If you're a big fan of fitness (and in particular, getting your sweat on without having to leave your house), then you may well already be familiar with the Hydrow Rowing Machine – a state of the art piece of at-home equipment, which has been dubbed 'the Peloton of rowing' – and for good reason.
Rowing is a brilliant choice for those looking to achieve an almost full-body workout (it engages 86% 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, thigh muscles) and pull the handle with your arms (toning!). So really, it's a win-win...
But, is the swish brand of Hydrow actually 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 (side note: at the moment the brand are running a mega sale for Black Friday, so if you've been mulling it over for a while...).
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 latest 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 by a pro instructor 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 usually comes priced at £2,295 (plus £38 a month for a Hydrow membership), or £2,345 if you opt to order a sturdy rubber mat for your machine to sit on top of – but right now, it's currently on sale until 29 November.
In the Black Friday sale, you can score a Hydrow Rower for £1,795 (saving £500), or if you'd like one complete with a protective floor mat, you can bag it for £1,840 (again saving £500). 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:
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 thousands 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 the sport. 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.
After being offered a loan of a Hydrow Rower for a month, I completely fell in love with it and soon found myself using it near enough every day - and that's coming from somebody who generally gets a bit overwhelmed when faced with gym equipment. Even on the days where I felt too tired to exercise, I ended up wanting to extend my rowing session after a 30-minute class, or felt like an hour long 'journey' row (which I enjoyed doing while listening to a podcast) flew by. I quickly saw my abilities improve and can now smash more than 10,000 metres out in an hour, too. 💅
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 (or at least definitely scale back on visits to) 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.
For a limited time only (up until 29 November) there are some pretty mega savings to be had on all-things Hydrow, with the rower itself down from £2,295 to £1,795:
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