Best Online Rowing Classes

How to find the best online rowing classes for your lifestyle

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Our Top Picks

Rowing is known to be a great workout and with online rowing classes, trainers and coaches can push you to improve your technique and provide technical advice from the comfort of home. Time flies as you row along to a leader who guides you through a structured warmup, workout, and cool-down. 

All online rowing workouts require you to have a rower at home, and some have their own unique rower for purchase. The best classes are led by fun and engaging instructors who teach you how to use a rower, are set to great music, and offer various intensity levels. We looked at eight online rowing classes and compared them based on cost, availability, classes offered, and more.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Hydrow

Hydrow

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Why we chose it: We chose Hydrow as best overall as it offers a Peloton-like experience on the rower with many live classes, competitive leaderboards, and racing challenges. 

What We Like
  • Sleek design with large screen

  • Excellent classes and instructors

  • Supports Bluetooth devices

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive, starting at $2245

  • Must purchase Hydrow rower for interactive experience

  • Limited workouts off the rower

The Hydrow rower is sleek in design and offers all the benefits of an interactive home workout machine. It is one of the most popular in-home rowing machines due to its live and on-demand classes, competitive leaderboards, and racing challenges. The rower has experienced and engaging instructors, a 22-inch display, and many classes to choose from. If you like doing live classes, there are many scheduled throughout the day, or you can choose from on-demand classes anytime. 

The Hydrow costs $2,245 for their basic package, and you must pay $38 per month for a monthly class subscription. You have the option to finance the rower for as low as $63 per month. While more expensive than other rowers on the market, it is a high-quality rower for home use. 

Hydrow is excellent for all skill levels and allows you to track your workouts and look back on previous classes to view progress. They have classes for beginners such as “how to row” and others for more experienced rowers. If you do not own a Hydrow rower, you can use the app-based service for $19.99 a month on any rower. Online reviews state that the app does not allow you to filter workouts, which can be frustrating if you like a specific kind of class. Overall, if you’re looking to purchase a rower for your home and want an interactive and dynamic experience, the Hydrow has all the features you need and more.

Best Budget: Asensei

Asensei

 Asensei

Why we chose it: We chose Asensei as best for budget because it is only $13 a month and can be used on any Concept2 rower, which is great for those who want to try rowing with a low monthly commitment.

What We Like
  • On-demand classes

  • Real-time feedback

  • Customized training plan

What We Don't Like
  • Billed annually, no option to pay monthly

  • Only works with Concept2 rowers

Asensei is designed to be a personal training and rowing app in one. Compared to other apps on the market, Asensei is budget-friendly at around $13 per month. You have access to thousands of rowing classes, customized training plans, real-time feedback during classes, and the ability to train with Olympic-level athletes. 

We liked that the app is inexpensive, but the catch is that you must pay annually. They do not offer a free trial or money-back guarantee. You can download the app on your phone and connect it with any Concept2 rower to get started. Asensei only works with Concept2 rowers, so you will have to join the waitlist to purchase one if you do not have one at home. If you like to track your workouts and use it at the gym as well, then the app's portability is a great perk. 

Overall, if you’re looking for an app that gives you detailed feedback and a customized training program, then Asensei is a great choice. It is endorsed by Concept2 and popular with both beginners and athletes alike.

Best for Weight Loss: CityRowGO

CityRowGO

 CityRowGO

Why we chose it: We chose CityRowGO as best for weight loss as classes are a combination of strength training and rowing and aim to burn a ton of calories which can help you lose weight.

What We Like
  • High-intensity classes

  • Combines strength training with rowing

  • Well designed water rower

  • Can use the app with other rowers

What We Don't Like
  • $29/month subscription

  • Water rower is slightly louder than magnetic rowers

If you are a fan of water rowers but looking for classes that combine rowing and strength training for the ultimate calorie burn, CityRowGo is a great option. You have the option to purchase CityRow’s high-quality rowing machine for live classes and benefit from the 19.5-inch screen, but you can also download the app to complete classes on a rower you already have at home. 

The rower starts at $1,495 plus $29 per month for a subscription to access classes. The classes are interactive and show your stats on the screen, and reviews online state instructors are energetic and engaging. We like that the screen rotates to make it easy to see when working out beside the rower. If you do not own a rower, you can use the app instead and download it for free for 14 days. It is $24 per month afterward to keep your access. The app is rated 4.8/5 on the App Store and is available on iOS and Android. 

Overall, if you’re looking to bring the CityRow experience home, have access to fun and interactive classes, and want a rowing machine to help you lose weight. CityRow is a great option and is less expensive than similar water rowers like the Hydrow.

Best for Newbies: Dark Horse Rowing

Dark Horse Rowing

 Dark Horse Rowing

Why we chose it: If you’re looking for beginner-friendly rowing classes that you can try for free, Dark Horse Rowing is best for newbies.

What We Like
  • On-demand classes

  • Beginner-friendly programs

  • Free classes on YouTube

What We Don't Like
  • Subscription gets expensive

  • No app

Dark Horse Rowing was created by Crossfit athlete Shane Farmer and has grown in popularity since it started in 2015. There is no experience needed to start the Dark Horse Rowing classes. The beginner program is designed to teach you how to use your rower efficiently with many easy-to-follow classes. As you progress and get stronger, you have the option to upgrade to more advanced classes and personalized coaching programs to challenge your fitness and get you in great shape. 

There are many free classes offered on YouTube that you can try before committing to a subscription. Your subscription includes access to rowing classes, instructional videos, and inclusion in their online community. All programs are available online through their website, but Dark Horse Rowing does not have its own app. Subscriptions start at $9 per month but can cost up to $249 per month if you want access to all the coaching features like customized workout programs and group coaching calls. The basic program only gives you access to beginner classes, how-to row videos, and an online community to ask questions. 

We like that Dark Horse Rowing is designed with the beginner in mind and will teach you all the rowing fundamentals. There are hundreds of workouts available on their YouTube channel ranging from 10-minute workouts to 60-minute classes. The classes are designed to be used with a Concept2 rower but can be used with any rower you have at home. Overall, if you’re looking to perfect your form, lose weight, and have a rowing program at your fingertips, then Dark Horse Rowing is a great beginner-friendly option.

Best for Full Body Workouts: Apple Fitness +

Apple Fitness +

 Apple Fitness +

Why we chose it: We chose Apple Fitness+ as best for full-body workouts as it offers many classes in addition to rowing to challenge your body in different ways and add variety to your routine.

What We Like
  • Integrates with Apple watch

  • Can use any rowing machine

  • Great music

What We Don't Like
  • Not available for Android

  • Need an Apple watch

  • Many classes require equipment

Apple Fitness+ is one of the newer rowing classes available online and is a great option for Apple users. They offer rowing classes and others such as strength training, aerobics, dance fitness, yoga, and stretching. The classes can be streamed on-demand on any Apple device such as your iPhone or iPad. We like that it shows your calories and heart rate on the screen during your workout when used with your Apple watch. You can use the app with any rowing machine and can take it with you anywhere you go. 

Apple Fitness+ is free for the first month and $9.99 per month thereafter. If you purchase an Apple watch, you will get three months of the app free. Unfortunately, it is only available on iOS, and you must have an Apple watch to view metrics. You can filter rowing workouts by type, time, instructor, or music, and it gives you personalized suggestions on workouts you may like. 

There are fewer rowing classes available than other apps that focus solely on rowing, but the variety of other classes included more than makes up for it. Instructors curate their own playlists from the Apple music library, and reviews state that the music choices are great and help the classes go by quickly. Overall, Apple Fitness+ is an inexpensive choice for those who have a rower at home and want to do other workouts as well.

Final Verdict 

Overall, at-home rowing workouts have come a long way, and the new interactive rowers allow you to feel like you are part of a class or rowing outdoors without having to leave home. We like that some workouts combine both rowing and strength training, allowing you to choose from various difficulty levels and class lengths vary to suit your needs. 

Because many online rowing workouts are similar, it is best to look at your budget and narrow down your choices based on cost. You can then determine if you want to purchase an interactive rowing machine or get a Concept2 rower compatible with many different apps. Note there is a waitlist for Concept2 rowers (as of March 2021).

FAQs

What Is an Online Rowing Class?

Online rowing classes are designed to give you the experience of an in-studio rowing class at home. Classes are instructor-led and accompanied by music or interesting visuals. Classes are available live or on-demand and often allow you to compete against others, sync with Bluetooth devices such as a heart rate monitor or headphones, and track your progress as you go. 

Do I Need to Buy a Rower?

It is necessary to purchase a rower because it's challenging to complete an at-home rowing class without a rower. You can, however, use an app at the gym if you do not have a rower at home. 

Can I Take a Class as a Newbie?

Absolutely! We love that many online rowing programs have classes designed for beginners that focus on teaching you proper form, breathing, and more. You can also choose your classes based on elements like time and intensity, making it easy to find ones at your level. 

What Are the Health Benefits of Rowing?

Rowing is a great low-impact cardiovascular workout that will help increase your endurance and build strength and coordination over time. Rowing is a full-body workout, so it can help you burn more calories, lose weight, manage your blood sugar, decrease blood pressure, and more. Since it is easy on your joints, rowing is terrific for people of all ages or those with prior injuries. 

How We Chose the Best Online Rowing Classes

 We searched for the best online rowing classes available in the U.S. and considered eight companies in our research. Rowing classes fall into one of two categories: companies with their own at-home rower with an interactive screen and live classes similar to a Peloton, or those that are app-based and designed to work with any rower you have at home. We included a mix of both to provide you with options, depending on whether you already own a rower or not. We compared things such as cost, availability, class types, and customer reviews to compile our list. Overall, the best online rowing class for you depends on personal preferences, experience level, and whether you already have a rower at home.

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