As always, I want to start off the Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine review by talking about resistance. After all, the type of resistance plays a huge role in the quality of your workout and the performance of the machine as you row.
The Lanos Hydraulic Rower’s name makes it clear what type of resistance it uses: hydraulic pistons.
The single hydraulic piston mounted beneath the rowing machine’s seat provides the resistance.
To explain it simply: the fluid within the hydraulic piston determines the level of resistance. The dial or knob adjusts how much hydraulic fluid moves in and out of the piston, which in turn raises or increases the level of resistance.
I’ve got an in-depth explanation of how hydraulic piston resistance works in this article. I highly recommend checking it out to learn more!
Hydraulic pistons are typically cheaper to manufacture than magnetic flywheels, air wheels, or water tanks. This means hydraulic piston rowers cost significantly less than other types of rowers—as you’ll see reflected in the rock-bottom price tag on the Lanos Hydraulic Rower.
Because the only mechanism required to generate resistance is the single-piston mounted beneath the seat, hydraulic rowing machines are also usually more compact and occupy less space than other types of rowers. (You can find out more in our “Storage” section below.)
Hydraulic piston rowing machines offer adjustable resistance, which you can increase or decrease using the provided knob or dial.
Best of all, they’re typically very quiet, generating far less noise than water, air, or even magnetic rowers. This makes them ideal for using next door to a sleeping child. The low noise level also allows you to watch TV or listen to music while you work out.
One of the biggest drawbacks of hydraulic piston resistance is that you can only adjust it before you start rowing. Or, if you want to adjust it mid-workout, you’ll have to stop rowing completely and give the hydraulic fluid some time to settle before you can increase or decrease the difficulty.
What single-piston machines like the Lanos Hydraulic Rower gain in size efficiency, they lose in intensity. They’re small and provide only very low difficulty levels, so you won’t get a high-intensity, elite-level workout. Essentially, this makes them great for beginners, but less so for professional athletes or competitive rowers.
Also, the rowing stroke isn’t as natural as with other rowing machines. The arms move independently of each other, similar to the movement of oars, but your upper body ends up doing most of the work, with very little effort required of your lower body. It’s a smooth rowing stroke, but much more focused on your arms and shoulders with minimal leg muscle engagement.
The pistons themselves can also overheat. Really, any workout longer than 20 or 25 minutes is likely too long for a hydraulic piston machine. And if you’re not careful, you can accidentally burn yourself if you touch the piston before it cools down.
One final drawback that’s often experienced with hydraulic piston rowers: the fluid within the piston can get very hot after a long period of working out, and it may actually leak out.
It is rare, but it is known to happen. For this reason, I recommend keeping the Fold-to-Fit Folding Exercise Equipment Mat underneath the rower, just in case.
Hydraulic pistons offer adjustable, light-intensity resistance in a machine far more compact than other resistance types.
They’re great for beginners, but more advanced rowers may want to consider an air or water rowing machine.
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