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WaterRower M1 LoRise Rowing Machine

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WaterRower M1 LoRise
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700 lbs111 lbsWaterFrame: 5 years
Parts: 3 years

The WaterRower M1 LoRise is basically the same as the M1 HiRise model, but as its name suggests, it’s a rower that stands closer to the floor level. It doesn’t have the tall bases as the HiRise model, thus placing the seated user at only cca 11″ above the floor level.

Nonetheless, the WaterRower M1 LoRise still offers commercial quality, with an extremely sturdy frame, high user capacity, and quite an inclusive array of features. On top of that, is a water resistance rower, providing the closest feel to rowing an actual boat.

Now, since this fitness machine is quite an inclusive one, there are many aspects to put into view regarding each and every one of its features. Therefore, in this review we aim to cover all of them.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 88L x 22.25W x 20H inches (223.5L x 56.5W x 51H cm)
  • Product weight: 111 lbs (50.5 kg) w/o water; 148 lb (67.5 kg) w/ water
  • Supported weight: 700 lbs (317 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: Size-adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Performance monitor: S4
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 3 years


Just like any other WaterRower model, the M1 LoRise features an extremely solid and durable construction. Most of the frame in this particular model is made of tubular steel. In other words, the rails, the base of the seat, the footrest pad, and the tank guard are all steel-made. All steel parts are coated with anti corrosive paint, for a sleek and rust-free finish.

The steel M1 LoRise model features small feet, welded directly to the rail tubes. They are finished with plastic caps for better stability. These feet are however non-adjustable, and even though the machine is rather heavy, it may still require to be placed on a carpet or mat, in order to achieve perfect stability, in case the pavement or floor where it will be placed is not completely even.

Like most fluid resistance rowers, this particular model occupies quite a bit of space length-wise. It takes 88″L x 22.25″W (223.5 x 56.5 cm) of floor space. Also, to these dimensions you will have to add at least 2′ (61 cm) clearance at the rear, and approx. 1′ (30.5 cm) on each side, for the correct and unrestrained use of the rower. Differently put, it may not be the perfect choice for a small apartment or room. Therefore, in case space is an issue, you might want to have a look at a hydraulic resistance rower, such as the Body Trac Glider 1050 or the Kettler Favorit.

This rower can be stored vertically, though. The water tank guard actually features two small feet, while the front end cap of the rower integrates two caster wheels. In vertical position, the rower should be resting on these two feet and wheels. Evidently, the wheels facilitate the rowers handling and relocation for storage.

Since it features an 88″ (223.5 cm) length, this rower can accommodate users with an inseam up to 40″ (cca 101 cm). It’s pretty much safe to say that users up to 6’6″-6’7″ (198 – 201 cm) can comfortably use this machine, benefiting from a complete leg extension. It is after all, a professional rower. And when it comes to user weight capacity, the M1 models can support users up to 700 lbs (317 kg) with no problem.

The footrests are long enough to accommodate shoes of all sizes. They feature adjustable straps, but they do not feature angle-adjustability. The footrest pad is set at an angle of cca 45°, which should be comfortable for most users.


The WaterRower M1 LoRise rowing machine is equipped with a standard seat, with its base made of steel just as the frame. The top of the seat is covered with synthetic leather, with a contoured design to ensure a comfortable positioning. It also incorporates a thin layer of LoRise M1 seatcushioning, to help with the even dispersion of the user’s weight, and thus diminish the impact on the buttocks and lower back. However, the cushioning isn’t extreme, the seat being pretty firm.

As we’ve mentioned above, the seat of this rower will give you an elevation from the floor level of approx. 11″ (28 cm). This is actually a common standard in most rowers. But for elderly users, or users with impaired movement, the M1 HiRise model offers a much more convenient entry point, as it supplies a 20″ (51 cm) elevation.

The seat rollers use high-grade, stainless steel ball bearings, but they have PVC material on the outside. The extrusions of the rails, on which the seat glides, are also PVC made. Now, the fact that the rollers and seat glides are not metallic, offers the advantage of a much smoother and quieter drive. The gliding surface is also much tolerating with any small particles that may fall on it. As opposed to that, if the glides of a rower are metallic, even the slightest dirt particle fallen on it will result in bumps and clicks during rowing.

The sliding extrusion on the rails will wear over time. But keep in mind that this rowing machine offers commercial quality. Thus, even if you will workout for a couple of ours per day on the rower, they should still last for at least a couple of years. Plus, a new set costs cca $10.

Water tank and resistance system

The M1 LoRise rower features a highly-durable, polycarbonated tank, with a 4.5 gal (17 liter) capacity. Actually, the tank’s capacity is slightly higher than 4.5 gal (17 l), but this is its maximum allowed water capacity. In other words, it shouldn’t be filled up completely. There areLoRise M1 - water tank assembly markings on the tank indicating water level though.

The main resistance generating element is a 2-paddle water flywheel, which spins into the water tank as you begin to row. The flywheel is connected through a system of pulleys to an extremely durable strap, similar to a car’s seat belt. The pulling handle is a simple bar, covered with rubber foam material, to ensure a comfortable grip.

Since this M1 model it’s a fluid rowing machine, it offers the closest feel to the rowing of an actual boat. The resistance level is generated by the strength you put behind each stroke. In other words, the harder you pull, the more resistance you’ll get. On top of that, the resistance offered by water rowers is more consistent than in air rowers, as you will feel it from the starting point of the catch phase. In air rowers such as the Concept2 models, resistance begins a bit after the catch.

The rower’s overall resistance can also be modified by adding or removing water from the tank. This can’t, and shouldn’t be done, while the rower is in use. With the tank filled at maximum allowed capacity, you will get a lot of resistance, the amount required by a professional rower athlete.

S4 monitor

The S4 performance monitor supplied with the M1 LoRise rowing machine is a user friendly unit, but does offer quite an array of features. First of all, it can display intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, distance, time, watts and KCalories. It can indicate intensity (or speed) in meters per waterrower s4 consolesecond (m/s), or miles per hour (MPH). Distance can be tracked in meters, kilometers, miles or total strokes. For time there are 500m and 2000m functions. Its database has 9 advanced workout programs, but it can also store 9 more workout program settings.

However, the best part about the S4 unit is that it features PC interface capability. In other words, you can connect it to your PC via cable, in order to use various apps, such as WebRacing, WaterCoatch Fit which gives you the possibility to customize workouts or set up different goals, and WaterRower’s online community, where you can upload and keep a better track of your results.

The rower itself doesn’t feature any pulse sensors. Thus, in order for the console unit to track your pulse, and to use the heart rate oriented workouts, you will need to use a Polar or ANT+ heart rate chest strap. This accessory is not included with the machine, though.

The S4 unit is battery-powered, requiring four AA-type batteries.

Assembly and Maintenance

The assembly of this rowing machine should take between 45 minutes, and an hour. It’s a fairly simple process. The tank with the drive system are basically already assembled. Therefore, you only need to attach the rails together by adding the rear cap, than the tank with the front cap. Seat, foot rests, connecting the cords and wires, and finally installing the console are also required. All tools necessary are included. The assembly manual is also provided.

Maintenance requires to the cleaning of the seat gliding rails with a piece of cloth before every workout, if possible. The water in the tank doesn’t really need changing, but adding a chlorine pill into the water every six months is recommended. Chlorine pills are supplied with the rower. Also, when storing the machine vertically, make sure to check if the seal is holding and there aren’t any leaks.

Finally, in order to activate the 5-year frame, and 3-year parts warranty, you will need to register your product with WaterRower. Without registration, you benefit only from one year of overall warranty.

The Pros

  • Extreme user capacity, being able to hold up users up to 700 lbs;
  • Can accommodate tall users;
  • Superior aesthetics, solid steel frame;
  • Storable in upright position;
  • Water resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
  • Contoured, padded and ergonomically designed seat;
  • Advanced performance monitor, PC compatible and
    HR strap compatible;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Rower for users of all levels, from beginner to pro;
  • Very little maintenance required;
  • Easy to put together;
  • Easy to handle and transport;
  • Excellent warranty.

The ConsLoRise M1 water rower

  • Heart rate chest strap transmitter is not included;
  • Footpad not angle adjustable.


The WaterRower M1 LoRise is a high-capacity rowing machine, with an extremely sturdy build, offering a rowing sensation as close as it gets to the rowing of a real boat. It’s a professional rower that supplies the training setting for users of all levels. In other words, it’s a fitness machine great for low and high intensity cardio training, interval training, muscle toning and building stamina. A workout on this machine will involve over 80% of your muscles, but on the other hand, with a much lower impact on the leg joints than running on a treadmill. Even though it’s not exactly a cheap rowing machine, its quality stands up to the price. Therefore, it’s safe to say that this particular fitness machine comes with a great price / quality ratio.

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