Best Rowing Machine For A Heavy Person: Top 10 Picks

Are you looking for a new workout to add to your fitness routine? Look no further than indoor rowing! This low-impact exercise provides a full-body workout to improve cardiovascular health and build muscle strength.

Unlike running or jumping exercises, which can stress your joints, rowing is a smooth and fluid motion that is easy on the body. One of the main benefits of indoor rowing is that it is a low-impact exercise. It is gentle on your joints, making it a great option for people with knee or hip problems or those recovering from injuries.

Another reason why indoor rowing is such a great workout is that it engages your entire body. Rowing works your legs, arms, back, and core muscles simultaneously, making it an efficient and effective exercise. In fact, rowing can burn up to 600 calories per hour, making it a great choice for those looking to lose weight.

But indoor rowing isn’t just about burning calories and building muscle. It can also improve your cardiovascular health. Rowing is a form of aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate and strengthens your heart and lungs. Regular rowing sessions can improve endurance and help prevent heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

Regardless of whether you are a professional athlete or a beginner embarking on a fitness journey, indoor rowing is an exercise regimen that is definitely worth exploring. With its low-impact nature, full-body engagement, and positive impact on cardiovascular health, rowing can be an excellent addition to your workout routine.

This article has gathered a selection of the top 10 rowing machines recommended for individuals who weigh more than average. From sturdy construction to comfortable seating, these machines offer everything you need to get in shape and feel great. 

Why Do We recommend Compact Rowing Machines?

If you’re short on space in your home gym or apartment, a compact and foldable rowing machine may be what you need. Compared to bulky gym equipment like treadmills or weight benches, rowing machines can be conveniently folded up and stored away, making them an ideal choice for people with limited space.

Many modern rowing machines are designed to be compact, with a smaller footprint than traditional models. This means they can fit into tight spaces and easily move around if needed. Their sleek and modern designs can add to your home gym or living space decor.

But just because a rowing machine is compact and foldable doesn’t mean it sacrifices quality or performance. Many models still offer various features, such as adjustable resistance levels, comfortable seating, and digital displays to track your workout progress. So, you can get a great workout even in a smaller space.

Additionally, with the rise of at-home workouts in recent years, many fitness equipment manufacturers have been focusing on creating more compact and foldable models to cater to those working out at home. Whether you’re an experienced athlete or a beginner, numerous options are available to suit your needs and preferences.

In summary, a compact and foldable rowing machine can be a great option for those with limited space in their homes or apartments. With modern designs and a full range of features, you can get a great workout without sacrificing quality or performance. So, consider a compact and foldable model if you want to add a rowing machine to your home gym!

Key Benefits Of Rowing Machines For Heavier People

If you’re a heavier person looking to improve your fitness, a rowing machine could be just the tool you need to achieve your goals. Not only is rowing an excellent full-body workout, but it offers several key benefits that are particularly advantageous for those carrying extra weight. In this section, we’ll delve into the main advantages of rowing machines for heavier people and demonstrate how these machines can assist you in achieving your fitness objectives.

Benefit #1: Low-Impact Exercise

An important benefit of utilizing a rowing machine is that it provides a low-impact workout. Unlike running or jumping, rowing is a low-impact exercise that won’t stress your joints unnecessarily. This makes it an ideal choice for heavier people who may have joint pain or are at risk of injury from high-impact exercises.

Benefit #2: Burns Calories

Rowing is a high-intensity, full-body workout that can burn many calories. A 185-pound person can burn around 500 calories in just 30 minutes of rowing at a moderate intensity. As a result, it is an excellent option for people seeking to shed weight and boost their general well-being.

Benefit #3: Builds Muscle

Rowing is a full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups. It’s particularly effective at targeting your arms, shoulders, back, and core muscles. By incorporating rowing into your fitness routine, you can build strength and improve your overall muscle tone.

Benefit #4: Improves Cardiovascular Health

Rowing is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that can help improve your heart health. It increases your heart rate and lung capacity, helping you breathe more efficiently and improve your overall endurance.

Benefit #5: Adjustable Resistance

One of the great things about rowing machines is that they allow you to adjust the resistance level to match your fitness level. This means heavier people can start with a lower resistance level and gradually increase it as they get stronger and fitter.

Benefit #6: Ease Of Use

Unlike some other exercise equipment, rowing machines are easy to use, making them a great option for beginners and those who may feel intimidated by more complex machines. 

Numerous rowing machines are equipped with a user-friendly display screen, enabling you to monitor your progress and customize your workout per your requirements. By keeping tabs on metrics like heart rate, calories burned, and distance covered, you can remain focused and achieve your fitness targets with greater ease.

Key Body Parts Targeted

Rowing machines provide a full-body workout that targets multiple muscle groups. Some of the key body parts that are targeted by rowing include:

  • Legs: Rowing is an excellent lower-body workout that engages your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
  • Core: Your core muscles are engaged throughout the rowing motion, helping to improve your overall core strength.
  • Back: Rowing is an excellent exercise for targeting upper and lower back muscles.
  • Arms: The pulling motion of rowing engages your biceps, triceps, and forearms, helping to improve your arm strength and muscle tone.
  • Shoulders: Rowing engages your shoulders, helping to improve your overall upper body strength.

Rowing machines offer several key benefits for heavier people. From low-impact exercise and calorie burning to muscle building and cardiovascular health, rowing is a great way to get fit and improve overall health. 

Our Top 10 Picks For The Best Rowing Machine For A Heavy Person

In this section, we’ve researched for you and compiled a list of the 10 best rowing machines for heavier people. From high-end models to more affordable options, we’ll help you find the perfect rowing machine to suit your needs and budget. So, let’s get started and find the ideal rowing machine to help you achieve your fitness goals! 

1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine – Best Overall Rowing Machine For Heavy Person

The Concept2 Model D indoor rowing machine is a well-known and highly-regarded piece of training equipment in the fitness industry. Its sturdy construction and numerous tracking and connectivity features make it a top choice for gym owners and individuals.

Despite its high price tag, the Model D’s resistance system is one of the best on the market, providing smooth and strong variable resistance. With its simple yet durable design, the Model D is engineered to last a lifetime, making it a great investment for any fitness enthusiast. It’s low-impact enough for everyday use and provides a comprehensive, full-body workout that targets all major muscle groups.

Whether you’re a CrossFit athlete or just looking for a reliable way to stay in shape, the Concept2 Model D is an excellent choice.

This Rowing Machine is known for its exceptional build quality, making it a favorite among fitness enthusiasts worldwide. Constructed with front legs made of sturdy aluminum and rear legs made of steel, this rower is built to last. The chain is nickel-plated steel, ensuring smooth and durable operation over time.

The ergonomically-designed seat and handles provide comfort and ease of use, making it a great choice for beginners and pros alike. With its commercial-grade quality, users can be confident that this rower will withstand years of heavy usage. 

One of its standout features is its impressive weight capacity of 500 pounds, which means it can accommodate a wide range of users, even those who might be on the larger side. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or looking to improve your overall fitness, this rower can handle your weight without compromising performance or durability. 

The machine’s flywheel generates air resistance, producing a resistance that directly correlates to the strength and speed of the user’s rowing motion. The Model D also boasts an adjustable damper setting that controls the amount of airflow through the machine, similar to how bicycle gearing works.

While the damper setting affects how the rowing feels, it does not directly impact the machine’s resistance. Using air resistance, Concept2 allows for a low-impact, full-body workout that effectively challenges the user’s muscles. 

One concern that users may have is the noise level during use. While it is not the quietest machine on the market due to its air resistance mechanism, it is significantly quieter than earlier models. The sound of the flywheel may be noticeable, but it is not terribly noisy.

The “Quiet Cog” system is designed to reduce chain noise and make rowing as quiet as possible. While it may not be completely silent due to the air resistance flywheel system, the Quiet Cog system minimizes noise during use. 

Another key feature of this top-selling rowing machine is its advanced PM5 Performance Monitor. Users can easily track their progress and stay motivated during their workouts. The monitor displays reliable data such as stroke rate, distance, speed, and calories burned.

It also provides workout options such as games and challenges to add variety to your routine. In addition, you can even program your own custom workouts. 

Assembling the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is a straightforward process that anyone can complete. The user manual and assembly instructions are clear and include illustrations to help guide users through the process. 

The Concept2 Model D is more than just an expensive piece of cardio equipment. It’s an investment in a lifetime of fitness. With its outstanding workout capabilities and extreme durability, it’s no wonder it’s been the best-selling rowing machine in the world for over 40 years. While the price tag may seem daunting, buyers can take comfort in the 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee when purchasing directly from Concept2. 

The tight integration with smartphones and popular fitness apps provides endless training options for all fitness levels. Ultimately, the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is a smart purchase for anyone seeking a comprehensive full-body workout and a sturdy piece of equipment that will last a lifetime.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 96” L x 24” W x 14” H
  • Weight Capacity: 500 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 57.32 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Air
  • Resistance Levels: 10

2. WaterRower Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor – Highest Weight Capacity Rowing Machine For A Heavy Person

If you’re looking for a high-quality rowing machine that delivers a smooth and realistic rowing experience, the WaterRower Natural Ash with S4 Monitor is a great choice. This machine is handcrafted in solid ash wood, giving it a natural and elegant look that will fit well in any home gym.

The S4 Performance Monitor is easy to use and displays a range of useful metrics, including speed, distance, and intensity. With a user weight capacity of up to 1000 lbs, this rowing machine suits users of all sizes and fitness levels. 

The Rowing Machine is a low rower with a seat height of only 12.2 inches from the floor. The seat is designed to be comfortable for users, allowing them to row for long periods without discomfort. The four wheels beneath the seat allow smooth sliding during a rowing exercise. 

The WaterRower uses water resistance for a more authentic rowing feel. Its WaterFlywheel design uses a specially formed paddle to cup the moving water, which reduces slippage and provides instant and infinitely variable resistance. This also mimics the sensation of rowing on water, making it an excellent choice for those who want to train for competitive rowing or enjoy the outdoors. 

The water resistance is self-determining and adjusts to the user’s movements and input. This means there are no set resistance levels, and the machine can provide as much resistance as one can handle. This is much like rowing an actual boat, as the harder one rows, the greater the resistance. 

The machine features a sealed water tank, which can be filled with municipal water via a small opening closed by a stopper. This water typically contains enough chlorine to prevent bacteria and algae growth within the tank. WaterRower offers replacement or repair options if any issues arise with the tank within the warranty period of under three years. 

Assembling the WaterRower Rowing Machine is a breeze for anyone with basic handy skills. The machine arrives partially assembled with just a few steps left to complete. Users should follow the instructions manual carefully and take their time with each step. While some assembly is necessary, the instructions are easy to comprehend, and the process is simple.

The machine’s parts come with a three-year warranty, while the frame has a five-year warranty. 

This machine is a great choice for individuals serious about building and toning their muscles while improving their cardiovascular function and increasing their stamina. 

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 84″D x 21″W x 22″H 
  • Weight Capacity: 1000 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 67 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Water
  • Resistance Levels: Water resistance

3. Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine – Best Rowing Machine For Taller People

Looking for a high-quality, commercial-grade rowing machine? Look no further than the Lifecore R100. This sleek and sturdy machine is designed for users of all sizes, offering ergonomic features that make it comfortable to use.

With both air and magnetic resistance, the R100 provides a smooth and quiet workout experience. Plus, it features 15 programs and 16 resistance levels, so you can customize your workout to your fitness level and goals. When finished, fold the machine up for easy storage using the quick-release frame lock mechanism and built-in roller wheels. 

The monitor on the Lifecore R100 commercial rowing machine is a standout feature that makes it a favorite among fitness enthusiasts. Its user-friendly design displays all the necessary information, such as time, distance, calories burned, stroke, and heart rate, on a large, easy-to-read screen. The monitor also has different programmable modes that allow users to track their progress and challenge themselves with various workouts. 

Moreover, it’s incredibly easy to fold up when not in use. All the user needs to do is unscrew the knob located underneath the rower, which releases the frame lock mechanism. Then the seat rail can be stood up, and the machine is folded and ready to move. The Transport Wheels on the front base stabilizer make it easy to roll the folded machine around as needed. 

With a maximum weight capacity of 600 pounds (272 kg), this machine is built to handle even the heaviest users. The industrial-strength forged aluminum rail, steel supports, and solid legs ensure a smooth and sturdy feel during workouts. 

Compared to other rowers like the Concept2, the Lifecore R100 produces significantly less noise, allowing users to row without disturbing anyone nearby. While it may not be as quiet as water rowers that utilize straps, this rowing machine still has excellent resistance strength and is very comfortable to use. Users can adjust the resistance levels through air and magnetic options, varying their workout experience from smooth and free to intense and challenging. 

The pedals do not have a fixed position; they pivot slightly, which can be beneficial and comfortable for individuals with limited ankle flexibility.

One potential drawback of the Lifecore R100 commercial rowing machine is that some taller customers (6’2″ and above) experienced a brief transmission loss between heart rate chest straps and the receiver in the console at full extension. While this may not affect all users, it could be a consideration for taller people who prioritize heart rate monitoring during their workouts. 

However, overall, the Lifecore R100 is a great rowing machine built to last and perform under daily use, making it a solid investment for anyone looking for a smooth and quiet workout experience.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 92″ L 19″ W 36″ H
  • Weight Capacity: 600 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 96 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 16

4. Sole SR500 – Best Workout Versatility Rowing Machine For A Heavy Person

The Sole SR500 rowing machine is a sturdy, foldable home fitness product offering air and magnetic resistance. It has a comfortable seat that is gently padded and sweat-resistant and a user-friendly console with 16 resistance levels and adjustable control buttons on the handle.

The rower is suitable for those looking for a low-impact, full-body workout that allows them to sit down while in use. It also has a high weight capacity of up to 515 pounds and supports various shoe sizes with its adjustable pedals. While the seat may be narrow for larger users, and the rower has a long footprint, it is well-priced and has exceptional build quality.

The SR500 has a 5.5-inch backlit LCD console with an adjustable angle that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The console provides various tracking features, including speed, distance, time, calories burned, strokes per minute, and watts. Its 10 pre-set programs, including two heart rate training programs, allow users to choose specific workout targets and monitor their progress.

Overall, the Sole SR500’s LCD console is an excellent feature that provides the perfect interface for users to track their performance goals and achieve their fitness objectives.

This rowing machine offers excellent dual resistance technology with great build quality and comfort. While it may be a notch louder than some other air-resistance rowers on the market, the SR500’s dual magnetic/air resistance makes up for it.

It’s important to note that the SR500 is not necessarily much quieter than a full-air rower, although it is a little quieter. When using the SR500, it may be advisable for users to be mindful of the noise level and keep others in the vicinity in mind. 

The flywheel is an important aspect of the Sole SR500 rowing machine. It is slightly smaller than comparable air rowers, but this is because the machine also uses magnetic resistance. The flywheel allows air to rotate in and out of the fan blades, which spin in conjunction with the rower’s strength. Magnetic resistance is created by magnets that resist the polarity of the flywheel, creating drag as the blades spin.

The incorporation of magnetic resistance enables the machine to have adjustable resistance levels, which can be controlled using the handlebar buttons. Though the flywheel is not adjustable or particularly large, it still offers a smooth and fluid rowing stroke, making it a great choice for those seeking a rowing machine that combines magnetic and air resistance.

It comes with advanced features, including Bluetooth compatibility for heart rate monitoring. Users can easily connect their Bluetooth heart rate monitors to the machine to track their heart rate performance. This feature is useful for people who want to do heart rate training.

The Sole SR500 also folds in half for easy storage when not in use, adding to the machine’s convenience. With its exceptional dual air and magnetic resistance, sturdy build, and comfortable seating, the Sole SR500 rowing machine is a perfect fit for a complete total-body workout.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 97″L x 18″W x 38″H 
  • Weight Capacity: 515 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 115 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 16

5. Hydrow Rower – Best Smart Rowing Machine For A Heavy Person

The Hydrow has been dubbed “the Peloton of rowing machines,” and it’s easy to see why. This robust rowing machine is designed with a flat anthracite polymer body supported by a commercial-grade aluminum and steel structure.

If you need a high-tech rowing machine that packs a punch, the Hydrow Rower could be the perfect fit. With its sleek, modern aesthetic, this machine offers an efficient, full-body workout experience that’s hard to beat. The Hydrow Rower is great for beginners and advanced rowers, as the drag settings can be easily adjusted to suit any skill level. 

What’s more, it’s sweatproof and features Hi-Fi speakers, a two-megapixel camera, a built-in microphone, USB 2.0 connection, and Bluetooth, giving users plenty of options to enhance their workout experience. Though it might be pricier than some rowing machines, the Hydrow Rower is worth the investment.

The Hydrow rowing machine is not only an excellent way to get in shape, but it also features a state-of-the-art touchscreen that adds to the experience. The 22-inch HD display has Bluetooth connectivity and can be adjusted 15 degrees for optimal viewing. 

However, depending on the model, the machine’s price may be a concern for some, ranging from $1,895 to $2,495. To access the full benefits of the machine, one can purchase the monthly $44 Hydrow membership, which includes thousands of on-demand workouts and live classes led by experienced coaches. With the membership, the Hydrow rower becomes more than just a piece of gym equipment; it is a full-body workout experience in the comfort of one’s home.

The Hydrow Rower boasts a high-quality build and elegant design that will impress any user. This rowing machine is made from durable materials like steel and aluminum, weighing 145 lbs, ensuring stability throughout every workout.

Users can enjoy a smooth and quiet rowing experience thanks to the computer-controlled resistance that relies on advanced technology. The Hydrow Rower is built to last, with a sleek design that enhances any at-home gym or fitness space. Overall, the build quality of the Hydrow Rower is top-notch and well worth the investment.

Another key feature is its weight capacity, which is an impressive 375 pounds. This means that people of all shapes and sizes can use this machine without worrying about weight restrictions. This makes the Hydrow an excellent choice for anyone who wants a reliable and versatile rowing machine to support their fitness goals. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just beginning your fitness journey, the Hydrow Rower has you covered.

The machine comes with a five-year warranty for the structural frame and upright storage kit, which is a decent length of coverage in the industry. Additionally, the machine components are covered for 12 months. 

The Hydrow Rower is an excellent workout machine for beginners and advanced rowers. Its adjustable drag setting and interactive features make it a perfect fit for anyone who wants to get a full-body workout while working towards their fitness goals. If you are looking for a high-quality rowing machine that’s both sleek and functional, the Hydrow Rower is an excellent choice.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 86″L x 25″W x 47″H 
  • Weight Capacity: 375 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 145 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: No resistance levels (Adjust drag settings)

6. Teeter Power10 Elliptical Rower – Best Compact Rowing Machine For A Heavy Person

The Teeter Power10 Elliptical Rower is a unique fitness machine with an elliptical-like movement pattern. Unlike traditional rowing machines, the Power10 allows users to push or pull the handles during workouts, which works on all pushing muscles in addition to the pulling ones. It also comes with a heavier flywheel, which makes for a smoother experience, 7 levels of magnetic resistance, and a circular seat pattern that increases core activation. 

The compact frame and multi-grip handles make it suitable for smaller spaces, and the adjustable seat and handles offer a customizable workout for people of all heights. The machine also features an LCD monitor, chest strap heart rate monitor, and access to free instructor-led workouts through the TeeterMove App. 

When it comes to the Teeter Power10 Elliptical Rower, one thing that has been noted by some users is the noise that it produces during use. However, it’s important to note that this can be caused by attaching the cable incorrectly, so it’s always best to double-check. The machine is generally quiet and smooth if the cable is attached correctly.

It still offers a high-intensity workout experience that delivers great results by burning calories and providing a full-body workout. With its two-way magnetic resistance and seven intensity levels, it’s no surprise that many users have found their sweet spot with this machine. 

While the Teeter Power10 is an impressive machine, many may wonder how it accommodates heavier users. Rest assured, it can support up to 300 lbs and users ranging in height from 4’8″ to 7’0″. The CDC defines individuals who are 5’9″ tall and weigh between 169-202 pounds as overweight and those weighing at least 203 pounds as obese.

While the Power10 may not be suitable for all individuals with obesity concerns, it can certainly handle overweight and obese users weighing up to 300 lbs.

The assembly process for the Teeter Power10 Elliptical Rower is straightforward and user-friendly. Teeter has provided a well-organized assembly manual with clear and detailed instructions, making it easy to follow the steps required for the assembly process.

The company also includes all necessary tools in the package, making it convenient for users to complete the assembly quickly. To make things even more convenient, Teeter offers a free BILT app that provides 3-D instructions to help users easily assemble the machine. In general, the assembly process for the Power10 should be a smooth and hassle-free experience for most users.

Teeter offers a short warranty for their Power10 Elliptical Rower. The base, including all moving parts inside the drive mechanism, is only covered for 90 days, while everything else is covered for one year. While this may not be the most impressive warranty out there, Teeter does offer a heavy-duty frame and a chest strap heart rate monitor included with purchase, which could give users some peace of mind. Overall, potential buyers must consider the warranty before making a purchase decision.

Overall, the Teeter Power10 Elliptical Rower is an excellent investment for individuals seeking to enhance their fitness levels. With seven levels of resistance and the ability to engage more muscle groups than a traditional rowing machine, the Power10 is suitable for individuals of any fitness level.

The large ergonomic bench seat ensures that users of all shapes and sizes feel comfortable during their workout. Those short on space will appreciate the Power10’s ability to be stored upright, taking up minimal room when unused. Whether someone is a seasoned athlete or just starting their fitness journey, the Teeter Power10 Elliptical Rower is a versatile and effective workout machine worth considering.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 62.75″L x 37.5″W x 43.25″H 
  • Weight Capacity: 300 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 180 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 7

7. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 – Best Budget Rowing Machine For A Heavy Person

Looking for a budget-friendly full-motion rowing machine that still delivers a solid workout? Look no further than the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639. With a high weight capacity and 12 adjustable resistance levels, this machine will surely get your heart pumping and your muscles working hard. Its fully padded seat, nonslip handlebar, and large anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable straps ensure a comfortable and safe workout experience. 

The SF-RW5639 Rowing Machine has a user-friendly control panel that makes it easy for anyone to track their progress during their workout. The LCD monitor displays time, distance, and calories burned, informing users of their progress throughout their workout. Additionally, the resistance knob allows complete control of the resistance level, allowing users to customize their workout to their specific fitness level. 

The monitor on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 has a “Scan” mode which cycles through the time, count (number of strokes), total count (total strokes), and calories every 6 seconds. In addition, users can program the monitor to countdown from a certain time, count, or calorie, and the monitor will beep when finished.

The monitor is basic, but this is to be expected in this price range. It will turn off after 4 minutes of inactivity, and users can turn it on by starting to row or pressing any button. The monitor runs on 2 AAA batteries, which are included.

The build quality of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine is exceptional, making it a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts. Equipped with hydraulic-piston resistance and “free-motion” rowing arms, this rowing machine promises a smooth and effective workout session.

The machine’s weight capacity of 350 pounds also makes it suitable for different body types and fitness levels. The SF-RW5639’s affordable price tag and excellent build quality make it a great value for anyone investing in a budget-friendly rowing machine. 

One of its notable features is its pivoting footrests that are wide enough to hold any foot size. The footrests can be adjusted according to the user’s preference, making it easier for them to find the perfect position that can help maximize each stroke. The footrests are designed to provide stability and prevent slipping during the workout. Users can exercise comfortably without worrying about their feet slipping off the footrests. 

The SF-RW5639 does not have built-in storage features, but it is easy to store due to its compact design and low profile. Users can easily store it upright in a closet or against the wall in the corner of a room. The “free motion” arms also fold in, making it easy to move and store. Some users mentioned that they could easily carry the rower (33 lbs.) into another room or into a corner for storage.

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine comes with a 3-year warranty on the frame and 90 days on parts and components. This warranty is fairly standard for rowing machines in this price range. Some users mentioned experiencing difficulties contacting customer service for warranty claims.

While it may not have wheels for easy transport, it is light enough to be moved without too much effort. Overall, the SF-RW5639 is a great option for those looking to get fit without breaking the bank at a price of only around $130.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 51″L x 24″W x 14″H 
  • Weight Capacity: 350 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 33 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Hydraulic-piston 
  • Resistance Levels: 12

8. Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge – Best Premium Rowing Machine For A Heavy Person

The Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge Water Rowing Machine is an affordable and effective exercise equipment designed to strengthen muscles and provide excellent cardio benefits. With its smooth and steady rowing action, this water-resistance rowing machine offers a full-body workout that burns calories efficiently.

The progressive water resistance feature provides a more realistic rowing experience, while the performance monitor allows users to track their progress and reach fitness goals. 

In addition, the Obsidian Surge Water Rower is designed to accommodate users up to 300 lbs and features 6 water level marks on the tank for safe and effective use. 

The build quality of the Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine is impressive for its affordable price point. Weighing in at 91lb, it’s a heavy machine that feels sturdy and durable. Customers have praised the overall build quality, with minimal wobbling and solid resistance.

The frame doesn’t make much noise during use, and the water tank provides a smooth and realistic rowing experience. This budget rowing machine is a great investment for those who want a durable and effective piece of fitness equipment without breaking the bank.

The water tank of this machine is equipped with three steel fan blades that produce resistance. Additionally, the package comes with a funnel and several anti-algae tablets to help maintain the freshness and cleanliness of the water.

As previously noted, the recommended method for upkeep is to add a tablet every six months or so. However, inserting a tablet promptly is best if you observe cloudiness in the tank sooner than expected.

There are six water level options to select from, and your decision should primarily depend on the desired resistance level. The package also includes a siphon pump that can assist with removing excess water from the tank, or you can use it to empty the entire tank if required.

The LCD monitor on the Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge is a standout feature of this water rowing machine. It is a good size and easy to read, which is not always true with home rowers in this price range.

The dedicated screen shows all the important metrics for tracking your progress, including total time, time/500M, SPM, total strokes, calories burned, and heart rate. This is particularly useful since the Obsidian Surge is compatible with ANT heart rate technology, such as heart rate belts or watches, to ensure accurate measurements.

The R2 Fitness Meter allows users to tailor a personalized workout based on their goals and preferences. 

In addition, three modes are available to select from: manual, race, or recovery. Furthermore, the package includes a pair of adjustable, generously sized footpads that provide a comfortable user experience.

The Surge comes with a 3-year frame warranty and a 180-day parts warranty. This is a fair warranty considering the price of the machine. The frame warranty is average; even high-end rowers rarely have frame warranties longer than 5 years. The parts warranty could be longer, but 6 months for a $400 rower is reasonable. 

Overall, the Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge Water Rowing Machine is a great investment for anyone looking to improve their fitness. It provides a full-body workout, targeting up to 85% of the body’s muscular system.

The water resistance technology makes for an engaging and challenging workout, perfect for beginners and experienced fitness enthusiasts. It’s also a budget-friendly option for those looking for a high-quality rowing machine. 

Whether you want to improve your cardiovascular health, build muscle, or lose weight, the Sunny Obsidian Surge Water Rower is an excellent choice. With its durable construction and user-friendly features, it’s a great addition to any home gym.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 80″L x 22″W x 34″H 
  • Weight Capacity: 350 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 33 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Hydraulic-piston 
  • Resistance Levels: N/A

9. Xterra Fitness ERG700 – Best Hybrid Resistance Rowing Machine For A Heavy Person

The Xterra Fitness ERG700 Rower is a sleek, functional rowing machine providing exceptional full-body workouts. Its combination of magnetic and air resistance systems makes it suitable for everyone, regardless of their preferences.

The wide seat ensures comfort while rowing, and the rowing position is perfect for anyone who wants to experience an authentic rowing experience. With ten effective programs and 16 micro-adjustable resistance levels, the ERG700 Rower is designed to provide a well-rounded, full-body workout. 

The ERG700 rowing machine is a solidly built piece of equipment that appears to withstand the test of time. The machine is constructed with a steel frame that provides stability during intense workouts.

Moreover, the sleek and functional appearance of the machine blends well with any home gym. The machine also comes in a folding design that makes it easy to store when not in use. Among the standout feature of this machine is its impressive user capacity.

With the ability to support users of up to 350 lbs, this rower is an excellent option for larger individuals who want to engage in low-impact exercise. Overall, the build quality of the Xterra Fitness ERG700 is impressive, and it is a reliable piece of equipment for a home gym.

The LCD screen on the Xterra Fitness ERG700 is designed to be both user-friendly and easy to read. With a size of 5.5 inches, it displays all the essential information that users need, such as time, distance, strokes per minute, calories burned, heart rate, watts, level, and program graphics of resistance. The screen is backlit, which means it can be used in low-light conditions, making it a versatile tool for all fitness enthusiasts. 

The hybrid air and magnetic resistance system makes for the smoothest, most whisper-quiet rowing experience possible. Unlike other air rowing machines, the ERG700 reduces a fair amount of noise and produces a small fan-like sound when tension is applied. This makes it ideal for people who want to work out without disturbing others in their households or nearby neighbors. 

Thanks to the clear and easy-to-follow instructions, assembling the Xterra Fitness ERG700 is a breeze. The assembly tools are also included, which makes the process even more convenient. 

The ERG700 Rowing Machine offers an industry-leading warranty that ensures long-lasting use. Constructed to be durable, customers can rely on the Teeter Power10 Elliptical Rower, and if any problems occur during the warranty period, they can be assured of receiving prompt assistance. The lifetime frame, 5-year parts, and 1-year labor warranty give customers the peace of mind to invest in this product. 

The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower is a great option for individuals seeking a full-body workout while minimizing the impact on joints. This rowing machine utilizes a combination of air and magnetic resistance systems, providing many levels of resistance for users to choose from.

The rowing position is comfortable, with a wide seat and a high frame, making it easy to get on and off. The machine also allows total body movement, engaging all major muscle groups in the arms, legs, and core. The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 is a solid investment for an effective, low-impact workout machine.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 97″L x 18″W x 38″H 
  • Weight Capacity: 350 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 80 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Hybrid (Dual And Magnetic)
  • Resistance Levels: 16

10. Proform Pro R10 Rower – Best Folding Rowing Machine For Heavy Person

The ProForm Pro R10 Smart Rower is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a high-quality, sleek rowing machine. Equipped with a crystal-clear 10″ Smart HD touchscreen, this machine allows users to follow their trainer and view their workout from anywhere.

The console is adjustable to accommodate users of all heights, while the machine features 24 levels of digital resistance and an ergonomic, molded seat with an oversized steel seat rail. 

This surprisingly quiet machine allows users to enjoy an intense cardio workout without disrupting their entire household. 

Moreover, this machine has SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance technology, ensuring it operates quietly and smoothly. This means that users can exercise peacefully without causing any disturbance to those around them. The Proform Pro R10’s resistance system also features an inertia-enhanced flywheel, which provides an excellent workout experience. This machine allows users to achieve an incredible rowing workout without distractions or disruptions.

Thanks to its comprehensive adjustability, the ProForm Pro R10 enables users to work muscles they might not have known they had, targeting up to 14 different areas of the body. With a 30-day iFIT family membership included, users can browse a vast library of on-demand content, making this rowing machine a must-have for anyone seeking an interactive, multifaceted cardio experience.

The R10 Rower boasts a high-quality build that is both sturdy and stylish. Its sleek design will fit well in any home gym or workout space. While it may be heavy, the attached wheels make it effortless to move around. Assembly is easy, and the machine folds for convenient storage when not in use. 

The R10 Rower also has oversized pivoting pedals that ensure natural and secure foot motion during every exercise. These pedals are designed with adjustable nylon foot straps that help increase stability and prevent unwanted movements during your workout. Moreover, the foot straps hold you throughout your entire workout, keeping your feet in place during your workout.

The rower also features conveniently placed soft-touch handles—one under the monorail and one in between the foot pedals—to make it easier for users to grip them and avoid discomfort during extended workouts. 

This rower comes with a 5-year warranty on the frame and a 1-year warranty on parts and labor. This warranty is standard for rowers in this price range and is a good level of protection for buyers. However, with proper maintenance and care, the ProForm Pro R10 rower should last for many years of use.

The Proform Pro R10 Rower is a perfect fit for those who value convenience and technology in their workout equipment. Its sturdy design and portability make it a great addition to any home gym. The interactive coaching feature through iFIT membership is an added bonus for those who seek professional guidance and training.

Anyone who wants to improve their fitness routine with a sleek and technologically advanced rowing machine should consider purchasing the Proform Pro R10 Rower. It is perfect for those who enjoy a variety of workouts, want to save space in their home, and are committed to achieving their fitness goals.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 86.5″L x 22″W x 45.5″H 
  • Weight Capacity: 250 LBS
  • Rower Weight: 120 LBS
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 24

Best Rowing Machine Brands

This section will examine some of the top rowing machine brands available today. 


Concept2 has been a reputable American manufacturer of exercise machines and rowing equipment for over 40 years. The brand takes pride in designing, producing, and providing unique and high-quality commercial rowing machines at a reasonable price. 

Concept2’s technology may be considered average, but its machines are built to last and are perfect for professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Their famous RowErg model is suitable for all fitness levels and can provide low-impact, cardio, and muscle-strengthening workout routines to improve an individual’s fitness level. Overall, Concept2 is a reliable and well-respected brand that offers affordable workout solutions to its customers.


WaterRower is a well-established brand in the fitness industry, offering high-quality rowing machines that provide a full-body workout. With a sleek and stylish design, WaterRower rowing machines are popular among fitness enthusiasts who prefer to exercise at home.

The brand is known for its innovative use of water-based resistance, replicating the rowing experience on actual water. With an emphasis on luxury and connected fitness, WaterRower is dedicated to offering the perfect blend of style and performance to enhance the home gym experience.

Sunny & Health Fitness

Sunny Health & Fitness is a premiere brand that offers its customers affordable and top-quality fitness equipment. Since 2002, the brand has established itself as a leading distributor and importer of fitness equipment in the United States.

Their range of products includes a wide variety of home gym equipment and accessories that cater to the fitness needs of everyone. With its headquarters in the City of Industry, California, Sunny Health & Fitness serves a large customer base looking for budget-friendly workout solutions. The brand has garnered a positive reputation for providing high-quality products at affordable prices.

Rowing Machine Buying Guide For Heavy Users

Choosing the right rowing machine can be overwhelming, but don’t worry. This guide will walk you through the essential factors to remember when choosing a rowing machine as a heavy person.

Weight capacity

The first factor you must consider when purchasing a rowing machine is its weight capacity. It’sChoosing a machine that can support your weight without compromising its stability is crucial. Look for a rowing machine with a weight capacity of at least 250 pounds.

Frame Material

The material used to construct the frame of the rowing machine determines its durability and stability. Steel frames are typically more robust and durable than aluminum or wooden frames. A heavy person should choose a rowing machine with a sturdy metal frame that can withstand weight and pressure.


Comfort is essential when using a rowing machine, especially for heavy individuals who may experience more pressure on their joints. Consider a rowing machine with a comfortable seat wide enough to accommodate your body size. The footrests should also be adjustable to fit your feet comfortably.

Resistance type

The rowing machine’s resistance type determines your workout’s intensity and effectiveness. A rowing machine with a magnetic or air resistance system is preferable for heavy individuals. These systems offer more resistance and are more durable, making them ideal for heavier users.

Size and storage

The size of the rowing machine should be appropriate for your space. If you have limited space, look for a foldable or compact machine, making it easy to store when not in use.

Ease Of Use And Assembly

Ease of use and assembly is another important factor to consider when choosing a rowing machine for a heavy person. You want a machine that is easy to operate and doesn’t require a lot of complicated setups. Many rowing machines have an instruction manual outlining the assembly process step-by-step.

Look for a rowing machine with a simple, intuitive design, easy-to-use controls, and a comfortable grip. If you’re uncomfortable with assembly, consider purchasing a machine that comes partially or fully assembled or offers professional assembly services for an additional fee.


A monitor is an essential feature on a rowing machine, as it helps you track your progress and monitor your heart rate. Look for a machine with a monitor that displays your speed, distance, time, calories burned, and heart rate. Some monitors even have pre-programmed workout routines to help you achieve your fitness goals.


The price of the rowing machine is another factor to consider. The cost of rowing machines can vary significantly, usually from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, based on their features and quality. As a heavy person, investing in a high-quality rowing machine that can withstand your weight and provide an effective workout is crucial.

In conclusion, choosing a rowing machine for a heavy person requires careful consideration of various factors such as weight capacity, frame material, comfort, resistance type, size and storage, monitor, and price. Considering these factors, you can find a rowing machine that suits your needs and helps you achieve your fitness goals.

Final Words

Finding the right rowing machine for heavy people can be challenging, but it’s possible. Considering aspects like weight capacity, durability, and comfort, you can narrow down your choices and discover a rowing machine that suits you best.

Among the top 10 picks discussed in this post, there’s a machine for every budget and fitness level. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rower, you can find a machine that meets your needs.

Regular exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight and enhancing overall well-being. With the right rowing machine, you can enjoy a low-impact, full-body workout from the comfort of your home. Don’t let your weight deter you. Invest in a high-quality rowing machine and commence your journey toward a healthier, happier version of yourself!


Are Rowing Machines Good For the Obese?

Yes, rowing machines are a good option for overweight people, as they provide a low-impact workout that puts little stress on joints. Additionally, a heart rate program can maximize the benefits of a rowing machine workout for weight loss. However, it’s important to note that calorie intake must also be reduced to see weight loss results. Other advantages of using a rowing machine for weight loss include working out at home and burning more calories than other types of fitness equipment. Varying workouts and tracking progress can also help with motivation. Before beginning a new fitness regime, it’s important to check with a doctor.

What’s The Difference Between A Water And Air Rower And Which Is Better?

Several types of rowing machines are available, but the two most popular are water and air rowers. Water rowers are often considered the more modern and stylish option, with a sleek, minimalist design. They’re also more expensive than air rowers, which use a fan flywheel instead of water to provide resistance. Despite the price difference, there is no clear winner between the two regarding workout quality – both can provide an excellent cardiovascular workout and are gentle on joints. However, if noise levels are a concern, the water rower is the quieter option. Ultimately, the decision between the two options comes down to individual preference and budget.

Is A Rowing Machine Suitable For A Heavy Person?

If someone is classified as overweight or obese, finding exercise equipment to support their weight and offer a beneficial workout can be hard. However, a rowing machine might be the perfect solution. According to factual data, a rowing machine can be a great exercise option for heavy people, offering a full-body workout to help shed extra pounds. Some options, such as the Xterra Fitness or NordicTrack rowing machines, can accommodate tall or big individuals. While seeking advice from a doctor before beginning any exercise regimen is crucial, a rowing machine can serve as an excellent starting point for embarking on a weight loss journey. Even heavy individuals can work towards a healthier lifestyle with a rowing machine.

What Type Of Rower Is Best?

The best type of rowing machine depends on personal preference, but there are five main types to choose from which are: air resistance, water resistance, magnetic resistance, hydraulic, and hybrid. Air resistance rowing machines are common and provide a natural feeling but can be loud and slightly high maintenance. 

Water resistance rowers offer a similar sound and feel to rowing on the water, but it takes work to adjust the resistance level. 

Magnetic resistance rowing machines are extremely quiet and come with adjustable resistance, but they don’t feel like rowing on the water. 

Hybrid rowing machines combine air and magnetic resistance and provide the best of both kinds of rowers. 

Hydraulic rowing machines provide an effective workout and an authentic oar-like feeling but require maintenance and have a less smooth motion. 

A hybrid rowing machine is recommended for the most resistance, followed by magnetic and air resistance machines. Any rowing machine can provide a great workout if used properly.

Can You Build Muscle With WaterRower?

Yes, an indoor rowing machine, such as those offered by WaterRower, has been hailed as the “perfect exercise” as it targets all major muscle groups. One rowing stroke targets nine different muscle groups, including the lower body, upper body, and core muscles. Each of the four phases of a rowing stroke utilizes muscles in various parts of the body, including the neck, hands, and chest, activating every major skeletal muscle in the body. 

Rowing also ties cardiovascular exercise and strength training into one effective and efficient calorie-burning workout, making it an excellent way to gain muscle mass and burn fat. There is scientific research to support the benefits of combining resistance training and cardio workouts, like rowing, in reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Additionally, rowing is a low-impact and non-weight-bearing exercise, making it suitable for individuals with joint pain or injuries.

How Long Should You Use A WaterRower?

An individual’s fitness goals, timeframe to reach them, and pace should determine how long they should use a rowing machine. For weight loss, consistency is key, and aim for at least 30 minutes per day on the machine, four to six times a week, while incorporating balanced lifestyle practices. For anaerobic conditioning, the workouts should be of higher intensity for a shorter time, and sprints and HIIT are ideal. For aerobic conditioning, workouts will be longer with lower intensity, and pace also plays a factor in determining workout duration. Every individual’s fitness level varies, so adjusting goals and workouts to keep things challenging without overexerting is crucial. 

What is the number of calories burned by using a rowing machine?

Experts generally agree that a rowing machine can help you burn approximately 700-1000 calories per hour. (1) Remember that this estimate may vary depending on your workout intensity and body weight.

But remember, weight loss isn’t just about burning calories. Building lean muscle and boosting your metabolism are also important factors to consider. So, don’t just focus on the calorie count. Aim for a balanced approach that includes strength training and cardiovascular exercise. This way, you can achieve weight loss goals and improve overall health and fitness.

Are Rowing Machines Suitable For Recovering From An Injury?

Nowadays, many rowing machine models are ideal for rehabilitation purposes. These machines have become essential to treatment and are recommended by numerous fitness and sports institutions worldwide.

In fact, rowing machines have gained popularity in rehabilitation due to their low-impact and full-body workout benefits. These machines provide a safe and effective way to build strength, improve cardiovascular health, and recover from injuries.

So, whether you’re recovering from an injury or looking for a low-impact workout, a rowing machine can be a great addition to your fitness routine. With their numerous health benefits, it’s no wonder they are becoming increasingly popular in rehabilitation.

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