Cardio specialist Matt Smith takes an in-depth look at this mid-range rower in our NordicTrack RW700 review.
Written by: Matt Smith
Fact Checked by: Editorial Team
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Rowing is one of the most well rounded forms of cardio you can undertake, allowing you to hit cardio and strength training all at the same time. As a result, more and more people are looking to add a rowing machine to their home fitness setup.
NordicTrack have been leading the line in affordable home rowers for some time – and today we have one that sits a little bit further in to the premium end of the spectrum.
Keep reading for our comprehensive NordicTrack RW700 review.
NordicTrack RW700 First Impressions
The NordicTrack RW700 rowing machine is probably the most popular of the four NordicTrack models on offer. When you see it for the first time, it’s easy to see why people like it so much.
The sleek design is easily noticeable; everything is designed with a purpose. Something that’s also incredibly noticeable is the RW700’s size. It’s smaller and lighter than most competitor models, which isn’t that big of an issue for most but might cause a larger person a few problems.
Technophiles will love the inclusion of a smart HD touchscreen, which quickly draws your attention away from the more typical rower features. It’s easy to see and reach, making you that much more excited to jump into an intense rowing session just to explore the features.
Quick Verdict: RW700 Rower
NordicTrack RW700 Specifications
Here are the RW700’s detailed specifications:
- Dimensions: 220 L x 55 W x 119 H
- Weight: 66 kilograms
- Maximum weight capacity: 113 kilograms
- Display: 25-centimetre, HD touchscreen
- Resistance levels: 26
- Resistance type: Silent magnetic resistance
- Rail: Oversized steel seat rail
- Automatic trainer control: Yes
- Foot straps: Adjustable nylon foot straps
- Flywheel: Inertia-enhanced flywheel
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Folding: Yes
NordicTrack RW700 Features
Like most NordicTrack equipment, the RW700 comes with an extensive suite of features. Here are a few of the features that could make purchasing this rower a worthwhile investment:
This is the combination of magnetic and air resistance. Besides having 26 digital resistance levels programmed into the console, users can customise the amount of air resistance they experience.
The addition of manual air resistance means that you’ll experience naturally harder resistance as you exert more effort. This type of resistance is also more predictable and, typically, better than the resistance you’d experience in cheaper rowers.
The console is compatible with Bluetooth, so you can connect your Bluetooth headphones and listen to either your trainer’s instructions or your favourite music.
This feature is particularly useful when paired with the new auto-adjust technology, which lets the machine or live instructors take control of the settings while you focus on pushing yourself to the limit.
NordicTrack added an upgraded sound system to the RW700 rowing machine. The premium 30-watt sound system is designed to fully immerse you in your session, making the overall experience much more memorable.
The RW700 comes with NordicTrack’s iFit streaming service. While it requires an internet connection, it opens up many possibilities. For example, you can follow your favourite iFit trainer and let them guide you through studio rowing sessions.
Fitness enthusiasts can even take this integration a step further by pairing it with the accompanying iFit app.
As you may have guessed from the name, the SpaceSaver® design of the RW700 ensures that the rower can be easily moved and stowed away when it’s not in use. Those who have limited space in their home will definitely benefit from this feature.
Pros & Cons
- Silent magnetic resistance level
- Front-mounted transport wheels
- Inertia enhanced flywheel
- The improved sliding rail system
- Includes free 30-day iFit membership
- Easily folds up when not in use
- Comfortable seat and pedals
- Requires a substantial amount of space when fully open
- Doesn’t include a heart rate monitor
- Position of nylon straps
- Weight capacity could be better
Who Should Buy It
This machine is designed with many people in mind. It’s for those who want to engage in cardio, core, and strength training that’s demanding yet quiet. Both professional and casual rowers will greatly enjoy the touchscreen’s crisp image.
It’s also for people who want low-impact exercise but don’t have that much space in their homes.
Price & Purchase
NordicTrack RW700 rower retails for around £1400, meaning that it’s right in the middle compared to the pricing of other rowers. Depending on where you are in the world, you might qualify for free shipping. Be sure to check out NordicTrack’s website for more details on potential specials and shipping.
The RW700 comes with a 10-year frame warranty, two years for parts, and one year for labour. Their return policy is standard and seemingly painless, but you may also have to pay a shipping charge and restocking fee depending on how the item is returned.
Using The NordicTrack RW700
There’s definitely a learning curve and some adjustment required when it comes to the pivoting pedals and adjustable foot straps. Overall it’s quite comfortable to use, and you probably won’t find yourself having to readjust your positioning during the iFit classes.
It’s typically ergonomic, so nothing particularly mind-blowing. The moulded seat, improved sliding system, and inertia-enhanced flywheel work well together to provide you with a balanced rowing experience.
The implementation of high-quality magnetic resistance also makes the machine incredibly quiet while in use. So, you can use it without waking up anyone else in your house or disturbing the neighbours!
Lastly, the SpaceSaver® design truly does its job. It does take up quite a bit of space while it’s out, but it’s easily foldable when you’re done. Stowing the machine away or moving it is also easy thanks to the highly necessary front-mounted transport wheels.
Is it okay to use a rowing machine every day?
Exercising every day – rowing included – can easily lead to overtraining. Rowing can be a very demanding exercise, so it’s not recommended to row every day at a high intensity. On the other hand, you could row every day if you’re doing so at a low intensity with each workout, essentially spreading out the workload.
If you want to take this approach, consult a physician or professional fitness expert for comprehensive guidance on how to do so.
Is NordicTrack a trusted brand?
Despite NordicTrack not being accredited by the Better Business Bureau, it still holds an A+ rating from the organisation. This rating is based on the company’s complaint history, business practices, and customer interactions.
Additionally, NordicTrack has an established reputation and admirable reputation within the fitness equipment industry. On this basis, you can consider NordicTrack to be a well-trusted brand.
Can I use a NordicTrack rower without iFit?
You can indeed use any NordicTrack rowing machine without iFit. After purchasing a NordicTrack rower, you’ll have the option to trial iFit for free. After this, you can renew your membership or use it without it.
iFit generally isn’t a problem for most users, as NordicTrack rowers come with pre-programmed workout classes that you can access via the touch display.
Are rowing machines safe for knees?
One of the reasons why rowers are so popular is because they allow for low-impact exercising. Because your feet are planted on the foot pads and hands locked on the grips, there’s little to no joint impact.
Do bear in mind that getting on the RW700 requires users to be able to bend at the knees. So, be cautious when doing so and consult a physician beforehand if you have any musculoskeletal conditions.
The NordicTrack RW700 can be best described as solid and is constantly in the conversation of the top home rowing machines. It has good engineering, and its technological integrations do a good job of making you feel as if you’re rowing on a pristine lake.
Unlike ellipticals or exercise bikes, most rowers generally have difficulty disappointing users. Thankfully, the RW700 is no exception to this, as it’s both functional and sleek at an attractive price tag.
Compared to other NordicTrack rowers, the RW700 is positioned comfortably in the middle in terms of pricing and features. So, if it doesn’t appeal to you in one of those areas, there are two other NordicTrack rowing machines in the range to choose from.
Other than that, the RW700 is perfect for those looking to improve their cardiovascular abilities and build strength.