Purchasing a rowing machine as a taller than average person can be particularly tricky if you’re going about it online – what if you get a machine you can’t fit properly on, unable to straighten your legs all the way and remaining restricted in how smoothly the rowing motions and strokes will be? Picking a good machine as a tall individual involves, crucially, knowing your inseam height – although you may have the same height as someone else able to use a machine comfortably, difference in inseam heights (the length of the inside of your leg) is what determines whether or not a machine is the right size for you. The goal is to find a machine that allows you to complete the rowing motions smoothly and naturally, letting you fully extend your arms and legs, access controls and display monitors without having to stretch or contort yourself uncomfortably, and receive complete support from the footrest and handlebars. Confused about how to get started? We’ve shortlisted some of our top picks for the best rowing machines for tall individuals.
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
With a 500 pound weight capacity and a seat height of 14 inches, this 9 by 4 feet unit is an ideal option for accommodating individuals over 6 feet tall. Commercial-grade equipment you’d find in gyms – and used by professional rowers, to boot – the rowing machine is still indoor-friendly for use at home, made manageable since the unit disassembles into two for easy storage and mobility, and also comes with caster wheels to make it easier to move around.
That’s not all – the rugged flywheel is designed to keep the noise at a minimum, the spiral damper of the unit regulating airflow to the flywheel so the unit is responsive to the intensity of your strokes and emulates the resistance you’d encounter if you were actually rowing a boat. Adjustable footrests the right size to accommodate a range of feet sizes feature straps to secure your feet into place as you row, while ergonomic handlebars with a 10 degree bend allow you to move your hands and arms naturally and fluidly, and properly work out your upper body as well as your lower.
The unit comes with the signature Performance Monitor 5, the adjustable arm making it that much more accessible for you without having to contort yourself uncomfortably to read the display, keeping track of stats like time and distance covered. The monitor also features a USB flash drive port that allows you to save your workout data on an external storage device so you can chart your progress over time, and can wirelessly track your heart rate as well.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Stamina ATS 1399 Air Rower
This brilliant heavy-duty rower comes at the fraction of the price of several commercial-grade options out there, and the best part, aside from the fact that this really is a fantastic rowing machine, is that it is great for use by individuals as tall as 6’4”, perfect for inseam heights of up to 38”. With an adjustable seat of a maximum height 12 inches, these variable resistance machines use dynamic air resistance to function. When the machine’s handle is pulled with each stroke, the flywheel’s fanblades spin and create wind – the harder and faster the strokes, the more wind generated, and the greater the drag or resistance. This more closely emulates the natural experience of rowing a boat, the resistance automatically responsive to how hard or how fast you’re rowing. The unit has a weight limit of 250 pounds, with an oversized, slightly inclined seat rail and large footholds so you can smoothly and fluidly row while still remaining comfortable. A digital monitor displays stats like calories burned and distance and time covered to let you keep track of your workout.
BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower
Designed for taller folks, anyone up to 6’6” will be completely at their ease using this machine. Featuring 12 preset workout routines and a combination of air and magnetic resistance to deliver 32 levels of electronically adjustable, quiet resistance, this unit is a commercial-grade rowing machine that would fit right in at home too, an intuitive fold and roll system with child-lock making storage a breeze when the unit is not in use. The adjustable seat (with an inseam height of 38”) has a height of 19 inches great for taller individuals to comfortably use the machine and fully extend their arms and legs during the rowing motions. The handlebars, ergonomically structured and with integrated resistance controls also feed into the responsiveness of the machine. With a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds, the unit features a handy automatic shut-off feature to save electricity if there is a period of inactivity, as well as four heart rate control programs accessible through the wireless monitor, and the option to save up to four separate user profiles so you can keep track of your workout goals and progress.
Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
Another brilliant unit for taller folks, this 96 inch long unit is great for anyone up to or even over 6’3”, featuring a 20 inch high seat, adjustable footrest with strap for proper and secure rowing, and ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip and full, smooth stroke. Despite being commercial-grade, like our top pick this unit also separates into two components for easy storage, with caster wheels for mobility. This, combined with the specially designed, quiet-functioning flywheel for smooth and silent operation, make it just as great an option to use at home. The spiral damper regulates airflow to the flywheel so the resistance is responsive to how fast or hard you’re rowing, accurate to how rowing a boat actually will feel like. The Performance Monitor 5 helps you keep track of your workout stats, saves your workout data on a USB flash drive, and even wirelessly tracks your heart rate. The adjustable monitor arm is also a blessing, making it easily accessible without you having to crane your neck or stretch yourself unnaturally to read the display.
- Livestrong.com: https://www.livestrong.com/article/258087-rowing-machines-in-comparison-to-other-cardio/
- MedicineNet.com: https://www.medicinenet.com/aerobic_exercise/article.htm#aerobic_exercise_facts
- Harper’s Bazaar: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/diet-fitness/advice/a3549/rowing-fitness-trend-1014/
- Livestrong.com: https://www.livestrong.com/article/306902-how-to-lose-weight-fast-with-a-rowing-machine/