A totally honest review of the Hydrow rowing machine

·4 min read
Photo credit: Hydrow/Katie Wilde/Getty Images
Photo credit: Hydrow/Katie Wilde/Getty Images

If you're a big fan of fitness, then you may well already be familiar with the Hydrow Rowing Machine - a state of the art new piece of at-home equipment, which has been dubbed 'the Peloton of rowing'.

Rowing is a brilliant choice for those looking to achieve an almost full-body workout (it engages 85% of your muscles) and has steadily been on the rise in recent years, with cool boutique classes springing up in most major cities. It's a sport that requires you to keep a good form (thus engaging your core), push off with your legs (hello, thighs) and pull the handle with your arms (toning!). So really, it's a win-win.

But, is this swish new brand Hydrow worth the hype? How does a Hydrow rowing machine match up to one you'd find in your average gym? We put one to the test - and here's our honest review, along with everything else you need to know about a Hydrow Rower, including where to buy one and if it's a well-priced purchase.

What is the Hydrow Rower?

Let's start with the basics, shall we? The Hydrow Rower is an at-home rowing machine featuring all the cutting edge technology you could wish for. The rower has a monitor screen attached to it and the company prides itself on being able to 'transport' users to lakes and water hot spots all around the world (e.g. if you fancy taking a row along the Charles River in Boston, or working up a sweat on the Thames, then you can opt to choose a route filmed on the real deal).

Another big plus-point is that Hydrow are all about creating a community, so as well as being able to view your own personal stats on-screen as you row (such as how many metres you've covered, as well as how many you're likely to by the end of the session, plus speed, calories burnt and number of strokes etc.), you can see the stats of others too. Perfect for those with a competitive streak.

It comes priced at 拢2,295, or 拢2,345 if you opt to order a sturdy rubber mat for it to sit on top of. Shipping is free, it comes with a yearlong warranty and if after 30 days you decide it's not for you, you can return the machine with minimal fuss.

Photo credit: Hydrow/Katie Wilde/Getty
Photo credit: Hydrow/Katie Wilde/Getty

What Hydrow Rower classes are there?

Along with introductory sessions from fun and enthusiastic trainers - so no fear if you're a rowing newbie - the Hydrow Rower also comes complete with a library featuring hundreds of different workouts. Said classes range from athlete-led HIIT classes (think: rowing at speed, slowing down, repeat), to 'journeys' (you pick how long your row will last and go at your own pace, depending on the mood you're in) and even yoga and Pilates. Well, after all that rowing it's important to stretch off and lengthen those muscles!

Classes come complete with an upbeat playlist (some are even based around the music e.g. you can opt for a hip-hop HIIT workout) and one thing I personally loved about them was that as you're putting in the hard work, the trainers all chat away about not only rowing, but about their lives and how they got into rowing. For me, anything that distracts from the actual pain of exercising is always very welcome. I also found them to be a highly motivating bunch.

So far, since its arrival two weeks ago, I've used my Hydrow Rower pretty much every single day as I love it so much - and that's coming from somebody who generally gets a bit overwhelmed when faced with gym equipment. Even on the days where I feel like I'm too tired to exercise, I end up wanting to extend my rowing session after a 30-minute class, or feel like an hour long 'journey' row (which I usually do while listening to a podcast) has flown by. I'm already seeing my abilities improve and can now smash 10,000 metres in an hour, too. 馃拝

Is a Hydrow Rower worth the money?

The bottom line: Would I recommend a Hydrow Rower? Absolutely. Given that it's such a brilliant full-body workout, if I could afford to invest in a Hydrow Rower on a permanent basis, I'd do so and probably quit the gym. It's a versatile, slick piece of gear that'll see even the most reluctant of rowers catch the bug and as with any form of exercise, one that you enjoy is always going to be the best (and most sustainable) option.

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