rowing tool target the same muscles. However, they exercise different muscles during the four positions. Below is all the information you need about them:

The Catch

This is the initial stroke that you perform at the beginning of the workout. You have to bend your knees towards the chest to do the catch. Here are the muscles that are exercised by both machines in this position:

  • Triceps
  • Legs
  • Back Muscles

The Drive

This is the second stroke that involves you pushing off your feet until they completely extend. While performing this motion, your body moves into an upright form. Here are the muscles exercised in this position:

  • Legs
  • Shoulders
  • Biceps
  • Abs
  • Back

The Finish

This is the third stage that enables a rowing motion and causes your body to move back towards the hips. Meanwhile, the handle comes near your sternum as you extend your legs. Following are the muscles exercised in this position:

  • Five muscles of your torso
  • Biceps

The Recovery

This is the final stroke on a rowing machine that involves extending your arms. You have to move your hips forward while bending your knees. This is so that your body moves forward. Following are the muscles exercised by both machines in this form:

  • Triceps
  • Upper legs
  • Calves

You should also note that all four of these strokes exercise your neck, back, and hand muscles. Thus, you can enjoy a full-body workout on both air and magnetic rowing machines.

What are the Merits of An Air Rowing Machine

Here are the top pros of using an air rowing machine:

  • Offers A More Realistic Feel

The common consensus amongst people who have used both air and water rowing machines is that air rowers are best known for providing a realistic experience. This is mainly due to the machine’s responsiveness to your speed. The automatic resistance change in an air rower replicates the motion you experience in an actual water body.

However, this feature does not make the air rowing machine superior to a magnetic rowing machine. It may also come down to your personal preference. If you are a rower, you would want to have the same vibes as in the water.

Meanwhile, if you are using the machine for working and not the sports, the feeling wouldn’t matter to you. For many people, a magnetic rowing machine offers the same experience as an air model.

  • Affordable

An air rowing machine is the most popular option on the market. Not only that, but it is used for commercial purposes and competitions. Because of this wide and more common usage, air rowers are more affordable above other.

You can easily get an excellent machine with a reasonable price tag. Of course, you will have to do some research to get the best model for your needs.

  • Enables A High Workout Experience

The top feature of an air rowing machine is that you can adjust your resistance with your own power output. This is why you can engage in a high-intensity workout easily.

Air rowers also come with highly advanced features which enhances user workout experience. Therefore, you can enjoy an immersive workout session.

One of the primary reasons that contribute to this is that athletes use air models for practice.

What are the disadvantages of an An Air Rowing Machine?

Here are the top cons of using an air rowing machine:

  • Loud

The key disadvantage of using an air rowing machine is that it is louder than other types. This is because of the primary design of the tool. High noise is produced as the flywheel rotates to create air resistance.

So if you are setting the machine in your home gym, you should keep in mind that the noise will be bothering you. Additionally, the noise may be bothersome to other people around.

  • High Maintenance

The air rowing machine comes with a learning curve and uses more manual options. This is why you have to maintain the machine well by keeping up with the maintenance needs.

For instance, the flywheel may require lubrication from time to time. Besides that, you must keep the equipment clean. This is so that you do not face trouble with creating air resistance in the future.

What are the advantages of a magnetic rowing machine?

Here are the top benefits of getting a magnetic rowing machine:

  • Silent

The best thing about a magnetic rowing machine is that it does not produce noise on functioning. This is mainly because the equipment creates resistance through a built-in magnet and not air.

If you are setting up a home gym, this machine may be the better option. The tool will not annoy your family members because of the silent feature. Additionally, it will not distract you during the workout too.

  • Low Impact

If you have an injury or you’re worried about wounding yourself on the machine, you don’t have to worry about a magnetic rower. The tool allows you to perform low impact workout as the resistance does not change with your speed.

Another thing to note is that the magnetic machine does not have a high impact on your joints. This adds to the safety of the equipment and offers users more reassurance.

What are the demerits of A Magnetic Rowing Machine?

Following are the drawbacks of buying a magnetic rowing machine:

  • Heavy

The magnetic rowing machine is heavier than the air model because of the heavy flywheel. This is why you cannot transport the tool from one room to another yourself. Besides that, it may require you to use more force during the workout.

  • Less Accurate Monitor

The monitor of a magnetic rower is suitable for personal use but not the most accurate for professional environments. For one it does not allow comparison of various user’s data making it unsuitable for competitive training.


Air Rowing Machine vs Magnetic Rowing Machine: Which Should You Buy?


air rowing machine vs magnetic rowing machine


There is no fixed winner in the air rowing machine vs magnetic rowing machine debate. This is because the decision depends on your needs, budget, and preference.

An air rowing machine is best if you want a realistic experience and more control over resistance. It should also be your top choice if you want to practice for actual rowing or competitions.

Meanwhile, a magnetic rowing machine is more suitable if you want to enjoy a relatively lower impact workout. The equipment is also best for personal use and keeping in home gyms.





Fitness Accessories & Essentials:


Fitbit Store Garmin Fitness Store
Apple Fitness Store Shop NIKE Store
Best Athletic Sneakers Best Women’s Sports Watches
Best Men’s Athletic Watches Shop SUUNTO Fitness Tech
Best Running Watches Shop Beats By Dre Headphones
Best Running Waist Packs Women’s Running Shoes




7 Best Peloton Alternatives You Can Buy At A Cheaper Price

Are Peloton Bikes Worth It? 5 Reasons To Consider Before You Buy A Peloton

› 10 Upper Body CrossFit Workout Exercises You Can Do To Stay In Shape

Top Best Stepper Machine Buying Guide: Complete Reviews

Best Home Elliptical: Schwinn A40 Elliptical Review

Peloton vs Keiser Bike Compared: Which Bike Is Better For The Money?

› How To Lubricate A Treadmill Belt: Easy Guide Tips You Should Know

› 52 Best Ab Machines For Home: Buying Guide Ideas For Your Home Gym

› 20 Best Treadmills under 500: Fitness Saver Buying Guide

› 25 Best Home Workout Gym Equipment To Get From Amazon

› 34 Best Fitness Accessories For Running & Jogging You Should Buy

› 20 Best Strength Training Workout Equipment To Buy For Your Home Gym

› Best Water Rowing Machine For Home: Top 10 Best Picks by Real Users

› 25 Best Budget Exercise Bikes under $300: Buying Guide

› 19 Best Treadmills under 1000: Ultimate Fitness Buying Guide

Top 7 Best Ellipticals under 1000: Fitness Buyer’s Guide

10 Best Home Gym Equipment To Buy During Covid Isolation

5 Best Elliptical Machine Choices For Exercise: Complete Reviews

› Best Bench For Home Gym: 42 Recommended Best Buys From Amazon

22 Best Indoor Exercise Bikes under $500: A Best Buy Guide

14 Best Ellipticals under 500: Build A Home Gym On A Budget

Top 15 Best Smart Watches For Fitness Junkies: Ultimate Buying Guide

› Best Treadmill under 300 dollars: Top 8 Best Bargains To Buy For Home

17 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes: Ultimate Buying Guide

Best Treadmill under 2000: Top 7 Best Buys For Cardio Workouts

Best Treadmill under 600: Top 10 Best Buy Treadmills For Home

Treadmill Buying Guide: Expert Tips, Advice And User FAQs

Best NordicTrack Treadmill: NordicTrack 6.5 S Treadmill Review

NordicTrack C 700 Treadmill: Comprehensive Review

5 Best iPad Mini Holder For Elliptical Machines & Treadmills

20 Best Headphones For Working Out & Exercise: Buyer’s Guide

10 Best Ab Workouts For Men & Women For Quick Belly Toning

Top 5 Best Lubricant For Elliptical Trainers And Treadmills

Top 14 Best GPS Tracker Watch Devices For Running & Exercise

How To Use An Elliptical For Beginners: 5 Quick Simple Tips

20 Best Fitness Trackers For Elliptical And Cardio Workouts

› Does The Elliptical Work on Your Stomach? We Asked The Fitness Experts

› 10 Best Strength And Conditioning Training Exercise Routine Tips

› Buying An Under Desk Bike? Here Is All You Need To Know


Best Rowing Machines





We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Health Fitness Gurus
Compare items
  • Total (0)