I Tried It: An Honest Review of the Hydrow Rower Everyone's Talking About

  • Hydrow is a connected home rowing machine that offers live and pre-recorded fitness content on demand, where the workouts are filmed on real bodies of water.
  • Our testers were impressed with the machine’s build, the breadth of available classes and the quality of the instructors.

Over the course of the past year, I’ve logged hundreds of hours on the Hydrow Rower along with my colleague, Stefani Sassos, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.O., C.D.N., one of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s lead fitness testers and the head of our Nutrition Lab. We were, by and large, impressed by the quality of the machine, the classes and the instructors. The at-home exercise system is designed to provide a connected, immersive rowing experience that replicates being on the water from the comfort of your own home; we found that Hydrow delivered on this promise and then some.

Below, you’ll find in-depth details about our experience with Hydrow, and why it may or may not make sense for you, your lifestyle and budget.

What is Hydrow?

Hydrow is a smart rowing machine with an integrated touch monitor that allows you to view live or pre-recorded, on-demand exercise classes led by world-class athletes. While the majority of the workouts focus on rowing, there are other types of fitness classes available on the machine or through the companion Hydrow app, including yoga, Pilates and strength training — all designed to complement your rowing workouts.

Hydrow requires a monthly subscription to stream both its live and pre-recorded content, with a library of over 4,000 workouts. The instructor-led guided routines are filmed in stunning destinations, including Miami, London, Scotland and more, which is unique when it comes to interactive at-home exercise equipment. You can also select “journeys,” which are unguided rowing workouts that allow you to go at your own pace.

Hydrow takes up a footprint of about 86″ x 25″, so it’s important that you have ample space for the machine in your home. The 22″ touchscreen mounted to the front of the machine features full HD resolution for sharp, clear picture quality. The machine also has built-in speakers, two USB ports and both WiFi and Bluetooth compatibility. The handle is ergonomically designed for efficient and comfortable rowing, and there are rubber feet supports on the base legs for stability and floor protection.

How does Hydrow work?

Rowing machines are grouped by how they provide resistance, and Hydrow uses electromagnetic resistance to operate. Similar to the more common air rowing machine, which features a flywheel attached to a chain or belt, magnetic rowers like Hydrow use strong magnets that work against the flywheel to generate resistance. Leveraging a unique combination of algorithms, Hydrow’s electromagnetic resistance and a computer-controlled drag work in tandem to deliver an effective workout.

One of the main benefits of electromagnetic rowers is that they are whisper-quiet when in use, but they generally don’t offer as realistic of an on-water experience as traditional air rowers. That’s not the case with Hydrow though. I found the experience to be so immersive — and the motion so fluid — that it really did feel like I was gliding on water.

Is Hydrow good for cardio exercise?

Yes, rowing is a tremendous full-body workout, with a host of health benefits. Rowing has been shown to engage over 85% of your muscles in a workout, providing a more whole-body experience than a treadmill or bike can do on their own. While many people think of rowing as an upper body exercise, you actually get the majority of your power from your legs and by engaging your core. According to Sassos, who is also a NASM-certified personal trainer, rowing not only builds muscle, bone density and stability, it’s also a good low-impact cardio workout, engaging everything from your legs and back to your core and arms. As such, it’s a safe choice if you have injuries that may otherwise sideline you.

How much does Hydrow cost (and does it require a subscription)?

At $2,495, the Hydrow Rower is an investment. The cost of the machine includes free standard delivery, which means it will be left outside your front door (except in multi-unit buildings where it will be placed inside the entrance). In some locations, you can choose delivery with in-home assembly for an additional charge, which includes placement in your desired location and packaging removal.

A Hydrow subscription is also required. Sold separately, the monthly all-access membership plan is $38/month (totaling $456 for the year). Optional accessories are also available to complement the machine, including a machine mat ($90), an upright storage kit ($80), a resistance band kit ($100), a bundled mat kit ($180) with resistance bands, blocks and more, a performance foam roller ($40), yoga block ($30) and more.

Hydrow vs. Hydrow Wave

The brand recently introduced Hydrow Wave, a lower cost, more compact alternative, for $1,495. Designed to offer a more affordable machine that can be more easily moved around, our preliminary testing has shown that the Wave offers as great rowing experience as well. We’ll report back once we have done more extensive testing on this machine.

How we tested Hydrow

When we review rowing machines, we assess the following criteria:

  • Ease of use: We want the machine to be easy-to-use, and provide useful metrics as desired such as pace, calories burned and heart rate.
  • Design and build: We are looking for well-built machines that offer comfort without sacrificing stability and safety and that allow for fluid motion at various resistance levels and speeds.
  • Functionality and performance: We want to ensure high-quality instructors and classes are available, including a breadth of options to suit whatever your need or workout mood.

In addition to myself and Sassos, we also had several additional users weigh in on their experiences with the machine at home.

lifestyle, i tried it: an honest review of the hydrow rower everyone's talking about

A group of Hydrow instructors.

During my own in-house experience over the course of the past year, my husband and I both regularly (and competitively!) used the rower. My husband and I have different workout philosophies, and different inclinations towards teachers and classes. Hydrow served us both well. I was always able to find an instructor and class that fit my needs — sometimes I wanted a light and carefree workout, other times I was looking for something more intense and cardio-heavy. In general, I leaned into master trainer Nick Karwoski’s classes. An affable storyteller, his rapport would often pleasantly distract me from the rigors of his workouts. For me, he offered an ideal level of positive reinforcement without being overly bubbly or excessively tough. He also made me feel like I was a part of a team, reminiscent of the camaraderie I felt during the school sports days of my youth. My husband, on the other hand, preferred rows led by Mike Dostal (passionate, motivational and has a fun British accent), Aquil Abdullah (positive and effervescent) and Mac Evans (self-described goofball). Overall, we both agreed Hydrow’s coaches offered a great balance of motivation and fun, as well as guidance on technique.

Like most rowing machines, the Hydrow takes up a considerable amount of floor space when in use. While the machine can be stored upright, I thankfully found a dedicated area to safely leave my rower out (I have three young kids, so I leave my workout equipment in a locked room for safety purposes). It has a sleek look, so I was happy to leave it on display given that I had the space to do so. That said, I did go through the motions of turning it upright and rolling it around just to get a feel for the heft. Even with it weighing more than I do, I was able to easily do it on my own.

lifestyle, i tried it: an honest review of the hydrow rower everyone's talking about

Me and my Hydrow instructor, Nick.

In use, the machine itself was impressively quiet (my grunts and expletives perhaps slightly less so). After a few workouts, I got the hang of what all the on-screen stats meant, but thankfully each class started with a brief overview to remind me. For example, the screen provides you with your rhythm number/stroke rate, which is how many strokes you take per minute. In addition to matching the number the instructor told me to aim for, I would watch their hands and rhythm, too, for added guidance. It took me a while to catch on to some of the elements of the rowing stroke (stroke, catch, drive, etc.) and general rowing terms (e.g., a “shell” is the name for a rowing boat, who knew?!), but I felt pretty confident in my form and general knowledge base after a few rides.

One feature I found myself using a lot was the ability to adjust the sound balance between the music and the instructor’s voice. In general, I preferred “more music” for increased personal motivation, but you can opt for the original mix, more athlete or athlete only.

I will say that between my 6 ‘1″ husband and my more diminutive 5 ‘3″ frame, I noticed he definitely had an unfair advantage with longer legs and arms. That said, I was able to achieve a faster rate in general and get in more bouts of recovery time than him. But to be competitive on the leaderboard, I had to be more efficient with my rowing than he did.

Without a doubt, Hydrow got me back on track when it came to working out during the pandemic. With three little kids, finding dedicated time to work out was often challenging for me. Hydrow allowed me to fit in a robust full-body workout in 15- to 20-minute increments a day, making things more accessible and attainable. I was surprised by how quickly I fell in love with my Hydrow and the community of instructors and fellow rowers. Because the classes were so engaging and fun, and the video so immersive, I found myself motivated to get back on the machine, day after day.

What are the pros and cons of Hydrow?

lifestyle, i tried it: an honest review of the hydrow rower everyone's talking about



The bottom line: Is Hydrow worth the price?

When shopping for a rowing machine, quality, comfort, size, noise and price all come into consideration. If you’re looking for a great full-body workout from the comfort of your home and you’re able to accommodate the high price tag, our testers think the Hydrow is worth it.

After over a year of testing, I’ve become a big fan of the Hydrow, but whether it makes sense for you depends upon your available space and budget, and where the convenience and workout benefits stack up for you. Instead of just looking at the bulk sum, which is admittedly important, I also recommend considering the cost-per-use in comparison to exercise alternatives you might substitute. That way, you can have a better sense of how much the Hydrow will cost in comparison to your current routine or what you might use in its place, like one-off classes, a gym membership or other interactive at-home exercise equipment and subscriptions.

How we test fitness equipment

In the Good Housekeeping Institute Wellness Lab, our team of engineers, health experts and fitness professionals put the newest exercise innovations to the test, including the ever-growing market of connected at-home fitness products. To test smart fitness equipment, like fitness mirrors and smart home gyms, we look at factors related to ease of use, performance and value, including how easy the install and setup are, how intuitive the system is, the breadth and quality of exercise content and instructors, the ergonomics of the machine, the footprint and weight of the device and more.

To evaluate Hydrow, we surveyed over a dozen users and had them report back on their experience with the machine. Our lead testers from the GH Institute, Sassos and Rothman, both used Hydrow machines several times a week for over a year before compiling this review.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

This story was written by Rachel Rothman, chief technologist and head engineer for the Good Housekeeping Institute, who has been with the brand for nearly 15 years and has a B.S.E. in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She is also an Equinox-certified Pilates mat instructor and avid athlete, having played soccer, tennis and lacrosse since childhood. She has experience testing a multitude of fitness equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, smart fitness mirrors and smartwatches.

Stefani Sassos, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.O., C.D.N., also contributed to this article, having worked in the fitness industry for the past 10 years, specializing in indoor cycling and strength training. As a NASM-certified personal trainer, she uses her expertise and exercise science knowledge to create informed fitness content for Good Housekeeping. From vigorously testing exercise equipment to curating workout plans for GH readers, Stefani is passionate about leading an active lifestyle and inspiring others to do the same.

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network