The Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 is a bestselling home rowing machine that’s designed to emulate the feeling of rowing on water.
But how does the rowing stroke and resistance level compare to a WaterRower?
In this review we take a close look at how the adjustable hydraulic resistance system works, as well as the display console functions, customer reviews, and level of assembly required.
Although it may not look like any rowing machine you’ve used before at a commercial gym, the Stamina BodyTrac Glider has proven to be one of the most popular rowers available for home gyms.
The unconventional design may look a lot different to other entry level rowing machines, but when you combine the movement of the seat with the pivoting motion of the rowing arms, you create a more realistic feeling of rowing on the water.
This was the main idea behind the design, where the movement of the arms simulates rowing with oars is intended to work the same upper and lower body muscle groups.
In turn, this would lead to a greater carry over in terms of rowing ability if you were using this to supplement your current rowing routine on the water.
But without any flywheel, vent system, or water tank to create the resistance, how do you make your workouts more challenging?
The tension is actually created via a hydraulic piston system, similar to those seen on some high-end steppers.
There are 12 resistance levels to choose from, and each time you need to make an adjustment, all you need to do is rotate the small hand wheel positioned directly underneath your seat.
If you’re concerned about how much space this machine will take up when not in use, the folding design, lightweight steel frame, and compact footprint makes it easier to move and store the Glider until you’re ready for your next workout.
Stamina BodyTrac Glider – Features Summary
- Home rowing machine with compact footprint–23.5 x 46 inches
- Adjustable gas-shock resistance
- Monitor shows time, stroke count, and calories burned
- Sturdy, steel frame construction
- Folds for easy storage
Display console design
If you’re looking for a budget rowing machine that also allows you to track workout performance and analyse your workout data, then you’re going to have to make an important decision.
Unfortunately such a rower does not exist, and you will have to choose between a budget level design like the Stamina BodyTrac Glider, or a high-end design that offers this level of workout tracking, such as the WaterRower or Concept2 rowing machines.
Despite the low price and basic design, the console for the BodyTrac Glider still lets you monitor important workout information.
This includes stroke count and calories burned, but doesn’t provide any feedback on your 500m split time or give any indication of how you are performing compared to your previous workout.
There’s also no need for you to worry about using various button functions to find the workout information you’re interested in, as the screen automatically scrolls through to the next piece of feedback every 6 seconds.
For the price, this is really what we expected, and the fact that this rower includes any kind of performance monitor at all is a definite bonus.
Ease of assembly
After the excitement of ordering a new piece of fitness equipment, the effect can soon start to fade when you realise how much assembly is going to be required.
Fortunately, one of the first things that Stamina Products has written in the user manual for the BodyTrac Glider is that most of the rower has been assembled at their factory.
Although the remainder of the assembly is actually very straightforward, Stamina have still included a detailed identification chart for the parts, and exploded diagrams to show how they all fit together.
With the main seat rail and pivoting arm system already setup when you lift the parts out of the box, there’s really very little left for you to do.
All that’s required is to attach the front base stabilizer, attach the foot pedals, and connect up the console, resulting in an assembly time of just 15 minutes.
If you do happen to require any assistance or have any questions, Stamina have built up an excellent reputation for customer service, making it incredibly easy to get in touch with their support team via email.
Although they also have a direct contact number, their lines close at 5pm (3pm Fridays), and aren’t open weekends, so we would recommend email if you’re busy during the week.
Whenever we write a new review about any piece of fitness equipment, we always like to do as much research as possible into the build quality and range of features, to help you find the best equipment for your goals at the lowest price possible.
As part of this research, we like to try to find and read through as many customer reviews from other people who have bought and used the product, to help build up an honest picture of what to expect.
However, every so often we review a product that’s simply too popular for us to read all of the reviews. The Stamina BodyTrac Glider is one of these products.
With over 800 reviews and more than 1200 ratings, it would probably take us several days just to read through all of this feedback and build up a well balanced overall summary.
In spite of this, we’ve still managed to read a large number of these reviews, chosen from all different rating levels. This was to try and pick up on the things that people liked, as well as the features they weren’t too fond of.
We then summarised these points into the lists of pros and cons below, which we will keep updated on a regular basis.
- Real rowing type action instead of just pulling on a T-bar
- Multiple levels of resistance provide a challenge for all levels of personal fitness
- Sturdy frame
- Extremely compact footprint compared to other rowers, as you don’t have to worry about a water tank or large fan
- Low price makes it affordable for anyone on a tight budget
- Easy to assemble thanks to few parts and detailed instructions in the user manual
- Relatively lightweight frame makes it easy to move around
- Quiet rowing motion
- Provides a low impact workout that’s ideal for anyone that suffers from joint pain or wants to proactively protect their joints but still exercise
- Foot straps don’t hold your feet as securely as some reviewers would like
- Seat is padded but not well enough to make yourself comfortable during longer workouts
- No YouTube videos from the company explaining how to use the rower properly
- Small amount of maintenance required to keep the arm joints tight
- Feedback for calories burned has a tendency to be inaccurate due to the inability to enter your bodyweight, which is needed for more accurate calculations
- No way to transfer workout data to your computer or measure your 500m split time
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: 1 year
- Parts: 90 days
Although the warranty may seem fairly limited in comparison with some of the high-end rowing machines, it’s actually fairly standard for most entry level fitness equipment.
This isn’t just confined to rowing machines either, with many of the bestselling spin bikes from Sunny Health and Fitness also providing a similar level of coverage.