Do Rowing Machines Need Electricity?

When you are looking into purchasing a rowing machine for yourself, there are many things to consider. There are three types of rowing machines with different forms of resistance, making each type feel different as you row. But do rowing machines need electricity to work correctly?

© Trend Hunter

Depending on the type of rowing machine, they will need an outlet nearby if you want to use them. When categorizing rowing machines, you have two categories, manual and electric. 

More often than not, manual rowing machines will not need to be plugged into an outlet. Most of the time, manual rowing machines will have a battery that powers their display. Then you have electric rowing machines, which will all need to be plugged into an outlet for them to work.

As you continue to read this article, it will go more in-depth about the different types of rowing machines. Along with that, this article will also provide you with a few examples and show you how much you will expect to pay for each type of rowing machine.

What Are The Different Types Of Rowing Machine

When it comes to rowing machines, there are three main types. The different types of rowing machines are as followed:

  • Air Resistance Rowing Machine
  • Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine
  • Water Resistance Rowing Machine

Each type of rowing machine has plenty of different benefits. In addition, each of these types of rowing machines can also be either manual or electric. 

1. Air Resistance Rowing Machine

Air resistance rowing machines will provide the user with a smooth yet strong workout. The main benefit to these types of rowing machines is that they offer a realistic rowing experience. 

Air resistance rowing machines will mimic the feel of rowing on water. Most Olympic rowers will opt to use an air resistance rowing machine to train.

An air resistance rowing machine is the most common type of rowing machine. The resistance works by using wind or air. As you row, the flywheel will suck in air and is moved by the flywheel inside the device. 

As the air forces around the flywheel, it creates drag or resistance. So as you grow faster and harder, the flywheel will then suck in more air, thus creating more drag and resistance.

Some Air resistance rowing machines have a resistance setting. The resistance setting can change. This setting allows less or more air into the flywheel enabling you to customize your workout. 

For instance, the lowest setting on the device will only let in a minimal amount of air. In contrast, the highest will suck in as much as possible. 

Air resistance rowers can be reasonably complex devices. Some of them can be manual and do not need an outlet for their monitors, where others will need to be plugged in. 

Good Air Resistance Rowing Machine:

© Amazon

The Stamina ATS Air Rower is an excellent example of an air resistance rower. It comes with all of the benefits of having a rower at home and works like a charm. It is super simple to use and does not need electricity to run. For only $300, you can have a super easy workout at your fingertips.

2. Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machines

Magnetic resistance rowing machines are the next most common type of rowing machine. Like air resistance rowing machines, they offer the same kind of workout, providing you with a super smooth yet intense exercise. 

However, the main benefit of using a magnetic resistance rowing machine is that it is almost entirely silent and comes with pre-programmed workout routines. 

The resistance provided by a magnetic resistance rowing machine depends on how close or far the magnets are to the metal flywheel. 

So the closer the interests are to the flywheel, the higher the resistance provided by the machine. Therefore, every single magnetic resistance rowing machine operates based on how its resistance is adjusted. 

The main difference between magnetic and air resistance rowing machines is that they stay at once you set the resistance level. At the same time, air resistance rowing machines have a variable resistance whether they have a dampener setting or not.

Magnetic resistance rowing machines are slightly more complicated than some air rowers because every magnetic rower has a resistance setting. Other than that, they are virtually the same. However, most magnetic rowing machines do require electricity.

Most magnetic resistance rowers have different types of workout routines on their monitors. Some of them even come with other games that you can play by rowing. For example, you can set one of the routines to the valley. 

What this will do is as you row, it will start at a decent resistance level for a time. Then the resistance will slowly drop over some time. Finally, once the resistance reaches its lowest setting, it will climb back up until it comes to a predetermined resistance level set by the user.

Good Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine:

© Amazon

The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower is an excellent example of a magnetic rower. For only $250, this rower comes with all of the included health benefits of a rowing machine. In addition, this model also comes with an LCD monitor with a few different workout routines.

3. Water Resistance Rowing Machine

Water-resistance rowing machines are considered to have the smoothest workout between all three types of rowers. With that said, water-resistance rowers also provide the most similar rowing feeling and similar resistance like rowing a real boat on the water. 

The biggest downside of a magnetic rower is its cost. Out of all three types of rowers, water rowers are the most expensive.

Water resistance rowers look like your typical rowing machine, except there is a tank full of water towards the device’s front. This tank of waterworks is much like an air rower. 

The flywheel inside the tank of water as oars in the water, and depending on how fast and hard you are rowing will change the amount of resistance you will experience. 

One benefit of using a water resistance rowing machine is adjusting how much water is in the tank. Changing the amount of water will alter how the device will feel as you are rowing. 

Many water rowers will come with instructions that will give you general guidelines on how much water should be in the tank, depending on your fitness level and age. 

Something to remember about water rowers is that changing the amount of water in the tank does not increase resistance. The resistance level is all dependent on the speed of the water in the tank.

The complexity of the water rowers can depend on the manufacturer. With that said, they tend to be in the middle ground of air and magnetic rowers. 

The number of monitors and extras a water resistance rower has will determine whether the rower will require electricity. With that said, it is much more likely that your water rower will run on a battery to power the monitors on the device.

Good Water Resistant Rowing Machine:

© WaterRower

The rowing machines provided by WaterRower are a fantastic example. Each of these devices is essentially the same except for a few differences. 

They are coming with all of the expected benefits of other rowers, including the vast amount of health benefits of rowing. With that said, each rower is priced from $900 to $2,500 to show you how much more expensive they are compared to magnetic and air rowers.

Comparing Each Type Of Rowing Resistance

Below will be a lovely little table summarizing everything said, showing you the differences side by side.

Air Resistance Rowing MachinesMagnetic Resistance Rowing MachinesWater-resistance Rowing Machines
ResistanceWill use air or wind generated by the fan flywheelWill use magnets to determine the amount of resistance to the metal flywheelUses a flywheel attached to oars in the water tank at the front of the machine.
Resistance SettingsCan have a variable setting that loosely controls the amount of resistanceAble to accurately control the amount of resistance applied to the flywheel by adjusting the magnets with a dial of some sortDoes not have any resistance settings.
Resistance StrengthThe resistance strength is dependent on how fast and hard you are rowing. The quicker the flywheel, the more resistanceResistance strength depends on the distance of the magnets to the flywheel. Therefore, resistance does not change with your speed of rowing.The resistance strength is dependent on how fast and hard you are rowing. The quicker the water is moving in the tank, the more resistance
Noise LevelsWill make a fairly loud noiseAlmost entirely silent, it allows you to work out and easily listen to music or watch tvRelatively quiet, however water will make a splashing noise that might get louder as you row faster
Monitors and ComplexityAble to accurately record your distance and resistance of the flywheelHave more complex monitors, able to record your distance and resistance levels accurately. It also comes with a variety of workout routines.Decent monitors can accurately record your distance.
PriceIt has a wide variety of prices ranging from $250 to over $1,000It has a wide variety of prices ranging from $250 to over $1,000Much more expensive than the other types of rowers. Prices start at $700 and can reach over $2,000

Final Thoughts

As we close this article, we have talked about each type of rowing machine on the market and their differences. Each type of rower is slightly different from one another, and every rower can also need electricity to run. 

Whether the rower needs electricity is dependent on the make and model. With that said, be sure to look at the manual to see if your rower needs electricity.

Previous Post

Does Rowing Machines Burn More Calories Than Running?

Next Post

Will Rowing Machines Help Flatten Your Stomach?