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Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms
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- Compact rowing machine with full range-of-motion rowing that mimics rowing on the water
- Smooth hydraulic cylinder resistance; adjustable tension controls
- Single button monitor shows speed, distance, time, row count, calories burned, and miles rowed
- Thick, padded seat; pivoting foot plates
- Some assembly required; 5-year warranty on frame, 90 days on parts
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From the Manufacturer
There’s a Rower for You
If you’re looking for a low-impact, total-body workout, look no further. Rowing does not only build your cardiovascular endurance; it sculpts and strengthens your quads, hamstrings, glutes, back, shoulders and arms. Because rowing can benefit everyone, Stamina produces an extensive line of rowing machines. From affordable, spacing-saving rowers to commercial-quality machines, you’ll be able to find the rower that matches your needs and budget.
|Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050||Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower w/ Free Motion Arms||Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399||Stamina ATS Air Rower 1405||Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Bike/Rower||AVARI Programmable Magnetic Rower (includes chest strap)|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||58.25 x 42.5 x 18.125||50 x 32.5 x 31||77 x 18.75 x 22||78.5 x 19.75 x 31.5||75.5 x 20 x 27||81 x 20 x 24.5|
|Resistance Type||Adjustable Hydraulic Resistance||Dual Piston Hydraulic Resistance||Dynamic Air Resistance||Dynamic Air Resistance||Quiet Magnetic Resistance||Quiet Magnetic Resistance|
|Heart Rate Chest Strap Included||✓|
|Rowing Beam||Aluminum||Aluminum||Steel||Chromed Steel||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Pivoting Foot Plates||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Weight Limit||250 lbs.||250 lbs.||250 lbs.||250 lbs.||250 lbs.||275 lbs.|
Designed for convenience, the space-saving, hydraulic resistance BodyTrac Glider will fit into any living space, schedule and budget.
1215 Orbital Rower
This unique, space-saving rower provides a smooth rowing experience in your home or office with its deluxe ball-bearing roller system and hydraulic resistance.
ATS Air Rower 1399
Feel the breeze with this traditional, wind-resistance rower that adjusts based on your stroke speed and intensity.
ATS Air Rower 1405
Take it to the next level by investing in a wind-resistance rower that lasts as long as you do – no matter how tough your workouts are.
Conversion II Recumbent Bike/Rower
Maximize your endurance and strength by investing in a machine that provides two of the best low-impact workouts available.
Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower
Designed with the details in mind, this rower comes with upgraded tech to ensure you’re pushing yourself to your limits.
Rowing is widely acknowledged to be one of the best all around fitness activities. All major muscle groups including legs, arms, back, abdominal and buttocks are used extensively while rowing.
Enjoy one of the best all-around activities for cardiovascular fitness and strength with the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine. The 1215 Rower has full range-of-motion rowing for a truer rowing motion that mimics rowing on the water with a padded seat that glides on a ball bearing roller system, rowing arms with adjustable resistance, and foam grips that keep hands stable and comfortable.
The Stamina 1215 exercise monitor. See larger image for more features.
Rowing is widely known to be one of the best all-around activities for cardiovascular fitness and strength. Rowing is a total body workout that is efficient, effective, low-impact and utilizes all major muscle groups including the back, legs, arms, abdominals and buttocks. It is one of the best exercises for building a strong back, as well as one of the most effective low-impact aerobic exercises for increasing your metabolism for more efficient calorie and fat burning without the impact on your joints.
Features and Specifications
- Resistance: Smooth hydraulic cylinder resistance
- Precision extruded aluminum beam, deluxe ball bearing roller system
- Single button multi-function monitor shows speed, distance, time, row count, calories burned, and miles rowed
- Adjustable tension controls
- Increase the beam incline for a more intense workout
- Comfortable, thick padded seat
- Pivoting foot plates for added comfort
- Rowing arms fold for storage
- Warranty: 5 years on frame, 90 days on parts
- Dimensions: 48 x 32.5 x 27.75 inches (LxWxH)
Rowing provides an efficient, effective, low-impact workout that utilizes all the major muscle groups, including the back, legs, arms, abdominals and buttocks. It is also one of the best exercises for building a strong back, as well as one of the most effective low-impact aerobic exercises for increasing your metabolism. As a result, you can efficiently burn calories and fat without impacting your joints.
The continuous, non-impact movement of rowing can be broken down into three phases: the starting point is called the catch phase, followed by the drive phase, the finish, and the recovery. In the catch phase, knees are bent with shins vertical and shoulders and arms reaching forward. This phase mimics the point where the oars are being placed in the water. The drive phase is initiated by the legs. As the legs extend, your arms remain straight until the knees are mostly extended. Then the elbows flex bringing the oar handles into the upper stomach. In the finish, the legs are fully extended, your shoulders are back, your elbows are flexed, and the oar handle is against the upper stomach. For the recovery, your knees don't flex until after your hands pass over your knees and your arms and shoulders reach forward to begin the catch phase again.
Because rowing is an impact-free activity, it can be a lifelong form of exercise. It is always best to exercise in your target heart rate zone (70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate).
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Top Customer Reviews
A NOTE ABOUT PROPER FORM: I noticed that some people were complaining that this machine doesn’t give you a good workout or that it only works your arms. With the proper form, you will get an amazing workout on a rower. If you don’t get the form right, you will not get a good workout and you may even hurt yourself. If you don’t know what you’re doing, I recommend you look at some videos online or, better yet, get yourself a copy of the following book which will explain everything about rowing to you with plenty of pictures. Once you get the proper form down, you will have an amazing experience because your whole body will be moving like a machine and you will enter a zen state.
ASSEMBLY: The packaging is what you would expect: brown throw-away cardboard with lots of nylon straps. It took me an hour to unbox the parts, spread them out, and assemble the machine. I have plenty of tools, a workbench, and good mechanical skills. I took my time and snapped a few photos in the process. The instructions tell you to put the footpads on very early in the assembly but you could actually put them on last as they only get in the way. I did not assemble the little electronic meter because I don’t think it’s very useful. A good quality heart-rate monitor with a timer is much more useful.
DESIGN: There are a few issues with this product’s design.
1) Too heavy. It’s made up of 2” tubular steel which makes it pretty heavy for some folks to haul around. The manufacturer’s specs say it weighs 52 lbs. I think the 2” steel is overkill. My Tunturi has 1.5” tubular steel, weighs in at 34 lbs., and has held up w/o any problems for many years. Stamina could have used 1.5” steel.
2) Does not stand properly. Some people will store this machine flat and others will stand it up. Since the frame is oval-shaped and not square, the rubber feet on the front end do not make good contact with the ground when you try to stand it up. You can stand it up if you use the footpads like a kickstand on a bike but the machine will lean slightly to one side. This should have been obvious in the design phase.
3) No locking mechanism for the seat. This makes it impossible to use this machine for other exercises besides rowing.
4) The roller wheels under the seat are made of plastic. I can tell you from experience that they will wear down and will need to be replaced. You may want to buy a replacement set early on if you decide to keep your machine.
5) The seat is minimally padded. While this is not unusual, you will feel the pain if you do long workouts or have a skinny butt. You may be able to swap the stock seat for a different model (see my note below re customer service) or just add some additional padding during your workout.
6) Tension setting #1 is actually the HIGHEST setting. I noticed that some people complained that it was too hard to pull the handlebars back with the tension adjuster set at the lowest setting. When the instruction manual tells you “The lowest position will provide the lowest resistance…” it refers to the lowest physical position of the tension bar NOT the lowest number. This is counter-intuitive as we are all likely to interpret 5 as higher than 1. They just need to reverse the order of the numbers on the handlebars. My old Tunturi had it the right way.
BUILD: Some of the welds on this machine were pretty sloppy and the paint job made it necessary to run a reamer thru some of the bolt holes so I could push the bolts thru (see pix). Otherwise, it is solidly built and all the parts fit together properly.
FUNCTION: This product performs as advertised. The movement is very smooth and quiet. The free motion arms are a great feature as they allow you to vary your arm position during the stroke. Here again, you must be careful about your form as you could hurt yourself. If you have a belly, you will really appreciate the free motion arms. When you pull yourself forward, your belly will want to push your legs apart. Fixed arms would impede this action and prevent you from getting a full stroke. The free motion arms solve that problem. Also, I read where some people complained that this machine is too low to the ground and they had a hard time getting up. Almost all these machines are designed this way and so you may have a problem getting off the machine if you’re really heavy; however, you can raise the back end of the Stamina 1215 rower by utilizing the support bar. This might make it easier to get off the machine but it will also make it harder for you to row because you will be pushing your weight up an incline.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: I called to find out whether I could swap out the stock seat with the seat from the model 1333. A very nice lady told me that the seat would cost $28 plus shipping. That seems very reasonable; however, the carriage for the 1333 is different than the one on the 1215 so I asked her whether I could get a confirmation that the 1333 carriage would fit the 1215 rail. She said she would pass along my contact info to someone in the service department and I would get a call or an email. That was over a month ago and I’m still waiting.
PRICE: I think this product is overpriced for an item made in China. I paid $250 on Amazon. The list price is $400 so it probably costs around $100 to manufacture. I think the cost in a store should be ~$200. Cost online: ~$170-180.
******Update after 2 weeks of use ****
This is the update I promised after using the rower for a couple of weeks. In my first review I asked myself the question, is the rower worth the money. I answered that by saying it depended how it held up over time. Well. The answer to that question is a resounding NO !!! If I could, I'd rate the unit one star for poor quality control, but Amazon's rating system won't let me go back and change it from the original 5 stars. I read the couple of reviews saying the shocks had broken down after a couple of weeks, and the one that slammed the unit for using plastic parts instead of metal, especially at this price. I chose to ignore those concerns in the face of the other positive reviews. It turns out that was a big mistake. After 2 weeks of use, the plastic rod that's used to attach the circular connecting loop on the end of the shock to the frame, snapped off. This piece is extremely important because it has to take the force of pulling back on the shock every time you row. And Stamina chose to make this piece out of cheap plastic instead of metal and it broke after using the rower a total of seven 30 minute sessions. This is totally unacceptable, not just for the inconvenience of having the rower disabled, but also the injuries it could cause if it breaks while you're intensely rowing. Since other people have shocks that broke after only 2 weeks, it's an obvious design flaw based on trying to save a few pennies using plastic instead of metal in a critical area. I also blame myself for not checking on the warranty. It's only 90 days for parts and labor. As you can imagine, because of this design flaw, I fully expect the other shock, or even the new one, to break after enough stress, and if I'm beyond the 90 days, I will have to pay for shocks for this unit. The shock broke on Thursday the 24th. I called Customer Service at 3:30 Central Time (they're supposed to be open until 5 CST). Nobody answered and nobody returned the call that day. The next day they called and took the info and said I would get a replacement shock in 5 to 7 days. So I'll lose a minimum of a week on my exercise program. Today is Sept. 30th, and I don't have the shock yet, so we'll see how long it takes. It's not very comforting to feel these shocks could let go any time during the heat of an intense rowing session causing injury or damage. I've had two other rowing machines over the years, both of which were used for extended periods of time, and the shocks were never an issue. Stamina has to be aware of the problems with these shocks because of the increasing complaints, and should issue a recall on them, and supply all users with new ones that support the connector with metal and not plastic. Until then I would recommend you avoid this rower completely.
I've just become aware from the Epinions site that another person has had problems with the shocks on the Stamina stepper also, and is frustrated in having to buy replacement shocks after the warranty runs out. In my opinion, this means there is absolutely no question Stamina is aware their shocks don't last. And of course, it's the customer that has to pay additional money, above the purchase price, to keep the unit going. I can honestly say I will never consider buying a Stamina Products piece of equipment again.
****One Last Update****
I got the replacement shock and have had a few rowing sessions since then. But I began noticing the same problem another reviewer had with the rollers. The seat actually started to rumble, and it was because the plastic rollers were breaking down and getting grooved unevenly. The last two sessions were really annoying to say the least. Today the seat jammed up in mid-row and I couldn't continue. One of the back rollers has a deep, uneven groove in it, and won't stay in place. The other back roller is also getting grooved. I called to get replacement rollers, but now I'll lose another week of rowing while I wait. By the time I get the rollers, I will have had the rower 6 weeks, and will have lost two weeks to breakdowns. So if you're thinking of getting this rower (I hope not), you may have to plan on only using it 2/3 of the time, unless you build an inventory of spare parts. This has not proven to be a well made machine, as this is the second plastic part to break down in just a few weeks. I won't update my review any more. I think you can tell how I feel about this machine.
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