I'll be honest. There isn't really a thing as 'must have' rowing equipment. All you really need is a rowing machine, and probably some sportswear.
Saying that, if you're going to take rowing seriously there are a few purchases that will help you improve quicker while making your workouts more comfortable and enjoyable!
Here are my top 4 recommendations to enhance your rowing workouts:
If you want to track your workout data and improve over time, a heart rate monitor is pretty much essential. Knowing your heart rate and what HR zone you're in will inform you when to push harder or let off a bit.
With rowing, I always recommend using a chest strap. Watches struggle with accuracy due to the movement from each stroke.
If you want top accuracy, the Polar H9 is a great option. It can connect to most rowing machines (including the Concept2) and is one of the most comfortable chest straps. It's normally available for around $60.
No one likes a sore backside. Sooner or later, rowing long distances will give you one. I'm sure you've noticed that the rowing machine seat is pretty hard. Great for durability but not so much for comfort.
Luckily, there is a simple solution. Padding.
I can't recommend this seat cushion enough. It's soft, fits on the Concept2 perfectly, and doesn't slip at all during workouts. It's cheap as well. You can normally get one for around $20.
(Before you buy, make sure it's suitable for your rowing machine. If not, you'll find plenty of other options online.)
If you're following a rowing workout from your phone there is nothing more frustrating than having nowhere to put your phone. Luckily, this problem has been solved.
There are plenty of phone holders that'll clip directly onto your rowing machine display. I recommend this one purely thanks to how easy it is to use. And you can usually grab one for under $20!
Making sure you look after your body after an intense workout is so important. If you don't recover you'll finding yourself losing flexibility, feeling overly sore and risking injury.
That's where a foam roller comes in.
Foam rolling helps to break down tension and increase blood flow. Alongside stretching, it can help to reduce your muscle tightness, and increase your flexibility resulting in you being fully prepared for your next workout.
There are tons of great foam rollers out there, but also plenty of bad ones which will break after a few uses. You can't go wrong with the TriggerPoint Grid Roller (they also provide free videos on foam rolling best practices).