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You can get a great full-body workout on one of the best rowing machines. These machines challenge muscles in both your upper and lower body, along with your core and back. They also offer a fairly low-impact workout, so you’re putting less stress on your joints when you use them.

Coupled with all of the above, rowing machines are cheaper to run and easier to maintain than something like one of the best treadmills, which is why they are our cardio machine of choice. The only slight drawback with a rowing machine is that it takes up a lot of room—around 8’ x 2’—so you’ll need a fairly big space to accommodate it.

What the experts says

“Rowing machines cost next to nothing to run, because you don’t plug them in like you would a treadmill,” says Personal Trainer and gym owner Steve Hoyle. “Unlike some machines, you’ll never outgrow a rowing machine, they’re suitable for all fitness levels – from complete beginner to a professional athlete.” 

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