Medical Professional Reviews

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Rating: 3.9/5 (16 votes cast)

Medical Professionals and Physical Therapists alike trust the benefits of the WaterRower and Rowing as an excellent cardio exercise. Burning up to 1000 calories per hour and working out up to 84% of your muscle mass during one exercise, rowing offers a tremendously beneficial exercise without the perceived fatigue and exhaustion often apparent when using other cardio training gym equipment.

Medical Professionals have provided us with valuable feedback over the years. Read some of their comments below:


Medical Professional Reviews, 3.9 out of 5 based on 16 ratings
  • Anonymous

    Dr. C Everett Koop, Former US Surgeon General

    “We have recently investigated indoor stationary rowing machines and believe the WaterRower to be the best on the market. They were also rated by Consumer Digest Magazine as a “best buy” product. This machine uses a patented WaterFlywheel almost the identical movement of a sliding seat rowing shell… producing a smooth, rhythmic motion and an impact free work out for any level of fitness or age.”

    “One of the main advantages of rowing outdoors or using a WaterRower machine is the sitting position of rowing which removes the exerciser’s body weight from the injury-prone hip, knee and ankle joints and therefore reduces the potential of impact injury to these joints commonly associated with aerobic exercise.”

    “Rowing, indoors or outdoors, at any exercise level of intensity, requires a greater exercise expenditure than any other aerobic activity. Calories are burned in relation to the number of muscles used and the intensity and duration of the exercise. Rowing with a sliding seat uses a very large muscle mass since the upper, lower and trunk muscles are used vigorously”

  • Anonymous

    Mark Edgar, Physiotherapist, London, England

    (Physiotherapist to Great Britain Olympic Rowing Squad Atlanta 1996 & Sydney 2000)

    “What impressed me most about the WaterRower was the lack of shock loading at the front end of the stroke…. the athlete must load biomechanical more efficiently to score well – similar to what is required on the water.”

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Glenn Gero

    Certified Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

    “Rowing is the ultimate, non-jarring, full-body exercise. One can choose to maintain a steady, relaxed pace or rowing can be one of the most intensely competitive endurance sports, burning as much as 1200 calories an hour. Rowing to me is the perfect exercise and the WaterRower is the best simulation of that perfect exercise.

    No other exercise can get me into my cardiovascular zone as quickly and can fire as many muscle fibers throughout my body as rowing. With each complete stroke I can feel virtually every muscle working including those in the legs, midsection, lower back, arms and upper torso.

    Additionally, rowing is an activity that can be enjoyed by men and women of any age. It certainly isn’t unusual to see rowers well into their nineties rowing up and down the river next to a crew of high schoolers.

    I’ve been a WaterRower owner for over 12 years and to me it’s the only rowing machine that gives the feel of real rowing.

    In my opinion, the air resistance rowing machines using a chain drive, create a constant vibration, which I feel in my hands. I find this to be extremely annoying. I also feel that the whirling mechanical sound of these rowers detracts from the enjoyment of the rowing experience.

    Conversely, the WaterRower uses a strap drive connected to a flywheel which rotates within a tank of water creating a smooth, rhythmic, meditative feel. This is the same naturally smooth feeling that I’m accustomed to when I’m on the river in my rowing shell with the accompanying realistic sound of splashing water..

    As far as I’m concerned, rowing is the perfect overall exercise and the WaterRower is the perfect rowing machine. I believe that if one is really serious about getting in the best shape of their life, WaterRower is a clear choice.”

    Dr. Glenn Gero is a board certified doctor of naturopathic medicine with a private practice in Clifton, NJ. He has earned masters’ degrees in both nutrition and botanical medicine and is a certified life and wellness coach. Dr. Gero is a licensed biofeedback therapist, a registered nutritionist, a master/registered herbalist, holds 7 fitness certifications, including those in post-rehab fitness, medical exercise, senior fitness and cancer exercise. He is a professional member of the Holistic Pediatric Association, the American Association of Anti-aging Medicine and the American Herbalist Guild. He also has completed post-graduate training at Harvard Medical School where he serves as a life member of the post-graduate association. Dr. Gero is on the staff of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine as an adjunct professor. For additional information, visit

  • Anonymous

    Vicki Siegel, MA, CSCS
    Exercise Physiologist, Colorado, USA

    (Wellness Resource Coordinator, South Denver Cardio Center)

    “The WaterRower is a very popular piece of equipment in our Medical Fitness Facility. As an exercise physiologist, I am not afraid to recommend this equipment to our patients with occasional back pain. The machine is very smooth, and does not put strain on the hip flexors at the end of the stroke like other rowing machines. It is a great non-weight bearing option for our patients with knee, ankle and foot issues, and allows them to work the upper body. The ability to row from side-to-side (kayaking) builds the muscles in the obliques and core. We also recommend rowing as part of the upper body sequence in rehabilitation once open heart patients are cleared to do upper body exercise.”

  • Anonymous

    Donna C. Isaac
    Advanced Practitioner of Structural Integration, Memphis, Tennessee

    As an Advanced Practitioner of Structural Integration (Rolfing), the body and its freedom to move and function are my business. After two years of seeing and participating in InsideOut’s WaterRower program, I believe that rowing is one of the best overall body workouts anyone can perform. Rowing is a smooth, non-impact exercise that allows the body to work in sync with itself by focusing on an intrinsic use of the musculoskeletal system. It complements other exercises by helping to lengthen contracted muscles and provide an intense yet safe whole body workout. WaterRower’s unique machine uses water to provide smooth, flowing resistance, which enhances and cradles the body’s response to every stroke.”

  • Anonymous

    Patrick Pearson, MSTAT
    Alexander Technique Practitioner

    “I coach rowing, and teach the Alexander Technique, where among other things we give particular attention to the poise of the skull and the condition of the spine and torso in a way that is as much to do with our thinking as it is to do with muscular activity, as the two are never separate. We work with the awareness that we like to ‘feel’ what goes on, and that our ‘feeling’ is prone to unreliability. I use this work not only to improve performance with my athletes but also on a day to day basis to help range of people from those who are unwell to those who have suffered trauma and have specific rehabilitation needs.

    I had a very definite ‘shopping list’ of criteria to be met when I came to choose a rowing simulator not just for my own use, but also to teach my pupils and athletes. In developing potential at whatever level, no change (improvement) is achieved without risk. That risk being, that we just might be wrong and foul up the whole thing we are aiming for. When I am asking an athlete to “take a risk”, I want a calm, relatively quiet environment in which they can think, observe, listen and progress, without undue pressure or distraction. I get this using the WaterRower. I am impressed by the smoothness and quick pick-up of the load without snatching. This is a quality much appreciated by our backs! Whether I work gently or fast I get useful sensory feedback from the sight and sound of the water. This helps corroborate, what I ‘feel’ is going on. I can talk over the top of the WaterRower in use without having to raise my voice. Shouting is to be avoided in a teaching environment, it stimulates the fight or flight reflex, resulting in undue muscular tightening which inhibits change and impedes pace. Be it an Alexander issue, a technical rowing point, or making an attempt to push–on a bit quicker, this simulator is my choice to give people the best opportunity to explore their potential and develop their fitness.

    Can I get on it, set a work-out programme on it’s computer and go for a serious indoor row?

    Oh yes……no worries on that score!”

  • Anonymous

    T. Forcht Dagi, MD, MPH, FACS, FCCM
    Senior Lecturer
    The Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology

    “Rowing on the WaterRower is perhaps the closest experience to actually rowing on water. The resistance created by the paddles is authentic. The rocking motion on the seat with proper technique both replicates the movements on a skull.

    Rowing is a good way to get cardiac training. It provides a graduated, low impact exercise program with many levels of intensity. Through the use of a monitor, precise levels of effort can be achieved and replicated. The psychological benefits are as important as the physical. The WaterRower provides the kind of satisfying feedback and encouragement that many people find helpful and sustaining.

    Rowing is a good form of exercise to include in a program of weight reduction as well as as well as in general fitness training.

    Because of its design, the WaterRower offers many levels of exercise intensity without mechanical adjustments. Because of its simplicity, the WaterRower requires virtually no maintenance.
    Its design and construction are intended to meet commercial standards.

    The WaterRower is supported by a number of very good computer-based exercise programs. These software programs offer custom routines, progress tracking, and gratifying feedback.

    The WaterRower can also be a useful adjunct to a supervised program of physical therapy and cardiovascular rehabilitation. Rowing provides core toning as well as cardiovascular benefits. It stretches and strengthens the flexors and extensors of the upper and lower extremities, and it improves muscle tone, timing, strength, and range of motion.

    I have recommended the WaterRower to patients who might benefit from rowing as a form of exercise. These benefits include aerobic, impact-free, cardiovascular training, and muscle stretching, toning, strengthening and balance.

    The WaterRower can provide an accessory to elevate the seating position. This option is helpful for rowers with back or joint pain.

    I use the WaterRower at home and would recommend it to anyone who is seeking a well balanced training system. If there is one piece of exercise equipment to have in your home, I think the WaterRower is it.”