NordicTrack is known for adding entertainment and workout guidance to their fitness machines. The RW200 is an air resistance rowing machine packed with 20 workout apps and an iPod-compatible sound system. Because of its relatively light resistance levels, it is best suited for beginners. This machine can also be made compact for storage.
Affordable and loaded with useful programming, the NordicTrack RW200 is designed for new rowers and makes our list of the best rowing machines. It harnesses air resistance to train your whole body, helping you build strength and keep your heart rate up. The faster you row, the harder the RW200 pushes back.
Exercise guidance comes in the form of 20 preset workout programs. These programs are a combination of watts and calorie-burn workouts (along with different levels of interval training). A data monitor displays your output on a motivational watts meter along with the elapsed time, distance, and other stats.
The NordicTrack RW200 is one of the few rowing machines with on-board entertainment as well. To help time fly by you can plug in an MP3 player or CD player and use the rower’s built-in sound system.
This fitness machine is full-sized at 84.75″ L x 22″ W x 43.5″ H, but it folds for easy storage.
Is this the best rowing machine for you? Here are some features that suggest it might be!
- Air Resistance: The air resistance system, which is essentially a fan, produces minimal noise while sending out a cooling breeze. The more intensely you row, the more air resistance is generated. The preset programs let you choose from 10 resistance levels. Air resistance systems are popular for being smooth and fairly accurately replicating the feel of rowing through water (although not as much as a water rower).
- Performance Monitor: A nice looking monitor displays watts, strokes-per-minute, total strokes, time, calories, and distance. These fields can be rotated with a scan function, plus a watts meter constantly shows your energy expenditure as you train. Choose from 20 programs designed by a certified personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals. Ten programs are focused on watts, while the other ten are calorie-burn workouts. The monitor can be powered by batteries or an adaptor (not included).
- Pivoting pedals: The foot rests or pedals are made large to fit all shoe sizes. They pivot with your movement to support a healthy and natural range of motion. The pedals have adjustable nylon straps, textured to add stability to training.
- Ergonomic Handle: The machine’s ergonomic rowing handle is cushioned and supports healthy motion.
- Higher Profile: The seat is raised from the ground, which makes the rower easier to access for people with arthritis or other limitations on movement.
- Easy to Store: The NordicTrack rower has a SpaceSaver design. It can be folded vertically for cleaning and storage. Caster wheels at the front of the rower make it easy to move.
Why wouldn’t you choose NordicTrack’s rowing machine? Here are a few potential drawbacks of the RW200.
- No Heart Rate Data: Since this is a cardio trainer, it would be nice if a heart rate monitor were included. To make the most of exercise sessions, we would pair this rowing machine with a wearable device that displays heart rate.
- Weaker Power: Even at level 10 resistance, the RW200 won’t pose much of a challenge for stronger rowers.
- Short Warranty: The NordicTrack RW200 is covered by a limited five-year warranty on the frame, but you only get a year for parts and labor. We haven’t received enough customer reviews to know how long it lasts. In any case, replacing a faulty monitor or tension cord will be expensive.
- Lower Weight Capacity: The maximum user weight capacity is 200 pounds. That is the lowest capacity we’ve seen. 250 pounds is the typical capacity for cheap rowing machines, while more expensive water rowing machines can hold 1000 pounds or more. The lower weight capacity can be a good indicator of overall quality (ie low quality).
The NordicTrack RW200 Rower is designed for beginners. It will help new rowers build strength and deliver great cardio sessions to people at any fitness level. Users seeking strength training will tire of this machine fairly quickly though. At the sale price of $999 the RW200 Rower could be a rewarding starter machine. We recommend it if the programming appeals to you, because that’s what sets this rower apart.
NordicTrack RW200 Indoor Rower Specifications:
|Weight Capacity:||200 LBS|