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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.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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 sports-based exercise machines, or ergometers, which all use the same flywheel and technology. Its products include:

  • Concept 2 RowErg
  • SkiErg, a machine that mimics the action of cross country or Nordic skiing
  • BikeErg, an exercise bicycle
  • rowing oars
  • performance monitors
  • heart rate equipment
  • clothing

The RowErg provides low impact cardio and muscle-strengthening workout that can improve a person’s fitness level.

This rower is suitable for all fitness levels and abilities. The company also says that the machine is suitable for people of all ages.

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 exercises, 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 RowErg is suitable for commercial and home use. The company states that this product is “built by rowers, for rowers.” The company also says the machine is suitable for use by people of all ages and fitness levels seeking a low-impact full-body workout.

Additionally, Concept 2 states that the RowErg is durable and easy to maintain. 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).

Features

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 monitor also connects via Bluetooth to apps, including the free ErgData app.

Additional features include:

  • a spiral damper that lets users adapt the airflow to the flywheel, which changes the feel of the stroke
  • flywheel design that reduces noise
  • integrated device holder that keeps a smartphone or tablet securely in place
  • standard leg model with a 14-inch (in) seat height
  • tall leg model with a 20-in seat height
  • adjustable footrests
  • ergonomic handle with a 10-degree bend for comfortable rowing
  • easy assembly

People can choose between a standard leg model, which has a seat 14 inches (in) in height, or a tall leg model, which has 20 in height seat.

The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for United States and Canadian residents when they purchase the rower directly from the company’s website. Concept 2 provides a 2-year limited warranty for a standard leg model and a 5-year limited warranty for a tall leg model.

Price: The RowErg standard leg model costs $900, and the tall leg model costs $1,050.

People should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use a piece of fitness equipment. Each purchase of the RowErg includes a user manual that people should read thoroughly before using the rower.

However, some general advice on how to use rowers include:

  • wear comfortable clothing that is not too loose or constricting
  • wear comfortable sports shoes that provide adequate support
  • perform warm-up stretches before using the machine
  • ensure the foot straps on the machine are snug around the feet
  • begin rowing at a slow and steady pace, increasing the intensity as necessary

People should stop exercising immediately if they experience any pain. If the pain persists after stopping the exercise, they should contact a doctor as soon as possible.

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, a cushioned seat, 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 an extra-wide grip foam handlebar and 14 different resistance levels, magnetic tension resistance, and a nylon belt for quiet workouts. The machine also features patent-pending front stabilizer foot pads that allow users to perform different exercises while on the rowing machine, such as curls, upright rows, and triceps extensions. It has a 250 lb weight capacity.

The table below provides an at-a-glance comparison of how the Concept 2 RowErg compares to these alternatives.

RowErgNordicTrackSunnyFitness Reality
Resistance levelsno information available26 digital levels16 magnetic levels14 levels
Weight capacity300 lb250 lb286 lb250 lb
Features• adjustable footrests
• ergonomic handle
• quiet flywheel
• Bluetooth
• two speakers
• touchscreen
• digital monitor
• tracks fitness metrics
• device holder
• adjustable foot straps
• LCD monitor
• tracks fitness metrics
• front stabilizer foot pads
Pricefrom $900$1,799from $349.98$349

Concept 2 offers a range of indoor exercise machines.

Dynamic Indoor Rower

This machine simulates rowing on the water. The company states that it made this product to meet the needs of competitive rowing athletes.

It includes a free-moving footrest and has the same performance monitor and smart device cradle as the RowErg.

Additionally, it comes with a Dynamic Link accessory that joins two or more Dynamic Indoor Rowers to allow team training.

At the time of publishing, this product is not available for purchase online. Instead, people must order via telephone.

Price: The Dynamic Indoor Rower has a list price of $1,250.

SkiErg

Concept 2 states that this machine allows users to simulate outdoor Nordic or cross-country skiing. It may help provide a full-body workout and increase people’s strength and endurance.

The SkiErg has the same flywheel and fitness tracking metrics as the RowErg.

However, the SkiErg does not come with the SkiErg Floor Stand. A person must purchase this separately.

Price: The SkiErg has a list price of $770. The SkiErg floor stand costs $220.

BikeErg

The BikeErg has the same flywheel and fitness tracking metrics as the RowErg and SkiErg. The machine offers a smooth, quiet ride with a flywheel that uses air resistance.

Similar to road bicycles, the BikErg has a clutch. The product also has Bluetooth connectivity and a smart device holder.

Price: The BikeErg has a list price of $1,100.

Concept 2 currently has accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The organization gives the company an A+ grade.

The company has no complaints on the BBB website. While the customer review rating is 1 out of 5 stars, the only review is a person stating they will not purchase equipment from Concept 2 due to the 2-year warranty.

Concept 2 currently has a rating of 4 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 negative reviews on Trustpilot’s website reference the delivery company that Concept 2 uses and the company’s customer service. People note that they experienced delivery delays and a lack of communication from Concept 2.

Below are the answers to some common questions about this rower.

How much does the Concept 2 RowErg cost?

There are two models of the RowErg.

The RowErg standard leg model currently costs $900, whereas the RowErg tall leg model costs $1,050.

Is the Concept 2 worth it?

The Concept 2 RowErg may be worth buying if a person enjoys rowing exercise. It had a quiet flywheel, so it may also be suitable for those who need quieter equipment while working out.

People should carefully read reviews before committing to a purchase. Reviewers may be able to provide a clearer picture of the advantages and disadvantages of a product.

What muscles does the Concept 2 RowErg work?

Rowing machines such as the RowErg provide aerobic exercise and strength training.

These machines can help strengthen many muscle groups, including the upper back, shoulders, arms, core, glutes, and legs.

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.