As more and more of us decide to work out at home, the need for a decent cardio machine has never been greater, exercise bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, steppers, and rowers! There’s a huge choice out there and finding the right cardio machine for your workout needs has never been easier.

Pro-level Cardio + Strengthen Muscles

So why a rower? Rowers can give you a pro-level cardio workout while also strengthening the muscles of your arms, back shoulders and quads, it’s far more beneficial to have a cardio machine that not only increases lung and heart health, but also works the muscles of the upper and lower body.

Stamina 1130 magnetic rowing machine

It’s not all about calorie loss when it comes to buying a rower, many people buy a rower simply because it is an excellent machine to warm the whole body up before the main workout.

And that’s not all, when we look at rowers such as the Stamina 1130 Magnetic Rowing Machine, they have another appealing feature for home use, and that is, they are whisper quiet in operation.

The magnetic resistance used is smooth and far less noisy than their air counterparts.

If you want to know more about Stamina’s versatile 1130 magnetic rower then please check out the rest of the review, at the end of the review we’ll also compare this excellent rower with two of the other top rowers in this price bracket.

Why Choose The Stamina 1130?

We shouldn’t forget this is still an entry-level rowing machine, and although it does have some fantastic features for the price, seasoned rowers and gym rats may still have issues with the strength of the resistance, remember this is a $300 rower not a $1000.

But just because this is an entry level rower doesn’t mean resistance is poor, the Stamina 1130 rowing machine has been reported to have some of the strongest resistance of any entry level rowers, owners of the machine have praised how they can feel a massive difference in resistance when going from an easy level to a higher setting.

Not only does this thing have a nice strong resistance it also has the most resistance settings we’ve seen from any entry level rower, 16 in total and 9 preset levels, which is fantastic for beginners who need a few easy levels to get started and great for people who want to set goals as they progress.

Constant Resistance

Constant resistance can be good for some whilst off-putting for others, the Stamina 1130 uses magnetic resistance levels to set the difficulty for the rower, it doesn’t matter how fast you try to row, resistance will not increase unless you change it manually via the LCD monitor (constant resistance)

The reason people like constant resistance is it allows you to row at a slow pace with high resistance.

Air rowers differ in that the resistance increases as you row faster (dynamic) The main reason people like dynamic resistance is because it gives a more natural feel.

Stamina 1110/1130 Video

LCD Monitor

So many of the entry level magnetic rowers do not offer a setting on the LCD to measure distance, crazy but true! It was a nice surprise to see Stamina have included this in their built-in monitor, albeit it’s measured in miles instead of meters, at least we get a distance setting.

The 1330 LCD monitor will also tell us a few other handy workout stats such as, heart rate, total strides and strides per minute, also included is a heart rate chest strap, which syncs wirelessly with the monitor for pulse tracking.


It seems like Stamina put quite a bit of effort into their design when they thought about the comfort of the user, firstly the rower has a nice molded, durable padded seat, which rolls effortlessly on the rail with ball bearing rollers.

Secondly, it’s nice to see foam covered handles giving you that extra comfort you need for those long rowing sessions, also helps increase grip when hands are sweaty.

And lastly, the length of the rail (beam), a good length for a compact rower and should accommodate people up to 6’2″. One owner quoted, he can achieve full leg extension and the guy is 6’1″.


This is the one area where the Stamina 1130 has a few issues and it’s mainly due to the weight of the machine, it’s light at around 50lb, and with lightness comes stability issues, especially when at higher stroke rates.

A light machine shouldn’t be a deal killer, and Stamina has gone some way to combat the stability issues, what you have are wide stabilizing feet at the front of the machines which are also capped in rubber, great for keeping the rower from sliding on hard surfaces.

The Stamina 1130 is also low profile in design, having a low center of gravity always helps with stability. So yeah you may find a slight wobble at higher stroke rates but on the whole, they have done as much as they can to counteract the lightness of the machine.


An easy to assemble magnetic rower, most people will get this rower up in under 45 mins, nothing too tricky, supplied with all the tools and parts you need.

The Good

Versatile 16 resistance levels, 9 pre set programmes

Built-in transport wheels for easy storage

Useful LCD Monitor, includes heart rate chest strap

Affordably priced for a well built machine

Very quiet

Quick to assemble

The Bad

Short warranty on parts (3months)

Rail is too short for taller users


Alternatives & Comparison Table

Marcy Turbine Magnetic Rower

There’s a much more heavy duty feel about the Marcy Turbine rower, it weighs over 30lb more than the Stamina and Efit rowers.

Yes, it costs a little more but with weight comes stability and the comforting feel of quality.

But the heavier rowers are also that much larger, so the footprint of this rower may put off some buyers, although this rower is foldable which will really help when it comes to storage.

marcy magnetic rowing machine

Not so many resistance levels to choose from with the Marcy, 8 in total, with no preset programmes, and unlike the Stamina 1130 you cannot change the resistance setting from the monitor, all have to be adjusted from the resistance knob situated between the foot pedals.

One of the best entry-level rowers, what it lacks in features it makes up with stability and build quality.

Read Our Full Review Here: Marcy Turbine Rower


EFIT Magnetic Rower

A well priced magnetic rower, just like the Marcy the Efit is a no frill magnetic rower, it comes with the standard 8 magnetic resistance levels which too can be changed via the settings knob.

A very quiet machine, you’ll be able to exercise without disturbing anyone around you. Easy to store thanks to the built in wheels and foldable design. This is an excellent machine for beginners or anyone who’s looking for a lightweight rower just for warm ups.

woman rowing on efit rowing machine

The one feature that does stand out about the Efit has to be the seat, whereas most of the Efit’s competitors go for a molded solid plastic seat, Efit has opted for a wider padded seat, great for beginners or anyone looking for that extra bit of comfort when exercising.

A nice looking, entry-level rower, the Efit has all the basic features needed for a decent cardio workout, a light machine that will be easy to store, at a price most can afford.


To Sum Up

 A very capable entry-level rowing machine, the Stamina 1130 Rower offers you a little more than most at this price, with 16 resistance levels and the heart rate chest strap. you get a lot for your money.

The only downside I can really see with this machine is the height restriction that comes with having a short rail, but if you are 6’1″ or under, the Stamina is certainly worth some serious consideration.