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best rowing machines for short person

Not all rowing machines are built the same. If your height is shorter then you will have to compromise on your form. Either,  your inseam height will not be supported or the handles are not placed appropriately causing your shoulders to stress out.

However, not all the rowing machines have this kind of problem. Heres are some rowing machines that will suit your needs perfectly.

We found  Concept2 D Air Rower to be the best rowing machine. It is long-lasting and is suitable for users of any height and experience level.

However, if you like to look at some more options, here are the best rowing machine for short person.

Related: Best Rowing Machines for Small Spaces

Best Rowing Machine For Short Person

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is one of the best selling Rowing Machines and good for users of any height.

It has an MP5 performance monitor to count and save your workout data like time, distance, Intervals, watts, calories, and much more.

This machine has Wireless Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility for monitoring your heart rate.

Not only that, but you can also connect with the fitness apps on your smartphone and join online challenges.

This will be especially useful if you are stuck on a plateau and want to improve your performance.

You can control your workout intensity with the help of 1 to 10 levels of Damper which ensures an optimal workout for any fitness level.

The inbuilt caster wheels make this machine easy to transport.

It is very easy to assemble and separate this rowing machine into two pieces for storage without using any tools.

Stored dimensions are around 25 in x 33 in x 54 in (63.5 cm x 83.8 cm x 137.2 cm).

This model has non slip handles and large foot-rests which will keep you stable throughout your workout…

The Padded seat helps you prevent unnecessary pain even if you are using the machine for a long time.

+ POSITIVES

  • Easy on your eyes with a backlight LCD monitor.
  • Easily movable with the help of wheels.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Without any tools, you may separate into two parts.
  • A person of any fitness level can use this machine.
  • Can accommodate a user weight of more than 400 lbs.

 NEGATIVES

  • A bit expensive.
  • Being a air rower it is noisy compared to magnetic or hydraulic rowing machines.
  • No Bottle holder in this model.

The SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine has 8 Levels of Magnetic tension system. You can simply set the resistance levels by twisting the knob.

This Machine comes with a Digital Monitor so you can track your progress of fitness like time, count, calories, etc.

The large Anti-Slip Foot Pedals and the adjustable straps will keep your feet in place during work-out.

This machine is offering you a wide cushioned seat to give you ultimate comfort during your work-out session.

You can easily move it with the help of Built-in wheels.

The grippy handlebars will give your hand good comfort during workout.

This machine also has a Floor stabilizer to make a good grippy connection between the Machine and your floor area.

Also, when not in use, you can easily fold it to half for better storage.

The assembled Dims are around 82L x 19W x 23 H in and the Folded Dims are approximately 37L x 19W x 53.5H in.

The maximum user weight capacity is around 250 Lbs.

+ POSITIVES

  • Multi-level of resistance for your better exercise.
  • Easy transportation wheels.
  • Foam-padded handlebars for grippy performance.
  • Safety Non-slip footing.
  • The convenient scan mode displays.

 NEGATIVES

  • May become a bit noisy after prolonged usage.
  • No backlight on the monitor.

The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing Machine designed to give your full body low impact workout.

You can store anywhere easily by Folding this machine. Folded size is around 39. 5” L x 21. 5” W x 53. 5” H.

This machine has inbuilt transportation wheels for easy relocation.

It has 14 levels of magnetic tension for more challenging workouts.

This machine has not only a large strappy footrest it also has additional foot pedals that gives you more exercise options.

The grippy foam handlebar provides you comfortable grips for different exercises.

Track your workout progress like Time, Count, Total Count, Calorie, etc on the Digital LCD monitor.

This Rowing Machine is offering a smartphone holder including Bluetooth connectivity.

It comes with around 250 lbs of weight capacity.

+ POSITIVES

  • Adjustable rear floor stabilizers prevent rocky ride.
  • Large comfortable seat.
  • Additional foot pedals.
  • LCD monitor to track your workout.
  • Foldable design for space-saving storage.
  • Smartphone holder.

 NEGATIVES

  • Some users feel the assembling is a Little bit time taking.
  • The Machine is not as quiet as you expect, after prolonged usage.
If you are looking for a Rower which is simple in design but good for full-body workouts then SF-RW1410 Rowing Machine could be a good choice for you.

This machine comes with Full Motion Arms which allows full range movement with 12 levels of adjustable resistance.

You can adjust the resistance levels by Simply twisting the knob.

This extra padded Wide Seat helps to avoid unnecessary pain during your work-out session.

The Textured non-slip foot pedals are suitable for most sizes of feet and adjustable straps will ensure safe footing during various work-out.

This machine comes with a Digital Monitor so you can track all your workout progress like Time, Count, Calories, Total Counts, and much more.

The weight capacity of this Machine is approximately 220 lb.

+ POSITIVES

  • Wide handlebars allow a full range movement.
  • Built-in LCD display to keep you focused by counting your workout data.
  • Multi-level of resistance to improve your overall health.
  • Sleek, solid steel frame.

 NEGATIVES

  • Small in size but not foldable.
  • A smartphone holder is not included.
Because of the compact design, this Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine will not take much floor space.

This rowing machine brings you an easy to read LCD monitor to display time, row count, and calories burned, etc.

It has large Anti-Slip Footplates with safety straps to ensure that you stay in a comfortable position during your work-out.

The grippy handlebars and a wide range of arms will give you a full range of rowing motion.

You can manually customize your workout challenges by adjusting the control knob.

The large padded seat will give you comfortable Rowing every time.

The steel frame can take a user weight of approximately 250 pounds.

+ POSITIVES

  • Easy to assemble.
  • Good in quality.
  • Affordable price.
  • Perfect for small spaces.
  • The seat is comfortable enough.

 NEGATIVES

  • It can be a little bit noisy after prolonged use.
  • No bottle holder included.

If you are looking for a water resistance rowing machine, then a WaterRower A1 home rowing machine could be a good choice for you.

This is handcrafted in premium Ash hardwood with a sleek aluminum monorail design.

This machine has a multi-functional large monitor to track your fitness data like time, distance, intensity, stroke rate, etc.

The handlebars are durable and easy to grip due to its ergonomic design.

The Anti-slip footrests with adjustable straps will secure your feet while rowing.

The dual caster wheels make it simple to move anywhere.

Water resistance rowers provide an overall smoother rowing motion and less noise.

You can simply stand on end for space-saving storage.

+ POSITIVES

  • Solid build quality.
  • Smooth & realistic rowing motion.
  • Beautiful Ash wood finish.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Dual caster wheels.
  • Variable resistance adjustment determined by rowing intensity.

 NEGATIVES

  • Do not count the heart rate on the monitor.
  • Smartphones and bottle holders are not included.

Stamina 1205 Precision Rower is a hydraulic rower that will serve you very well.

Since this is a hydraulic rower, the seat will slide all the way to the front. This way, you will not have to deal with improper form while rowing.

Also, this rower is quite precise in its mechanism as it has a deluxe ball-bearing rolling system.

You can also adjust the tension of the hydraulic cylinders for better suiting your needs.

The fitness monitor will be able to track your speed, distance, strokes, and more. In short, it has all the basic matrices that you would need to check your performance.

It comes with thick padded seat and pivoting footplates for maximum comfort.

Although small in dimensions, it is capable of accommodating a user capacity of almost 250 lbs.

+ POSITIVES

  • Easy to assemble.
  • Will provide you with a good quality workout.
  • The slide is very smooth on the slide rail.
  • It can be used by users of almost any height.
  • Takes up little space.
  • Affordable.

 NEGATIVES

  • It may get a bit noisy after prolonged use.
  • Could have had higher resistances.
Whatever height you have this Fitness Reality 3000WR Water Rower with Bluetooth connectivity is good enough for Rowers.

The Angled water tank slows down water faster between pulls, which provides better resistance for each stroke.

This rowing machine offers you 6 water resistance levels for your better workout progress.

The Slip-resistant wide grip handlebar will provide you comfortable grips for each stroke.

A large contoured seat will give you extra comfort for a long session workout.

It also has Adjustable rear floor stabilizers to prevent unnecessary rocking and ensure a smooth rowing experience.

This machine comes with Large anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable strap rings for your secure footing.

With the help of Transportation wheels, you can easily relocate this machine.

The Large LCD displays will track your distance, time, calories burned, total strokes, strokes/min, split time, watts, etc.

You can stand it up vertically for quick storage.

It comes with a weight capacity of approximately 300 lbs.

+ POSITIVES

  • 3 Customizable HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Intervals.
  • Smartphone holder included.
  • Large display to track your progress.
  • Smooth and easy.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.

 NEGATIVES

  • This design is not foldable, you can only stand up for storage.
  • Bluetooth apps can not track your heart rate during a workout.
This is another rowing machine that is very compact in its design and well enough for every size of people.

JOROTO Magnetic Rower with LCD Display is made with a high-quality solid aluminum slide rail and no-touch magnetic resistance.

It comes with Adjustable resistance with 1-10 levels. By twisting the knob you can choose the level that suits you.

The Non-slip pedals with adjustable foot straps can fit different sizes of feet, and ensure your safety during a workout.

Because of the Ergonomic cushion design seat, You won’t feel tired even if you sit for a long time.

The soft grippy handlebars make your movements more standard and comfortable.

You can exercise and watch videos at the same time with the help of an adjustable angle iPad/phone holder.

Digital monitors will display all your progress like time, count, calories, total count, scan, and much more.

It comes with the User Weight capacity of around 250 lbs.

+ POSITIVES

  • This rowing machine does not need to be plugged in, you can use it at any time.
  • With the Wheels, you can easily move.
  • Multi-level of resistance.
  • Water bottle holder.
  • Adjustable Smartphone/iPad holder.

 NEGATIVES

  • Not a very silent machine.
  • The seat is not very soft.
The LifeSpan Fitness RW7000 Commercial Rower is made with good quality parts and suitable for any size of people.

The Nickel-plated steel chain and steel monorail with a stainless-steel surface make this rower long-lasting.

16 levels of resistance will give you a total-body workout and help to enhance your fitness.

Hybrid air and magnetic resistance reduces noise and mimics water rowing.

Track your exercise progress like your goal time, total time, calories burned, distance traveled, watts, and heart rate, etc on the easy-to-read high contrast, blue backlit display.

The Adjustable footrests and angled handlebar provide a comfortable grip during your work-out session.

The foldable design makes this Machine space-saving.

Well-padded seats will help you to prevent unnecessary pain even if you are sitting for a long time.

This machine comes with inbuilt transportation wheels for easy relocation.

It has a Maximum User Weight capacity of around 350 lbs.

+ POSITIVES

  • Minimal maintenance.
  • High-strength, steel monorail.
  • Easy to read LCD Blue backlit screen.
  • Adjustable angle for easy viewing.
  • Multi-level of resistance for better progress.
  • Wireless heart rate monitoring.

 NEGATIVES

  • A bit expensive.
  • Assembling can be a little bit time taking for newbies.

Buyer’s Guide

To be honest, most of the rowing machines are capable of accommodating short people. However, as mentioned earlier, some of them have some design limitations while will make you compromise on your rowing form.

As you are aware, a rowing stroke involves four phases.

  • The Catch
  • The Drive
  • The Finish
  • The Recovery

Here is a refresher video of these phases:

 

Problems that a short rower face

During rowing, you may face a couple of problems due to a shorter height.

Here are the exact problems and how you may avoid the same.

Problem with ‘Catch’

This is the first phase of your rowing stroke. In this phase, your knees should be completely bent and close to your chest.

You must be leaning a little forward and the seat should be directly under your body and should be very close to the front of the rower.

However, in some rowing machines, due to the design, this seat cannot move completely forward and your knees cannot bend completely, thus compromising your rowing form.

Now when you start the drive phase with form, you will not get the full benefit of rowing.

In short, your entire rowing experience will be ruined.

So, while selecting a rowing machine make sure that its seat moves completely to the front so that your form is not compromised.

If you choose any of these rowing machines, you will be off to a good start.

Shoulder pain

This is more prominent with rowing machines that have full arm extensions that don’t allow arm adjustments like these rowing machines.

In these kinds of hydraulic rowers, the arm handles cannot be adjusted as per the rower height. In other words, they are fixed and you will have to work with whatever you have in hand.

So, you may not be able to push the handles down below to chest level which is the actual intent behind the full arm extension rowing machines.

Again this will leave you with less than an optimal workout.

Also, another problem is, the perceived height of the handlebars are higher for a shorter rower than a taller rower. This means they have to reach higher to get a hand on the handlebars.

If they do this continually combined with less than optimal rowing form, they will end up with pain in the shoulders and eventually in some cases injuries.

So, while selecting a rowing machine keep these also in mind. 

How to select the best rowing machine for short person?

When selecting the best rowing machine for short person, always keep the below criteria in mind:

Design

  • The seat should move completely forward which allows you to bend your knees completely.
  • The height of the fitness monitor should be adjustable according to the users’ height.
  • All the controls of the rowing machine should be within reach and you should not have to move to access them.
  • The height of the handles shouldn’t be uncomfortably high for you.
  • If you have smaller feet, the footrests should be able to accommodate them.
  • Storage for bottles or small accessories should be present. [Optional]

Resistance Type

There are 4 kinds of resistance for rowing machines. Air, Water, Magnetic, and Hydraulic. As I’ve explained about them in detail in other articles, I will not repeat here. You may read about them, here.

Choose the one which suits your need the most.

Also, check the number of higher resistances available for a rowing machine. Sometimes they are very few and may not be suitable past the beginner phase.

Quality

There are many cheap rowing machines available which will save you big money. For example, a rowing machine like this one is less than the price of your fitness shoes.

However, they may not be long-lasting. This doesn’t mean that they are bad to start with, however, they may not be great for prolonged usage.

You may start off if you are a beginner and change to something more durable later.

Space needed

In these times, most of us live in apartments and may have a very small space to spare for our indoor rowing machines. So, before committing your funds make sure you have a proper space to store the rowing machine.

Many of them are foldable and some of these rowing machines fit under beds.

Comfort

You will be spending some time on this rowing machine. It is better to have something that is comfortable.

For that, check:

  • Seats must be well cushioned.
  • Handles should have anti-skid grip and cushion.
  • The sliding of the seat should be smooth.
  • The monitor is adjustable to your eye height.
  • Controls are reachable.

Assembly

Easier the assembly the better. There are some rowing machines that are very easy to assemble. It will hardly take a couple of minutes for you to get it up and running.

However, there are a lot of them out there, which are very hard to assemble and will give you only hours of work and frustration.

Warranty

Many of them have a lifetime warranty on frame and 90 days on parts. However, there are some which give you a lot longer warranty.

So, read the warranty terms carefully so that you don’t have to struggle while trying to search for a replacement.

Price

This is completely up to you. However, I would suggest that, if you can, try to get something which is within the range of $250.

They last for years and doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. Also, they will not burn a hole in your pocket.

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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Last update on 2020-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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