What are the Best Indoor Rowers for Heavy People for 2020?

What are the heavy duty rowing machines? If you are on the heavy side, you are probably wondering: Is there a proper rowing machine for big guys? Can they handle large people without collapsing?

And, yes, there are rowing machines for heavy guys. Some can even handle a whopping 1000 pounds without buckling!

Sometimes choosing the best rowing machine becomes tricky. You will find thousands of equipment in the market each claiming to be the best. How do you go about it?

This article focuses on ways to get heavy-duty rowing machines or indoor rowers and reviews of the best ones in the market.

Related: Best Elliptical Machines for Heavy Persons

Benefits of Rowing Machines

Full Body Exercise

Not many indoor machines can give you a full body workout. You find yourself forgetting your legs in almost every exercise. But with rowing machines you will feel the pain and gain in every part of your body.

Rowing needs you to exert both your lower body and upper body.

Strength Building

Your muscles and circulatory systems need constant exercise. If you want to build strength and have the best blood circulation, you will enjoy the best rowing machines. Many muscles are engaged when rowing meaning you will have body strength.

Rowing also has some resistance that builds your power. 

Low Impact

Most of us envy the athletic guys on posters. But can we ever meet those standards? Rowing machines provide big guys with low-impact workouts that give you the optimal exercises. You won’t be very muscular but you will be fit.

If you are on rehabilitation you will benefit from this equipment. It is also perfect for older guys who would love an injury-free workout.


The sea gives us expanse. This means you’ve got to row your boat hard. However, you can also do hard rowing on your heavy duty rowing machine. It helps build your stamina the more you row.

The rowing machines also offer options for both anaerobic and aerobic exercises. If you need aerobic workouts you have the steady-state rowing. However, if you desire anaerobic exercises, you can use the HIIT.

Weight Loss

Some machines are great for weight loss and the rowing machines top the list. When you work your whole body your fat ought to become muscle.

Rowing machines burn between 600-100 calories every 60 minutes. If you want to lose weight without much fuss, look no further.


Most of us love our peace when we work out. Rowing machines for big guys give you the perfect opportunity. You don’t have to endure the stares at the gym because you are a bit overweight.

 You can exercise comfortably while feeling the calmness of the waters while at home.

Easy Assembly

Most rowing machines need to be assembled when delivered. There are machines that take you days to assemble.

But what if you can assemble one in under an hour?

Related: Best Treadmill For Big Guys

Types of Rowing Machines


This is the best indoor rower that you can get at an affordable price. Hydraulic rowing machines operate by the amount of pressure you put when rowing. The compressed air or fluid determines how much resistance you can get.

They may come cheap but they don’t offer maneuverability. You won’t be able to pull in a straight line. And this means you can’t replicate the sea motion.


This kind of rowing replicates the outdoor rowing motion. When you pull, you will receive some resistance motion which turns the attached fly wheels.

The flywheel rowing machine is designed to give you a natural rowing motion.

Magnetic Resistance

Magnetic resistant rowing machines get their whole functionality from the magnetic brake system. This means that they provide a smooth and quiet environment.

You should note that there are magnetic systems that blend both the air and the magnet system.

WaterRower Rowng Machines

Our forefathers got fit by rowing for food, war, immigration or escape. The WateRower is the epitome of sea life. If you want to feel how it feels to be on water, look no further.

This machine gets its resistance as water moves past the tank. It’s not as quiet as the magnetic version but all you hear is a whistling sound.

Related: Best Heavy Duty Exercise Bikes

Rowing Machine for Big Guys Buying Guide


If you feel uncomfortable while working out, you won’t work out to the maximum. Most machines are built with a certain body type in mind. This means that you should find one that will handle you without wobbling.

If it is multiuser, make sure it is adjustable and the padding fit your weight category.


The specs of your rowing machine determine your thrill. You can experience top heart rate monitors or preset exercise schedules with top machines.

Top features come at a bigger price, no doubt. But if you want the best of features you will have to part with more cash.

Storage Space

Size matters when you buy a rowing machine. Do you have a room set apart for exercise? Or do you live in a small room where space will be an issue? Having the best rowing machine is useless unless you have enough space to practice.

Either way you have to have plenty of space to row however you like. The good thing is that there are foldable options in the market.

Hydraulic rowing machines have a smaller footprint than both water and air resistance ones. If you have a smaller room, consider the latter.

Weight Limit

The machine you buy must support your weight. If you weigh, say, 300 pounds go for a heavy duty rowing machine that supports more weight.

User Experience

All rowers are made for exercise, However, there are ones made for commercial use while others are made for home use. Commercial and semi-commercial ones may be good at home but home rowers can’t be used commercially.

Keep in mind the number of people who are going to use it and how often. Some people are stronger, heavier and taller than others and you have to consider them.

Also, its silence or noise matters. Some people want the clangs during workout while others prefer silence especially in shared apartments.

Water Simulation

How do you like your rower? Is it just another exercise equipment or do you want to feel the serenity of the sea? There are rowers in the market the replicate the feel of the waters.

You have to get a rower that gives you a life-like rowing motion. It should also have various resistance options that replicate rowing over the ocean.

Types of Resistance

We mentioned the types of resistance above: magnetic, air, water and hydraulic. Each category has its pros and cons, which you should consider.

If you are planning to buy a budget friendly rower ($400 or less), you can only afford the air and hydraulic version.

Air rowers are the commonest rowing machines found in gyms. Their function depends on the user intensity and rowing power. It means that the more intense your workout the harder the resistance. However, they are noisy but they have a nice rowing motion.

Hydraulic machines are the cheapest and the resistance is adjustable. They are also compact easy to store.

Magnetic rowers are durable and need little to no maintenance. They are also quieter with a very nice rowing motion. But they don’t have the huge resistance found in water or air types.

Water rowers are the most expensive ones because they give you the rowing feeling as if you are on water. If you don’t mind the noisy feel of rowing, they will be perfect.


For most products, cost equals durability and quality. The same goes here. You will find models that fit every budget from $100-$3000. Affordable ones go for $400 or less, mid-range from $400-700 and high end ones from $700 upwards.

But remember you may still find affordable machines that still have the kick. Just do your research on brands and read some online reviews.

Related: Best Plus Size Waist Trainer for Weight Loss

Let’s see what the experts have reviewed as the best rowing machines for big guys.

Top Heavy Duty Rowing Machines

Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5639

This is among the best hydraulic machines for optimum fitness and exercise. Sunny and Fitness have been on the fitness trade for over two decades. With it you can have full motion of your arms which also facilitates full body exercise of the back and shoulders.

The 12 resistance options are also excellent for every category from beginners to pros.

One great additional feature is the LCD display. You can track your calories, time, and stroke count.


  • Weight limit: 350 lbs
  • Padded seats and non-slip handlebars
  • Anti-slip foot pedals
  • LCD display
  • 12-level adjustable system
  • Dimensions (L*W*H): 57*29*12


  • Compact
  • Comfortable
  • Simple design
  • A digital monitor to track your progress
  • Easy to assemble


  • If you are extremely strong the resistance won’t be enough for you.

Sunny Health and Fitness Incline Full Motion Rower

Unlike the above model, this rower is inclined. When you row, the slide rail lifts up as a result of your arm movements. This range of motions works especially well for the leg and calf muscles while your arm and upper bodies control your movements and stability.

The SF-RW 5720 has a 5-level incline adjustment for a stimulating full body exercise. You also get a comfortable seat, a non-slip pedal which has an adjustable strap and an excellent LCD monitor.

This rowing machine for heavy person is also compact and has wheels for easy transport.


  • Dimensions (L*W*H): 55*22*18
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Max incline: 29.5”
  • Digital Monitor
  • Mobile holder


  • Inclined for more challenge
  • Comfortable
  • Simple, light and compact
  • A digital monitor
  • Engages more muscles


  • You don’t have the option to row without the incline.

Concept 2 Model D Heavy Duty Rowing Machines

This is an air resistance rowing machine that comes from a renowned maker. The manufacturer has been making fitness equipment for over 40 years and their machines are among the best-selling ones.

They can be used both commercially and at home because they are good for athletes. You can also connect with other fitness apps to motivate yourself while exercising.

This machine is also easy to assemble. They can be used by anyone because the concept of air resistance works by the power you give it. Give it more power, you get more resistance.


  • Dimensions: 96*24*14
  • Product Weight: 59.3 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 500 pounds
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Ergonomic handles
  • Has a monitor to track your data


  • The rowing machine for heavy person is easy to assemble
  • Easy to store since you can separate it into two pieces
  • Supports a higher weight category
  • Comfortable
  • Offers more resistance
  • Excellent customer reviews


  • The dimensions are big if you have a smaller apartment


Heavy Duty Rowing Machines Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

Rowing machines for heavy people come in different shapes and sizes. If rowing is your thing, you have several options from air resistance to magnetic resistance each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

When shopping for heavy duty rowing machines also consider the cost, warranty, comfort, compactness among other factors.

Find a reliable manufacturer and you will never want to part with your heavy duty rower.