ProForm 440R Rower Review – Pros and Cons

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Last Updated: April 9, 2020
The ProForm 440R is a simple but effective rower that is extremely well priced and has multiple functions. This rower sits low to the ground which could be an issue for some users, but it has a smooth sliding seat, comfortable handle, wide foot pedals and the option to use the rower as a cable-resistance system for strength training. This multi-functionality makes it so you get a lot of bang for your buck with the ProForm 440R.

Proform 440R Rower Review

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Who It’s For: Users who want a simple rower that is easy to use and has multiple functions

The ProForm 440R is designed for users who want a rowing machine that has:

  • A simple 3.5” LCD console that is easy to see and use
  • Comfortable seat and smooth track motion
  • Wide ergonomic pedals
  • Soft grip handle
  • 8 levels of Resistance
  • Folding Design
  • Folds up when not in use
  • Smooth drive and gentle recovery
  • Seat and pedals are comfortable
  • Pedals pivot gently as you row for comfortable ankle flexion while rowing
  • Very affordable
  • Compact with low profile
  • Console is very simple with limited display options
  • Heart rate chest straps will not sync with this console
  • There are no pre-programmed workouts

  • 3.5” Backlit Display
    • This display is simple and easy to use. It does not have extensive functionality, so it is ideal for users who just want to row and go.
  • Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
    • The flywheel on the 440R Rower is small but still creates a smooth rowing drive with a comfortable release.
  • Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
    • The flywheel is quiet and provides both magnetic resistance and air resistance.
  • Ergonomic, Molded Seat
    • The seat is slightly smaller than comparable rower seats, but it fits the rower and glides smoothly up and down the aluminum rail.
  • Pivoting Pedals with Adjustable Foot Strap
    • SPedals are upright with a gentle angle to support proper rowing form. Footholds are large, with ridges along the perimeter so your shoe doesn’t slide off.
  • Soft Handle
    • Handle is gently padded for comfort.
  • Oversized Aluminum Seat Rail
    • The 440R Rower only weighs 68 pounds and it is designed to fold up, so the rail is a bit lighter, but it supports users up to 250lbs.
  • Folding, SpaceSaver® Design
  • One of the best features of this rower is its ability to easily fold in half when you are finished.
  • Functions as Rower or Resistance Station
  • For an inexpensive rower, the ProForm 440R has great functionality! You can row or use the handle and flywheel resistance as a strength training pulley system.


  • 3.5” Backlit Display shows:
    • Strokes
    • Strokes per minute
    • Calories
    • Total Strokes
    • Time
    • Distance


  • Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
  • 8 Digital Resistance Levels
  • 250 Lb. User Capacity


  • Ergonomic, Molded Seat
  • Pivoting Pedal with Adjustable Foot Strap
  • Soft Handle
  • Oversized Aluminum Seat Rail


  • Transport Wheels
  • SpaceSaver® Design
  • Footprint 76.6″L x 20.5″W x 38.3″H
  • Functions as Rower or Resistance Station
  • Foot pedals on floor support standing resistance work


  • Frame: 5-Year Warranty
  • Parts: 90-Day Warranty
  • Labor: 90-Day Warranty

Quick Summary

The ProForm 440R is a simple, low-profile rower that only weighs 68 pounds. It will support up to 250lbs and sits low to the ground, so clearance is not an issue. It may be a bit difficult for some users since it is only 9” off the ground, but there is no risk of falling or toppling to the side due to the low center of gravity. The track angles downward gently toward the console so you have momentum in your rowing drive as you pull not only against the cord but also against gravity while moving up the track. Foot pedals are wide and contoured with pivoting action behind which allows for gentle ankle flexion for both comfort and ergonomics. This is a good little rower for a great price!

In-depth Review of ProForm 440R



  • The ProForm 440R has a sleek aluminum track with soft molded seat and ergonomic pedals with nylon straps. The track sits low to the ground — the back of the track is only 9” in height which then slopes to 6” high at the front. This gentle descent amplifies the power needed through the rowing drive so you get more of a challenge with each stroke.
  • The front end is sturdy molded plastic that houses both the console and flywheel. Foot pedals are wide and comfortable.
  • The console on the front sits at eye level and is easy to reach and navigate.
  • To fold, first remove the pin and knob on the end of the track and then lift it half.
  • We did notice just a bit of rocking when rowing the 440R — probably because it is so lightweight. While it wasn’t an issue and didn’t affect the rowing experience, larger users may notice some shifting side to side as they row.


  • Total Footprint: 76.6″ Long x 20.5″ Wide x 38.3″ High
  • Folded Footprint: 40” Long
  • Track height: Descends from 9” at rear to 6” at top of track
  • Saddle: 8” deep by 12” wide

Foot Pedals — Rowing

  • The pedals are 6” wide and 11” high with a reinforced ledge around the base and edges to support good foot position. Wide, nylon straps with velcro overlay holds the user’s shoe snugly in the pedal. These pedals will work for pretty much any size shoe. A gentle checker-pattern texture on the pedal surface provides a bit of traction so your shoe stays still and doesn’t slide along the pedal surface.
  • We love the pivoting motion in the pedal which allows just a bit of flexion through the ankle to reduce knee and ankle tension.

Foot Pedals — Standing

At the front of the rower, adjacent to the flywheel, there are two foot plates for standing. These foot plates are attached to the front stabilizer and have a padded bumper underneath to protect your floor. When using the 440R as a cable resistance machine, users should stand on these foot pedals to secure the rower to the floor. Otherwise, as you pull up on the rowing cord, the front end of the machine will lift off the floor as well. These foot pedals are a creative way to expand the use of the 440R significantly. Using the handle as resistance, users can stand on the foot pedals and do bicep curls, upright rows, single arm curls, bent over rows, etc.


  • The RW900 handle is gently cushioned for a very comfortable hold. I’ve used many rowers and this is one of the nicest handles I’ve used. It is plenty wide and just thick enough for a good hand-hold. The proper hand grip allows for longer rowing routines without hand fatigue.


  • The molded seat is slightly cushioned and has a few superficial contour lines. It isn’t very large nor is it very contoured, but it does slide smoothly up and down the track. This seat may be too small for larger users, but the 440R only supports 250 pounds, so it will probably work fine for anyone in this weight range.


  • The flywheel on the ProForm 440R is not heavily weighted and there are times when you can tell. When resistance is high the tension holds the nylon cord tight so there is less floppiness in the return. However, when resistance is low the tension is reduced and you can feel a bit of jerkiness in the flywheel and laxity in the cord.


  • 8 Digital Levels
    • Magnetic resistance is silent, so you can use the 440R rower at any time of day or night without disturbing those around you. There is a bit of air flow noise, but this is just a bit of a “whirring” sound. The digital resistance is nice because you can find the same amount of resistance at each level for consistency. The tension knob clearly displays where resistance levels fall in the Low to High range.



  • 5” Backlit Display
    • The ProForm 440R console is very simple. A small 3.5” LCD screen displays:
      • Strokes
      • Strokes per minute
      • Calories
      • Total Strokes
      • Time
      • Distance
  • Console Layout
    • A large “MODE” button toggles through display options so you can choose which metrics to show while rowing. Only two metrics are displayed at any given time. The console is powered by two AA batteries, which is nice since it eliminates the need for a power cord.
  • Console Movement
    • The console is embedded in the front flywheel/handle unit so there is no separate console movement. It is well-positioned and easy to see, but you cannot adjust the height or swivel the console.


  • Storage/Fans/Cup Holders
    There are no fans, storage or cup holders on the 440R. Since the console sits so low to the ground, it is easy to set items to the side, such as a phone or water bottle. These could be placed on the floor alongside the rower and within easy reach.
  • Tablet/Phone holder
    • There isn’t a phone or tablet holder on the RW900.

Noise Level

  • The ProForm 440R is exceptionally quiet when rowing. The seat glides silently up and down the track and the flywheel makes minimal noise. There is the typical “rowing” noise from the cord moving in and out of the console unit, but this is subtle. The only real noise on the 440R occurs when you change resistance levels. The manual dial “clicks” to indicate each resistance level and this clicking is slightly noisy.

Storage / Folding

  • The ProForm 440R is a small rower. It has a narrower and lower footprint than comparable models and doesn’t take up much room at all. Be aware that the multiple functions on the rower require additional space — such as standing in front of it to do bicep curls or standing behind it to do ab rollers. Allowing for sufficient space around the rower will enhance its functionality. However, if you only plan to use it to row, you could tuck it alongside a wall or under a window. It is quite compact.
  • The rower folds up by hinging in the middle. Remove the pins that secure the track and then lift the base of the track up to reduce floor space when not in use. This is another handy feature on the ProForm 440R.


Pre-programmed workouts

    • There are no pre-programmed workouts on the ProForm 440R rower. The LCD screen displays your rowing metrics, but it doesn’t have a database of programs to follow. This may be a limitation for some users, but the exceptional price point and easy use makes this the perfect rower for those who want something simple and functional. Users could also subscribe to ProForm’s iFit app which has an extensive database of rowing classes that can be watched on a phone or tablet.

Bottom Line:

The ProForm 440R rower is a compact, lightweight rower that works well for users who want the benefits of rowing without spending a ton. This rower has a simple LCD screen that is easy to see and adjustable metrics via the MODE button. The retractable rowing cord and flywheel design function as both a rowing machine and cable resistance trainer. You can sit on the seat or stand at the top of the machine to expand exercise options. The 440R folds in half when you are finished so you can reduce the floor space required. While the seat may be a bit small for some users and the handle is narrower than comparable models, in all you are getting a great piece of exercise equipment for a great price with the ProForm 440R. ProForm backs up the 440R with a nice 5-year frame warranty as well.