Fitness

Hydrow Rower Review

About Hydrow Rower

Hydrow Rower Review

Looking to bring interactive workouts right to your living room? Hydrow Rower is a workout training company that specializes in rowing machines, and users can simulate realtime rowing by moving in sync with on-screen athletes during live workout sessions. 

As you’re probably aware, being active has a ton of physical and psychological benefits[1]. Physical activity not only helps prevent and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, but it can also lessen anxiety and stress, boost serotonin levels, improve self-esteem, up your brain power, and ensure your muscles and bones stay strong.

For example, a recent study[2] published in The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that both light and moderate to high physical activity could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower global mortality rates, even if you’ve got some serious health issues. 

On top of that, a meta-analysis[3] by A. L. Rebar and colleagues at the Central Queensland University discovered substantial evidence proving that physical activity reduces anxiety and depression. 

Trainer’s Tip: Most of us know that we should exercise more, but the problem is that when it comes to our health, ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ are two very different things. So to make sure we continue exercising on a regular basis, the key is to find a workout that is convenient and enjoyable

With over 79k followers on Instagram, Hydrow Rower has even been featured in numerous media outlets such as USA Today and Bloomberg. Recently, the company had famed actor and comedian, Kevin Hart, join the board as the Creative Director.

If you’re itching for a new full-body workout routine, look no further than this Hydrow Rower review, as we will explore the brand, products, customer ratings, promotions, and more, to help you make a final decision.

Overview of Hydrow Rower

Hydrow Rower Review

Before Hydrow was established, founder Bruce Smith was already acquainted with the water, as he was a former rowing national team coach in the USA.

In 2017, he founded Hydrow Rower in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This company created a live outdoor reality rower in which users can feel like they’re rowing in real-time while being in the comfort of their own home. 

“Hydrow is coming to life for a very simple reason: we wanted to create the best and most compelling pathway to whole health that the world has ever seen,” Smith said. “The Hydrow Live Outdoor Reality (LOR)™ experience brings everything together: the best workout possible for human beings,” he continued.

By using the Hydrow Rower, users can exercise alongside professional rowing athletes through on-screen live workout sessions. Hydrow states that its special rowing machine is “a more relaxed and ‘poetic’ way of getting fit and healthy.”

Hydrow Rower Review

Before I take a deep dive into this Hydrow Rower review, let’s go over some key highlights.

Highlights

  • Users can experience ‘water rowing’ from the comfort of their own home
  • Added workout sessions such as yoga, pilates, and strength training to complement your rowing sessions
  • Every single rowing session purchased counts towards a donation to Water.org 
  • Delivery & in-home setup for only $249
  • Alternative pay option via installments with Klarna
  • All Hydrow Rower package bundles come with a 30-day risk-free trial 
  • After users reach a 100k milestone, they receive a free water bottle or a pair of socks
Hydrow Rower Review

If you’re new to rowing at home, getting started may seem like a slightly complicated process. For one, it’s important to choose the machine that suits you best. Also, Hydrow sells accessories and workout equipment to go with their rowers, and you may be interested in one of their live rowing memberships.

There’s no way around it: a high-quality rowing machine can be pricey. But Hydrow lessens the blow of this investment by offering a $249 delivery and home assembly fee along with the option to make monthly payments through Klarna, if the full price is outside of your budget. 

All Hydrow Rowers also come with:

  • 30-day risk-free trial period
  • One-year warranty
  • Unlimited profiles per membership

Next up in this comprehensive review, I’ll take an in-depth look at the Hydrow Rower, and the popular accessory kits. Plus, I’ll explore what you can get out of the live memberships.

Hydrow Rower Kits Review

Hydrow has three options for rower kits: the stand-alone Hydrow Rower, the Starter Package, and the Pro Package. We’ll go through each one to help you get a sense of which kit is best for you.

Hydrow Rower Review

Rowing is considered one of the best forms of exercise. According to CEO Bruce Smith, it engages 86% of your body’s muscles, has zero impact, and builds bone density

According to the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA), contrary to other cardio machines, a rowing machine allows you to exercise your upper and lower body. When properly used, the legs perform two-thirds of the work while the upper body does the other third. Talk about effective and efficient.

Trainer’s Tip: The key here is to make sure you review what the proper form is and progress appropriately. Yes, it’s fantastic that the rower machine works both your upper and lower body, but that doesnt mean you can make up your own rowing form. It’s best to ask a professional to run you through the movements and/or watch some instructional videos first. 

Another benefit of rowing is improved bone density. A systematic review[4] conducted at the University of Toronto addressed the clinical benefits of functional electrical stimulation (FES)-rowing in individuals with a spinal cord injury. The researchers found that this type of exercise improved participants’ cardiovascular performance and reduced the bone density loss related to the condition. 

Trainer’s Tip: If you’re concerned about bone density consider pairing your rowing workout with strength training. Strength training is also a fantastic way to maintain and/or improve bone health. Putting in time to do a circuit workout where you alternate five minutes of rowing with 5-10 minutes of strength work for 20-45 minutes can make huge changes in your life. 

As an added bonus, with the Hydrow Rower, you can row with virtual water and nature scenery on the built-in screen for a calming workout.

This rowing machine features a 22″ touchscreen with an HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. Plus, the high-tech rower is Bluetooth- and Wifi-enabled for heart rate monitors and audio. So you can keep an eye on your pulse and zone out to your favorite tunes.

The Hydrow Rower contains a dynamic and responsive computercontrolled resistance mechanism to simulate real water drag. Also, its built-in speakers are front-facing for an immersive experience. Together, these features make rowing in your living room as engaging as it can be.

In addition, this at-home rower is built for comfort, with an ergonomically designed seat cushion and an ergonomic handle for a low-stress grip. The footbed is adjustable and its sturdy frame contains aluminum and steel. The machine is capable of accommodating users weighing up to 375 pounds.

This rowing machine measures 86″L x 25″W x 47″H. And if you’re low on space, the Hydrow Upright Storage Kit is available for $70 (not included) to store the machine vertically when not in use.

You can purchase this machine for $2,495. Alternatively, you can choose to pay with installments for as low as $56 per month.

Hydrow Rower Starter Package Review

At-home training can be quite expensive. Not only do you invest hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on workout equipment, but there’s also the added expense of training accessories like rubber mats. Luckily, the Hydrow Rower Starter Package comes with those extra accessories, so you don’t need to spend time looking for exercise add-ons. 

Included with the Hydrow rower, this Hydrow Rower Starter Package has:

  • Under Machine Mat 
  • Polar Heart Rate Monitor
  • Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Headphones

Trainer’s Tip: Make use of Hydrow’s virtual yoga, pilates, and strength workouts. Your fitness routine should be seen as a table with three legs, representing strength, cardio, and mobility. It’s great to row for a cardio groove, but it’s important to also round out your workout routine with core, mobility, and strength moves. 

Start working out with the Hydrow Rower Starter Package for $2,270 (marked down from $2,520). Customers also have the option of paying through monthly installments of $64.

Hydrow Rower Pro Package Review

For those who are serious about getting fit, the Hydro Rower Pro Package has gear for the ultimate rowing workout sessions. This package includes:

  • Under Machine Mat 
  • Polar Heart Rate Monitor 
  • Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Headphones 
  • On the Mat Workout Kit
  • Two Yoga Blocks
  • Seven Multi-Resistance Band Sets
  • Performance Foam Roller 

Now, do you see what I meant by ‘ultimate’? The Hydro Rower Pro Package costs $2,455 (marked down from $2,705). You can also pay in installments of $69 monthly.

Hydrow Workout Accessories Review

Take it from Hydrow: “the beauty of a rowing stroke is that it activates the lower body (like your quadriceps and glutes), upper body (like deltoids and lats), and core muscles (the coveted abdominal muscles) all at once.” Regardless, no trainer or fitness guru will tell you to stick with the same routine.

Trainer’s Tip: The key to achieving your goals is consistency. The benefits of the ‘best’ workout are irrelevant if you can’t actually make yourself do it. One way to stay motivated is to mix things up. For instance, instead of yoga, try pilates. Or, instead of traditional stretching, use the foam roller to massage out your muscles. It’s good to switch things up.  

Hydrow lets you change up your workout with resistance bands, massaging foam rollers, floor workout accessories, and more. They also offer other tools, like a floor protector mat and heart rate monitor, to go with the Hydrow Rower

Next, I’ll take a look at these other items that complement the brand’s main product.

Hydrow Rower Long Black Machine Mat Review

If you’re going to invest in heavy exercise equipment, it’s a good idea to have something to protect your floors. The Long Black Machine Mat can prevent scratches, smudges, and dents on your floors.

This machine mat is slightly longer than the length of the Hydrow Rower, and is designed to dampen noise and vibration. This neutral mat in solid black mat will blend into your at-home workout studio. You can purchase it for $90 to complete your rowing setup.

Hydrow Rower Upright Storage Kit Review

The long profile of a rower can take up quite a bit of space, and if your home is lacking in that department, vertical wall storage could be the solution.

The Upright Storage Kit allows you to turn your workout space back into your home office, free up room in your living room, or make the house look tidier when guests arrive. 

This compact device stores the Hydrow Rower at dimensions of 24” by 33”. This kit keeps the rowing machine in place with a durable cord and buckle, so you don’t have to worry about the machine crashing down in the middle of the night. The Upright Storage Kit is priced at $80.

Hydrow Rower Polar OH1 Heart Rate Review

The Polar OH1 Heart Rate monitor helps you keep track of your heartbeat to meet your fitness goals. Strap it onto your wrist and watch as your heart rate jumps from 60 bpm to 175 bpm after a solid rowing session.

Trainer’s Tip: Why is heart rate important? It shows how recovered and hydrated, or overly exhausted and dehydrated, the body is. When you wake up with a heart rate higher than your average resting heart rate, you can put that intense workout off until youre more rested. In that case, instead of pushing hard, focus on hydration, nutrition, and sleep.

Not sure about your heart rate? Start tracking it in the morning and during your workouts. Doing so will give you instant feedback on the intensity of your workouts, and your physiological state at rest (i.e. are you too stressed, do you need more rest). Plus, it lets you measure your progress more easily. 

The heart rate monitor is comfortable and easy to use. Users can pair the monitor with their rower via Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity. Get your heart pumping to your target rate for $90

Hydrow Rower Performance Foam Roller Review

After an intense rowing session, stretching is important to relieve soreness and tightness around your muscles. The Performance Foam Roller can help you loosen up after a routine; this foam roller has rigid lines and dents to help massage deeper into your back and leg muscles

The foam roller also increases joint range motion and can be used before or after your workouts—or anytime when you need a good massage. 

Trainers Tip: If you’re feeling a bit sore after all that rowing, try rolling out your upper back. Start on the floor with your bum on the ground and the roller under your upper back, perpendicular to your body, head resting in your hands. Lift your hips up, then roll your body forward and backward so the roller moves up and down your back. This will keep your core engaged.

Soon, you’ll be able to get all those kinks out and feel like a new person! Available in a muted gray-blue color, this workout accessory retails for $40.

Hydrow Rower Multi Resistance Band Kit Review

With the Multi Resistance Band Kit, you can build up your strength and endurance for even better rowing performance. They’re designed to complement Hydrow Rower workouts to ensure a better workout routine in the long run. 

This Hydrow Rower box set includes: 

  • Two short resistance bands
  • Two long resistance bands
  • Three resistance bands with handles 

Trainer’s Tip: The great thing about resistance bands is that you can take them anywhere. Bring one to the office and train on your lunch break and/or stick it in your suitcase when you travel. Talk about a fitness solution. 

Resistance bands are all the rage these days, and you can get this kit for $100 to see what the hype is about.

Hydrow Rower On The Mat Workout Kit Review

The On The Mat Workout Kit is the perfect complementary exercise bundle for the Hydrow rowing machine. All of these items can be used not only for your rowing sessions but also while doing extra exercise routines with the brand’s online training service.

This kit includes:

  • One multi-use workout mat 
  • Two yoga blocks 
  • Two short resistance bands 
  • Two short long resistance bands 
  • Three resistance bands with handles 

Hydrow Rower recommends using the black bands for heavy resistance workouts, the blue bands for lighter days, and the green for light resistance.

To make full use of this kit, Hydow Rower encourages you to explore its library of ‘On the Mat workouts’ on your Hydrow Rower or through its app. The On The Mat Workout Kit is priced at $180. 

Hydrow Rower Membership Review 

Hydrow Rower Review

This Hydrow Rower review found two memberships that users can sign up for. For the basic Hydrow membership, the monthly membership fee is $38 monthly (plus applicable tax).

Customers have the option of pre-paying for a year of the Hydrow membership in advance or giving one to someone else through the online store. 

It’s worth noting that this membership is applied per machine. A single membership allows you to create multiple profiles for yourself, along with friends or family.

Their second membership option is through the Hydrow iOS app. This is for users that don’t own a Hydrow but want access to workout content online. The Hydrow Rower Digital Basic subscription costs $20/month (plus applicable tax) on the App store. 

There are currently three different subscription packages to choose from that also include the rowing machine:

  1. Hydrow Rower
  2. Hydrow Rower Starter Package
  3. Hydrow Rower Pro Package

Hydrow Rower Reviews: What Do Customers Think?

Hydrow Rower Review

This Hydrow Rower review found overwhelmingly positive customer feedback. On Trustpilot, the company has 4.7/5 stars with over 3,400 Hydrow Rower reviews. Customers have reported that the machine is simple to use and workout sessions are easy to follow.

Many Trustpilot users have stated that working out with a Hydrow rower is fun. Several also claim that the on-screen sessions are of amazing quality—especially the simulated scenery.

“So easy to assemble I was ready to go in about 30 minutes. That screen is unbelievable, makes the sessions so fun to be able to see so much on the waterways,” one Trustpilot reviewer wrote. 

Another buyer had this to say about Hydrow video tutorials: “The quick short videos that give rowing technique and explain drag were so helpful.”

Hydrow Rower Review

The Hydrow Rower also has many favorable reviews on Google, Bestbuy, and PCMag. Most individuals commented that the classes are excellent and the workouts are smooth and quiet.

On the Hydrow BestBuy page, this person left a glowing review: 

“A friend recommended the Hydrow, and I can honestly say that I’m excited to exercise again, easily keeping up with my 4x weekly sessions. The classes are fun, informative, and engaging – in a beautiful setting,” HYDROW.COM

However, I did come across a small number of customer complaints. On a few Hydrow Rower review Reddit pages, some users question whether the machine is better than other rowing equipment for a lesser price—especially considering that there isn’t a way to adjust the air resistance on the rower.This Hydrow Rower review also looked to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where the company has an A- grade. And I was amazed to discover that Hydrow has zero customer complaints filed through the BBB.

Is Hydrow Rower Worth It?

Hydrow Rower Review

This Hydrow Rower review encourages you to give this rower a try, especially if you’re looking for something different than your average treadmill or elliptical machine.

While most retail exercise equipment offers virtual running sessions where you’re mostly ‘on the ground’, the Hydrow Rower offers users something different by providing a more serene setting on the water.

The Hydrow Rower is great for rowing enthusiasts who wish to row year-round, or for those simply looking for a new way to workout.

With the numerous glowing reviews stating that the Hydrow Rower is ‘the perfect workout,’ this Hydrow Rower review thinks that you’ll likely have a positive workout experience.

Is the Hydrow Rower worth the money? Well, if signing up for a membership and buying the machine can help you fall in love with exercising again, or encourage you to start working out, can you really put a price on that? I think not.

Hydrow Rower Promotions & Discounts 

Hydrow Rower Review

Hydrow has a really cool ‘refer a friend program.’ If you refer a friend, they’ll get “10% off their first order, and you’ll get a $250 Visa gift card when they make a purchase.” Plus, if you sign up with your email address, you’ll be notified of any news or exclusive deals.

Where to Buy Hydrow Rower

Hydrow Rower Review

You can buy a Hydrow Rower and workout accessories, or sign up for a membership, at Hydrow.com. Partner retailers include:

  • Hydrow Best Buy
  • Hydrow Fitness Town
  • Hydrow Amazon

FAQ

Is Hydrow Rower a water rower?

Hydrow Rower is a virtual water rowing machine. Users can simulate real-time rowing through a live workout Hydrow video in the comfort of their own home. 

Can you use Hydrow Rower without a subscription? 

Can you purchase a Hydrow without a membership? When purchasing a Hydrow rower, you must sign up for a membership. You can gain access to their online content without the machine by signing up for the Hydrow Rower Digital Basic subscription on the App store. 

Can you watch Netflix on Hydrow Rower?

This Hydrow Rower review found out that you cannot watch Netflix on this rowing machine. The monitor is a deactivated device used to stream the brand’s workout content only.

Can you lose weight using Hydrow Rower?

This Hydrow Rower review found that yes, you can lose weight using Hydrow. The company states that rowing is an excellent way to get in shape because it works to strengthen your muscles and cardiovascular system. 

Where does Hydrow Rower ship from?

At the moment, Hydrow ships within the continental United States and has recently introduced shipping to the United Kingdom.

Does Hydrow ship to Canada? Not exactly. However, Fitness Town and Kinetic Solutions have Hydrow Rowers for sale.

Also, customers in Hawaii and Alaska can purchase Hydrow Rower products through BestBuy.

What is Hydrow Rower’s Shipping Policy?

Hydrow charges a standard $149 shipping fee. However, customers can win the chance to get free shipping by signing up for the brand’s newsletter. 

Customers can check their Hydrow Rower order status via a tracking number, which will be emailed once the order has been placed. Hydrow Rower orders typically take six to eight weeks to deliver.

When your Hydrow Rower arrives, the brand’s carrier (CEVA) will contact you beforehand to schedule your delivery timeand date. It’s your responsibility to assemble your Hydrow Rower using the instructions found on the company’s website.

What is Hydrow Rower’s Return Policy?

Hydrow Rower offers a 30-day risk-free trial, where first-time customers can receive a full refund if they are not happy with their purchase. This offer is not available for:

  • Households purchasing an additional Hydrow Rower
  • Orders which contain multiple Hydrow Rowers
  • Hydrow Rower’s purchased for Commercial use (gyms, fitness centers, offices, etc.)
  • Hydrow Rower’s purchased through a retailer or dealer

For their standard return policy, customers that have ordered through the website may return their purchases within 14 days of delivery for a replacement or refund. You can find a full list of return policies by visiting their website. 

How to Contact Hydrow Rower

If you have more questions after this Hydrow Rower review, you can contact the company through:


Add weighted jump ropes to your workout routine. Check out Crossrope for speed, strength, and endurance training.

Looking for more workout options? Look into Onnit kettlebells and the P.volve workout method.

Article Sources

[1] Elmagd, M. A. Benefits, need and importance of daily exercise International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health 2016; 3(5): 22-2
[2] Ekblom-Bak, E., Halldin, M., Vikström, M., Stenling, A., Gigante, B., de Faire, U., ... & Hellénius, M. L. Physical activity attenuates cardiovascular risk and mortality in men and women with and without the metabolic syndrome – a 20-year follow-up of a population-based cohort of 60-year-olds European journal of preventive cardiology, 28(12), 1376-1385
[3] Rebar, A. L., Stanton, R., Geard, D., Short, C., Duncan, M. J., & Vandelanotte, C. A meta-meta-analysis of the effect of physical activity on depression and anxiety in non-clinical adult populations Health psychology review, 9(3), 366-378
[4] Ye, G., Grabke, E. P., Pakosh, M., Furlan, J. C., & Masani, K. Clinical Benefits and System Design of FES-Rowing Exercise for Rehabilitation of Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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