SportPlus Indoor Rower review - cutout

Rowing Machines are a great tool for getting fit in the comfort of your own surroundings. However, high-end machines such as the Concept 2 Model D, WaterRower, or even the JTX Freedom Air Rower are expensive. Enter SportPlus. Here’s our SportPlus Indoor Rower review.

RRP: £279.99

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Used correctly, rowing machines will work 80% of your body’s muscles. Rowing is also one of the few exercises that will improve both strength and stamina. All you have to do is apply to correct workout. For example, longer rows at a lower intensity will help your stamina, while shorter and higher intensity rows will improve your strength.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see why indoor rowing machines are so popular. However, not all rowers are created equal. Higher-end rowing machines will be smoother and more comfortable to use, while boasting features that ensure you don’t outgrow your rower as your fitness improves.

These are just some of the reasons why we suggest avoiding budget rowing machines. Some mid-range rowing machines, such as the SportPlus Indoor Rower, manage to find the sweet spot between price and functionality. Here’s why we think the SportPlus Indoor Rower is one of the best rowing machines of 2018.

SportPlus Indoor Rower review

SportPlus Indoor Rower Review: Rowing

The SportPlus Indoor Rower uses an 8Kg flywheel combined with a silent magnetic braking system to create its 8-levels of resistance. This the same setup you’ll find on high-end machines. The result is a smooth action with more than enough rowers to provide a challenging workout for experienced, and novice, rowers alike.

The machine’s PU-material seat is equally quiet and smooth. And comfortable too. The seat uses ball-bearing to run effortlessly along the 88cm aluminium rail (long enough for people up to 6’8″).

SportPlus Indoor Rower Review: Monitor

SportPlus Indoor Rower review - Monitor

The LCD display that comes with the SportPlus MR-008 is pretty uninspiring. It resembles an oversized Tamagotchi from the 1990s. However, it does all the basics well. Providing easy-to-read data about your row. Including rowing time, distance, strokes per minute, strokes total and calories burned.

It’s also compatible with a 5kHz chest heart rate strap – if you purchase separately – and will display your heart rate in the bottom right segment of the screen. A great addition for those looking to get a little more accurate and scientific with their workout.

SportPlus Indoor Rower Review: Design

It’s a well-designed rowing machine that suitable for users up to 150kg (23.6 stone). It also boasts a comfortable seat, large foot pedals, smooth rowing action, transportation wheels and an easy-to-fold frame – reducing the footprint from 190 x 51 cm to 95 x 51 cm.

Last of all, we’re impressed with liked how easy to build it is. The machine comes delivered will all the tools you need and can be assembled without the need to call in help from a friend. The machine comes with a generous 2-year warranty.

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SportPlus Indoor Rower Review: Verdict

The SportPlus Indoor Rower is a lot of rowing machine for the price tag. It’s not quite up to the same levels of performance as the Concept 2, WaterRower, or even the JTX Freedom Air Rower, but it’s still competitive. It has a great rowing action, 8-levels of resistance and does everything an average rower needs. If you’re on a budget, this is the rowing machine we recommend.

Read next: Best Treadmills 2018: The 8 BEST running machines for home

David Court
David is a professional journalist. He's been reviewing lifestyle and technology products since 2007. His CV boasts a series of high-profile websites that he's previously edited and managed. These sites include,,, and is his new project.


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