Men’s Journal aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission. Questions? Reach us at [email protected].Sponsored content
Rowing machines—aka ergs—are a fantastic fitness tool. Whether you use one for warming up before a workout or fitness activity, as the workout itself, or as a cool-down after a hard lifting session, an erg can help you get the results you want to see. And right now, you can get a great deal on a portable rowing machine at Amazon.
Imagine getting a full-body, cardio workout in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Now you can. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 magnetic rowing machine gets high marks by over 1,100 reviewers. People love it. It’s there when you need it, folds up and tucks out of sight when you don’t, and right now it’s just $209—that’s $191 off the regular price.
It’s also loaded with features. A smooth, quiet magnetic tension system with eight levels of adjustable tension lets you set the pace, while an on board LCD console tracks it. For comfort and convenience, the Sunny rowing machine has a padded seat, anti-slip foot pedals, a foam grip handlebar, and integrated wheels that let you roll it into place or out of the way.
The digital monitor displays time, count, calories burned, and an overall total count that’s ideal for HIIT or CrossFit workouts. The convenient scan mode scrolls through each reading in succession as you row, so you can keep one eye on your progress and track all your fitness goals. With the tension knob, you can switch up the intensity of your workouts. This feature comes in particularly handy when you’re use your erg for a variety of workouts: warming up, cooling down, or something in between.
Textured, non-slip foot pedals let you focus on the workout without feeling unbalanced; straps keep your feet saddled in. When your session is over, just fold the Sunny, tilt it up, and roll it into a corner. It’s really light and easy to maneuver, too; its dimensions when folded are just 37″L x 19″W x 53.5″H.
Done correctly, rowing is a full-body workout, and can tire you out in minutes. Because all major muscle groups are involved—legs, back, glutes, shoulders, arms, and abs—each stroke requires a lot of power and oxygen, even on a low-resistance setting. That’s what makes it so great for cardio workouts or warm-ups before playing sports like basketball or volleyball.
Newcomers to the rowing machine make two common mistakes. The first is trying to do too much too soon by using too much resistance. Dial it down at the beginning, and your body will adapt so you can gradually build your way up. But there’s no need to try to max it out; even if you’re using an erg as a workout, you should never really get beyond the midrange. It’s just too much strain on your back.
The second error is too much focus on the pull. Rowing is more about your hips and legs than it is your arms, chest, or back. Done correctly, you’ll be using use your entire body in concert to achieve maximum effectiveness. So begin by powering through the legs. Then, as your hips begin to hinge back, initiate the pull with your arms. That whole process should take 1 second, while the reset takes 2 seconds. Even as your stroke gets faster, that ratio should stay consistent.
Now that you know how to do it, why wait? Get the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 magnetic rowing machine at Amazon for just $209. A word of advice: Depending on where you plan to use it, you may also want to get a foldable rubber equipment mat ($27 at Amazon) to protect your floors.
GET IT: Pick up the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine ($209; was $400) at Amazon
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!