Reviews of the best rowing machines

ProForm 440r Rower Review

If you are looking for a compact rowing machine offering an all-round strength and cardio work out, the ProForm 440r Rower could be the machine for you.

With attention given to comfort and an easy to read LCD screen to monitor progress, this rowing machine provides a value approach to fitness. Check out our full ProForm 440r rower review below.

Proform 440r Rower Review

PROS

  • 2-in-1 workout with rowing machine and strength training
  • Large, easy to read screen
  • Value rowing machine
  • Comfortable seat
  • Smooth motion when rowing

CONS

  • Can be difficult to assemble
  • Limited number of resistance levels
  • Quality issues reported on a few machines

Things to Consider Before Buying the ProForm 440r Rower

The Proform 440r rower offers beginner or intermediate level access to no-frills, in-home fitness training. It is compact and easy to fold if space is an issue, while an integrated low pulley system can be utilised while standing for an all-round body work out. 

Those looking for more advanced workouts may look to the ProForm 750r model instead, which provides more resistance levels and interactive workouts. You may also want to look at the hybrid ProForm Dual Trainer Bike/Rower if you fancy your training disciplines to include cycling.

Overview

The Proform 440r rower is the sister model of the more advanced Proform 750r model. It claims it can help you achieve total fitness through both strength training and cardio workouts. 

The ergonomic design of the rowing machine is meant to allow you to find the most comfortable rowing position to suit you. If you have limited storage space then this lightweight, easy to fold rowing machine could be the answer.

5 things you didn’t know you could do with a rower

Features and Benefits

Assembly

The Proform 440r is a robust yet lightweight rowing machine which can accommodate up to 250lbs. 

It is said most users will have their new machine assembled and up and rowing within 45 minutes, although some people report struggling to fully understand the instructions in the manual. This can, therefore, make assembly more difficult for them. 

Tools and parts are included which is always a bonus as receiving your nice, shiny new kit and then not being able to immediately assemble it would frustrate me no end.

Resistance Type

There are 8 resistance levels on the Proform 440r rower. You can gradually move up through these levels as your fitness levels allow. 

This machine uses flywheel resistance which can be good for beginners and intermediate users as the resistance will not change until manually adjusted using the resistance knob. 

The top end of this rowing machine’s resistance scale is also suited more for beginners and intermediate rowers as the resistance is not ultra-strong, the type of in your face resistance more advanced users may relish.

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions 76.6″L x 20.5″W x 38.3″H
  • Inertia-enhanced flywheel for a smoother rowing stroke
  • Oversized, aluminium seat rail
  • Adjustable ergonomic moulded seat for comfort
  • Ergonomic non-slip handle
  • 8 resistance levels
  • Large LCD console
  • Work-out feedback on console
  • Pivoting pedals with adjustable foot straps
  • Folding space-saving design
  • Low pulley station
  • Transport wheels for easy moving
  • 250lb weight capacity

Display Console

We all like to monitor our progress as we train and the Proform 440r comes with a large LCD console screen to allow you to do just that. 

The information it shows contains the basics a beginner or an intermediate level rower may need, including strokes per minute, total strokes, distance travelled, time taken and the calories burned. 

Proform 440r Rower display

The large console makes it easy to read at a glance. Admittedly sometimes I do not want to look in case it tells me I have not done anywhere near as many strokes or as much distance as hoped in that time. Yet this data can be key in helping you hit your targets, whatever they may be.

Build Quality and Features

The Proform 440r rower provides a lightweight, durable machine for the price range. Comfort is key in encouraging us to keep at it when training and with this in mind, this rower has an ergonomic design in the seat and the non-slip handles. 

The quality of the flywheel aids the overall quality of the rowing machine as well as making for a smoother row, while the pivoting pedals with adjustable straps on the footrests are designed to keep your feet right where they should be. 

Easy to fold when not in use and wheels on the front make this rower a portable option.

Comfort

The ergonomic design of the handles and the seat, added to the pivoting pedals are geared toward ensuring comfortable rowing. Of course, one person’s comfort is not always another’s but the oversized seat rail and padded seat seem to make for a smooth, comfortable row for most. 

Proform 440r Rower seat
Proform 440r Rower pedals

Ergonomic non-slip handles should also add to the feeling of comfort, while the height of a user does not seem to impair the efficient use of this rower.

Storage

If like me a permanently extended rowing machine is one bit of clutter too far for the house then you are in luck. This ProForm rowing machine employs SpaceSaver folding design to help with its storage, handy in particular when looking for a rower for smaller spaces. 

When folded it is half the footprint compared to when in use and with the built-in wheels it is simple to move once folded if used in a different room to where stored.

Proform 440r Rower storage

Warranty

Rowing machines are not inconsequential purchases whichever end of the budget scale you are coming from. Therefore peace of mind you are not going to have to pay out more if something goes wrong in the first years of owning your machine is important. 

The Proform 440r offers protection and this peace of mind with a 5-year frame warranty, plus 90-day parts and labour warranty.

Alternatives to the ProForm 440r

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606

This is a comparable machine in price range and that it is aimed at beginners and intermediate rowers. The resistance is generated using a bungee cord and there are four levels of adjustable resistance tension. With a slightly smaller weight capacity of 220lbs, it has a smaller footprint when assembled.

This rower arrives largely assembled with just the seat elements and the foot stabilisers to add yourself. The LCD display measures in at a smaller 3.5”, but tracks similar fitness measures at the press of a single button. The structural frame offers a 3-year warranty.

Stamina ATS Air Rower

Stamina ATS Air Rower

Coming in at the mid-range area of the market, one of the main differences is in the way it handles resistance. This rower intuitively adjusts resistance according to the speed you row. Row slower for less resistance, faster for more. This means you can train without focusing too much on resistance changes.

The LCD screen is much smaller, though it provides the same type of feedback data. As an air rower, it will tend to be noisier, but it is fairly straightforward to assemble. This rower is aimed at most users, though probably not for those looking to row competitively.

Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

Another mid-range price machine, this rower also has 8 resistance levels which can be customised to your training targets. The LCD monitor to track your progress folds back and forwards allowing for multi-angle viewing. The monitor folds and locks into position as part of an easy folding system for storage.

It is easy to assemble, just needing the user to assemble the seat area. Designed for a cardiovascular work-out, slip-resistant pedals, foam covered handles and a foam padded seat are geared to a comfortable rowing motion.

Final Thoughts on the ProForm 440r Rower

The ProForm 440r rower is a value machine aimed at those who are looking for their first rowing machine or who consider themselves at an intermediate level. 

Smooth to row and comfortable thanks to an ergonomic design, the 8 resistance levels make it as challenging as it needs to be. Quiet to operate and easy to fold and store away, this makes the rower worthy of consideration when thinking about investing in at-home training equipment. 

The Proform 440r is a no-frills, does what it says on the tin rowing machine with the added bonus of allowing you to use it standing up for additional strength training.