Hydrow Rower Review
In this review, we tackle the Hydrow Rower and see if it can elevate our fitness routine
Have you been thinking about getting a rower?
You may be accustomed to hitting the gym every day or putting on the running shoes and heading out for a jog.
However, a rowing machine can provide a full-body workout in a way that little other fitness equipment can.
Not only do you work your arms and legs, but your back and core play a big role in the perfect rowing stroke.
As a former international rower at youth level, I’m extremely familiar with traditional rowing machines.
But I was intrigued to give the Hydrow Rower a try to see how it differs from other rowing machines that I’ve previously used.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the Hydrow Rower, their classes and how a Hydrow subscription works.
With the introduction out of the way, let’s examine the Hydrow Rower in closer detail.
Hydrow Rower – The Basics
Hydrow have been making waves throughout the fitness world with their eye-catching, state-of-the-art rowing machines.
Having been founded by Bruce Smith in 2017, Hydrow have created one of the leading fitness machines over the past five years. The Hydrow Rower’s design is sleek and stylish, which is unlike most other rowing machines on the market.
They explain on their website that they wanted to create a rower that could grant access to world-class waterways, the sport’s elite athletes, whole-body health and a community that spans centuries.
According to Hydrow, their rowing machine works 86 per cent of major muscle groups, from your legs to your abs, arms and back.
Hydrow subscribers can stream workouts from stunning scenic waterways around the world, with more than 4,000 workouts on the app. Thanks to it’s large built-in screen, their world-class instructors take their boat out on river in order to inspire, engage and motivate you.
Your Hydrow Rower
The Hydrow Rower is a live outdoor reality rower, designed for people who like to work out irrespective of their fitness level. The machine is designed to provide immersive, full-body live and on-demand workouts.
The Hydrow Rower itself is heavy (weighing it at around 66kg) – and it measures at 86 inches (219cm) long, 25 inches (64cm) wide, and 47 inches (120cm) tall.
It has a 22″ touchscreen display and front-facing speakers to allow you to feel immersed in the sounds of the river and the surrounding area where your instructor is rowing.
Unlike other rowing machines that I’ve used for training, there’s no fan as Hydrow use a patented electromagnetic drag mechanism for resistance along with an industrial-grade webbed strap.
The rowing machine will take up a significant amount of space in your room so you’ll need to think carefully about where you’re going to locate it.
It comes with a versatile mat to protect wooden floors and the wheels make it relatively easy to move depending on your strength.
The Hydrow Rower can be stored in an upright position so it doesn’t inadvertently fall over. However, Hydrow don’t recommend storing it in an upright position without their Upright Storage Kit.
Once you’ve got your rower set up, you’ll need a Hydrow membership to use their app. Your Hydrow membership is not included as part of your purchase price and you’re limited to the “Just Row” option if you don’t have an active membership.
How Hydrow Works
Once you’ve sorted out your membership, you can create an account and access all of the live and on-demand workouts available on the Hydrow screen on your rower.
There’s plenty of diversity and representation within the app so it’s brilliant to see Hydrow establish a real community where you’ll feel inspired to train with your peers.
You can select from a range of different classes, whether you’ve decided to start your fitness journey on the rower with limited or no previous experience of an ergometer.
If you’ve tried the rowing machine at the gym a few times but you’re concerned your technique needs improvement, there are lots of classes so you can work on that particular element.
They’ve got some more taxing workouts that allow you to work on your endurance with steady-state classes that range from 10 to 45 minutes where you’ll feel the gradual burn in your legs.
There’s also race-day classes where you can throw off the shackles and give it your lung-busting best for 10 to 15 minutes to see just how hard you can push yourself.
There’s a leaderboard displayed on the top-right of your screen so you can see how you’re ranking if you’re competitive like me, or you can hide the leaderboard if you want to soak up the atmosphere of the river and the advice for your world-class instructor.
Price And Where To Buy
The Hydrow Rower is price at £1,995 on their official website.
As part of your purchase price, you get a free standard delivery (which their website claims is worth £190).
You also get a one-year home use warranty that is subject to terms and conditions.
Hydrow’s One Membership costs £38 per month but you can create unlimited profiles for your family and get access to a library of 4,000 workouts.
I spent the best part of my teenage years either on the river in a rowing boat or sat on a rowing machine (depending on the Irish weather on any particular day!).
As someone who was well-versed in traditional rowing machines, I was intrigued to try the Hydrow Rower to see how the machine performed and assess the experience of rowing without a traditional fan set-up.
The first thing that struck me was the beautiful design of the machine – it looked like a piece of sculpted art placed in my living room rather than a fitness machine.
I was impressed by how quiet my Hydrow Rower was. There was a slight hum but my wife found the monotonous hum more meditative than irritating.
The Hydrow Rower provided a smooth ride, the webbed strap didn’t make any of the loud noises that a chain typically makes when you’re entering the final 100 meters and technique starts to wane.
As an owner of an exercise bike by a popular fitness company, I was intrigued to see how their classes compared seeing as they’re out on the water.
It was lovely to train but hear the sounds of the river, the instructor’s boat, a quad or eight rowing by, and the sounds of the city or nature depending on the instructor’s location.
While I felt this worked really well for classes that were designed to improve technique, work on your fitness or warm up/cool down, I did miss the music element in the race-day classes.
Most Hydrow Rower classes have music but it tends to be drowned out by the exterior noises. I’m someone who craves music when I’m working at 85 per cent or higher. This is my personal preference.
While arranging delivery with the third party in charge of getting the machine to my house wasn’t as seamless as I had hoped, the gentlemen who delivered the machine itself were efficient, engaging and friendly when it came to installation and removal.
Overall, the Hydrow Rower impressed with its overall feel and performance, but this tasty-looking piece of fitness kit definitely has a hefty price-tag.
If I was to invest in a rowing machine, I would certainly consider the Hydrow Rower if my budget could stretch as far as £1,995.
The announcement of the new Peloton rower provides Hydrow with some interesting competition.
Seeing as I’ve already got an active Peloton membership, it would make sense to pay one membership fee rather than two membership payments for a bike and a rower.
However, I believe Peloton will have a tough time outdoing the Hydrow Rower as a machine so I’m intrigued to see if Hydrow will win this battle by a canvas or win with lengths to spare.
What Customers Have To Say About The Hydrow Rower
The Hydrow Rower has an average rating of 4.7 stars based upon nearly 10,000 reviews on independent review website Trustpilot.
Mark felt compelled to uncharacteristically leave a review such was his delight with his Hydrow Rower.
“Amazing bit of kit..cannot recommend enough. My wife was dubious and implying I was having a midlife crisis when taking the splash and buying a Hydrow however she currently has more metres under her belt than me! Immersive experience with inspirational instructors. Don’t think twice when considering purchasing. I’m not someone who takes time to write positive reviews or is easily impressed but I need to get the message out there!”
Julie has notched up 26 consecutive weeks of Hydrow Rower workouts!
“This is the best fitness equipment that I have every purchased (I also have a professional gym quality treadmill and elliptical). The workouts are so engaging with the Hydrow rowing team and I look forward to getting on the machine to row. I’ve rowed now for 26 weeks straight and am set a goal to row 100,000 meters in the month of July. It’s toned my abs, my legs, my arms and am feeling great!”
Robert believes the Hydrow Rower is worth every penny!
“We have had our new rower from Hydrow for a couple of weeks and so far we are extremely pleased with quality of the construction, the ease of assembly, and the ease of use. The action is super smooth with no snap back like an old school ergometer. The video production level is also high quality and the rower athlete instructors are fun to follow to set a pace for the workouts. Well worth the higher $ value for the quality of the product and the experience.”
Hydrow Rower – Our Final Thoughts
We’ve reached the end of our Hydrow Rower review.
Overall, I was really impressed with the Hydrow Rower and if readers are looking to add a rowing machine to their fitness workouts, you won’t go wrong with this top-class piece of equipment.
The Hydrow Rower has an eye-catching design, performs at a top-class level, has over 4,000 workouts in a variety of locations and provides a thriving rowing community.
It can be stored in an upright position once you’ve completed your workouts so it doesn’t have to take up a lot of room in your home unless you’ve got a dedicated home gym.
Hydrow will have some competition from Peloton in the coming months but Hydrow have a commanding lead that it’s difficult to see them relinquishing any time soon.