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Hydrow Rower Review 2021: Should You Get The Hydrow?

Undoubtedly, the Hydrow rowing unit is a well-crafted top-class smart rowing machine and a first of its kind in the machine-based exercise industry. While there are many other devices already using the ‘virtual rowing’ and online function and features, nothing, however, transcends the quality and efficiency this unit brings. While the market is packed with multiple hi-tech devices, only a few, if any, offer such a unique blend of high-quality hardware and top-notch software in a rowing machine.

Hydrow Rower Works 86% of the Muscles in Your Body

The Hydrow offers a full-body workout that utilizes your arms, glutes, back, triceps, biceps, legs, and quad. These muscle groups work collectively with every stroke, and the use of so many muscles simultaneously means that rowing burns a lot of calories.

Ideally, every rowing stroke activates your lower body muscles like the glutes and quadriceps, upper body muscles like lats and deltoids, and the core muscles (abdominal muscles). This, combined with your torso muscles, makes for a complete full-body workout.

Note: Your torso comprises five muscles, including the internal abdominal oblique, rectus abdominis, pyramidal, external abdominal oblique, and traverse abdominis.

 Check out Hydrow official website for the latest deals.


  • Offers regular competitive leaderboards, live sessions, and unique racing challenges
  • Smooth, comfy, and silent operation
  • Sleek design with a large, immersive bright HD screen
  • Excellent professional instructors and classes
  • Bluetooth 5.0 enabled connectivity that supports heart rate monitors and headphones.
  • Ideal home fit: the Hydrow wheel system renders moving the unit around the home easy. Furthermore, if you have limited space, you can adjust the unit into an upright position for storage between the usages.
  • Philanthropy:Company donates to an NGO, Water.org every 60 days you are active


  • Hefty price tag/Expensive
  • A relatively low number of workouts that are not using the rowing machine
  • Extra costs for the monthly class memberships
  • Does not allow you to play your playlist
  • Lacks onboard workouts: if you don’t have a Hydrow membership, you only have access to the ‘Just Row’ setting. The unit does not feature any preset workouts, meaning that you don’t have much to utilize without the membership going.

Is Hydrow A Water Rower?

Hydrow is not a water rower. The Hydrow uses electromagnetic resistance that has a smooth river-like feel to it making each stroke feel like you’re out on the water.

Who Is It For?

The Hydrow smart rower is a stunning upgrade for anyone searching for a more engaging and immersive workout experience than traditional rowers. You will note that the rowing experience is more engaging and fun compared to working out with a relatively lower-cost and lower-tech model and offers a better full-body workout overall. If you are also looking to keep fit and burn calories, then the Hydrow rower is well worth your time.

Uniquely designed to mimic the natural water feel, this unit is ideal for helping you work on your core muscles, arms, legs, and back among many other muscle groups. In fact, since it works on so many muscles, your bones enjoy the perks of weight lifting or running without necessarily facing the risks associated with high-impact exercises. The Hydrow can help you burn as much as 400 calories in just 20 minutes!

Finally, Hydrow is also a useful resource for anyone looking to improve their rowing technique and form. With its amazing streamed trainer content, you have access to world-class instructors and professional sessions at the comfort of your home, any time you need it.

Who is it not for?

Even with its numerous set of features designed to boost user comfort during workouts, this unit is only accessible to resourceful individuals. With a hefty price tag of over $2,000, this rowing machine is quite expensive for the average fitness enthusiast.

Moreover, the Hydrow is also a full-body workout unit and is therefore only suited for individuals looking for a complete at-home body workout. Finally, the Hydrow rower is not recommended for anyone who is looking for music-themed training whatsoever.

Hydrow Design

The Hydrow was designed from the ground up

Smooth River-Like Feel: First, unlike traditional rowers, Hydrow offers a smooth river-like sensation just like on the outside. It comprises an electromagnetic resistance drag feature and is automated. These distinctive elements render it the closest feel to being outdoors. The interface offers you a setting to adjust your drag level from level 1-300 for every rowing session. Its default drag setting mimics a two-person boat feel, although you can lower it to an 8-person boat feel or push it to a single-person boat feel.

Exclusive Monthly Subscription: Perhaps the most apparent difference between the Hydrow and standard rowers is the membership feature. This provision includes multiple interactive extras. Essentially, the workout experience with Hydrow rowers covers subscription-based features resembling the typical Peloton bike like online community access with weekly team races and live leaderboards.

The Hydrow has a monthly membership at a fee of $38 monthly. This subscription unlocks an assortment of on-demand and live classes and is a vital component of the unit’s interactive experience. The goal is to use the community elements of a workout to help motivate and encourage users. You can participate in unique minute challenges, weekly races, and you can even compare your performance with your partners.

A Workout With A View: The Hydrow’s bright 22-inch touchscreen display, combined with the striking front-facing speakers, brings the feel of the river right to your house, captivating you right from the time you sit on this machine. This impressive screen adjusts 15 degrees up and down, allowing you to customize it to your desired viewing angle. Additionally, it also pivots 25 degrees to the right and left, offering a comfortable viewing experience during workout sessions that don’t necessarily use the unit and is foldable for convenient storage.

Perfect Home Fit: The Hydrow Rower features a convenient wheel system that renders movement around the house relatively easy. Better yet, if you find yourself in a restricted space, you may adjust your unit into an upright position for safeguarding between usages. The manufacturer sells an optional kit at $69.99 kit, allowing you to store the device vertically to save on room space when not being used. When in an upright position, the unit measures 33 x 25 x 86 inches (L x W x H).

Bluetooth Connectivity Allowing Heart Rate Monitoring: Among the many features that set the Hydrow rower, this unit is Bluetooth 5.0 enabled. This enables connectivity to both audio and heart-rate monitors. This smart rowing machine allows you to keep tabs on your perceived exertion rate, something the instructors allude to when conducting virtual classes. The unit also offers you extra opportunities to assess your progress, courtesy of the exclusive workout history database.

Diverse Workout Sessions: To add a twist to your rowing workouts, the Hydrow rower affords a wide array of mat-based workout classes. You can also choose from multiple on-demand functional movements, strength, mobility, stretching, and pilates sessions with this unit. While most are only 5-10 minutes, there are several 30-minute mat sessions. These instructor-led sessions, both off and on the mat classes, are professional and effective.

Silently Smooth: With a webbed industrial-grade strap, every stroke from this unit is both smooth and virtually silent. This rowing machine is tranquil, and you might even notice your breathing while you work out, maybe louder than the unit itself—including at high speeds. In fact, it is your best choice when you live in an apartment or if your house has a napping baby.

Unlimited Comfort: The Hydrow’s seat is also ergonomically-designed and comfortable for a fulfilling workout session. It offers unlimited comfort courtesy of its 10-roller system seat precisely designed to help you feel comfortable in all your working sessions.

Community Welfare: Finally, another striking feature that sets the Hydrow Rower apart is the manufacturer’s commendable involvement in community affairs. The Hydrow Company often donates to a non-profit organization called Water.org, with the primary aim being to offer safe sanitization and water across the world every 60 days you are active.

Hydrow is always running different discounts and promotions, so check out their official website for the latest deals.

How Does Hydrow Works?

The Hydrow is a relatively easy machine to use, and all you need is to follow a set of instructions to set it up and get going.

  1. Plugin and Power On

    To start, you need to put the power cord into the unit, and the three-pronged end into a power outlet. The device features a toggle switch on its front to turn it on and off, although you can leave it running, and it will automatically go into sleep mode independently.

  2. Connect to the internet

    Once it is on, you need to follow the instructions on-screen to connect your rower to Wi-Fi or connect an Ethernet cable into its Ethernet port. Wait for a few minutes while the rower installs the latest software updates.

  3. Log in or create your account

    If you already have a Hydrow account, the next step is to enter your email address or username and password. However, if you are yet to set up a Hydrow account, you must follow the on-screen prompts to set up a new account and configure your new Hydrow membership.

  4. Make adjustments

    The monitor adjustment and foot stretcher adjustments are the only adjustments needed to get ready for rowing. Start by adjusting the unit’s monitor by gently pivoting the monitor into place. Next, you need to strap in your feet. Position the strap just over the ball of your feet and place your feet in a position where you feel comfortable for the rowing experience. After adjusting the settings to your liking and connecting your accessories, take the handle in your hands, and press ‘ROW’ to start the workout.

  5. Row, Row, Row…

    Choose a workout or row from one of the many categories, and then press ‘ROW’ to start. Follow this by tapping the ‘Settings’ icon to adjust the drag to your preference. The drag is usually preset at default to mimic the natural water resistance feel. You can also change the volume using the buttons located on the monitor’s right side.

What Does It Come With?

The Hydrow comes with a distinctive 6-year structural frame warranty. 18-month labor warranty and a 2-year warranty on all wear items, including the screen and other components (strap, screen, handle, screen hinge, seat assembly, among other electronics). The manufacturer company offers you a 30-day trial, meaning that if you are not satisfied with the unit, you can receive a full refund inclusive of a free shipping fee.

Hydrow Rower Dimensions

  • Handle: Ergonomically designed with low-stress grip
  • Screen Resolution: (1920 x 1080) Full HD
  • Screen Size: 22-inches
  • Dimensions: 86″ x 25″ x 47″
  • Stored Dimensions: 25″ x 33″ x 86″
  • Separately sold Upright Storage Kit: required for vertical storage
  • Weight: 145 lbs (unboxed) ; 197 lbs (when boxed)
  • Height Limit: Fits up to a 36″ inseam
  • Weight Limit: Can hold up to 375 lbs (170 kg)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 enabled to allow Heart rate monitoring; WIFI capabilities
  • Foot Bed Adjustment: Easy adjustment for accurate foot placement
  • Resistance: Silent, electromagnetic resistance feature that adjusts 240 times/second
  • Types of interactive rowing videos: Rows on Demand, Whole Body Fitness, Serene River Rowing, and Live Rowing,
  • Build: Steel and Aluminum frame comprising a flat anthracite polymer build and soft rubberized feet that prevent damage to the floor
  • Workouts: More than 500 pre-recorded studio and river rowing class sessions
  • Seat: 10-roller seat roller system facilitating a smooth operation
  • 25-degree monitor pivot in every direction

Is Hydrow Worth The Money?

Although quite expensive, it is well worth every penny! The Hydrow is an ideal fit for both seasoned and novice rowers and fitness enthusiasts looking for a full-body workout session at the comfort of their homes. It’s simple to alter the intensity and effort level to create a customized individual workout.

Hydrow is always running different discounts and promotions, so check out their official website for the latest deals.