Our JTX Flow review puts this relatively inexpensive water rowing machine to the test as we give it a full testing to find out if it stacks up against the more premium models. Find out if it’s a good choice for you below…
Written by: Matt Smith
Fact Checked by: Editorial Team
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A rowing machine at home is a great way to get a regular full-body workout – strengthen your core, build up your cardiovascular endurance and build muscle in your arms and legs. But which rowing machine is the right one for you? That’s what we’re here to help you decide, with this review of the JTX Flow.
JTX Fitness are one of the UK’s leading home gym equipment specialists – established in 2009, they have built up a great reputation producing some quality machines that appeal to every budget and skill level.
They also made it on to our list of trusted suppliers, for producing high quality home fitness equipment, having excellent customer service and giving us great tasting tea whenever we visit them.
The JTX Flow is in the lower-mid range in terms of price for a home gym rowing machine, but we want to delve into it in more detail to help you decide whether this is the right rowing machine for you.
We spent 30 days with this machine, and now we have compiled our findings for you in this JTX Flow review.
JTX Flow First Impressions
The JTX Flow is a very attractive rowing machine. It manages to look sturdy and minimalist at the same time, which is an impressive combination.
I think the blue of the water tank compliments the black frame beautifully, and really makes it stand out. It is reassuringly bulky at the ‘business end’ of the machine, and light and sleek along the rail.
It’s a good-looking machine.
The KeyMetrix self-powered console is nicely positioned above the water tank, which is exactly where you’re going to want it, and there is a very handy tablet holder included as well so that you can row along to workouts. Or watch something on Netflix if you prefer a more passive approach to your exercise.
On arrival, the JTX Flow does require some assembly, but you are equipped with full instructions and tools to make light work of it.
What is a nice touch from JTX – if you buy the JTX Flow, or any other product under 75kg, directly from them, their courier will ensure that it makes it in to your room of choice – they won’t just dump it in your doorway and leave you to lug it to where you need it.
In summary, the first impressions of the JTX Flow are very good. This appears to be a well-built machine with lots to offer. So let’s take a look at exactly what it offers.
JTX Flow Specifications
The well-built, sturdy frame measures 192.8 cm x 70 cm x 59 cm (LWH), so it is big enough to support most users.
The official guidelines state that it is suitable for use by anybody under 6ft 6”, with a maximum inside leg measurement of 38” and a maximum weight of 135kg.
If you think you may be getting close to the limit, they recommend that you head down to one of their showrooms to take a test drive. The footrest is easily adjustable to fit any shoe size, so that shouldn’t be a concern for anybody.
While this is a sturdy machine, it doesn’t take up too much space in your home when you are not using it. The main reason for this is that it can be stored vertically, which dramatically reduces its footprint. There are also wheels on the bottom, so you can lift it up and wheel it around, so it is very simple to move out of the way once you have finished your workout.
This is a very attractive feature for many people that are a little short on space, perhaps if your home gym is also a home office.
The machine weighs around 34 kg when it arrives, but more when you fill up the water tank. It is still light enough to move around with ease.
Infinite Water Resistance
Now a quick word on the ‘Infinite Water Resistance’. This is what makes your workout more or less difficult, and the water offers you a huge range of possibilities here.
The particles that make up the water will compact when they are put under more pressure, so the harder you pull, the more resistance and the harder the workout. As such, there is an infinite amount of resistance without any need for cranks and dials.
What you tend to find with water resistance rowing machines is that you get a consistent level of resistance that is directly linked to your ability level – it reacts in real time to the rate that you are working at.
It may feel like you have less control than other forms of rowing machine resistance where you can set a level of resistance, but most people find that they enjoy the water resistance experience.
The computer console that comes with the machine is self-powered and it can display the time, calories, pulse, watts, strokes (or strokes per minute), distance and a 500m split time. Within that, you are able to set targets based on time, calories burned, distance and strokes and you can even set up a race mode to race against the computer.
You’ll have noticed that pulse is included in the list of displays. The JTX Flow can measure your heart rate with a Polar chest strap, but this is sold separately.
The tablet holder is a nice little addition – it is straightforward to use and is in a perfect place. It’s something that could help keep people motivated to start a workout, if they are following a workout online, or just watching one of their favourite shows. Sometimes we all need that extra little push.
That’s the theory behind the JTX Flow – let’s see how it performs in practice.
Using the JTX Flow
For a rowing machine in the lower to mid price range, my expectation was that this would be a pretty basic machine. However, I was instantly impressed with the console.
With many machines in this sort of price range, you only seem to get the most basic displays – often just one line of numbers to display the time or distance etc.
Before I had even started my workout, though, I was having a nice experience – selecting the goals I wanted to achieve. Little things like this can be the difference between using a machine regularly and it collecting dust in the corner of a room.
Once that was set up, I was ready to go. Sometimes with cheaper rowing machines you can find that the seat isn’t very comfortable, or that the rail is a little short (which creates a more jarring, stop/start workout). This was not the case with the JTX Flow, it was an incredibly comfortable workout.
The seat is that little bit wider than some machines, and perfectly padded, so it is very comfortable to sit on. The rail is 130cm long (you travel 121cm), so you get a nice, long, smooth stroke every time.
This, coupled with the easily adjustable foot pads mean that this is one of the more comfortable rowing machines out there, which makes a huge difference to the user experience. You can focus on really going to your maximum levels, rather than feeling slight discomfort that puts you out of your stride.
The water resistance really worked for me. I was able to slowly build up the resistance as I got into the workout, and spend a good chunk of time going for it at a tough level, before easing off towards the end of the workout.
The water also makes a lovely, relaxing sound as you are using it. It’s not the most quiet of rowing machines, but the noise gives you an authentic feel – like you are actually rowing on a quiet lake.
During my workout, I had my tablet in position, playing a YouTube tutorial for something I needed to learn for work. I was learning as I was working out, which is a bit of a game changer for me – I could easily justify the time to workout as I was working at the same time.
Once I had finished my workout, I simply lifted up one end of the machine and wheeled it back into position in the corner of my home office. It is so easy to move and takes up very little room, which is perfect for me as I exercise and work in the same room.
JTX Flow Pros and Cons:
- Space-saving storage
- Infinite water resistance
- Comfortable to use
- Excellent customer service from JTX
- Slightly noisier than some other machines
- Max user weight of 135kg
There’s no way around it – the JTX Flow is a fantastic rowing machine. While it is not one of the cheapest on the market, it is priced very competitively for a machine with this level of functionality – but the main aspect that we liked was how comfortable it was to use.
The last thing you want from a machine is to be aching from using it, rather than your workout, and you will have no such worries here – it is a joy to use.
If you are looking for a mid-range rowing machine that is comfortable to use and has enough features to keep you motivated, then I think you will really struggle to find a machine that is better value for money than the JTX Flow – it’s one of the best buys around.