Concept2 Rowing Machine: Everything you Need to Row [Plus Videos]

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Concept2 Rower Review

Offering a low-impact exercise, the Concept2 Rowing Machine simply delivers on its HIIT – full body workout potential by using all the major muscle groups during the strokes. It is widely used by elite and Olympic athletes for competitive training.

The concept2 rower measures your progress with reliable, comparable data on every stroke you take. With workout options including time, distance and intervals with games included. And can be found in various fitness facilities and home gyms as it does in boathouses around the world.

Inasmuch as rowing machines have an enviable track record. It is also one of the most effective cardio workout equipment. Consistently fulfilling its promise of a full-body workout. And that is what HIIT is all about.

It comes with an easy on your eyes backlit LCD display, a Wireless Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility for heart rate or app monitoring. Mainly equipping you with the tools to join an Online Challenge on the go.

Note: It is recommended you get an exercise mat for this rowing machine – it’s well worth it. It doesn’t cost that much to protect your floor. You can check this one I got for me on Amazon for a few bucks.

Here’s a rundown of what we’ll provide in this concept2 rowing machine review:

First, we’ll take a look at the Concept2 rower. Talk about some special features(pros), drawbacks(cons) you might need to know about. Second, we’ll share the features and benefits that you’ll find useful. Third, we’ll provide a sampling of the actual customer and Independent reviews to give you better insight into the product. And finally, we’ll provide you with a detailed buyer’s guide to make a more informed decision

Sound good?

Let’s get started!

What Exactly is the Concept2 Rower?

It’s a low impact machine that performs low impact exercises. So you don’t have to exert so much effort to get your desired results and it doesn’t require a lot from you to perform.

Proudly made in Vermont, America, the Concept2 has an air-resistance flywheel which controls the airflow with an easy change of the damper.

With its sleek outline and almost futuristic design, one would almost seem to feel themselves becoming fit just by looking at the machine.

Resting solidly at about 57 pounds (about 29 kg) the machine can supports body weights up to 500 pounds or 227 kilograms. The set up of the machine is quite easy with a manual in case of any confusion.

The machine is easy to store so you do not have to worry about moving it or it occupying too much space in your home.

Concept2 Models

The Concept2 Model you buy is the same machine Olympic and elite-level athletes use to train for their chosen sport.  However, there are a number of concept2 Indoor Rower models available:

  1. Concept2 Rower Model A
  2. Concept2 Rower Model B
  3. Concept2 Rower Model C
  4. Concept2 Rower Model D
  5. Concept2 Rower Model E
  6. Concept2 Dynamic Rower

In this review, we’ll look at the last 3 Concept2 models;

  1. Concept2 Rower Model D
  2. Concept2 Rower Model E
  3. Concept2 Dynamic Rower

Concept2 Rower Model D

Concept2 model D

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The Concept2 Model D rowing machine is arguably the best-selling indoor rower in the world. This particular machine is equipped with a futuristic PM5 performance monitor that adds an interesting twist to the rowing exercise.

It also has an ergonomically improved handle which lets you exercise with a setting that fits more into your “zone”.

The foot-rests are adjustable and the typical noise that comes with machines operating with a slide has been done away with to a large extent.

The flywheel design is in place to ensure as little noise as possible while the machine is in use. The aluminum i-beam monorail resting on a track of pristine stainless steel supports a smooth back and forth sliding motion.

However, just like any other machine, the higher the work done, the more force is generated and subsequently the more the sound produced.

So although the machine is built to be as silent as possible, the more effort you put into rowing, the more sound is generated.

The use of earbuds is recommended for those who find it unbearable. But you should be able to hear your TV over the generated “noise”.

Again, the Model D is available in two colors: a light gray (the same as the Model E and Dynamic Indoor Rower) or black.

It will be great if you get an exercise mat for this rower machine – it’s well worth it. It doesn’t cost that much to protect your floor. You can check this one I got for myself on Amazon for a few bucks.

Further, we also found Rowing Machine Chain Oil which works great on Concept 2 Rower by TreadLife also on Amazon.

Special Features (Pros)

  • AffordableFolded Concept2 model D
  • Easy to fold up
  • Sturdy and solid
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Easy maintenance
  • Easy to Move and Store
  • Join an Online Challenge
  • Connects with popular fitness apps
  • Limited 2-year and 5-year warranty

Special Drawbacks (Cons)

  • A little pricey – You get what you pay for

It might seem weird that there are only a few disadvantages, but that is the only complain users have in common. Some other cons include the fact that the PM5 might be faulty on some machines and the straps that hold the feet in place could lead to bruises. Nevertheless, the pros seem to significantly outweigh the cons.

Concept2 Rower Model E

black model E


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The Concept2 Model E is similar to the model D with a few tweaks here and there. More of a luxury indoor rowing machine. This version is viewed as a more advanced model compared to its D counterpart.

The monitor arm attached to this version is much longer and it uses a nickel-plated steel chain. Its seat is about 6 inches higher than the D model.  Hence, taller persons prefer it.

The PM5 attached to the machine is capable of monitoring your heart rate using wireless technology. It also has in-built workout storage to a USB drive and even a backlight.

Additionally, unlike previous rowing machines that require regular maintenance and were more fragile, the Concept2 rowing machine has proven its superiority.

The concept2 rower is equipped with nickel-plated steel chains with fully closed housing for the chains and double powder coat with a glossy finish. Maintenance could be done just once a month (with frequent use).

If you prefer, the Model E could fit in a closet or be moved out of the way when not in use.

Special Features (Pros)

    • Affordable

Folded Concept2 model E

  • Easy to fold up
  • Sturdy and solid
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Easy maintenance
  • Seat at chair height
  • Easy to Move and Store
  • Join an Online Challenge
  • Connects with popular fitness apps
  • Limited 2-year and 5-year warranty

Special Drawbacks (Cons)

  • A little pricey – You get what you pay for

Concept2 Rower Dynamic

Dynamic Rower

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If you are keen on training at home, a very viable rower you should be considering is the Dynamic Rower. The Dynamic was designed to be more similar to rowing on the water and promotes good rowing habits.

If you are accustomed to rowing on the Model D or E, the Dynamic comes in with several different uses. Unlike most rowers, the look and feel of rowing on the Dynamic mimic a lightweight boat. With a stationary seat, your feet tend to do the sliding.

The Dynamic Indoor Rower was introduced in December 2010.

According to, “Two or more Dynamics can easily be linked together for training timing of movements within a team boat. For team training, the Model D and Model E can also be connected via Slides (sold separately).”

This is another great option for rowing teams to consider.

Special Features (Pros)

  • AffordableDynamic Rower
  • Easy to fold up
  • Sturdy and solid
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Easy to Move and Store
  • Adjustable monitor arm
  • Limited 2-year and 5-year warranty

Special Drawbacks (Cons)

  • A little pricey – You get what you pay for

Concept2 Rower Review

Working out or exercising could be quite a pain, but the prospects of remaining overweight, developing heart or other health complications seemed to be even more painful.

Many years ago, my friend Ken, clearly wasn’t the dude I knew years back. Things didn’t go as planned.

Apart from his girlfriend who constantly made him feel like shit – Ken didn’t feel comfortable in his own body.

Certain clothes he really wanted to wear, he couldn’t dare. Each day was a nightmare.

Fun stuff that he wanted to do with friends and family seemed like too much of a chore. All attempts to get fit proved futile.

Apparently, due to my love for fitness and cardio workouts, Ken wouldn’t let me be. The regular question was, “What should I do?”

At the back of my mind, the answer was a planned High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) schedule. And for that matter – a HIIT machine was our best bet.

This led me to do extensive research on the best HIIT machine for my dear friend.

So upon an extensive 250 hours of research, I stumbled upon rowing machines. So the next question was, “What is the best rowing machine?”

For rowing machines, I discovered in time they are quite cool. But the regular rowing machines needed a little something extra.


The concept2 rower came up tops as the best rowing machine with “that something extra” that the regular rowing machines lacked.

The concept2 rowing machine became a serious game-changer for Ken at a much more accelerated and relaxed rate back then. I hope he still has it.

Although the extra body fat was dealt with due to a fun and rigorous cardio exercises I prepared for him at home – engaging in a HIIT section every week on the Concept2 rower made the process a lot smoother than expected.

Concept2 rowing machine: How to use it

Benefits of the Concept2 Rowing Machine

Of course, the most important benefit of this machine would be its health benefits. Varying routines and the use of different machines as part of the gym or exercising process can be quite stressful.

However, finding the right machine to stick to while achieving the most benefit can be quite taxing.

The different concept2 models do not present the same challenge. As a machine, it is excellent for your cardio workouts at home. Whether you have been exercising for years or a beginner – the machine has a setting that you would be satisfied with.

1. Great for Beginners

For beginners, you could set the machine in such a way that the air resistance would be lighter and the pushing and pulling (rowing motion) required would not be too strenuous.

On the other hand, long-time users would also be able to make a few adjustments to the setting to increase air resistance and by extension increase the amount of work done.

This feature is equally important from those recovering from injuries or surgery.

2. Concept2 workouts for weight loss

Noticeably recommended for its weight loss benefits. Remember this is a low impact machine and that its great for HIIT anytime any day. Most importantly, it’s well known for its belly fats reduction prowess.

As mentioned by one reviewer Tom:

“Like any exercise routine, it takes two weeks to make it a habit. You should see results within the two weeks. Actual weight loss depends on current weight, lifestyle, diet, etc. This machine makes the habit fun and works out a wide variety of the muscle groups as well as the cardiovascular system.”

3. Concept2 for cardio workouts

Rowing is a wonderful example of an aerobic workout as it raises your heart rate. Moderate repetitions could fall within the range of 30-60 minutes about 5 days weekly. While rigorous ones could be 20-60 minutes 3 days weekly.

This rower delivers an effective cardiovascular workout like no other. And that is my own endorsement of this exercise equipment. It increases your fitness level over time.

Concept2 for Body Toning

Inasmuch as the Concept2 will increase your fitness level, it will also tone your physique.

Additionally, your entire body is involved and most major muscles are trained. But this does not cause injury if done properly. This is because rowing is a natural activity with a free-flowing movement pattern.

Some may prefer exercise bikes such as the Peloton for quick cardio or muscle-toning benefits. You can find our post on the Peloton vs Echelon for a broader perspective on that.

However, the Concept2 indoor rowing machine is in a class of its own. It’s that good.

Concept2 Rower Customer Reviews: What Amazon Customers Have to Say 

So far, the reviews have been positive with few contemplations on the price.

One particularly outstanding review was by Amy Vander from Chicago, Illinois who said,

 “The machine turned me into a “medical miracle” as myorthopedic surgeon called it. My surgeon claimed to have never seen a patient recover as fast as I did from a total knee replacement. I didn’t need crutches after two days, could drive in ten and was off my pain meds in about two weeks.”

Mark Stephens (cymf57) also said that,

“I’ve bought a lot of fitness equipment in my life but this has got to be the most effective piece of equipment thus far. I started with a hydraulic machine that would get extremely hot and provide very little resistance after about 10 minutes. It is great on the whole body and easy on my knees. I’m 60 years old and I’ve lost 40 pounds with the C2. I also bought an accurate heart rate monitor and I’m able to reach and maintain my heart rate targets during my workouts. I can’t say enough about how much I love this machine. I’d give it 10 stars if I could.”

Eric Wilkinson said it better,

“I didn’t want to mess around and buy something inferior so this really seemed to be the best choice for both durability and function. My biggest concern was how much noise it would make. The answer is that it doesn’t make much noise at all – I listen to audiobooks on my iPhone’s speaker (no headphones/buds) and it is fine. I burn about 200 calories with it in 30 minutes – probably at a leisurely pace, I know. The only thing I find irritating is that when using a heart-rate monitor, you must choose it every single time – I wish this wasn’t necessary – I only have one heart monitor so why must I choose it before each workout?”

Concept2 Rowing Machine: Buyer’s Guide – Thing to Consider Before You Buy

I order to make an informed and intelligent decision, one must consider a number of metrics. And that is what we’ll look at next. Let’s dive into some things to consider:


You get what you pay for with any of the Concept2 models. It’s a premium price – maybe a little pricey to some people but as I’ve alluded to earlier. You get what you pay for – and it’s worth it.

If you’ve always wanted to own a rowing machine, this rower would be a perfect fit for that purpose. After using it for a while, you’ll realize its worth every penny.

One Amazon reviewer said,

“I  believe strongly that I will have to leave this in my will to my grandchildren, as I believe this will last more than one lifetime.”


Assembling is done using screws primarily. Depending on your model, this should take between 20 – 30 minutes to do properly while following the step by step illustrations. All the tools needed are included.


The manufacturers of the Concept2 want you to use soap and water or any glass cleaner to clean the rower. Make sure you don’t use mineral acids, bleach, or coarse abrasives. That will is not recommended.

Please take note of this IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE by the manufacturer.

“Use of this machine with a worn or weakened part, such as the chain, sprockets, swivel connector or shock cord, may result in injury to the user. When in doubt about the condition of any part, Concept2 strongly advises that you replace the part immediately. Use only genuine Concept2 parts. Use of other parts may result in injury or poor performance of the machine.”

Weight capacity

Maximum User Weight of 500 lb (227 kg) as tested by Concept2.
A 300 lb (135 kg) maximum weight as tested per European Stationary Fitness Equipment Testing Standard EN 20957-7.


Since rowing machines mimic rowing in water, let’s look at it from that perspective.

The resistance of water doesn’t change, but the faster you pull through the water, the harder it will be!

Further, resistance is created by how hard you pull. The harder you pull, the more resistance you will feel.

The damper setting adjusts the airflow in and out of the machine; it is not resistance. Therefore, resistance can be altered and set to suit your desire.

Parts, Accessories and Attachments

Sone noticeable parts are:

  1. Handle: The handle of this particular rowing machine has been ergonomically improved. This means it`s comfortable to hold without bruises.
  2. Foot-rest: The footrest of the Concept2 rowing machine is adjustable. Hence it can suit just about anyone. Its operation is attached to a fly-wheel design. So the loud and annoying noise associated with exercising on a machine is solved.
  3. Monitor: The monitor uses LED design. It is a PM5. The monitor also displays heart rate read using wireless technology.

It also has few additives such as:

  • Work out storage
  • USB Port
  • Backlight feature.
  • Games, etc.

It is held by an aluminum i-beam monorail which rests on a track of pristine stainless steel. It is durable and the problem of constant maintenance is solved.


Even though the seat is normal, people sometimes find it a little hard on their backside. If you will want something for a softer seat,  there are bestseller cushions such as Rowing Machine seat cushion model 1Rowing Machine seat cushion model 2 or the versatile Non-Slip Orthopedic Gel & Memory Foam on Amazon for reasonable prices.

The Model E is a better choice if you have a problem sitting on the floor and getting back up. The seat sits quite low on the Model D, but it is fine for people without mobility issues.

The seat is lacking a cushion but there are cushions available for reasonable prices as I’ve mentioned above. It is quite difficult and a pain figuring out where to sit on the seat at first but you’ll soon be comfortable.


As mentioned earlier, it will be great if you get an exercise mat for this rower machine – it’s well worth it. It doesn’t cost that much to protect your floor. You can check this one I got for myself on Amazon for a few bucks.

Further, we also found Rowing Machine Chain Oil which works great on Concept 2 Rower by TreadLife also on Amazon.


The Concept2 Indoor Rowers are backed by a limited 2-year and 5-year warranty from the day you purchase from Concept2. You can find the complete warranty information here:

Model D and E Indoor Rower Warranty

Dynamic Indoor Rower Warranty

There’s also a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee expressed bolded on the website. Meaning, “If within 30 days of shipment of your Indoor Rower, you are not satisfied with it, you may return it to us. All shipping costs are your responsibility. We will refund the cost of the machine to you. This offer applies to factory direct sales to our customers within the US and Canada only.”

Concept2 Rower Alternatives

If for one or two reasons, these Concept2 models are not what you’re looking for, don’t worry. There are equally solid, low-impact and formidable rowers available.

Any of these Amazon bestsellers may be the ideal rowing machine you’re looking for:

  1. Stamina Body Trac Glider: Full-Range Rowing arms simulate the feel of rowing on actual water.
  2. WaterRower Classic: Space-saving, low-impact and sleek but yet perform powerful workouts.
  3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic: Row into shape with 8 levels of adjustable tension.
  4. Stamina ATS Air Rower: Engage in low impact work-out which activates 86% of the body’s musculature to achieve a stronger, tighter, healthier body.

Where can you find the concept2 rowing machine for sale?

Where you can buy a rower is not an issue – where to get the best Return On Investment(ROI) on your rowing is a big deal.

First, you could simply order one online  – you can find your choice concept2 rower on Amazon.

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Second, there are refurbished Concept2 rowers as well as used Concept2 indoor rowers available on marketplaces such as eBay, Craiglist, etc… However, always beware of the quality, build and best value.

So, if you are recovering from an injury or are aiming to burn some fat without leaving your home, this machine is definitely for you.

Used Concept2 Rowing Machine

The fact that Concept2 is popular on Amazon doesn’t mean all of us can buy a new one. There are some of us who would prefer a used rower due to various reasons.

So we’ll look at some options on a couple of marketplaces to help you make an informed decision.

First, do well to filter out the many spams from commercial sellers on these platforms seeking to sell you anything that you don’t need.

Now, let’s dive in.

Concept2 Rowers for Sale on eBay

With a little research, you can find a wide range of offers and products on Concept2 rowers for sale on eBay. Included but not limited to different replacement parts; monitors, seat pads, foot straps, and gripmasters, etc..

Upon a quick search on the items sold section, I saw some great prices for used Concept 2 rowing machines and accessories up for sale. Some relatively cheaper and others quite unreasonable.

But hey, eBay as an auction site comes with its own pros and cons. Its a matter of choice, purchasing power and how much you need the said product that informs your decisions on platforms like these.

But it’s worth your time to do the search.

Concept2 Rowers on Craigslist

Oh yes, there is enough information and offers for concept2 rowers on craigslist.

In fact, it is your best chance of getting a good or great deal on a rower. This is mainly because Craiglist has a lot of used rowing machines for sale.

Further, it is much of an easier buy due to its local deal and pick up preference. Here you don’t really have to make a seller ship your rower at a cost.

Another great way of getting a used Concept2 indoor rower.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Concept2 Rowing Machine

What muscles does the Concept2 rower work?

A few of the trained muscles include the glutes, biceps, upper back, abs, deltoids, hamstrings and many more.

Does Rowing it burn belly fat?

Not only does the rowing exercise burn belly fat, but it also strengthens the abdominal muscles.

It’s Rowing bad for your back?

Quite the opposite. It aids in strengthening the lower back and preventing back pain.

How long is the Concept 2?

15 minutes to 30 minutes every day should be enough to lose 1 pound in a week (if done properly).

Greater Intensity on the Concept2

Who sells concept2 rowing machines?

Amazon, eBay and Craiglist.

At a fraction of the cost of a yearly gym membership or other home fitness equipment, you can have the luxury of working out in your home whenever you choose…and get a great workout for that matter.


The feeling you get whenever you look in the mirror and realize that you need to get more work done on my torso and midsection is not a particularly pleasing one, is it?

More fat than you need seems to be staring back at you with a sneer from the mirror. No worries, I with you. And yes you can!

This machine is a whole cardio exercise routine on its own. To lose that body fat that has always bothered you, the Concept2 rowing machine is the way to go.

First, because it does not require much space and you can work out comfortably from your home.

Second, your entire body is involved (comparable to running).

Finally, in the long run, isn`t it cheaper than a continuously paying for a gym where you might not be consistent due to a busy schedule?

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