The ProForm brand was established in the mid-1980s to serve the mass market. It is owned by ICON Health and Fitness, a leading worldwide distributor of numerous fitness equipment brands. ProForm’s treadmills and other fitness machines were previously made in China but are now manufactured in Logan, Utah.
ProForm fitness machines are designed for residential use. Typically they feature extras such as touchscreens and Internet browsers. The ProForm brand rower, however, has very basic electronics. Its unique feature is a stand-up pulley station.
ProForm makes one traditional rowing machine – the $399 440R Rower – and also sells a $1599 hybrid recumbent bike rowing machine called the Dual Trainer/Bike Rower. Both units are best for beginners; they aren’t challenging to trainees who are already in good shape. The traditional 440R Rower is the focus of this ProForm rowing machine brand review.
The ProForm 440R Rower is a discount rowing machine offering relatively light resistance. A mechanical flywheel is used to provide eight levels of challenge, which are adjusted with a knob. A battery-powered LCD shows elapsed time, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes and calories burned.
In addition to letting the rider pull back, the handlebar can be pulled upward while the trainee stands. It can be used for arm curls and other exercises.
This rowing machine has a rail long enough for most people up to 6’2” tall. It can be folded and wheeled away when floor space is needed.
- Low Price: The ProForm indoor rower has a regular price of $999, but the sale price of $399 seems to be permanent.
- Two In One: The 440R is unique for having a pulley station. While standing, a trainee can pull the rowing handle upward for a variety of strength training exercises.
- Easy-to-Use Console: The ProForm monitor is easy to use and has a large readout. It shows distance, time, calories, stroke count and strokes per minute. It is battery powered, so this rower operates without a power cord.
- SpaceSaver: This rowing machine is 76.6” long and can be folded vertically with ProForm’s SpaceSaver design.
- Light Resistance: In many shoppers’ reviews, the resistance on the ProForm rower is criticized as weak. This model isn’t the best choice for people who are already in good shape. Also, the resistance is controlled with a knob instead of digitally. Digital controls can be more convenient.
- No Programs: ProForm’s rower doesn’t have preset workouts. More expensive rowing machines have programs that automatically adjust the machine’s resistance. With the 440R Rower, tension adjustments are made manually.
- Cheap Parts: This model contains some lower quality parts. In particular customers have warned that the pulley cord is prone to fraying and snapping. The 400R isn’t built for heavy use.
- Mechanical Resistance: The ProForm brand rower uses a mechanical flywheel. More durable forms of resistance used on rowing machines are water, air and magnetic currents.
- Small Seat: The sliding seat is rather small. It is uncomfortable for larger riders.
- Weight Capacity: The maximum weight capacity is 250 pounds, which is light compared with the maximums of other brands’ rowing machines.
- Warranty: The standard warranty is very short. An extended warranty can be purchased. In the standard warranty, parts and labor are only covered for 90 days and the frame is covered for five years.
The ProForm brand of rower is among the cheapest on our review website. Along with a low price, the 440R has light resistance and a relatively short lifespan if used regularly. The ProForm brand could best satisfy a newcomer to rowing, and particularly a person with a smaller frame.