Best Heavy Duty Rowing Machines

When you start your health and fitness journey, it can be challenging. It gets more challenging if your body weight surpasses the weight limits of traditional training equipment. This is where rowing comes in handy. It challenges all your body muscles and targets the core, legs, and arms.

A rowing machine is a great low-impact exercise machine that offers a full-body workout. This is an excellent choice for heavy guys, but you have to be keen on the track length and weight capacity if you want the right product.

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty rowing machine, then you are at the right place. In this article, we’ve reviewed the 5 best heavy-duty rowing machines along with buying guide that will help you choose the best model.

Types of Rowing Machines

Hydraulic Resistance

Usually, hydraulic resistance machines are the most affordable models out there. They come with pistons that generate resistance and are quiet when compared to air resistance machines. Also, they have a side-by-side setup of curved or upright handlebars. However, these machines wear out faster with heavy or regular usage.

Magnetic Resistance

When compared to hydraulic and air rowing machines, magnetic rowing machines have quiet operations. They are designed with a front-facing pulley attached to a flywheel and a sliding bench. These machines use magnetic brakes to determine the resistance level and don’t adjust to the amounts of force applied. If you’re looking for a machine that will allow you to chat easily, listen to music, or watch programs while using, then go for a magnetic resistance rowing machine.

Air Resistance

The general design of air resistance rowers resembles that of magnetic resistance machines but uses notches in the flywheel to adjust resistance. The main drawback of air resistance rowing machines is that they are noisy. If you need a machine that can be used by veteran and inexperienced rower alike who can withstand the mechanical noise of the flywheel, this is an ideal option.

Water Resistance

Water resistance rowers use a compartment filled with water to simulate the act of rowing. The pulling handlebar is located in the front, and when you pull it, you experience the same sensation of pulling an oar through water. Machines with this kind of resistance have commercial or professional quality and can be costly. If you’re looking for a device to use for a long time, invest in a water-resistance rowing machine.

Benefits of Using a High Weight Capacity Rowing Machine

Checking the weight capacity of a rowing machine is very crucial when selecting workout equipment. There are rowing machines of different weight capacities, and you’ll need one that suits your needs. Here’s why you need a heavy-duty rower:

  • Since you’re going to use it at home, it will be beneficial to your family members. So investing in a heavy-duty machine means that even the other members of your family can use it without any problem.
  • Heavy-duty rowing machines come equipped with great features and have a promising warranty.
  • Heavy-duty rowing machines are equipped with excellent display systems. Additionally, most of them have an effective heart rate monitor.
  • Also, heavy-duty rowing machines require little maintenance and are durable.

Best Heavy Duty Rowing Machines Buying Guide

If you’ve decided to invest in a heavy-duty rowing machine, congratulations! You’ve made the first step in improving your fitness and health level. However, the most challenging part is getting the right rower for you. Fortunately, this guide will shed some light on the most important factors that will help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.

Weight Capacity

Heavy guys need heavy-duty rowing machines that can withstand at least 300 pounds of user weight. High-weight capacity rowing machines guarantee safety and great frame solidness. Always go for a rower that extended weight capacity.

Track Length

Rowing is a great option for tall guys, but rowing machines are not generally designed to suit tall people. Tracking can be a challenging attribute since manufacturers don’t specify the resistance levels. If you’re a tall guy, the first to consider is the inseam length. Also, forums discussing rowers and user reviews could be of help here.


If you’re new to rowers, go for a machine that has a basic display. A digital display will help you track your progress and workouts. Most rowing machines come with a built-in display that helps you monitor your workout time, distance covered, heart rate, strokes per minute, and calories burned.


If you are low on space, a large rowing machine is not the best choice since these models are bulky, so ensure you know your room’s dimensions before making a purchase. Hydraulic, magnetic, and some air rowing machines have a foldable design that helps you save some space. Most also have wheels that help you to move the rower easily when not in use.

Built-in Workouts

Some rowers come with built-in workouts, which help you achieve different fitness goals. Built-in working programs also give a chance to experience a challenging rowing session. Some rowers have several built-in workouts for all fitness levels, while others have a few. If you need a well-balanced workout, go for one with built-in programs.

Heart Rate Monitor Compatibility

Most guys ignore the essence of using a heart rate monitor when working out. Your heart rate shows how easy or intense your workout is. If you’re trying to burn extra calories and improve your fitness level, ensure that you hit your target and maintain it.

Most machines have built-in pulse monitors, but if your rower lacks one, ensure that it’s compatible with separate ones.

Best Heavy Duty Rowing Machines Reviews

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Concept2 Model D

If you’re looking for a reliable heavy-duty rowing machine, this is a good bet. This machine is specially designed to offer you an excellent workout experience. With this unit, all the major body muscles will be engaged and can work your arms, legs, and core. This is a great solution if you want to burn more calories in a short time.

It comes equipped with a real-time performance monitor that gives you real-time results. The best thing about this machine is that you can connect it wirelessly with heart rate belts and apps. With an adjustable footrest and 14-inch seat height, this machine can accommodate a variety of heights.


  • Backlit LCD
  • Air-resistance flywheel
  • 14-inch seat height


  • Easy to assemble
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Reliable data
  • Solid built
  • Low maintenance
  • Space efficient
  • 5-year warranty


  • Noisy fan

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine is a full-motion rowing machine that helps you move your arms in a ‘real’ rowing way. It comes with a comfortable seat, and the pivotal footrests are wide and hold your feet firmly. This machine is equipped with well-padded handles that are easy to hold.

This heavy-duty rowing machine can support up to 350 lbs and has 12 levels of resistance that are easily selected by turning the collar on the piston. It comes with a basic display that shows your rowing time, calories burned, and stroke count. This screen is also easy to read.


  • 12-level adjustable resistance
  • Digital monitor
  • Wide cushioned seat
  • 350 lb weight limit
  • Wide anti-slip foot pedals


  • Affordable
  • Full motion action
  • Wide footrests
  • Easy to assemble


  • A very basic monitor

Waterrower Rowing machine Ash

Waterrower Rowing machine Ash

The Waterrower Rowing machine Ash is a hand-crafted rowing machine with a water flywheel. It has a beautiful, handmade design that makes it extremely strong and can support a weight of up to 1000 lb. With this machine, you’ll enjoy a low-impact workout that will ensure that your body does not get affected by the daily workouts.


  • Series 4 performance monitor
  • Stained honey oak construction
  • 117 pounds of weight


  • Aesthetic look
  • Good resistance system
  • Upright storage
  • Real-life mowing experience


  • Not foldable

Merax Water Rowing Machine

Merax Water Rowing Machine

If you’re looking for natural rowing feeling with a soothing sound of water, go for the Merax Water Rowing Machine. It comes with a water rower that produces a soothing melodious sound when rowing. This rowing machine is made up of top-notch steel that’s well-designed and strong. It has adjustable footrests and has Velcro straps for extra comfort.

This machine has ergonomically designed handlebars and a padded seat that helps you work out for long hours without fatigue. Additionally, it has an LCD monitor that allows you to monitor important metrics.


  • Large LCD monitor
  • 20” long ergonomic handle
  • 12.2”x10” contoured seat
  • 12” long footrest


  • Foldable design
  • Low noise
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Comfortable seat and ergonomic handles


  • The LCD monitor has no LED backlight

Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance

The Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine is designed to accommodate a wide range of users. It has a multi-angle monitor and adjustable pedal straps that offer a customizable fit.

It has 8 levels of resistance that challenge you on all levels of fitness. This makes is one of the best heavy duty rowing machines.

If you don’t have sufficient space, this machine comes with a foldable design that helps you store it when not in use.


  • Tension control
  • Ergonomic row handles
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • LCD monitor


  • Eight levels of resistance
  • Built-in transport wheels
  • Foldable design
  • Easy-to-read monitor
  • Customizable foot straps


Best Heavy Duty Rowing Machines Reviews Updated for 2021
  • Resistance not high enough


A rowing machine is among the best full-body workout machines out there. If you’re obese or overweight, you need a machine that will help you achieve your fitness or health goals in the shortest time possible.

Before making a purchase, make sure that the heavy-duty rower meets your budget, and you’re satisfied with its specifications.