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Rowing Machine 400 lb Capacity

Last Updated on October 28, 2021 by JP

Choosing the right rowing machine with a 400 lb and higher user weight capacity is easy when you have all the facts. If you are overweight and want to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health, and get some muscle definition, look no further.

Standard rowing machines have a maximum user weight capacity of up to 250 or 300 lbs. 

But don’t despair if your body weight exceeds those weight limits, as there are many options available for overweight people that are specially designed to support a higher capacity.

The wide variety of indoor rowing machines on the market suit different budgets, user weights, and resistance type preferences. This allows you to work out in the comfort of your own home, on a machine that suits your own needs. 

Our review of the top heavy-duty rowing exercise machines will help you to make the best choice for you.

Best Rowing Machines For Overweight People (Our Review)

We have reviewed 7 high-quality indoor rowing machines that have a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs and higher, and with different types of resistance.

Xebex Air Rower 2.0 (Best For Beginners)

rowing machine 400 lb capacityIf you’re looking for a basic heavy-duty rower that just gets the job done, consider this machine. It is very easy to use and can be folded up and packed away when not in use.

  • Dimensions: 99” x 20” x 45”
  • Maximum User Weight: 500 lbs
  • Product Weight: 95 lbs
  • Heart/Pulse Rate: Yes
  • Resistance: Air
  • Warranty: 5-year on the frame, 2-year on parts

The tools required to set up the Xebex Air Rower 2.0 are included in the box, along with batteries for the console, and an easy-to-read illustrated instruction manual. The tools consist of 3 different sized Allen wrenches, a Phillips head screwdriver, and a small wrench. 

The Xebex rower features a durable heavy-duty metal frame. Ten damper settings adjust air resistance, by controlling how much air is let into the flywheel. 

The padded seat and handlebars, and pivoting heel rest, ensure that you’re comfortable while rowing, and can support a user’s weight up to 500 lbs.

An LCD with readings for calorie expenditure, time, total strokes, strokes per minute, and heart rate, plus several pre-set workout programs, will help you attain your fitness goals.

You’ll row with peace of mind, knowing that your machine is covered by a 5-year warranty on the frame, with 2 years warranty on the parts.

If you don’t have very much space in your home, or you would like to move your machine to another location, simply fold up the frame and move the unit along on the transport wheels.

Pros

  • 10 damper settings allow for adjusting the air resistance
  • Padded seat and handlebars for your comfort while rowing
  • Pivoting heel rest
  • Folding frame for easy storage
  • Built-in wheels for transporting the unit

Cons 

  • None of the advanced features of certain models
  • Heavier than most other models

WaterRower Natural (Best Design)

rowing machine 300 lb weight capacityIf you want to work out, but don’t want to ruin the style aesthetic in your home, we have you covered. The WaterRower Natural will provide you with an authentic rowing experience, while also complimenting your decor.

  • Dimensions: 83” x 24” x 21”
  • Maximum weight capacity: Up to 1000 lbs
  • Heart/Pulse Rate: Yes
  • Resistance: Water Resistance
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, parts 2-years, and 1-year labor

Exercise equipment can be both functional and stylish. WaterRower machines are the best water resistance rowers on the market. There are a variety of WaterRower models, each made of different types of wood, which determines the price. 

The popular WaterRower ‘Natural’ is the more affordable model, available in your choice of a stained honey oak or solid ash frame. The Series 4 performance monitor tracks distance, intensity, and heart rate.

The WaterRower has a handcrafted flywheel enclosed in a water tank, which enables a self-regulated resistance system that increases and decreases the water content of the tank.  

This allows you to enjoy a more authentic rowing experience, in the comfort of your home.

This powerful indoor rowing machine is designed for home use and will compliment your home as it looks like a piece of furniture. Meanwhile, the soothing water sounds give you the sensation that you are rowing on a river. 

Solid wood construction ensures that this machine is stable and durable, while also absorbing vibration and sounds to ensure quiet operation. A very high weight capacity of up to 1000 lbs and a large footrest make this machine ideal for all users, even those who are morbidly obese.

A 5-year warranty on the frame and 3 years on parts are offered by the manufacturer, which is higher than many similar models.

Pros

  • Solid and durable wooden construction
  • Easy assembly
  • Self-regulated resistance allows for a more realistic rowing experience
  • Can be stored upright to save space in small apartments
  • Increase or decrease the resistance by adding/removing water in the tank 

Cons

  • Doesn’t have some of the advanced features many machines have
  • A little bit noisier than other machines

WaterRower Vintage Oak Fluid Rower (Best for Heavy Users)

rowing machine 350 lb weight capacityThe WaterRower Vintage Oak fluid rower is similar to other WaterRower Natural machines, although its frame has a different finish and stain. It’s suitable for users of all fitness levels and sizes and will give you a more natural feeling of rowing.

  • Dimensions: 83” x 24” x 21”
  • Maximum weight capacity: 1000 lbs
  • Heart/Pulse Rate: Yes
  • Resistance: Water
  • Warranty:  Lifetime frame, parts 2-years, and 1-year labor

The WaterRower Vintage Oak fluid rower can support a user weight of up to a staggering 1000 pounds, and it is, therefore, the perfect exercise machine for users who are extremely overweight.

This machine has a heavy-duty 4.5-gallon water tank which includes a 2-paddle impeller connected to a system of strong cords and pulleys. To adjust the resistance, either remove or add water in the tank with the provided pump.

When you pull on the handle, the flywheel spins into the water tank and generates resistance. As you pull faster, the impeller will also spin faster into the water tank, generating more resistance.

The water tank is pre-assembled and attached to the front part of the frame, but the rest of the machine requires some assembly, which should take no more than half an hour. A set of tools and an instruction manual are included.

The S4 rowing computer features an LCD with readouts for speed, KCalories per hour, stroke rate, heart rate, and distance, as well as 9 workout programs. It can be programmed to show the distance in meters, miles, km, or number of strokes.

No integrated pulse sensors are included in this machine’s handlebar, as with certain other rowing machines, but the exercise meter does include a pulse reading function. To receive a pulse reading, you can use a Polar HR chest strap transmitter, but this is not included.

Pros

  • 10 damper settings for adjusting the air resistance
  • Padded seat and handlebars for your rowing comfort
  • Pivoting heel rest
  • Folding frame for quick and easy storage
  • Built-in transport wheels are included.

Cons 

  • The S4 monitor does not have an LED backlight
  • No integrated pulse sensors or wireless HR chest straps are included with the rower

Sole SR500 (Best for Workout Versatility)

rowing machine for morbidly obese

  • Dimensions: 97” x 18” x 38”
  • Maximum weight capacity: 515 lbs
  • Heart/Pulse rate: Yes
  • Resistance: Dual air and magnetic resistance
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty on frame, 3 years on parts, and 1 year on labor

The Sole SR500 has a high seat that allows users to get on and off with ease and has adjustable footrests to fit most users.

This machine offers 16 levels of adjustable resistance, provided by an Eddy current magnetic/air system, to keep your rowing workouts interesting and challenging. The dual air and magnetic resistance give you a combination of low and high-end rowing resistance.

A 5.5” blue backlit LCD monitor features 6 preset programs to help you reach your fitness goals. It displays readings for time, strokes per minute, calorie expenditure, speed, distance, and pulse rate. 

Make adjustments wirelessly on the rower bar, without the need to pause or slow down your workout routine. The monitor arm is also adjustable.

Although sturdily built, it is easy to assemble and doesn’t require much maintenance. The quick-release frame locks and its built-in wheels allow you to fold the unit and store it when not in use. 

Pros

  • Dual air and magnetic resistance
  • Multi-function fitness monitor
  • 16 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Easily assembled
  • Can be folded down for storage

Cons 

  • A bit noisy

Merax Water Rower 400 lbs (Best for Small Spaces)

rowing machine for heavy person

Do you have limited space in your small house or apartment? You can still enjoy the benefits of indoor rowing, with this machine.

  • Dimensions: 80.3″ x 18.9″ x 31.5″ 
  • Folded Dimensions: 32.7″ x 18.9″ x 80.3″ 
  • Maximum weight capacity: 400 lbs
  • Product weight: 59 lbs
  • Heart/pulse rate: Yes
  • Resistance: Water
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

Our pick as the best rowing machine for apartments for this list, the foldable and compact design of the  Merax Water Rower makes it ideal for small spaces. Wheels built into the base enable easy movement of the machine.

An LCD monitor displays your time, stroke count, distance, calorie expenditure, resistance level, and pulse rate. There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance, which can be adjusted using the resistance adjustment knob. 

The Merax WaterRower features a hydro tank that can be filled up to provide 6 varying levels of resistance. The soothing water sounds will relax you while you row your way to fitness.

Enjoy a comfortable rowing session with a wide, comfortably molded seat. The long angled footrest has safety straps that securely move with your feet during your high-intensity rowing workouts, and the ergonomically shaped extra-long handle allows multiple grip positions.

These features qualify the Merax as one of the best rowing machines for seniors as well.

Pros 

  • Great for small spaces
  • Wide, contoured seat 
  • Ergonomically shaped extra long handlebar
  • The footrest has safety straps

Cons

  • The warranty is only for one year.

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine (Best for Taller People)

best rowing machines overweight peopleAre you struggling to find a rower that will accommodate your height? The LifeCore R100 Commercial Rower is a magnetic resistance rower which is great for taller users. It is designed for the gym or fitness club but is also suitable for home use.

  • Dimensions: 58 x 24 x 36
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
  • Heart/Pulse Rate: Yes
  • Resistance: Magnetic resistance
  • Warranty: 5 years parts/1-year labor

The best rowing machine for tall people on this list, the Lifecore R100 has an extra-long stride length to accommodate heavier users who may also be taller than average.

This high-quality, commercial-grade rower boasts 16 smooth levels of magnetic resistance, 15 preset workout programs, and four heart rate control programs with built-in pulse sensors. All these features will maximize your workout and help you attain your fitness goals in record time.

Stay cool and comfortable while working out, thanks to the adjustable cooling vent, and the ergonomically shaped handles, seats, and footrests. 

The monitor can store the data of up to 4 users, making it perfect for the whole family. An excellent rowing machine, the Lifecore R100 is suitable for commercial or home use and carries a commercial warranty. 

Its solid, high-performance steel frame supports a weight of  600 lbs, yet it can be folded down to enable convenient storage. Transportation wheels are also included.

Pros 

  • Foldable frame
  • Ergonomically shaped handles, seats, and footrests
  • Built-in wheels for moving it to another location
  • Stores data for up to 4 users
  • Adjustable cooling air vent

Cons

  • The machine is heavy

Concept2 ModelD (Best Overall)

The world’s most popular air rowing machine, this machine is used by Olympic rowers and professional athletes. Imagine what it could do for you. 

  • Dimensions: 96”x 24”x 14”
  • Maximum weight capacity: Up to 500 lbs.
  • Heart/Pulse Rate: Yes
  • Resistance: Air resistance 
  • Warranty: 5 yrs frame/ 2 Yrs

The performance monitor (PM5) delivers incredibly reliable data during your rowing workouts. It has a self-calibrated workout monitoring system with various preset workout programs. The PM5 displays your stroke rate, rowing duration, speed, calories, pulse rate.

The Concept2 ModelD can connect wirelessly with your fitness apps and heart rate belts (not included), allowing you to get the most out of your workout and keep track of your progress.  

It is compatible with Bluetooth, so you can track your various metrics on your smartphone, download your stats, and store them for future reference. 

Rowing on this machine is a breeze for users of any height, with its 14-inch seat height and footrest adjustable to 7 height positions. Simply slide the seat along the monorail to adapt the rower to the length of your legs. Footstraps are also included for stability and safety. 

The monitor arm is also adjustable, to raise or lower the monitor to eye level. This makes the Concept2 ModelD an ideal rowing machine for short people too.

Only 8 screws are needed to assemble this unit. You can also store it easily by separating the two main pieces and transporting them using the built-in wheels. Not much maintenance is required, and spare parts are easily available.

Pros

  •  Easy to assemble, and minimal maintenance required
  • User-friendly performance monitor
  • Air resistance flywheel generates smooth resistance for every stroke
  • Enjoy a wide range of wireless fitness apps while using this machine

Cons 

  • Noisy fan
  • No foldable hinges
  • A bit pricier than other models in this category.

Conclusion

In this review, we included rowing machines for people with different needs. We’re sure you were able to find one that’s right for you. Besides supporting user weights of 400 lbs and more, they offer different forms of resistance: air, magnetic, water, and even dual air/magnetic.

The Lifecore not only suits taller users, but is also a great choice for the family, as it has a commercial warranty covering heavier use, and the monitor will store data of up to 4 people. Seniors living in small spaces will love the comfort of the compact, foldable Merax rower.

The versatility of the dual-resistance Sole SR500 will be appreciated by many users, and the WaterRower is designed to give a wonderfully authentic rowing experience, without detracting from the stylish interior of your home.

The easy assembly, convenient storage, commercial-grade durability, and high-performance monitor with advanced features, make the Concept2 ModelD the perfect machine for all users. There are so many adjustable elements that even short people find this machine easy to use. 

It is favored by fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes all over the world, and this high-quality machine is also our top pick for you.

Best Rowing Machines For Overweight People (FAQ) 

Are there rowing machines for heavier people?

Various rowing machines are available that have higher weight capacities. They will support the needs of people who are overweight, even those who are morbidly obese.

Indoor rowing will assist these people to lose weight safely, while improving their general health and fitness, in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.

Is rowing suitable for recovering after an injury?

Rowing provides a low-impact cardio workout and strength training that will be beneficial to users who are recovering from a sports injury. The key is to take it easy at first and slowly build up strength.

It is advised to consult your physician or physiotherapist, before starting with any exercise program when recovering from an injury.

What is the difference between air and magnetic resistance? 

An air resistance rowing machine uses a flywheel to generate air resistance as you pull away from it.

In a magnetic resistance rower, the levels of resistance are provided by magnets and a spinning flywheel. Eddy current is produced when the two opposite magnets are beside each other. The closer the magnets get to the wheel, the more resistance you experience.

Is rowing good for overweight seniors too?

The main problems faced by senior citizens are usually related to poor posture and spinal alignment. Low-impact cardio exercises such as rowing will not only contribute to your general fitness but will offer you some excellent strength training too.

Consistent use of a heavy-duty rowing machine, for a minimum of 15 minutes a day, will strengthen your upper body and alleviate many of these issues. Indoor rowing is also a highly effective workout for weight loss.

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