Home Ideas The Q1SQ Merach Rowing Machine Offers a Great Workout, but It’s Not...

The Q1SQ Merach Rowing Machine Offers a Great Workout, but It’s Not for Rowing Enthusiasts

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Most people shopping for a rowing machine will fit into one of two categories: those who are already committed to the rowing lifestyle, and those who just want a good workout. I fall into the latter. I was recently provided with one of Merach’s magnetic rowing machines to test out, and I found that it’s been a great home workout option that’s quiet, portable, and affordable while I work to rehab my ACL—but it may not be for everyone.

Easy to set up, quiet, and easy to move

This rowing machine comes in three variations: the QS1 Magnetic, the Q1SW Magnetic Silent, and the Q1S Pro Electromagnetic. I tested the middle-of-the-pack Q1SW Magnetic silent. It’s advertised to make less than 20 decibels of noise, but judging from a decibel sound scale, it’s closer to 40 decibels. That said, I can work out in full swing while still being able to hear the TV and without bothering my fiancée as she works from home. It was also very easy to install, taking me about 30 minutes.

Q1SW row machine against wall.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

As I mentioned earlier, one of the main things I was looking for in a home rowing machine was portability. I wanted something that was practical to use, move around, and stow. The Q1SW does that well. It has wheels at the front that makes moving it around very easy, it is light enough to maneuver with one arm, and it fits neatly against a wall with minimum effort (you just need to tuck the screen down).

Rubber stomp to sit on floor when propping up.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

Solid build quality, except for the screen

The Q1SW rowing machine feels very stable, and I never worried about tipping to the sides, even when going all out. That said, it may not be a comfortable experience for tall rowers.

Handle bars sit too low and not back enough to get a good starting position.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

Merach advertises this machine as suitable for users up to 6 feet 5 inches tall, but I can’t imagine it being a comfortable experience. I’m 5 feet 7 inches tall, and I found that the handlebars sit very low to the ground and don’t come out far enough at the start of the drive. This made it feel like I was cramped up in a small row boat. It also made it harder to get any tension in my arms at the beginning of my stroke unless I leaned back far enough—which, as any rower will tell you, is not good form. This is a relatively minor issue that likely won’t bother anyone like me who is just trying to get a workout in, but it might drive a rower mad.

The Q1SW has 16 levels of resistance that you manually adjust with a rotating lever, but for me, even the highest resistance still feels pretty weak. However, as senior health editor Beth Skwarecki noted in her post about common rowing mistakes, you don’t want a lot of resistance when you row since the point is to mimic the resistance of water. If you’re a rower, that’s probably important to you. If you’re someone trying to just get your heart pumping and get a leg workout and back workout, don’t expect to get the same resistance you would find in a rowing machine at your local gym.

Display screen.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

The display screen really shows where Merach was making cuts. It’s underwhelming and feels cheap. There is also no backlight, so I couldn’t see it when the room lights were dimmed. However, Merach does make up for this somewhat with its Bluetooth compatibility and free companion app. I could very easily connect the rower with my phone and get a lot more information on my workouts with the app. I typically propped my phone up in front of the machine’s screen and got a much better idea of what I was doing.

Your workout's real time data on the app.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

The app also logs data and shows a lot more information once the workout is complete, like calories burned, average frequency, average resistance, max power, etc. The app also has “ultra burning,” “target practice,” “timed practice,” and “free training” preloaded workouts.

Some of the data after the workout.

Credit: Daniel Oropeza

Finishing thoughts

Merach’s Q1SW row machine is a good choice among a sea of budget rowing machines on Amazon, especially with its surprisingly solid companion app experience. The machine feels durable, and it is very practical for those looking for a quiet and practical workout at home. If you’re a rower, though, you might not be content with the design that almost encourages poor form. And if you’re taller than 6 feet, the rowing machine might feel too cramped for you.

While the listing price is $329.99, you can easily find this rowing machine well below $300, which is a pretty solid price for something like this. At the time of this writing, there’s a $90 on-page coupon on Amazon, bringing the price down to $239.99.

Source: LifeHacker.com