With ergometers being frequently used in training programmes of rowers, consensus is needed to identify which design most closely reproduces the biomechanics of on-water rowing. Discussion exists about the movement allowed to the stretcher, with static designs fixating it, while dynamic models allowing displacement. To investigate how this affects muscular and kinematic coordination patterns, a group of nine male rowers were analysed whilst exercising on three ergometer designs, a static ergometer and two dynamic versions. 3D motion analysis was applied to measure displacement of body segments, joint angles and angular velocities. Electromyography was used to record activation patterns of major muscles. All participants were measured on all three ergometer designs; data were analysed using repeated measures ANOVA. Duration of the stroke phase turned out to be longer on the static ergometer and tibialis anterior and biceps femoris coordination patterns differed between static and dynamic ergometers. Kinematic data showed a more squatted posture at the end of recovery on the static ergometer. These differences were interpreted as distorted movement coordination resulting from the more inert moving mass on the static ergometer.