Lifecore R88 Rowing
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Compact, dual-resistance rowing machine with an advanced monitor

The Lifecore R88 rowing machine combines the challenge of an air-resistance rower with the silent smoothness of a magnetic-resistance mower to create an extremely effective workout machine. With features like a cooling air vent, padded seat, and heart rate monitor, you can comfortably row for extended periods of time without feeling overly strained. To learn more about what makes this rowing machine unusual, continue reading below.

Uses air and magnetic resistance

The Lifecore R88 combines a solid steel fan, flywheel, and magnetic force to create tension. Air resistance is known for its challenge while magnets are generally thought to be smoother and quieter. You get both benefits in this machine. It also includes an adjustable air vent that shoots out refreshing, cool air during your exercise sessions.

LCD computer monitor

Tracking your workouts is very convenient with the R88. You get eight levels of resistance that you increase or decrease by pushing buttons, as well as races and a recovery program that works with the included strap-on heart rate monitor. A lot of rowers don’t include a heart rate monitor, so you save money on that.

Silent drive system

For a quiet rowing experience, the R88 is equipped with a silent drive system. You can workout early in the morning or while you watch TV without any equipment sounds bothering you.


Combines two resistances

This rower has a very unique strength: it uses two forms of resistances. The air-operated flywheel creates both air and magnetic resistance so anyone regardless of their fitness level can benefit from the rower. Air in general is often the more challenging resistance while magnetic resistance is better for beginners, so with both, you can really grow.


Because rowing is such a repetitive exercise, it’s important to be comfortable or you won’t be able to keep it up for very long. The R88 is designed with a large, padded seat and a low center of gravity so you always feel stable and secure. The handle is also designed for comfort so rowing over and over again feels natural.


The Lifecore R88 rowing machine is compact, so it works in most spaces, even small living areas like apartments. It gets even smaller when it’s time to store it and folds up to about 16 by 24 inches. Use it in the main area of your apartment and then hide it away in a closet once you’re done.



Assembling this machine can be tricky. There are a lot of weird parts and while there is a manual, it isn’t written especially well. To avoid frustration, look over the manual beforehand to make sure you understand what you’re doing, and/or have someone come over who is good at putting things together.

Fan can get loud

Another downside to the Lifecore is that because of the steel fan, the machine can get a little loud when you’re rowing fast. If you want it to be completely silent all the time, you might want to go with just a magnetic-resistance rower. However, the sound isn’t really that noisy, and the silent drive system works to dampen high levels of noise.

Overall Review

If you want a unique rowing machine that provides a great workout for both exercise newbies and experts, the Lifecore R88 rower offers two forms of resistance that suit everyone’s needs. Keep tabs on your progress and heart rate using the advanced monitor, and even if you don’t have a lot of space, the Lifecore will fit right in thanks to its compact design.