The Ultimate Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Review You’ll Love

Rowing is the second most efficient full-body workout (after #1-ranked swimming). The movement of the rowing (bending forward, pulling the handles toward your body, extending your legs, leaning backward, etc.) works out nearly every muscle in your body—from your shoulders to your back to your arms to your core to your legs. But it’s also the best type of cardiovascular exercise as well. It gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing in a way no run, jog, or bike ride ever could.

A good rowing machine is worth its weight in gold! The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is one of the highest-rated rowing machines on the market, and an option definitely worth considering despite its high price tag. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this amazing machine…

About the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

This rowing machine is sleek and surprisingly compact, yet it offers an amazing rowing workout. Thanks to the flywheel design, you get a smooth and nearly silent rowing action. The design is ergonomic and comfortable, promoting better angle of your hands, wrists, and arms. For those worried about repetitive motion injuries or strains, this is an excellent choice.

The rowing machine is intended for a home environment, so it’s not a commercial-grade rowing machine to be used at the gym. It is, however, a highly durable piece of equipment, with a 500-pound capacity and a durable nickel-plated chain. The 14-inch seat can accommodate most butt sizes, and the smooth sliding action on the seat guarantees an excellent workout.

Key Features

  • Overall Length: 96 in (244 cm)
  • Width: 24 in (61 cm)
  • Monorail Length: 54 in (137 cm), fits inseams up to 38″
  • Space Requirements (in use): Assembled: 8 ft x 2 ft (244 cm x 61 cm)
  • Product weight: 69 pounds
  • 500 pound weight limit
  • 14 inch seat
  • Price: $945.00 — Check out the latest prices here!


The frame is designed to be separated into two pieces, making it easy for you to store the machine out of the way of the rest of your workout gear. As the name suggests, it’s an indoor piece of equipment ideal for using for an at-home workout. You won’t need as much room for this workout as you’d need for a full-length bench press, so you can use it in smaller spaces.

One of the great things about this rowing machine is that it comes with a built-in performance monitor. The PM5 delivers accurate data on your workout, even for every individual row. You can track your rowing speed, calories burned, distance rowed, time rowed, and more. The backlight makes it visible even in low-light conditions, and you’ll LOVE the USB port that allows you to transfer your workout data from the machine to your computer. There’s even a wireless heart rate monitor to keep track of your cardiovascular performance. All in all, it’s a beautiful addition to the rowing machine!

Pros of the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Here are a few of the things users love about the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine:

  • The machine is easy to install and use right out of the box. The box is well-packed, with all the parts easy to remove and assemble without the need for tools. You can set it up in 5-10 minutes, and you’re ready to get to rowing. For those who hate spending hours assembling treadmills or exercise bikes, this is the perfect choice.
  • It’s a solid, well-built piece of equipment. Though it’s intended for at-home use, that doesn’t make it any less sturdy. There is no wiggle or wobble with the machine, and it feels as durable as a rowing machine you’d use at the gym. You get that same smooth action and stable seat, with a natural rowing motion that leads to a great workout.
  • The ability to break it down into two parts means that you can easily store it in a closet or out of the way. If you don’t have a lot of space for your workouts, this feature is one of the best things about the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine.
  • A great workout! Not only does the rowing machine deliver a low-impact, highly effective workout, but it does so without increasing the risk of injuries. The ergonomic design keeps your wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, knees, and ankles in a comfortable position that can reduce repetitive motion injuries and strains.

Cons of the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

As with any product, the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine isn’t without its flaws. Here are a few we’ve found:

  • Some users have noticed that the foot straps get loose throughout the workout and need adjusting. You may have to pause mid-workout to re-adjust and tighten the straps.
  • The performance monitor has a few bugs: USB drives use up a lot of battery life, error codes can lead to workout data loss, and there’s no option for AC power to keep the backlight on at all times.
  • The installation and operation manual is a bit confusing, with hard-to-read information.

Other Options to Consider

Not sure the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is the perfect machine for you? These are a few alternatives to consider:

Stamina Air Rower

This rowing machine uses air to increase and decrease the resistance, giving you more flexibility than you’d get from the Concept2 machine. The large footplates and padded seat are a bit more comfortable than the Concept2 options, and the price tag is 30% of what you’d pay. On the flip side, it doesn’t have the same durability, and the action isn’t as smooth. A budget buy—in terms of both price and quality.

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

This rowing machine is an incredibly compact one that takes up far less space than the Concept2. It’s also much cheaper (just $130). You get adjustable resistance thanks to the gas-shock system, so you have more versatility from your workout programs. However, it definitely lacks the build quality of the Concept2, and you’ll find it won’t hold up for as long. Plus, the weight limit is just 250 pounds, so it’s not as good for heavier trainees. It’s built of aluminum, and it doesn’t have the same smooth action.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

This rowing machine is designed with versatility in mind. The adjustable resistance allows you to customize your workout. The magnetic tension system makes far less noise than the flywheel system used by Concept2, and the anti-slip foot pedals are more comfortable as well. For the price (around $200), you’re getting a pretty decent machine, one that is easy to move around and break down. However, it has a much lower weight limit than the Concept2, and the durability isn’t quite up to par.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a rowing machine able to keep up with hardcore workouts, the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is the option for you. Its high price means you get much more durability than you’d get from the lower-priced models. It may have a couple of flaws (especially in the performance monitor system), but it’s definitely worth paying a bit more for the quality is delivers.

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