This Sunny Health & Fitness rowing machine is a game changer

With the weather getting colder, it’s easy to spend your free time on the couch under a big blanket instead of exercising. If you’re looking for motivation outside the gym or something to get you moving that doesn’t involve logging miles outside, I’ve found what you need: a rowing machine.

I get it: some of you probably wanted to stop reading after seeing the word “machine”. Another clunky piece of gym equipment that will take up space in my living room and never be used? No thanks!

I hear you, but don’t leave right away. The affordable, adjustable rowing machine I found on Amazon is well worth the investment — best of all, it’s on sale right now during the Prime Early Access sale, an Amazon-created event, for under $100.

Rowing Machine Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205

Keep scrolling to see why this compact rower is such a favorite.

Why a rower?

According to TODAY fitness contributor Stephanie Mansour, with whom I recently spoke about the benefits of a rowing machine, it’s one of the best pieces of equipment you can get for a full-body workout. Rowers work your arms, back, hamstrings, and quads, and they combine cardio and strength training into one exercise. This is especially good if you work from home or an office, as rowing movements are also known to improve posture muscles.

The price and ease of installation are unbeatable.

It’s not everyday that you find a workout machine for less than $100. For this price, I was worried about the possibility of receiving something done wrong, but over 16,000 five-star ratings from happy customers eased my worries.

Even though it comes in a big box, it ships very quickly via Amazon. I will also add that the machine itself is extremely light. I can even take it over my head easily, which is a totally unnecessary but undeniable way of showing how compact it is.

Everything from setup to use was an absolute breeze. The machine itself is already assembled, except for the handlebars and the digital monitor. The brand provides the bolts, tools, and batteries you need to attach them, which took me less than five minutes. It also comes with a comprehensive instruction manual to help with setup and use, but I didn’t need to spend a lot of time reading it to understand everything. (Plus, this gear is beginner-friendly!)

Cassidy McKenna

Another huge plus is the rower’s size and portability – which is a key factor for me since I live in a small apartment. The machine fits perfectly on the side of my living room and can easily be folded to fit under my bed. My only complaint is that the handlebars don’t fold down as well, which would have made storage even easier.

How i use it

Since moving back to New York, my fitness routine has really dropped. I used to exercise three times a week with free weights as well as a daily run for my cardio. Now that I’m in a new zone and no longer have a stack of weights at my disposal, take a short walk here and there has been my main form of exercise for the past two months. That said, this rower has been a great way to get back into a regular fitness routine.

Mansour suggested using the rower every other day to give your muscles time to repair themselves. Since I don’t row often, I stick to this advice and it worked well for me. The rower is built with a hydraulic resistance system, which offers 12 resistance settings that can be adjusted to your personal strength level. (The difficulty of these settings far exceeded my expectations – I was only sweating at level six.)

With each use, I felt the muscles in my arms and back strengthen, and my legs always felt the burn as I rowed. And while I love working out in earnest, it’s also a hugely relaxing yet productive way to take breaks from long work-from-home days.

Cassidy McKenna

The ergonomic seat slides easily back and forth and is padded, which provides more comfort during longer workouts. The entire machine can hold up to 220 pounds, making it accessible to a wide range of people. It’s also important to note that while this rower is perfect for my height (I’m 5’2 and a half), I imagine someone taller might prefer a little more wiggle room than what the 37 inch zipper inseam.

Another notable feature is the digital monitor, which tracks your total time, number of reps, and calories burned. The monitor itself snaps onto the handlebars and plugs in via a cable already attached to the rower. It’s easy to read, but it took me a few minutes to learn how to reset it before each session. (Pro tip: just hold down the red button.).

Cassidy McKenna

All in all, this rower has seriously brought a new level of dedication and ease to my 2022 fitness goals. I hadn’t imagined it. If you are looking to improve your exercise routine, I highly recommend you try it too!

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