There are several types of rowing machines available to those who look to rowers as a great versatile exercise machine. Other types are air rowers and magnetic rowers. In this article we’ll discuss the pros and cons of water resistance rowing machines, especially if you have knee pain.

Water resistance rowing machines have gained popularity in recent years for their low-impact and full-body workout benefits. For individuals with knee pain, these machines offer a potential solution to engage in cardiovascular exercise without putting excessive stress on the joints. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of water resistance rowing machines specifically in relation to knee pain. Whether you are considering purchasing one or looking for alternatives to traditional exercise equipment, this information will help you make an informed decision.

Pros of Water Resistance Rowing Machines for Knee Pain

  1. Low-impact exercise: Water resistance rowing machines provide a low-impact workout, as the water acts as a cushioning mechanism. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with knee pain, as it reduces the stress on the joints and minimizes the risk of aggravating existing conditions.
  2. Fluid and natural movement: The rowing motion on water resistance machines closely mimics the natural movement of rowing on water. This fluid motion helps to maintain a healthy range of motion in the knees, promoting flexibility and reducing stiffness.
  3. Adjustable resistance: Water resistance rowing machines allow you to adjust the resistance level according to your fitness level and personal preference. This flexibility enables you to start at a comfortable intensity and gradually increase as your strength and endurance improve, without causing excessive strain on your knees.
  4. Full-body workout: Rowing engages multiple muscle groups, providing a comprehensive full-body workout. While the primary focus is on the legs, back, and core, the arms and shoulders are also activated. This balanced muscle engagement can help alleviate knee pain by strengthening the surrounding muscles and providing better overall joint support.
  5. Cardiovascular benefits: Rowing is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that promotes heart health and boosts endurance. Water resistance rowing machines offer an efficient way to elevate your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular fitness, without the impact that running or jumping exercises may have on your knees.

Cons of Water Resistance Rowing Machines for Knee Pain

  1. Initial learning curve: If you are new to rowing, it may take some time to learn the proper technique and form. Incorrect rowing technique can put unnecessary strain on the knees. It is important to take the time to understand the proper rowing technique or seek guidance from a professional to avoid any potential knee discomfort or injury.
  2. Space and cost considerations: Water resistance rowing machines tend to be larger and heavier compared to other types of exercise equipment. This means you will need enough space to accommodate the machine in your home or gym. Additionally, these machines can be relatively more expensive compared to other rowing machine options.
  3. Maintenance and upkeep: Water resistance rowing machines require regular maintenance to ensure the water tank remains clean and free from contaminants. While this is not a direct concern for knee pain, it is an additional factor to consider when evaluating the long-term practicality and convenience of owning such a machine.
  4. Individual preferences: Not everyone finds water resistance rowing machines comfortable or enjoyable to use. Some individuals may prefer other types of cardio exercises, such as cycling or swimming, which also provide low-impact options for knee pain. It’s essential to find an exercise modality that suits your personal preferences and keeps you motivated to maintain a regular workout routine.



Water resistance rowing machines offer several advantages for individuals with knee pain. Their low-impact nature, adjustable resistance, full-body workout benefits, and cardiovascular advantages make them an appealing choice. However, it is crucial to consider the higher cost, initial learning curve, space requirements, maintenance needs, and personal preferences when evaluating whether a water resistance rowing machine is the right option for you. Ultimately, the goal is to find an exercise routine that minimizes knee pain while providing an effective