Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5624 Magnetic Rowing Machine

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Sunny SF-RW5624

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300 lbs91 lbsMagneticFrame: 3 year
Parts: 90 days

The Sunny SF-RW5624 rowing machine features quite a different construction than the average magnetic rower. That’s because it is equipped with a set of oars (or arms), similar to the Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1060. Its resistance mechanism is full-magnetic, though; this is not a hydraulic rower as the Stamina model.

Due to its dual-oar construction, this Sunny Health & fitness rower delivers a motion very close to the rowing of a real boat. Also, the oars move independently so you can use only one at the time to diversify your workout.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 75.6L x 29.1W x 25.3H inches (195L x 74W x 64H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 91 lbs (41.2 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with straps
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Fitness meter: Time, count, total count, calories, SCAN
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 90 days

Frame construction and parts

The Sunny SF-RW5624 rowing machine features an all-steel frame. As opposed to the ASUNA 4500 that we’ve previously covered here, its sliding rail is also steel-made and not aluminum. In fact, most of this fitness machine is made of steel, with the exception of the flywheel and resistance elements covers, several other covers and the footrests. All the steel parts feature a corrosion-resistance coating, silver in color, this being the only color available for this machine.

This rowing machine is quite robust. Although it’s not advertised as a commercial rowing machine, its sturdiness is pretty close to one. It can support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg). The distance between the footrests and the rear stopper of the seat is approx. 44″ (111 cm), which means the machine can accommodate users up to 6’5″ (195 cm) with no problem. It can also accommodate 5’0″ (153 cm) users, but if you’re this short, you may need to adopt a lower grip on the oars.

The frame features a folding design. The rail with the seat can fold vertically, reducing its overall length to less than half. On the other hand, with the rail fully extended, the machine is rather long, featuring a footprint of 75.6″L x 29.1″W (195 x 74 cm). Evidently, it also requires at least 2-3 feet of clearance all around for safe and unhindered operation.

This Sunny Health & Fitness rowing machine is equipped with a padded and contoured seat, which provides optimal comfort and excellent adherence. Its base features a set of six wheels, which integrate sealed ball bearings for a smooth motion. All the wheels are concealed resulting in a safer operation.

The main rail of the rower is slightly inclined. This means that you will get a better workout for the legs, while the recovery part of the rowing motion is a bit faster. Also, at its highest position, the seat stands approx. 21″ (54 cm) above floor level. Due to this fact, it’s quite easy to stand up or take position on the seat, which can be quite a plus for users with disabilities.

When it comes to the oars (or arms), they feature a curved design. They’re equipped with rubberized grips, also having ball-grips at their ends. This particular feature adds a few types of workouts the overall exercise spectrum that this machine can provide. As we’ve mentioned above, the arms move independently from each other, giving you the possibility to exercise using only one arm, in order to put more focus on your side abs, for example.

The footrests are made of heavy-duty nylon material. They feature a pivoting design, allowing you to position your feet at the angle that feels most comfortable to you. Each footrest has a heel guard, which prevents your foot from slipping, also integrating adjustable straps, to secure your feet in place. The footrests are long and wide enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes.

Last but not least, the base stabilizers of the machine are equipped with adjustable levelers. Each leveler rests on a rubberized pad, which leads to an excellent adherence of the machine to the floor. Also, the front base has two transport wheels in order to facilitate the relocation of the machine once you’re done with your workout.

Resistance and drive

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5624 rowing machine features a manual magnetic resistance system. This means you don’t have to connect it to a power source in order to benefit from resistance. Its resistance system consists of a magnetic brake connected to the tension knob on top of the rower through a steel wire. As you turn the knob clockwise, the brake pad will move closer to the metallic flywheel generating more resistance.

The machine provides 8 distinctive levels of resistance. The 1-4 levels are very light, great for users who require rehab training, or for users with disabilities. The 5-6 resistance levels offer medium-intensity workouts, while the 7-8 settings will definitely help you break a sweat. As several users described, the resistance generated by the 8th resistance setting feels like a continual 90-100 lbs of total weight resistance.

The rower’s drive system includes both a belt and a chain. But nonetheless, since the machine doesn’t include air resistance or water resistance elements, it generates a very little noise when in use. The main flywheel is balanced and perimeter-weighted, delivering a steady, consistent motion.

The machine’s arms can move independently from one another, and each arm can extend outward, simulating the real rowing motion. However, since the rower is full-magnetic and doesn’t have a fan or a water tank, the resistance remains constant, given by the selected resistance level. An air resistance rower or water resistance rower offers a variance of resistance depending on how hard you pull, which results in a more natural resistance. This is hardly an inconvenience, as the machine does provide quite an excellent workout, but a professional rower athlete may need the dynamic response for their training. So, this had to be mentioned here.


The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5624 magnetic rowing machine is equipped with a basic fitness meter. The meter is integrated directly into the drive and resistance case. It features an LCD display which can track time, count (strokes performed during the current workout), total count (total number of strokes), and calories burned. Evidently, since it’s not an advanced unit and does not have options for inserting personal data such as weight, height or age, the calories reading may not be too accurate.

The unit has a SCAN function which enables the rotation of the aforementioned values, showing each one for 4 seconds. However, you can select any of the values to be shown on the display at all time if you want.

The meter unit is battery-powered. It requires two AA batteries which are included. It features three buttons: SET, RESET, and MODE. SET gives you the possibility to select a target value for Time, Count and Calories. MODE toggles the SCAN mode on and off. RESET, as the term suggests, clears all the values to zero. The unit will turn off automatically after 4 minutes of inactivity on the machine, and start automatically when it detects oar movement or when you press any of the buttons.

Assembly and Maintenance

The drive and resistance parts of the machine come already assembled. So, for the assembly part, you will only need to add the footrests, the oars, slide the seat onto the rail, add the rear and front stabilizers, the stoppers of the oars, and connect the rail to the main part of the frame. This shouldn’t take more than an hour. All the tools required for the assembly are included, while the manual provides pretty clear instructions.

For maintenance, it is recommended to keep the sliding rail free of any objects that may cause damage to it and to the wheels of the seat. The internal parts come pre-lubricated, but since the machine integrates a transmission chain, it may require lubrication after several years of use.

The Pros

  • Sturdy construction with a user capacity up to 300 lbs;
  • Natural rowing action, simulating the use of oars;
  • Independent oar action and ball grips for extra workout possibilities;
  • Space-saving, folding design;
  • Adjustable foot stabilizers;
  • Transport wheels included;
  • Long sliding rail able to accommodate tall users;
  • 8 resistance settings available;
  • Pivoting footrests for a custom foot positioning with every stroke;
  • Fitness meter included;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • Fitness meter doesn’t have backlight;
  • The calories reading may not be too accurate.


The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5624 is a manual magnetic rowing machine that offers a natural rowing motion simulating the use of oars. The oars can be operated independently which expands the workout possibilities. The machine offers 8 distinctive resistance levels, from light to intense, and also includes a basic console. It’s a perfect fitness machine for a full-body cardio training, interval training, gaining stamina, toning muscles and losing weight. And finally, it offers excellent value for the price.

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