Thursday, 23 May 2024

Rowing Machines

ProForm 440R Rowing Machine Review

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The ProForm 440R combines functional training with indoor rowing, thanks to a versatile low pulley system.

But does this type of multi-function fitness equipment really work? Or should you buy a specialist home rowing machine?

In our review we take a closer look at the design features, display console functions, workout feedback, customer reviews, and level of assembly required. This is to help you decide if the ProForm 400R is the best rower for your own home gym.

Quality of the rowing motion

The glide rail for the ProForm 440R Rowing Machine can be quickly folded to make the best use of space when not in use

In terms of its design, the ProForm 440R has been created to combine all the benefits of indoor rowing, with the muscle toning benefits of resistance training.

If you want to add some upper body resistance training to the end of your rowing workouts, all you need to do is stand in front of the flywheel, and use the straight bar to perform a variety of exercises.

These include upright rows, bicep curls, shrugs, stiff-legged deadlifts, and front delt raises.

But this doesn’t take anything away from the effectiveness of the ProForm 440R in terms of its rowing function.

The oversized aluminium glide rail ensures a smooth and quiet motion, with pivoting pedals that adjust to your preferred foot position.

There are also over eight levels of resistance to choose from for both the rowing and low pulley functions, which should provide enough of a challenge for all levels of personal fitness.

ProForm 440R Rowing Machine

ProForm 440R – Features Summary

  • Integrated dual action strength training
  • Oversized pivoting pedals with adjustable nylon foot straps
  • Space saver design
  • Over eight levels of resistance
  • Display console tracks strokes per minute, calories burned, elapsed time, and total strokes for current workout

Display console design

If you haven’t used a rowing machine before, finding a model with a high quality display console and LCD screen that’s easy to read is an absolute necessity.

Without being able to keep track of your strokes per minute, average distance over 500 meters, or some form of measurable workout statistic, it will be difficult to determine how much you are improving over time.

Despite its mid-range price, the ProForm 440R does provide you with some particularly useful functions.

Unfortunately you don’t have the ability to track your average speed across a fixed distance, but you can measure the number of strokes you are completing per minute.

As well as this, the console can also display feedback on the approximate number of calories burned, elapsed time, and total number of strokes completed during your current workout.

Ease of assembly

ProForm 440R Rowing Machine

As with any folding rower design, the assembly for the ProForm 440R is mainly focussed around attaching the main glide rail to the flywheel base unit.

Because the flywheel housing arrives already pre-assembled, this does save some time, but the remaining assembly steps still need some fairly extensive explanation.

Thankfully, the user manual provided does detail these steps very well, with a part identification chart, exploded drawings, and textual explanations complete with part references.

With a full 16 steps to follow before you have the rower setup and ready to use, you’ll probably need to allow at least 60 minutes to cover the assembly.

Customer reviews

ProForm 440R Rowing Machine

You might have already spent some time doing some wider research on the higher priced rowing machines available, specifically the models produced by leading fitness companies WaterRower and Concept2.

Although it’s difficult to make clear comparisons between these models and the ProForm 440R, there is something that they have in common.

They’re all currently amongst the top 10 bestselling rowing machines on popular ecommerce websites, including Amazon.

This is why we wanted to take a closer look at the reviews, and find out some of the reasons behind the high average rating.

Despite not having as many to look through as the ever popular Concept2 Model D, we were still able to put together the following lists of pros and cons.

Each point in these lists has been collected from a real customer review, written by someone who already has this rower setup and in use.


  • Quiet to use
  • Comprehensive user manual contains easy to follow assembly instructions
  • Compact footprint
  • Folding design helps preserve space when not in use
  • Large, easy to reach resistance dial


  • Seat is smaller than some of the commercial grade machines
  • The foot pedal velcro straps don’t do a great job of adjusting to smaller feet
  • The rowing handle is just a straight bar with no particular attention to ergonomic design

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Frame: 5 years
  • Parts: 90 days
  • Labor: 90 days

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4 / 5

Although the ProForm 440R does provide the option for resistance training, it's worth bearing in mind that this doesn't provide any lower body exercise options, and so shouldn't be looked at as a replacement to your current resistance training.

That being said, adding a few sets of curls, rows, or shrugs to the end of a rowing workout does target many of the muscles you would have been using during the actual rowing.

This can also double as a warm down stretch routine for your muscles.

The only two real issues to be mentioned in customer reviews were the compact size of the seat, and the lack of ergonomic design that went into the creation of the rowing handle.

If you don' t think you'll find these an issue, then the folding frame design and range of resistance options still make this a rower worth thinking about for under $500.

Product dimensions: 77" (L) x 20.5" (W) x 38" (H) Weight capacity: 250 lbs Product weight: 68 lbs

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