Frequently Asked Questions About Magnetic Rowing Machines

Frequently Asked Questions About Magnetic Rowing Machines

I have recently covered some of the most popular questions about rowing exercise and some faqs about air resistance rowing machines. But this article is completely about magnetic rowing machines. Down below I try to cover as many faqs as possible but if you have more questions or any doubts about magnetic resistance rowing machine, please contact me or leave a comment below.

  1. Is a magnetic rower good?

Yes, magnetic rowing machines are compact and quiet. You should consider a magnetic rowing machine if you and want to add variety and diversity to your workout and if you live in a small apartment.

  1. Can I use the same rowing machine for all three sports [i.e. Concept2, WaterRower, & AirRow]?

Yes, assuming all three of those machines are magnetic resistance actually. The reason is that they all feel different from each other in their own respects (although there are also some similarities). In terms of how it feels when you’re actually “rowing,” they’re very similar because the resistance on any one of them will deteriorate in its smoothness by somewhere between 20-30% when you apply more force into the handle. When you apply more force into the handle on an air or water rower, it’s similar to what happens with a magnetic rower, but the resistance will deteriorate in its “smoothness” by 50-60%, which is why you shouldn’t expect them to feel exactly the same as each other.

  1. How are “magnetic resistance rowing machines” different from air & water rowers?

Air and water rowers use paddles that create drag on the flywheel to provide resistance, whereas magnetic rowing machines use electromagnets mounted to either side of the rail that provide resistance via electromagnetic fields created when current passes through these magnets (and this means “no friction”). Furthermore, if you want to “row harder” on any one of them, you can’t do it to the same degree as if you were rowing with an oar; you can only apply a fraction more force into the handle for each unit of time compared to what you would apply if actually rowing with an oar.

  1. Are “magnetic resistance rowing machines” less expensive than either air and water rowers?

Not necessarily (this depends upon which particular models we’re talking about). For example, Hydrow is a magnetic rowing machine and it’s the most expensive rower that I can think of at $2500 price tag.

  1. What’s the difference between magnetic and hydraulic/pneumatic rowing machines?

Hydraulic and pneumatic rowing machines use pistons inside cylinders that generate resistance via hydraulic fluid or compressed air, whereas magnetic rowing machines use electromagnets that generate resistance using electromagnetic fields.

  1. What about a rowing machine with a flywheel? Which one is more expensive, a magnetic or a flywheel rowing machine?

In general, it’s usually the case that magnetic rowers are less expensive than flywheel rowers. However, there are some notable exceptions to this where you can get both types for roughly the same price (see below). For example: Concept2 Model D and Model E; WaterRower Club and Signature; Kettler Axiom and Force; etc. The reason why magnetic rowing machines in general tend to be much less expensive in terms of retail cost has to do in part with the fact that magnets themselves.

  1. What is the difference between a magnetic and water rowing machine?

Water rowing machines use a large water tank as their source of resistance whereas magnetic rowers use magnetic field to create resistance.

  1. What’s the difference between a magnetic and an air rower?

Air resistance rowers use paddles that generate drag on a flywheel to provide resistance, whereas magnetic rowing machines use electromagnets that generate resistance via electromagnetic fields created when current passes through these magnets (and this means “no friction”). Furthermore, if you want to “row harder” on either one of them, you can’t do it to the same degree as if you were really rowing with an oar; you can only apply a fraction more force into the handle for each unit of time compared to what you would apply if actually rowing with an oar.

  1. Why is it more difficult to go “uphill” on any type of rowing machine compared to going on a level surface or down hill?

There are two main reasons why this happens: 1) The source of resistance on most rowing machines is the actual flywheel itself – i.e., if you were really using an oar, it would be like trying to row up-hill with the current directly against you (so it’s no different than putting yourself in one of those situations out on the water). If you want to go “uphill” on any type of rowing machine (including an air or water rower), then there is no way around this; you will have to simply deal with the increased resistance. 2) Most people don’t adjust their technique when they are trying to “row uphill”.

  1. Are magnetic resistance rowing machines quieter?

Generally speaking, magnetic rowers are quieter than either air or water rowers. The reason for this is that magnetic rowers use electromagnets to create resistance whereas air and water rowers use paddles that generate drag on a flywheel to provide resistance.

  1. What’s the difference between “adjustable” and “stationary” magnetic rowing machines?

Adjustable/stationary are terms used by manufacturers to describe how the seat moves on the unit. Adjustable means you can move it up or down, fixed means you can only move it up or down, etc. The term “floating” is also used to describe adjustable models (i.e., they have a spring-loaded seat which allows it to adjust in height while still maintaining some level of tension). Nowadays, most people prefer adjustable models because then they can set the seat height to fit their own individual size and body type.

  1. If I’m vertically challenged (i.e., short), would a magnetic rowing machine still work for me?

Yes, it will work just as well but there is one caveat: As we mentioned earlier in this article, you can’t row harder on any rowing machine (including an air or water rower) unless you adjust your technique (and this applies to shorter people as well). So if someone who has a smaller stature wants to be able to apply more force into the handle of the rowing machine they will have to do so by applying greater lower-body strength and using better technique; no amount of adjusting how high they sit on the seat will help them apply more force into the handle.

  1. What’s the difference between a magnetic rowing machine and an air rower?

As with all things mechanical, there are pros & cons to each type of resistance mechanism. Magnetic rowers are generally quieter than air rowers which leads us to believe they are easier on your equipment because there isn’t as much wear and tear on it. Air rowers also use paddles that generate drag on a flywheel which means you can “row harder” with less effort compared to magnetic resistance models but at the same time this makes them slightly noisier (we’ve heard some pretty loud air rowers). If you must go absolutely silent then water or magnets will do. You can read more about these two in the following magnetic rower vs air rower.

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Conclusion

Some of the most budget rowing machines feature magnetic resistance but that’s not the only reason magnetic rowers are so popular. These cardio machines make least degree of noise during workouts. They also often come with foldable frames so it’s easier to store them after use. In addition to that, magnetic rowers are the more compact and occupy less space compared to water and air rowers. Hopefully this article helped answer your questions about magnetic rowing machines and any doubts that you might have. If you still haven’t bought a rowing machine, I recommend you to read this rowing machine buying guide where I help you make informed decision.


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