We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

The Concept 2 rower provides people with a convenient way to exercise at home. This product has various features that make it suitable for people of all fitness levels.

The Concept 2 rower allows people to get the benefits of rowing from the comfort of their home. People can exercise using this product at a time that suits them without contending with unpredictable weather conditions.

This article discusses the Concept 2 rower and its features. It also looks at the pros and cons of using a rower for exercise and suggests some alternative options.

Two brothers, Dick and Pete Dreissigacker, founded Concept 2 in 1976. Its headquarters are in Morrisville, VT, in the Burlington metropolitan area. The two brothers, who had just finished Olympic training, began by making composite oars for rowing.

Today, the company makes a line of sport-based exercise machines, or ergometers, which all use the same flywheel and technology. Its products include:

  • Concept 2 rower (RowErg)
  • SkiErg, a machine that mimics the action of cross country or Nordic skiing
  • BikeErg, an exercise bicycle
  • rowing oars

Concept 2 currently has a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot. Positive reviews state that the company’s products are of good quality, durability, and design. Other reviewers say that the customer service team was helpful and friendly when answering product questions and communicating waiting list times and delays.

The only negative review on Trustpilot’s website concerns the delivery company that Concept 2 used. The reviewer states that the delivery driver did not bring the product up to their apartment and that the package disappeared after the reviewer left it outside overnight.

The Concept 2 rower is suitable for commercial and home use. The company states that this product is “built by rowers, for rowers.”

The Concept 2 rower has a Performance Monitor that displays a choice of workouts and a “Just Row” option. It also shows data on pace, calories, watts, and stroke rate, which users can store in the product’s internal memory or transfer to a USB stick.

The product has the following additional features:

  • a spiral damper that lets users adapt the airflow to the flywheel
  • free access to an Online Logbook for tracking workout data
  • Bluetooth connectivity and a smartphone holder so that users can connect to a variety of training apps
  • standard legs for a 14-inch (in) seat height or tall legs for a 20-in seat height
  • adjustable footrests
  • easy assembly

This product requires two D cell batteries. The flywheel powers the Performance Monitor during use, which extends the battery life.

Concept 2 recommends that people have a 9 foot (ft) by 4 ft space in which to place and use the rower, which has wheels on the bottom of the frame and divides into two pieces for easy storage. It has a maximum user weight of 500 pounds (lb).

Concept 2 offers residents of the United States and Canada a 30-day money-back guarantee when they purchase the rower directly from the company’s website. The purchase price does not include shipping.

The standard version of the rower has a 2-year limited warranty, and the version with tall legs has a 5-year limited warranty.

People who are considering purchasing a rower can compare the Concept 2 RowErg with several other options, including:

  • NordicTrack RW900: This rower comes with a 22-in rotating Smart HD Touchscreen, which gives users immersive training sessions and supports off-rower workouts. It has Bluetooth headphone connectivity and is compatible with iFit. In addition, the rower features 26 different digital resistance levels, magnetic resistance, silent air resistance, and two built-in speakers.
  • Sunny Space-Efficient Convenient Magnetic Rowing Machine: This rower comes with a digital monitor that tracks time, number of strokes, stroke rate, and calories. It has 16 different levels of magnetic resistance and comes with a device holder, a bottle holder, and adjustable foot straps. It has a 285-lb weight capacity and comes with floor stabilizers for a smooth ride.
  • Fitness Reality 1000 Plus: This rower comes with a 3.5-in LCD monitor that tracks distance, time, calories burned, and strokes per minute. It has 14 different resistance levels, magnetic tension resistance, and a nylon belt for quiet workouts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that regular physical activity could prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths. Rowers may help individuals exercise regularly, leading to several health benefits. However, people should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent injury.

Pros

The CDC recommends that people engage in both aerobic exercise and strength training. Aerobic activity can range from moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, to high intensity workouts, such as running or rowing. Strengthening exercises should work all the major muscle groups.

Using a rowing machine, such as the Concept 2 rower, provides both aerobic exercise and strength training. Rowing strengthens the core, upper back, shoulders, arms, glutes, and legs.

A 2015 study investigated the effects of indoor rowing machines on older adults and found that rowing improved overall fitness, lowered cholesterol, and helped participants maintain a moderate weight. However, this study had a small sample size and only lasted 6 weeks. Therefore, individuals should interpret the results with caution.

Additionally, all physical exercise can produce both short- and long-term health benefits. People who exercise reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.

Cons

Some individuals who use rowing machines may experience lower back pain. When using a rowing machine, people have to bend forward, which may lead to spinal muscle injury. Individuals should build up the duration and intensity of their workouts gradually to minimize the risk of injury.

Exercise can also lead to other types of sports injuries. If a person experiences pain during or after a workout, they should stop exercising immediately and rest the affected area. If the pain persists, a person should contact a doctor. The doctor can recommend treatment options, such as hot and cold packs, rehabilitation, and massage.

The Concept 2 rower provides people with a convenient way to gain the health benefits of exercise. This product has several features, including fitness metric tracking and a choice of workouts, which can help people reach their fitness goals.

However, rowers can sometimes cause lower back pain and other sports injuries. Anyone who feels pain should stop exercising immediately and rest the affected area. If the injury persists, they should discuss their symptoms with a doctor.