Looking for a rowing machine that has high capacity?

Well, I have a couple of them, handpicked for you. With this list of Best Rowing Machine of 400 lb Capacity, you will be in your best shape.

Now that we have this disclosure out of our way, let’s proceed

Don’t want to go through the list?

No Problem. Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor is the best of the lot. It is robust and can support up to 500 lbs and can last a lifetime.

Also, be sure to check out Buyer’s guide to find useful information on purchasing and using the rowing machine.

best rowing machines of 400 lbs capacity

6 Best Rowing Machine of 400 lb Capacity Compared

Concept2 Model D indoor rower-min

Up to 500 lbs / 226.8 kg

Air Rower

Sturdy build

Excellent for home and commercial use

Best Rowing Machine of 400 lb Capacity

Up to 1000 lbs / 453.59 kg

Water Rower

Pure wood body

Excellent for obese or morbidly obese people

Best Rowing Machine of 400 lb Capacity

Up to 600 lbs / 272.15 kg

Magnetic Rower

Commercial grade

Best for fat people who are tall as well

Stamina X Air Rower

Up to 551 lbs / 250 kg

Air Rower

Alloy steel body

Excellent for overweight beginners

Sole SR500 Rower

 Up to 515 lbs / 233.6 kg

Hybrid Rower (Air and Magnetic)

Aluminum body

Best for big and heavy people on budget

ORGANILAND EliteTopRow Rowing Machine

Up to 550 lbs / 249.48 kg

Air Rower

Alloy steel body

Foldable and commercial grade

Best Rowing Machine 400 lb Weight Capacity

  1. Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor – Best value for money, best for home, and commercial use
  2. Water Rower Natural Rowing Machine – Best water rower for up to 1000 lbs
  3. Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine – Best for tall and heavy person
  4. Stamina X Air Rower – Best for obese beginners
  5. Sole SR500 Rower – Best rowing machine for big guys on a budget
  6. ORGANILAND EliteTopRow Rowing Machine – Best foldable rower up to 500 lbs
  7. Rowing Machine Water Trac Glider – Best heavy-duty water rower for home gym
  8. STRONGICK Foldable Rowing Machine – Best for home use
  9. Get RXd Xebex Air Rower – Best air rowing machine for fat people
  10. Total Gym XLS – Best multipurpose rower for big and heavy people

Best Concept2 For Rowing Machine For 400 lb Weight Capacity

Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor

Best rowing machine for heavy people
This attention-grabbing beast is sure to take your breath away using its charming looks and a 5-year warranty on the frame. Be sure to have an excellent exercise experience as this rowing machine is designed for a weight of 500 lbs. When working out on these, you will be able to feel that it is engaging all your major muscle groups like legs, core, and arms. This way you will become a high-calorie-burning machine yourself. It also flaunts a real-time reliable Performance monitor 5 which calibrates for comparable results. Also, since It can wirelessly connect to your heart rate belts and apps (not included) you can optimize your workout based on the reading shown by the monitor Tracking your progress becomes much easier and you will stay motivated to achieve your goals. It can accommodate most user heights with its 14-inch seat height and adjustable footrests and Designed to fit most users: 14-inch seat height, ergonomic handle The air resistance flywheel responds to your every stroke and you can easily control the airflow by adjusting the damper at any of the 10 levels provided. You can store it easily by separating out the two major pieces and transporting them to your desired location using caster wheels. Assembling it is also a breeze as you need only 8 screws to put this puzzle together. Though you would need around 9 X 4 Feet for using it comfortably.

Concept2 Model D Video Review (Overweight)

  • Ideal for people of any age especially older ones.
  • Easy to assemble with only 8 screws.
  • Solid built and is of gym-quality.
  • Can accommodate a user of weights up to 500 lbs.
  • Low on maintenance.
  • Easily available spare parts.
  • 5 years warranty on frame.
  • PM5 monitor is easy to read and understand.
  • Can wirelessly connect to your heart monitor.
  • You can download the performance record and store it for future reference.
  • Space Efficient.
  • For some users, resistance is only evident above the 8th level.
  • It doesn’t have fold-able hinges, so you have to split it into two pieces for storage.
  • The fan can feel a bit noisy.

My Final Opinion

Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor is hands down the best in 400 lb category. It’s built is such that, with minimal maintenance, it can last a lifetime and is suitable for people of all sizes and for most heights. The performance monitor is great as it is easy to understand and read. Also, its capability to wireless connect to other fitness gadgets makes it stand out. It is ideal for people of all ages and can be even used by people who are in their 60s or 70s. For many owners, this machine has lasted for more than a decade with minimal maintenance I would highly recommend this product.

Best WaterRower Rowing Machine For 1000 lb Weight Capacity

Water Rower Classic Rowing Machine

Best water rowing machine for obese people
This rowing machine is unique as it will give you a retro feel due to the Solid Ash and Stained Honey Oak frame. Wood tends to absorb sound and vibration better, so you will get a more stable ride with this beauty. Adding to this unique experience is the fact that this rowing machine is handcrafted and has a water flywheel. Hence, it will give you the closest natural rowing experience along with the swooshing sound of water. 🙂 The flywheel is enclosed in a water tank and will give you self-regulated resistance. This model comes with a Series 4 Performance Monitor and will track your workout intensity, distance, stroke rate per min, heart rate, and more. To save space, you will be able to store it upright. This monitor, may not be at par with the athletic counterpart but is enough for an average user who is looking to track his basic fitness data.

WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine Video Review

  • Good built quality.
  • Natural and smooth rowing experience.
  • Ashwood and Honey oak give this machine extra stability.
  • Assembling it is very easy.
  • You can store it upright to save space.
  • The seat and handle are very comfortable.
  • Increase or decrease resistance by adding or removing water from the tank.
  • The performance monitor lacks advanced features.
  • Some Customers felt that the noise is more.

My Final Opinion

Water Rower Natural Rowing Machine is made of Ash wood and Honey Oak. These woods have a property to absorb the vibration better. Hence you get a very stable piece of equipment. Also, these are hardwoods and are known for their durability. You will not face problems with termites or other woodworms with them. The resistance level is self-regulated, and to increase it, just add more water. However, the S4 monitor lacks some advanced features but most of us won’t be participating in the next Olympics anyway. The best part is, that it can sync up with your heart rate monitor and can help you optimize your workouts. Also, this product comes with a 5-year warranty on the frame and 3 Years warranty on parts so your rowing is pretty much insured.

Best Commercial Rowing Machine For Tall And Obese

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine

Best heavy-duty commercial rowing machine for fat people

If you are looking for a commercial-grade rowing machine, then this rowing machine will be your best fit.

It comes with a whopping 16 levels of magnetic resistance which you can adjust based on your comfort level.

Want more?

It comes with 15 preset programs and 4 Heart Rate Control programs to choose from.

And it is compatible with your Polar HRM gadgets.

You will have a comfortable exercise experience as this beast has an ergonomically designed seat, handles, and angled footrests with pivoting heel supports.

It can support almost any height and weight with the max recommended weight being 600 pounds.

You can store it easily, by folding it.

For warranty, this machine has three schemes,  5 years parts/1 year labor for home use, 2 years parts/90 days labor for light commercial use, and 1-year parts for full commercial


  • Intended for commercial use so it can handle rough usage
  • 16 magnetic resistance and 15 predefined workout programs
  • Air and Magnetic Resistance with Electronic Brake System Technology
  • Ergonomically designed
  • The large monitor is easy to read
  • Adjustable cooling Air-Vent
  • Easy to assemble
  • Built-in Caster Wheels
  • Multiple Warranty Programs for different kinds of usage


  • Heavier than others
  • After couple of years, clutch bearings can wear out and replacement may be needed

My Final Opinion

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine is intended for commercial use. Hence the machine is very sturdy and can tackle very rough usage.

The monitor is very good, however, it is a bit restrictive as it only syncs with PHM devices. The upside is, it can store data of multiple users (max 4) and comes with different warranty schemes for different types of usage.

You can easily assemble it and can be folded up for storage.

Using the 16 levels of magnetic resistance, unleash the beast inside you.

Best Heavy-duty Air Rowing Machine For Overweight Beginners

Stamina X Air Rower

Stamina X Air Rower
This is an air rowing machine that will get the job done. It is a bare minimum air rower that will help you get started with rowing. This is especially good for overweight beginners who are getting started. They are still to develop a workout routine and they are not sure if they will be able to stick with it. Stamina X Air Rower is not expensive and will not burn a hole in your pocket. Also, being an air rower will provide you with the amount of resistance proportional to the effort you will put in. This is great for beginners who typically cannot exert a lot of force. Also, as the body adapts to the workout routine, you can start to row harder to increase the amount of resistance. It comes with a decent-sized LCD monitor, which is capable of monitoring distance, calories burned, speed, workout time, total number of strokes, and strokes per minute. This is sufficient for anyone looking to keep a track of their progress. Also, the workout parameters can be tracked through the müüv app which provides you with smart audio coaching, personalized workouts, and iHeartRadio. Pros
  • Sturdy alloy steel body.
  • Resistance adjusts itself to your rowing intensity.
  • Foldable for easier storage.
  • Ergonomically designed.
  • Comes with a müüv app for a tailed exercise experience.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Affordable.
  • May not be able to hold up with heavy usage.
  • Not good for advanced users.
  • Strokes per minute may be inaccurate due to the dependency on seat sliding.

My Final Opinion

Stamina X Air Rower is a good rowing machine for beginners or someone who is getting started after a long time. It is sturdy, affordable, and also provides you with custom programs. It will also support users who are above 6 feet and weighs around 250 kgs. However, although this rower is a good choice for beginners, it has its own set of flaws. For example, the strokes count is linked to the seat, and if you do not go through the full range of rowing motion, or if you fall short of it, it will not count the strokes. Also, although the seat is molded, it will leave you sore, after you have used the machine for longer sessions. Plus, the resistance of the machine is dependent on the amount of effort you put in. This is a good thing if you want to progress with your fitness. As with anything, you may lose motivation after some time and may not increase your efforts. Effectively, you will get stuck at the same level.

Best Affordable Hybrid Rowing Machine For Big Guys

SOLE SR500 Rower

Sole SR500 Rower

SOLE SR500 is a hybrid rowing machine that uses both magnetic and air resistance. It is great for the big guys who are starting their weight loss journey.

It is quieter than most of the rowing machines on this list and will provide you with a really good workout.

One thing I love about this rowing machine is that you can change the resistance from the handle itself wirelessly and you need not stop your workout or get off the machine to do that.

However, this machine doesn’t fold and you cannot store it on its head. This may be cumbersome for you if you don’t have a lot of space.

Also, one more thing is that, if you are planning on purchasing this model, check out the manufacturing year. If it is 2014 then the wireless resistance controls will not be present on the handle. To have that feature you need to go for the 2015 model or above.

It has a big backlit LCD display of 5.5″ and is capable of monitoring all the basic data along with strokes per minute.

Also, it comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 years on parts, and 1 year on home labor.

It is capable of supporting a maximum user weight of 515 lbs or 233.6 kg.


  • A hybrid rowing machine with wireless resistance control.
  • Silent operation.
  • Good for tall and heavy people.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Affordable.


  • Not foldable.
  • Foot straps are flimsy.
  • Large footprint.

My Final Opinion

SOLE SR500 Rower is a hybrid rowing machine that is capable of supporting a huge weight. Also, since the resistance is a combination of air and magnet, the operation is quieter than a typical air rower.

However, this machine is louder than a magnetic rowing machine due to the additional air resistance component.

Since you have this air resistance component, the resistance level of this machine will depend to a certain extent on your effort.

Also, the quieter operation will make your roommates or your family members less grumpy and you can enjoy your time with the rowing machine guilt-free.

However, one thing I did not like about this rowing machine is the foot straps. They are flimsy and felt like they are going to break with heavy usage.

That gave me a bit of an unsettling feeling as this may lead you to get injured.

One major thing that I felt which may deter you from getting this rowing machine even if it supports a weight of more than 400 lbs, is that it doesn’t fold at all.

If you are someone who is living in a shared space, this can cause some drama as you may be blocking up a lot of space. I mean, the dimensions of this machine are 94 x 18 x 46 inches which are huge.

If you are ok with that, then this is a good rowing machine that will last you for some time and will provide you with a stable rowing platform, even if you are on the heavier side of the spectrum.

Best Foldable Rowing Machine With Up to 500 lb Weight Capacity

ORGANILAND EliteTopRow Rowing Machine

Organiland EliteTopRow Rowing Machine

ORGANILAND EliteTopRow Rowing Machine is an excellent rowing machine for fat individuals. It has a weight capacity of around 550 lbs and it is made from alloy steel, which gives it its sturdiness.

It is an air rower that has 10 resistance levels. It is perfect for rowers of any fitness level and of almost any weight and height.

It has Bluetooth connectivity and preset workout options to help you achieve your goals efficiently.

Since the machine is made from ally steel, it is very sturdy and will last you for years to come. Also, it is capable of withstanding very rigorous workout sessions as well without complaining.

Although an air rower, it is not as noisy as the air rowing machines mentioned above.

You can easily fold it and can transport it to a storage space with the help of built-in castor wheels.


  • Sturdy alloy steel body.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Foldable for easier storage.
  • Preset workout programs.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Suitable for almost any height and weight of users.


  • Large footprint.
  • Not as quiet as you would like it to be.
  • The monitor is basic.

My Final Opinion

ORGANILAND EliteTopRow Rowing Machine is big on promises and kind of delivers it as well.

Also, by now you may have noticed the uncanny similarity in its appearance with Concept2 Model D. I also observed the same and that made my expectation from this rowing machine higher.

This rowing machine is a near clone of Concept2 Model D and is very sturdy and provides you with a great workout. Also, it is cheaper than Concept2 Model D, making it a very attractive choice for me.

However, there are a couple of problems that were very evident with this rowing machine. Although not a deal-breaker for home use, it may fall short if you are planning to use it for commercial purposes.

First of all, the Bluetooth connectivity of this rowing machine is not very reliable. It keeps on dropping provided you can connect first.

Also, the monitor is not accurate. It will either record the calories and the distance less or more. Sometimes they may not work at all. This glitch may be rectified in subsequent iterations and if they do that, this is a real, much more affordable competitor to Concept2 Model D.

Plus, it is perfect for even very heavy and tall people who want to start off with exercising.

Overall, apart from some minor problems, this is a very good and stable rowing machine for heavier rowers.

Best Heavy-duty Water Rower For Home Gym

Rowing Machine WaterTrac Glider

rowingmachine watertrac glider

Rowing Machine WaterTrac Glider is the second water rower on this list. Like the other one that we have included above, it is also a heavy-duty water rower and is great for people over 400 lbs of weight.

However, the weight capacity of this water rower is much lesser than that of the one mentioned above. To be exact, the weight capacity of this water rower is around 440 lbs.

The build of this water rower is sturdy and the frame is made from steel. The water case is made from double-layer Makrolon and is durable and leak-proof.

To control the resistance of this rowing machine, you can increase the level of water that is present in the tank. This makes it a great choice for any rower be it, a beginner or senior.

Also, it comes with a smart LCD monitor, which can help you to track speed, distance, time, calories burned, and date.

This rower can stand on its head and can be adjusted to any corner of a room making it space-efficient.


  • Excellent built quality.
  • Space-efficient.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Easy maintenance.


  • Resistance needs to be manually controlled.
  • The monitor is basic.

My Final Opinion

Rowing Machine WaterTrac Glider is a good water rower. It mimics the feel of water and provides you with the same shooshing sound as you will feel while rowing in actual water.

However, like every other water rower, it has one basic problem. The resistance of this rowing machine needs to be manually controlled with the level of water in the tank.

This is well and good but I don’t like the overall manual intervention that is required for resistance control.


First of all, you cannot accurately maintain the water level every time. There will be a bit different every time. This means your workout will also be a bit different every time.

Also, once you start your workout with one level of resistance, you have to continue with the same resistance level till the end of the session. Changing it in between the rowing session is too cumbersome and you will have to literally stop to add more or less water to the tank.

So although this rowing machine is good and will provide you with an excellent workout, it is a bit hassle for me with all the things mentioned above.

Best Foldable Rower For Bulky People

STRONGICK Foldable Rowing Machine

strongick foldable rowing machine

STONGICK Foldable Rowing Machine is a strong competitor of ORGANILAND EliteTopRow Rowing Machine.

Both of these rowing machines are similar in both appearance and working and are capable of supporting a user weight of more than 400 lbs.

This rowing machine is sturdy and provides you with a stable platform to start your workout routine.

Also, they come with a large-sized monitor that is capable of tracking time, distance, strokes, speed, and stroke per min.

They are easy to assemble and will get you started in around 30 mins max. Although they say it is around 15-20 min, I hardly doubt it.

This machine comes with 10 resistances and will provide you with an excellent workout. Also, it can be folded and stored easily and can save space when not working out.


  • Sturdy build.
  • Space-efficient.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
  • Wireless connectivity.
  • Foldable.


  • The monitor has lag issues.

My Final Opinion

STRONGICK Foldable Rowing Machine is comparable to both C2 and ORGANILAND rowing machines in performance.

However, since this is a more affordable rowing machine than C2, you will find that it is not as robust as C2.

One thing that I didn’t like about this rowing machine is the performance monitor. First of all, it lags, and will not provide you with proper and timely data.

Also, the Bluetooth connectivity also falters. It keeps dropping or you may not be able to use it at all.

One major red flag for me is the customer service of the company and you can check out the other customers’ opinions on Amazon as well.

The customer service of the company is not good and if some kind of a problem occurs with this rowing machine, you may have to resolve it on your own, without depending on the company.

One good news is that the parts of C2 seem to fit this rowing machine and you can replace them with it. This will make the machine more robust for your usage. However, for the bolts, you will have to check as there seems to be some difference between a C2 and STRONGICK.

Overall, apart from the issues mentioned above, this is a good rowing machine and is well suited for heavy beginners.

Best Air Rowing Machine For Fat People Above 400 lbs

Get RXd Xebex Air Rower

Get RXd Xebex Air Rower

Get RXd Xebex Air Rower is a self-powered rower with a maximum user weight capacity of 550 lbs.

This is much higher than 400 lbs and if you are someone who weighs around this weight, this will not give you any trouble due to being overweight.

However, since this is an air rower, the working of this rower is not silent. You will have to deal with the loud whooshing sound that is inherent to that of the air rower.

It is not as high as the Stamina X Air Rower which has a completely open cage for the rowing blades increasing the sound of the spin.

Also, this has a very stable base and the base weighs around 110 lbs for extra stability.

It comes with free gifts and that will only enhance your workout efficiency of yours.


  • Sturdy build.
  • Space-efficient.
  • Rolls on 4 wheels for easy transport.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Comfortably padded handle and seat.
  • Foldable.


  • Large footprint.

My Final Opinion

Get RXd Xebex Air Rower is comparable to Concept2 Model D. It is very similar to Concept2, especially the damper.

Also, the seat of the Xebex Air Rower is higher than that of Concept2 Model D, making it a tad more convenient for tall people.

The price point of this air rower is much lesser than that of Concept2 Model D and this makes it a very attractive choice for me.

Further, it comes with a lot of gifts like a back saver pad, EZ Speed Rope, 20 pound premium wall ball, 15 pound slam ball. These are very usable gifts and they further reduce the price of this rowing machine.

Also, personally, I love slam ball. They are a very effective tool for strength training and since rowing is a cardio exercise, this kind of tool added to your home gym makes it complete.

Best multipurpose rower for big and heavy people

Total Gym XLS

Total Gym XLS

Total GYM XLS as the name suggests is a total home gym solution and as a part, it also has rowing capability.

It is a magnetic rowing machine and comes with nearly 80 workout programs. Also, it has 6 resistance levels to suit all your rowing needs.

This is a machine that has a maximum user capacity of 400 lbs and you will not be able to overload it as you will risk breaking the warranty.

It focuses on all the major muscle groups of your body and will provide you with proper cardio, strength training, and stretching.

It also provides you free video access and you can stream workouts from Total Gym TV.

Also, this machine comes pre-assembled, which is a plus as you will be able to get started with your workouts without any delay or hassle.


  • Sturdy build.
  • Space-efficient.
  • Comes preassembled.
  • Good for cardio and strength training.


  • No supporting app to accompany workouts.
  • No caster wheels for easy shifting.

My Final Opinion

Total Gym XLS is a complete home gym with rowing capabilities. So if you are trying to get a full rowing experience it may not give you that.

However, as it is a complete home gym it comes with additional functionalities like a squat stand, leg pull, 2 ankle cuffs, and exercise charts.

This is a plus according to me as you don’t have to invest in multiple gym equipment and can have a functional gym at home at a fraction of the price.

However, it has its fair share of drawbacks…it doesn’t have built-in castor wheels. This makes it very difficult to move this 50 lbs.

Also, this doesn’t have a dip bar which may be a letdown for some of us who are focused on that.

The overall built quality is good and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to set up a home gym and doesn’t want to spend a fortune setting it up.

Buyer’s Guide for choosing the best rowing machine of 400 lbs capacity

When you are trying to buy a rowing machine of 400 lb capacity or more, it is bound to be expensive.

So, if you are willing to spend so much mullah, be sure to do a thorough investigation before making a purchase.

At the very least check these below pointers before making a decision.

Choose A Resistance Type

First of all, decide which type of resistance you want. You have basically five options available:

  • Magnetic resistance
  • Air Resistance
  • Water resistance
  • Hydraulic Resistance
  • Elastic Resistance
  • Hybrid resistance

Some rowing machines like Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine can come with a dual resistance type. But that is rare. Deciding on the type will narrow down your search to 2-3 rowing machines.

Also, based on the intensity of your workout or your fitness level, you may choose something which is easier on you a bit.

For example, if you go for magnetic resistance, most of the time they are more targeted towards the beginners whereas air or water resistance is more focused on intermediate or the advanced rowers.

Weight Capacity

If you are looking for a 400 lb capacity rowing machine, don’t settle on a 350 lb or a 285 pound one.

Some people make this mistake because they are not careful. Sometimes asking a very basic question like “What is the capacity of the rowing machine?” can give you a reality check.

I know you will not make this mistake, but just in case the market is flooded by 250 lb to 350 lb rowing machines and the Under $300 price range can be very tempting.

Also, if you hesitate, the salesperson can try to push a less expensive on you, in order to make a quick buck.

It is better to go for a rowing machine that can accommodate more than 400 lbs. Most of these rowing machines are built for commercial purposes and are built to last.

They are stable and will not give you that unsettling or wobbly feeling when you start to speed things up.

Also, the amount of resistance that they provide is much higher than you get in the lower weight capacity rowing machines. So, once you make such a purchase, you will not have to keep on replacing it, once your fitness starts to get better.

Maintenance Needed

Typically what you are looking for is a low-maintenance rowing machine.

Having it to lube, once in a while or changing the battery is fine. However, it should not be like you are spending a fortune every month.

You are looking for something like Concept2 Model D which can last a lifetime with bare minimum maintenance.

Also, before making a purchase, check what the existing customer has to say about the brand.

  • Are they customer-friendly?
  • Is help available when needed?
  • Do they honor their words, or you will have a nightmare chasing after them?

Another thing you have to check is whether the parts of the rowing machine are easily available or not, or if the company is willing enough to source them for a price.

There are a lot of companies that are selling rowing machines. You can see a huge list when you visit Amazon, however, once the sale is over, you will rarely find some of them sticking around for a smoother after-sales experience.


There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to selecting the top rowing machine for 400 lbs weight capacity.

However, not all of them will suit your requirements.

And by requirements I’m not telling about the weight capacity or sturdiness…what I wanted to tell is that, will it suit the space that you have.

You don’t want to purchase a good heavy-weight rowing machine just to find out that it doesn’t fit the space you have and have to either return it or put it on sale.

Instead, first, figure out where you want to place the rowing machine once you have it. Once you have a predetermined space, take its measurements.

Select a rowing machine that will fit that space.

Foldability and space-saving

One big problem with most of the rowing machines for heavy people is that they are not foldable.

They are not made to save space and in general, they have a bigger footprint.

If you have a dedicated gym space or a space to keep the rowing machine permanently set up, then it is well and good.

But what if, you cannot block the space permanently and need to store it away after usage?

In that case, you typically have two options:

  • Rowing machines that are foldable.
  • Rowing machines that stand on their head.

Either of the options is good, and the choice will typically depend on the amount of space you have.

Also, keep in mind that, foldable rowing machines typically take up more space than the ones that stand on its head.

Again, the ones that stand on their head, will take up more vertical space, than the foldable ones.

Track or Rail Length

This is a crucial thing to consider when selecting a rowing machine for heavier and tall people.

The ideal way to go about it is to measure the inseam length of the tallest user who will be using the rower, provided, it is a family rowing machine.

If the rail or track length is not optimal, then the tallest user will not be able to go back all the way and have a proper workout.

Also, in such cases chances of injuries are also more.

If you happen to select a rowing machine that cannot accommodate a person above 6 ft, then check with the company, if they provide longer rails or not.

Some of the companies like Concept2 provide longer rails for taller users at an additional cost.

Also, just as additional info, if the length of the rail is more than 38 inches, then it will be suitable for taller rowers.

Quality of the components

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people seem to miss this important check when buying a rowing machine for the big and heavy.

For example, if the belt of the rowing machine is made from metal rather than rope, then it will last longer.

Again, if the components are made from metal or high-quality plastic, they will last way longer than that made from cheap plastic.

If you are unsure about the quality of the components, check the warranty that comes with the rowing machine.

Shorter warranties are a tell-tale sign of rowing machines of inferior make.

Single/Dual or double arms (Full motion rowing machines)

Rowing machines come in two varieties as far as the oars are concerned.

You have a single handle rowing machine or a double arm rowing machine.

The advantage of a double arm rowing machine is that they give you a full range of motion for the arms and mimic the actual hand movement as you will find in real-life rowing.

However, since your first and foremost criteria are to have a rowing machine with high weight-bearing capacity, these dual-arm rowing machines may not suit your needs.

Such rowing machines typically have a weight capacity of up to 350 lbs. So, this may be something you want to take into account while selecting a rowing machine to support 400 lbs of weight or more.


There are some rowing machines available that provide an incline feature. This helps you to target different muscle groups than typical rowing.

However, most of the heavy-duty rowing machines that sport an incline, are capable of supporting a user weight of up to 300 lbs.

There are only a couple of them like the one mentioned above, that can support a user weight of more than 400 lbs.

So, if you are planning to have a rowing machine with an incline, be sure to check its weight capacity as most of them are not made to support a user weight of 400 lbs or more.


Most of the rowing machines including the heavy-duty ones are equipped to track the basic data like time, distance, strokes per min, calories burnt, etc.

However, if you need some additional features or require some specific compatibility with some app, be sure to check out before the purchase.

Also, there are some more advanced monitors that are capable of storing data for multiple sessions and for multiple users along with Bluetooth connectivity.

These features are very convenient if the rowing machine is used by multiple users. Also, this helps you to track your overall progress.

Along with data storing, some of the monitors come equipped with games and rowing programs. This shifts your focus from the process of rowing to winning the game or progressing through the program level. This helps you to progress faster.

These are some handy features to have. Check out if the rowing machine that you are planning to purchase has all these features.

Using  Your Rowing Machine

Purchasing a rowing machine is the easy part. Knowing how to row is a different thing. Having a proper form and using the correct technique is of utmost importance if you don’t want to end up injured. Here is a video on Correct Rowing Technique from the Manufacturer of the hugely popular Concept2 Model D themselves

Once you have mastered that follow this easy workout routine for weight loss

Or Maybe you are a Pro in using the Rowing Machine. Then these HIIT exercises will be perfect for you


I weigh more than 400 lbs. However, rowing machines that support more than 400 lbs, cost way more. Is it worth spending so much on a heavy-duty rowing machine or a lesser weight capacity rowing machine will get the work done?

Technically, a lesser-weight capacity rowing machine will get the job done. However, there is a catch, or should I say several catches… First of all, a rowing machine that is designed to support a weight of lesser than 400 lbs, is exactly that. It is capable of supporting weight lesser than 400 lbs. Once, you overload it with more than 400 lbs, it puts additional stress on the machine. This will cause it to develop severe wear and tear faster than it supposed to be. Ultimately, it will break down earlier than you would have expected. Now, since this rowing machine may be still within warranty you contact the company only to understand that, since you have overloaded the rowing machine, the warranty is void. So, now you have a broken rowing machine, that effectively halted your fitness progress, plus you will have to burn a hole in your pocket to get it repaired. Instead, I’ll advise you to go for a rowing machine that is designed for your heavier weight. The rowing machines that are designed for big guys have additional support and have sturdier components. This makes them support your weight effectively and the chances of it breaking down are way lesser than the former one. Also, if unfortunately, it breaks down, you can always get it repaired by the company, if it is within warranty. However, I do understand that such rowing machines cost you more than the other ones of lesser weight capacity. If you cannot afford one at this point, you can always save up the money and buy it a couple of months later. In the meantime, you can rent a rowing machine online for your weight and start with your fitness journey. All in all, I would advise that you go for a rowing machine that is built to support your weight to avoid unnecessary hassles and expenses.

What should you check if you are renting a rowing machine for heavier weight capacity?

All the selection criteria mentioned in the buyers’ guide will apply here as well. However, additionally, check for the following things:

Level of wear and tear and any preexisting damage

This is the first thing that you should check when renting a rowing machine for big and heavy people. Also, check if there is any particular damage that is already there. If and once identified, a record that in your renting contract and get an acknowledgment from the renting company. Do this before renting, to avoid any shifting of liabilities on yourself.

Party responsible for the repair of any damage

If damage is sustained while the rowing machine is with you, who will bear the cost of repairing it. Also, what will happen if the damage is sustained, when the rowing machine is in transit from and to the company.

Any discount available for a longer period of time

Check if any discount will be provided by the company if you book the rowing machine for multiple months together. Also, check if there is any referral bonus present with the company.

Party responsible for delivering and collecting the rowing machine

Check how will you get the rowing machine delivered to your doorstep. Also, clarify, who will collect the rowing machine once the contract is over. Also, is there any penalty if you keep the rowing machine once the contract is over.

Any on-site maintenance available in case of breakdown

Since this is a machine, it may break down. Check if there is any onsite maintenance facility available. Otherwise, who will bear the cost to send the rowing machine to the company for repair? Also, in such a case, will you get a replacement rowing machine?

Can a heavy-duty rowing machine help me to lose weight?

Rowing is a cardiovascular exercise and works on your entire body. It can help you to lose weight, however, it depends on the intensity and the amount of effort you are putting into rowing. Whether it is a heavy-duty rowing machine or not, the machine itself will not help you lose weight. You will have to put effort into the same. Also, apart from the effort that you are putting into rowing, you will have to work on your diet as well. Simple changes, like cutting down on junk food, sugar, and aerated beverages will also aid your weight loss process.
Madhusree Basu

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

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