Best Rowing Machine For Bad Back

If you suffer from lower back pain, finding an ergonomic exercise equipment can be quite challenging.

The traditional rowing motion places stress on your back and hips due to the twisting and turning motions of your legs, hips, and torso. 

However, having a bad back doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of rowing. Let’s review the top best rowing machine for bad back you can consider using without having any problem.

Let’s get right into it!

Here are our top 7 picks of the best exercise machine for bad lower back:
1. Concept2 model D Indoor Rowing Machine
2. NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine 
4. Echelon Row Connected Rowing Machine
5. Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing machine SF-RW5515
6. Stamina Infinity Rowing Machine
7. Waterrower F165 Rower

What is the Best Rowing Machine for Lower Back Pain?

a man wearing a white t-shirt exercising on a rowing machine

There are many factors to consider when choosing an exercise rower.

Depending on your health and fitness level, your needs, and your budget. These are the best rowers we have conducted for people with lower back issues to consider using:

1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Concept2 machine offers a superior cardio workout that is fun, efficient and challenging.

This model is absolutely considered to be one of the best low-impact cardio machines that is going to place less tension on your back muscles while squeezing the best out of you.

The PM5 Performance Monitor provides the user feedback on stroke rate, pace, distance, and calories burned to keep you motivated and engaged during your workout .

concept2 rowing machine pm5 monitor

The CONCEPT2 Rower also features an advanced ergonomically designed handle for comfort during use. This helps to stay balanced while working out, plus gives more options when exercising on uneven surfaces or while training at high speeds.

This rower is lightweight, easy to move from places around and comes with a standard 14″ seat height with an aluminum I-beam monorail and stainless steel track for a consistent back-and-forth slide. 

The machine can also be quickly broken down into two segments for storage or use the included caster wheels for easy transportation.

2. NordicTrack RW900 Rower

The NordicTrack RW 900 Rower is made up for commercial, but also home use with a sturdy, heavy duty construction

With its ergonomic design, this rower not only offers a more comfortable workout but also provides one of the most effective workouts for your body.

Rowers have been using NordicTrack rowing machines for over a decade, which is why it has become one of the best known and most popular rowers in the world today.

The RW900 model features a very simple design that is easy to set up and use. It comes with a full sized rowing seat which makes it very comfortable to for your body to sit on and use.

When you are using this NordicTrack Rower, there are 26 of Digital Resistance Levels available to choose from. Meaning that there will be something for everyone whether they are just starting out or they have been rowing on their for a while.

This rower also features a 30 watt premium sound system to provide an excellent rowing experience so no one will be able to hear what you are doing during your workout session.


FITNESS Reality rowing machine is a great rowing machine for crossFit due to its heavy duty frame, adjustability, high level of comfort and stability. 

It is a very well built rower with a sleek design primarily made with beginners in mind, who don’t have any prior experience competing at any kind of high intensity exercise sessions. 

Once you receive this machine, there would be some assembly required but it’s pretty easy to do. 

The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus has many features that make it stand out from other models. It features a large screen display of 5″ (1280 x 720) resolution which can be paired with both Android and iOS devices to easily see all your workout data and keep track of your workouts without any issues.

Fitness Reality rower comes with a free app called MyCloudFitness available on iOS and Android, it lets you track your workout results for time, distance and calories burned.

fitness reality MyCloudFitness App screenshot

All in all, this rowing machine is a great investment for anyone who wants the convenience of an exercise experience whilst not leaving home.

4. Echelon Row Connected Rowing Machine

Echelon Rowing Machine is a portable, foldable machine that has been primarily designed for home use to be easy to set up and use.

This rower features a built-in device holder which allows you to easily hold your phone, tablet or other electronic devices while you are rowing.

With the Echelon rowing machine, you get access to 32 electronic resistance levels that can be adjusted to the amount of resistance you need.

You can also choose between 1, 2 or 3 different speed settings for each of the resistance levels.

Echelon rower seat is made of sturdy, high-density foam that can be adjusted from 14.5” to 21.5” in height (with the optional 21.5” height option) so you can get the perfect position for rowing.

5. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

The Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine is a compact foldable fitness equipment that allows you to sit comfortably and get the most out of your workouts.

This exercise machine comes with a high-quality magnetic resistance system that offers you 8 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance to provide you with a smooth and stable workout.

You can effortlessly transport the machine from one place to the other with its built-in transportation wheels.

The large LCD Screen displays your pace, distance, and time to keep you motivated and engaged during your workout.

The extra long slide rail makes it easier to take on those high intensity interval training workouts.

This rower also features anti-slip handlebars that will keep your hands from slipping off during the most intense rowing sessions.

6. Stamina Infinity Rowing Machine

Stamina Rowing Machine is a perfect exercise equipment for people who are recovering from back surgery, or other injuries that have taken away their ability to exercise.

With an adjustable seat which can be adjusted to four positions to ensure you get the most comfortable and efficient workout possible. 

This rower has built-in air resistance. This helps to tone your muscles and increase your cardiovascular fitness at the same time. 

The Infinity rower has an LCD monitor that shows your workout metrics. It comes with an 8-week fitness guide that walks you through how to use the monitor and exercises. 

If you’re looking for a rowing machine that’s easy to use, and is inexpensive, the Stamina rower is a great choice.

7. Waterrower Natural Rowing Machine

Waterrower makes up the safest rowing machine for people who are recovering from back surgery or rehabbing from a lower back injury. It’s a rowing machine that’s easy to use, yet still provides great results. 

The Waterrower provides 5 smooth resistance levels that you can use to increase the intensity of your rowing workouts.

This exercise equipment features an LCD monitor that displays your workout data, and has a row rate calculator that shows you how many calories you can burn during a workout. 

Plus, the monitor is compatible with an optional heart rate chest strap and receiver, which helps you optimize your workout and achieve your exercise objectives.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve ever suffered from lower back pain, you know that it can be challenging to find an exercise machine that’s comfortable and doesn’t put too much stress on your back. 

With the aforementioned models above, you now will be willing to choose a rowing machine to help you stay active and improve your health, while also helping to reduce your risk of developing chronic lower back injuries.

concept2 rowing machine on a wooden floor

The Concept2 rowing machine has been our top pick of today’s list. It is the most durable yet practical fitness equipment that will ensure you get the most out of your workouts without risking your joints safety.


Can I use a rowing machine with a bad back?

If you are currently experiencing lower back pain or you want to prevent back pain or injury from happening, a rower machine is a great way to do that.

However, you do need to focus on your rowing technique and listen to your body. If you row the correct way, you’ll improve your exercising form and prevent any pain from occurring.

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