A rowing machine is an excellent low-impact workout machine that can provide a full-body workout. This is an excellent option for heavy people, but you need to consider the weight capacity and track length if you want to find that one suits you.
Several rowers in the market compete against each other to win the people’s choice award. But without in-depth knowledge about the equipment, you could make the wrong choice.
We picked the best-reviewed rowing machines and provided a buying guide for you to make a better decision.
Here are our top 5 picks of the best rowing machines for a heavy person:
- WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine (1000 lb weight capacity)
- LifeCore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine (400 lb capacity)
- Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine (400 lb capacity)—Best Seller
- WaterRower Vintage Oak Rowing Machine (400 lb)
- Merax Water Rowing Machine (300 lb)—Best Budget
You can see the overview, pros & cons below.
What to Consider When Choosing a Rowing Machine for Heavy People?
Several important factors, such as weight capacity, track length, warranty period, resistance types, and dimensions, must be considered before finalizing the product.
#1. Weight Capacity
Average-quality rowers bear only up to 250 pounds of weight as they are constructed with cheap materials.
Heavy people require a heavy-duty rower that can bear at least 300 pounds (the standard weight limit among home rowers) of user weight as this makes the equipment sturdy.
Higher weight capacities guarantee great frame solidness and safety to the user. Buy a rower that offers extended weight capacity.
#2. Track Length
Rowing is the perfect choice for tall people, but rowers aren’t generally designed to fit tall individuals.
Track length can be a tricky attribute as manufacturers generally don’t display information about it like resistance levels or others.
So, if you are tall and need help buying a rower, the first thing you must consider is ‘inseam length.’ Finding a rowing machine with proper inseam length is essential to tall and big rowers.
Budget rowers rarely satisfy this criterion and don’t offer adequate space for good form and 100% extension. User reviews and forums discussing could also be of help here.
The warranty period of rowers that suit home gym use is not great compared to commercial ones. But a warranty is required when you buy a rower.
High-quality rowers built with sturdy frames and construction offer longer warranties. Before buying a rower, ensure that the company offers no lesser than 3-5 years of the warranty period.
#4. Type of Resistance
There are several types of rowing machines, the most important of which are magnetic resistance, air resistance, water resistance, hydraulic resistance, or a combination of these.
Try to avoid hydraulic resistance rowers as they generate heat even when you have exercised for a short duration.
Water rowers mimic the natural rowing experience and offer prolonged durability. Air rowers are noisy, while magnetic rowers don’t give you an authentic rowing feel.
If you are one of the many people who suffer from space crunch but would like to buy a rower that’s well-known for occupying more space, you could opt for the foldable type.
You could even choose a fixed frame model that’s compact and occupies less space.
Other important features include seating size, grip, and monitor display. Rowing involves using your hands and legs, for which you must have ample grip on the footrests and handlebars for a comfortable rowing experience.
Well-lit monitors that display important metrics such as calories burned, workout time, and speed help users track their progress and improve wherever needed.
Top 5 Best Rowing Machine for Heavy Person
Given here are the five best rowers that accommodate the needs of heavy people giving them the utmost comfort and exercise benefits.
As the name suggests, the WaterRower Natural is a water rowing machine handcrafted in ash wood and given a gleamy finish with Danish oil.
This model uses the patented WaterFlywheel technology, which gives users the feel and resistance of rowing in the water.
Wood is renowned for nullifying noise and vibrations, and the WaterRower Natural, therefore, promises a smooth and quiet operation.
The finish of the product gives you the feel of having installed furniture in your house that adds much elegance and looks to the place.
Resistance is important for experiencing versatility in a workout. The self-regulated resistance system here increases and decreases the water content of the tank helping users achieve different resistance levels.
The company offers 3 years warranty on parts and 5 years warranty on frames.
If you are a heavy person looking out for a good rower, don’t hesitate to buy the WaterRower Natural—it comes with a 700 lbs user weight capacity that’s simply superb.
- Aesthetic look and elegance make the rower a valuable addition to your space
- Upright storage
- Good resistance system
- Real-life rowing experience
- Apt for heavy users up to 700 pounds of weight
- Not foldable
- The water tank needs to be replaced, depending on the rower ages and usage
- The rails may have material flaws
Specifically designed for commercial use, the LifeCore R100 combines air and magnetic resistance that takes your exercising experience to the next level.
The user can either choose preset resistance programs (15 programs) or anything from the 16 different magnetic resistance levels that could be accessed directly on the computer.
This folding rowing machine comes with built-in heart rate sensors, and when heart rate levels are too high, the resistance levels are lowered automatically. The rower can self-adjust resistance levels.
Ergonomically designed handles give you the feel of a natural rowing experience. The footrests come with heel support and are completely adjustable to suit every user’s foot size.
The machine comes with high-quality construction suitable for all kinds of users, especially heavy people, withstand up to 600 pounds of user weight.
- Extremely durable and sturdy
- Various preset programs and 16 resistance level options
- Ergonomic handles and comfortable footrests
- Silent drive system
- Lifetime warranty on frame, 5 years on parts, and 1 year on labor
- Average display
- The customer service is ineffective
Every person who has used the Concept2 Model D rower never fails to fall in love with it. No surprises here as this model is the best-selling indoor rower worldwide.
Model D promises an exhilarating cardiovascular workout that promises ample calorie burning and muscle toning in the comfort of your home gym.
The flywheel comes with a maximal guarantee of minimal noise generated, which is a strong advantage once again as rowers are generally noisy.
The handles are ergonomically designed with a 10-degree bend that promises a natural rowing feel, and the footrests are adjustable, promising to accommodate different shoe sizes.
The manufacturer boasts long-lasting durability and excellent construction that meet the needs of commercial use.
The model bears a nickel-plated chain that requires no frequent oiling but works smoothly—this could be of use to people who are poor in maintaining their equipment.
The model is well-suited for heavy people as it can bear up to 500 pounds of user weight.
- Heavy-duty rower that’s sure to last a lifetime
- 5 years warranty on frame
- Easy to assemble
- The machine could be separated into two pieces for storage
- Excellent user reviews clearly show that all users simply love this product
Well-known for providing a full-body workout, WaterRower Vintage stands up to the smooth and silent rowing action provided by WaterRower in all its equipment.
It uses a patented WaterFlyWheel that offers different resistance levels simply when you row harder or softer. This makes it ideal for people of all ages and different fitness levels.
Handmade in the USA, the model is stylish, elegant, and built from walnut-stained solid oak that provides durability to the frame. This makes the manufacturer provide a 5-year warranty on the frame without any hesitation.
The model has an S4 performance monitor that provides the user with numerous metrics like heart rate, stroke per min, calories burned, and more.
- Suitable for heavy users as the machine can withstand up to 1000 pounds of user weight
- 5 years warranty on frame and 3 years on parts
- Suitable for all types of individuals
- Easy to assemble within 30 minutes
- Silent drive system
- It may looks cheap
It’s good to get a feel of natural rowing hearing the soothing sound of water. The Merax rower could be an ideal pick here as it is a water rower that makes a soothing melodious sound while rowing it.
The machine is well-designed and made using high-quality steel that’s strong, promising the utmost durability.
The footrests are adjustable and provided with Velcro straps for added comfort, preventing any falls.
The handlebars are ergonomically designed, and the seat padding helps users exercise comfortably for long hours.
The Merax rower offers eight different resistance levels, which are easy to change. The equipment has an LCD monitor that tracks your progress by displaying important metrics.
You can start/stop the equipment with the press of a button, and the built-in transportation wheels help users move the equipment from one place to another easily.
- 300 pounds user weight capacity
- Low noise
- Heart rate monitoring option
- Ergonomic handles and comfortable seat
- Warranty period
- The LCD monitor has no LED backlight
The Bottom Line
A rowing machine is one of the best full-body workout machines. If you are overweight or obese, it is only ideal that you look for equipment that has high user weight capacity, long track length, is built with a strong frame and construction, and offers durability.
Before finalizing any product, ensure that you are satisfied with its specifications and meet your budget.