Hydrow vs NordicTrack: Deciding Which Rower is Best for You

Hydrow vs NordicTrack: Deciding Which Rower is Best for You

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A rowing machine is one of the best home workout equipment you can invest in [1]. It provides much more of a total body workout than other more limited machines like treadmills or bikes. After all, it can target as much as 85% of the muscles found in your body during a single workout [2].

This is something you cannot get with other options that are much more limited in the scope of muscles you use throughout the activity. For instance, with cycling, the most you are activating is your legs and core muscle groups. Your upper body isn’t being engaged throughout the exercise.

Likewise, with a treadmill, your upper body is being neglected. This is why more and more fitness enthusiasts are opting for rowing machines for a comprehensive total body exercise. Thus allowing them to get in much more effective workouts in the same amount of time.

Hydrow and NordicTrack are two of the best rowers that I have personally tested, so I figured it was time to compare the two, so you can decide which one might work best for you. Keep reading to see how they perform head-to-head.

Features Head-to-Head: What Hydrow and Nordictrack Offer

1. Hydrow Key Features and Benefits

an overview of the Hydrow rower and included equipment

  • Huge 22-Inch Touchscreen Display

This is one of the areas where the Hydrow provides an extraordinary experience. The Hydrow machine comes with a brilliant 22-inch touchscreen display that comes packed with front-facing speakers. With this display, your workouts can provide an immersive experience that can make you feel as if you are riding on waves. Hydrow has done wonders to enhance the immersive nature of its rowing machine and the display included with it is one of the stand-out features that consumers are attracted to.

  • Patented Drag-Mechanism

This is another area that Hydrow focused on to improve the immersive nature of its rowing machine. Hydrow wanted to recreate that feeling you would get while rowing on the water. Their patented drag mechanism is both electromagnetic and computer-controlled. Both of these things can make rowing with the Hydrow machine incredibly immersive because you get a buttery-smooth rowing motion every time. This can make you feel as if you are rowing in the water with water-like resistance.

  • Silent For At-Home Use

One of the biggest downsides to a lot of at-home workout equipment is the fact they weren’t designed to be used at home. A lot of them use components that are rough around the edges to cut costs. Hydrow manufactured their rowing machine to be used in the home environment. Thus, they prioritized creating a machine that operated silently. However, they did so without sacrificing the quality of components. This machine utilizes a commercial and industrial-grade webbed strap that makes the operation of the rowing machine both smooth and silent.

  • 10-Roller System and Good Ergonomics

The Hydrow rowing machine comes with a 10-roller system seat that is ergonomically designed with sufficient cushioning. This ensures that you will be able to get in your workouts without having to pause due to poor ergonomics or comfort.

  • Upright Storage Capabilities

This one is a feature that shouldn’t be included because it requires an additional accessory purchase. However, if you are willing to spend the extra money on the Hydrow Upright Storage Kit, you’ll be able to unlock upright storage capabilities. This can be a major benefit for those who need the extra space. After all, the machine can be tucked into your bedroom closet easily after each workout or when you aren’t planning to use it for extended periods.

2. NordicTrack Rower Key Features and Benefits

a man works out next to his Nordictrack RW rower

  • Up To 22-Inch Interactive Touchscreen

With NordicTrack, you have (3) different models to choose from. They have models starting at an integrated display size of 10-inches spanning to 22-inches. Therefore, you have multiple options to choose from and each one has integrated dual 2-inch speakers for an immersive workout experience.

  • Dual Resistance Options

With the NordicTrack rowing machines, you have the choice between dual resistance options. This powerful combination of resistance options gives you much better overall workouts. The rowing machine combines digital and air resistance together to offer a gut-busting workout each session. You get a total of 26 resistance levels with each of the models. Because the resistance can be auto-adjusted, you can get real-time adjustments from your coaches as you work out while you can control the additional air resistance on your own.

  • Silent Operation

The NordicTrack features adjustable Silent Magnetic Resistance. Therefore, you are getting both smooth and silent operations with each of their models.

  • Quick-Adjust Footrests

With the NordicTrack rowers, you get quick-adjust footrests included. One of the pain points with a lot of users of at-home workout equipment is not having adjustable or easily adjustable footrests. If you have different users in your household, this feature can be a must as it can allow you to conveniently adjust your footrests so you never have to compromise in comfort and performance.

Check current Nordictrack prices at Amazon

Connected Workout Head-to-Head: Is Hydrow Better Than iFit?

1. Hydrow Workout Options

  • Live and On-Demand Workouts

One of the things that the Hydrow offers that you don’t get with NordicTrack is both live and on-demand workouts (learn more with our Hydrow review). With Hydrow, you get access to a bunch of athletes that have signed with the company. These are real competitors in the sport. They will drive you to push yourself as you’ve never done before. They are relatable and friendly. If you want to engage in live workouts with world-class athletes, that’s something only Hydrow offers. They offer immersive live workouts that will allow you to row in some of the more breathtaking destinations all across the world. If you cannot attend live sessions, you can always catch the recorded version whenever you want. This will give you the ability to attend the same live sessions at your convenience whenever you want.

RELATED READING: Current Hydrow Promo Codes

  • On The Mat Workouts

While rowing is certainly one of the best ways to give yourself a comprehensive workout, it’s not going to offer 100% of everything you need. Thus, you will want to introduce other workouts to fill in the gaps. This is where Hydrow’s ‘On The Mat’ workouts comes into play. They’ve designed complementary workouts like Pilates, yoga, and strength training that will help to give your body the complete workout it needs.

2. NordicTrack Workout Options

  • Trainer Led Workouts (On-Demand)

With NordicTrack, you get access to a variety of on-demand workouts that you can tackle. This is good for those who want to be able to work out at their own pace and during their available time. You’ll find a range of different connected workout experiences you can take on including ones that allow you to work out in beautiful destinations across the globe.

RELATED READING: Hydrow vs Peloton

Price Compare

1. Hydrow Pricing Options

2. NordicTrack Pricing Options

  • Starts at $999 and goes up to $1,599.
  • Membership for iFit = $180 per year

Top Reasons You Should Consider a Hydrow

  • Top Notch Build Quality

The Hydrow is all about a premium experience. This is why you don’t find different models available for purchase with the Hydrow. They wanted to craft a premium experience without compromise. That’s exactly what you are getting with the machine. If you want a machine that is going to deliver a high-end workout experience including top-notch build quality, you cannot find a better-connected machine than the Hydro.

  • Live Sessions

Another reason you want to consider buying the Hydro rowing machine has to do with the fact that it includes live workout sessions. With Hydrow, you can take part in live classes with real athletes all over the globe. If you are wanting to experience live classes, Hydrow is the only choice as NordicTrack doesn’t offer live workout sessions for rowing machines with iFit.

  • Most Immersive Experience

The Hydrow is easily capable of producing the most immersive rowing experience you’ll find in the marketplace. They’ve managed to use a patented drag mechanism that makes you feel as if you are rowing on the water. If you value having complete immersion when you are working out and rowing on the water, this is the machine for you. Having such an immersive experience can keep you coming back for more which is how you achieve your fitness goals. Having a machine you want to use can keep you consistent with your workouts.

Top Reasons You Should Consider a NordicTrack

  • Save Money

If you are looking to save money on your rowing machine purchase, opting for one of the cheaper NordicTrack models can end up saving you a lot. You can save a lot of money by going for a NordicTrack over a Hydrow rowing machine without compromising on much. The NordicTrack’s rowing machines are built very well and they offer a great experience.

  • You Have Other iFit Enabled Machines

For those who have already invested in and/or who are planning on investing in other home workout equipment, it might be better to go for NordicTrack. After all, they produce their bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals. Therefore, you would get a lot more use out of iFit if you have one of these machines or if you are planning on buying one in the future. With the Hydrow rowing machine, you will be paying a subscription for the rowing machine and the on-mat exercises they produce.

Check current Nordictrack prices at Amazon


  1. https://dynasystech.com/do-rowing-machines-help-burn-belly-fat/
  2. https://www.businessinsider.com/doctor-says-rowing-on-a-machine-more-effective-than-running-on-treadmill-2018-3