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best rowing machine for tall persons

Types of Rowing Machines for Tall, Short, and Heavy Builds: My Top Picks

The purpose of an indoor rowing machine is to replicate the motion of a person rowing a boat on water. In my opinion it’s one of the best pieces of gym equipment if you’re looking for an effective, full body workout. This article will look at the best rowing machine for a short person. We will also inform you about the best rowing machine for tall person and the best rowing machine for a heavy person.

A rowing machine offers a low impact, full-body workout by combining the advantages of cardiovascular exercise with the benefits of strength training. A rower is a great addition to any home gym as they don’t take up a lot of space. Check out my article on the best space saving rowing machines.

If you decide that a rowing machine is not the right cardio machine for you, there are plenty of options out there! Find your best fit in my comparison article comparing various cardio machines.

The Concept 2 Rowing air resistance rowing machine is our top pick for all body types as it is an excellent allrounder. Heavy, tall, and short people can easily exercise on the Concept2 which explains why it is one of the most popular rowing machines on the market!

Keep reading to learn which is the best rowing machine for a tall person in my comprehensive rowing machine review.

My Overall Top Pick

CONCEPT D best Rowing machine under 1000 when looking at different types of rowing machines

Concept 2 Rowing Machine

Best Rower for All Body Types

This rower is popular in commercial gyms, so you know it’s designed to be durable and cater to a wide range of abilities and body types.

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Why is it the Best Rowing Machine for a Tall Person?

The Concept 2 rowing machine has a 37 inch maximum inseam and is 96 inches long. Therefore, this machine lets people up to 7 feet tall workout with ease. Also, it’s an air rowing machine, meaning you will experience similar resistance like you were rowing on water.

In my opinion, the Concept2 model Rowing Machine is one of the best rowing machine for tall persons. It is also possible to purchase an extra long slide rail for extra tall people.

Why is it the Best Rowing Machine for a Heavy Person?

There is a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds for the Concept2 model. Heavy people will appreciate the robust design of this machine and its ability to withstand its intended purpose.

Why is it the Best Rowing Machine for a Short Person?

The adjustable foot rests and tilting high performance monitor makes it easy to adjust your position and see the monitor without straining your body in any way. You may perform various workouts on this machine because of its 14 levels of resistance. This rower is designed to help you achieve your fitness objectives, no matter your training style.


  • Easy to use
  • Highly durable heavy duty frame
  • You can buy an extra long rail for very tall people
  • Easy assembly
  • LCD display PM5 performance monitor
  • Comfortable seat
  • Sturdy steel frame
  • Handles up to 500 lbs
  • Compatible with Concept2 heart rate belts for additional monitoring options
  • Durable
  • High quality seat build
  • Not overly noisy


  • Costly
  • Requires large space
  • Uninspired design

Best Rowing Machine for Tall Person – What to be Aware of?

A rowing machine is a “one-stop shop” for a full-body workout. Rowing is an excellent aerobic and strength training exercise. Many rowers are available, ranging in price, resistance and design.

Here are some of the factors that you should be aware of when choosing a rowing machine if you are a tall person:

1. Inseam

The “inseam length” is the primary measurement to use when searching for the best rowing machine for tall persons. You cannot use total height since individuals of the same height will have varying inseams. 

The inseam is the length of your inner leg. It will be the length of your leg when you’re seated and rowing. Here is a chart that will help you measure your inseam:

2. Design and Rail Length

  • The seat rail must be long enough to be able to extend your legs fully.
  • You must be able to view the fitness monitor without requiring a specific neck position.
  • You must have unfettered access to resistance controls (if relevant) and other buttons.

3. Build Quality

As a tall person, you must ensure the rowing machine is durable and solidly built.

Our Pick: Best Rowing Machine for Tall Person

Rowing Machine Measurements
Rowing MachineInseamSlide Rail
Best-Rower-for-Small-Spaces-hydowHydrow Rower36”
sunny health fitness. Best rowing machine for tall personSunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rower44″48″
Merax Water Rowing Machine great rowing machine for tall personMerax Rowing Machine42”43.3″

Hydrow Rower

The magnetic resistance of the Hydrow Rower is quieter than air resistance rowers such as the Concept 2 RowErg. The machine itself provides a smooth, pleasant and near-silent workout.

The Hydrow Rowers’ unique design feature is how fluid each stroke feels. To overcome the resistance, an electromagnetic drag system is used under the supervision of a computer, making it a state-of-the-art rowing machine.

A really neat feature of the Hydrow Rower is the large monitor that allows you to stream workouts on waterways around the world!

The Hydrow can fit inseams up to 36″ (91 cm).


  • Ability to stream workouts on waterways across the globe
  • Realistic and smooth rowing experience
  • Stylish and sleek design
  • Top-of-the-line technology
  • Near silent rowing
  • Contemporary design for small spaces


  • It’s not foldable
  • Missing “Just Row” Option
  • High cost

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rower

sunny health fitness. Best rowing machine for tall person

This Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine is a very affordable option to consider for tall people. It makes it into our review for the best rowing machine for a tall person because of the extra long slide rail (48″).

Easy to adjust; with a simple twist you can chose from 8 levels of resistance. Additionally, the Sunny Health Fitness Rowing Machine is foldable and lightweight with inbuilt transport wheels that make it easy to store.


  • Lightweight with inbuilt wheels
  • Easily adjustable resistance levels
  • Non-slip foot pedals
  • Large LCD digital monitor
  • Comfortable cushioned seat
  • 3yr manufacturer warranty
  • Foldable design
  • Price is very affordable


  • Maximum weight of 250lb so not suitable for heavy people
  • Not overly challenging resistance even on level 8

Merax Water Rowing Machine

The Merax Water Rower has a unique inclined water tank that is said to provide more powerful resistance compared to indoor water rowers in a flat position. Additionally, with solid steel construction and a high tech LCD monitor, these water rowing machines are a great piece of gym equipment for home gyms.

The Merax Water Rowing machine can document your heart rate, time, calories burned, and distance traveled on the control panel window. This is great at allowing you to customize your workouts based on your personal statistics.

Also, you can adjust the length of the footpad to match the length of your feet.

The rowing stroke of a water rower is best at mimicking the real on water rowing experience. Every fitness level can benefit from the Merax Water Rowing Machine’s dynamic resistance. To further customize your rowing experience, you have the option to raise the water level in the tank to the desired level of resistance.


  • LCD Monitor
  • Comfortable seat
  • Sturdy alloy steel frame
  • Compact footprint with wheels makes it easy to store
  • Multiple options to increase resistance
  • Maximum weight limit of 330 lbs
  • Smooth glide of the water tank mimics a real on water experience


  • Costly
  • Only 1 Year Warranty
  • Not foldable

The XTERRA Fitness erg700 was another option we considered when looking for the best rowing machine for tall persons. We liked that it combined both air and magnetic resistance and it was a nice compact rower. It’s worth taking a look at if you were undecided on the other options we reviewed.

Best Rowing Machine for Heavy Person – What to be aware of?

The most important factors to consider when looking at rowing machine reviews for heavier people is the design (you want a solid, machine heavy duty commercial rowing machine), and the maximum user weight capacity. When you have this information, selecting a rowing machine for a heavier person is simple.

Looking at heavy duty rowing machines is a great place to go if you’re looking for weight loss and to improve your cardiovascular health and sculpt muscles.

A person using a standard rowing machine can only weigh up to 250 or 300 pounds at a time. Do not be discouraged if your weight surpasses these limits; various types of rowing machines are available for overweight or bulkier persons who require a higher carrying capacity. Here are some of the best rowing machine for heavy persons.

Our Pick: Best Rowing Machine for Heavy Person

Rowing Machine Comparison Chart

Rowing MachineWeight Limit
CONCEPT D best Rowing machine under 1000 when looking at different types of rowing machinesConcept 2 Rowing Machine500 lbs
best rowing machine for apartmentRUNOW Water Rowing Machine700 lbs

RUNOW Water Rower Machine

Best Rowing Machine for Heavy Person

Using a RUNOW waterrower natural rowing machine is like spending a quiet morning on the lake. It’s made from solid oak with a large 20L water tank. With a water rower rowing machine the resistance comes from how much water is in the tank and how fast you row.

If you’re currently overweight and can’t find the best rower for heavy person, then look no further. This heavy duty rowing machine is proven to be one of the best rowing machine for a heavy person.

It has a user weight capacity of 700 lbs, which is fantastic, plus with the waterrower natural look, this piece of exercise equipment becomes like a piece of fine furniture that belongs in your home.

This heavy duty, high weight capacity rowing machine provides full motion rowing no matter your size.


  • Smooth stroke
  • 4 great colour options
  • Attractive design
  • Soothing sound
  • Adjustable pedals with adjustable belts for different foot sizes
  • LCD monitor
  • 16 fan blades provide large resistance


  • Rower can be noisier than other models
  • Seat might be too narrow for some
  • The seat is low

Concept 2 Rowing Machine

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor, Black

The popular Concept2 rowing machine will provide you with a low-impact workout that targets all the main muscle groups, including the legs, core, and arms, while also burning a significant amount of calories.

There is a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds for the Concept 2 with PM5, and heavy people will appreciate this machine’s robust design.

You can also track your progress and compare different data. We consider it the best rower for heavy person.


  • Handles up to 500 Pounds
  • Durable
  • Good comfortable seat
  • Not Noisy
  • Highly durable heavy duty frame
  • Easy assembly


  • Expensive
  • Requires a Large Area

With an incredibly sturdy frame and 350 lb weight limit, the Bodycraft vr500 commercial rower is another option we found in our rowing machine review when we considered the best rowing machine for heavy persons.

Rowing Machine for Short Person – What to be Aware of?

You may have some difficulty with most rowers if you’re a shorter person. To begin, I’ll review a few things to remember while shopping for a rowing machine to accommodate shorter people. After that, I’ll share my thoughts on the types of rowing machines for short person.

1. Rail Length/Design:

Allow for a full range of motion by moving the seat rail far enough forward. You should not have to move to see the fitness monitors.

2. Adjustable Footrest:

The perfect rowing machine for a short person will allow you to fit your feet on the footrests firmly without them popping out.

3. Inseam Length

The best rowing machine for a short person has to allow for varying inseam lengths to be able to perform your exercises smoothly.

Our Pick: Best Rowing Machine for Short Person

Rowing Machine Dimensions

Rowing MachineInseam
stamina-best-types-of-rowing-machinesStamina ATS37”
Fitness reality rowing machine for small apartment Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine48”

Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine

There’s a reason rowing machines like the Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine are so popular, they’re a great foldable magnetic rowing machine for short people. Legs, buttocks, arms, and shoulders all get a good workout with it. The flippable flat pedals provide a solid workout platform. It is one of the best rowing machine for short person.

This chair’s large, curved cushioned seat makes it ideal for longer workouts. The recommended user is between 4’9” – 6’6” in height and a maximum weight of 250 lbs. Seat height can be raised from 21″ to 22.5″ for convenient boarding and exiting. It consists of seat rollers with ball bearings for easy rowing. Users of 5 feet can easily operate it.


  • Smart CLOUD Fitness
  • Competitive price
  • Good value for money
  • Various resistance levels
  • Row on waterways round the world through the app
  • Affordable price
  • Compact rowing machine


  • Basic monitor
  • Only a 1yr warranty

Stamina ATS

At-home aerobic workouts with the Stamina ATS Air Rower burn calories, enhance heart health, increase flexibility, and build the entire body. It is one of the best rowing machine for short person.


  • Smart Audio Coaching
  • Multi-Function monitor
  • Air resistance
  • Strong and durable design
  • Foldable rowing machine for easy storage
  • Large footplates with adjustable straps
  • Textured hand grips as well as anti-skid end caps


  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Not suitable for tall people

If you think you might prefer a hydraulic rowing machine then the Glider 1050 rowing machine is another great option. These space saving, foldable rowing machines take up little space and are very cost effective.

Final Thoughts

In this rowing machine review we considered different types of rowing machines, including air resistance, magnetic and water rowing machines, to find the best indoor rowing machines for heavy, short, and tall people. The best rowing machine will help you get a great full body workout as well as an authentic rowing experience while working out in your home gym.
I hope my guide was helpful to you in selecting the rowing machine for a short person and the best rowing machine for tall person. That’s it from our side. Make sure to share your views in the comment section.


What would you recommend as the best rowing machine for overweight beginners ?

With a weight capacity of up to 500 lbs and a reputation for being one of the most popular rowing machines on the market, I would highly recommend the Concept 2 Rowing Machine for beginners. Also, this machine is used commercially in gyms, so you know it is designed to be durable and cater to a wide range of abilities.

What is the best rowing machine 400 lb weight capacity? What would you recommend as the best rowing machine for big guys?

Both the RUNOW Water Rower Machine (700 lbs max capacity) and Concept 2 Rowing Machine (500 lbs max capacity) are great options for bigger guys. Checking the recommended weight capacity and the overall strength and design of the machine is a must when looking for the best rowing machine for heavy persons.

Refer to my review earlier on in this article for a deeper look at both of these models.

Is the rowing machine weight limit on machines a strict rule or more of a guideline?

The recommended weight capacity for different rowing machine models should be adhered to when shopping for the best rowing machine. If you find that your weight exceeds this limit, don’t despair! Weight capacity varies widely from model to model, even up as far as 700 lbs for the RUNOW Water Rower Machine.

Does a rowing machine work upper body during a workout session?

YES! The best thing about a rowing machine is that it provides an all body workout. In one rowing stroke you are activating the lower body (quads, calves, glutes, hamstrings), the upper body (deltoids, lats, triceps, back, lats) as well as your core – all at the same time.

How effective is it to use a rowing machine as your primary form of exercise? Do rowing machines build muscle?

There are not many other machines that I would say are as effective as a rowing machine for providing an all round full body workout.

This low impact form of exercise combines the advantages of cardiovascular exercise with the benefits of strength training. Regular 15-30min workouts a few times a week will start to make a huge difference to your fitness and strength.

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About the Author: Jane Hart

Working crazy hours in a high-stress work environment resulted in my body one day telling me, “Enough is enough!”

Navigating this serious health journey was both mentally and physically exhausting. But through some serious mindset work and instilling healthy habits, I was able to rebuild my life one day at a time and come out stronger on the other side!

Now my mission is to empower women like me to prioritize their fitness and well-being in a healthy, sustainable way and build a community of strong, happy and healthy women!

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