Rowing machines are becoming increasingly popular for a reason! They provide an extremely effective full-body workout that allows you to build muscle and burn fat at the same time.
Tall people are often worried that the machines are not suitable for their body size. And in fact, some manufacturers do not take this target group into consideration and only design the machines for a maximum height of 6 feet. But don’t worry: There are many suitable models for tall people over 6’4″, so that everybody can profit from the effectiveness of the indoor rowing experience.
In this article I will introduce you to the best rowing machines for tall people. Have fun! 😉
At the end of the article you will find the recommended models. In order for you to become an expert rower yourself, I will explain everything you need to know about this topic in advance. Of course, I’d recommend that you read the whole blog post but if you’re just here for the recommendations, just scroll down! 😉
Are Rowing Machines Really That Beneficial?
Before we get to the models, I would like to explain to you briefly why rowing machines are so effective.
When you go running or cycling, you mainly train your lower body and in the gym, you do separate exercises for each muscle. It can take hours before you have effectively trained your whole body.
Rowing machines, on the other hand, provide an effective full-body workout that targets up to 80% of your muscles at the same time in just 30 minutes. Both the upper and the lower body are exercised. Here’s a list of the major muscles targeted by a rowing machine:
- Large Back Muscle (Latissimus)
- Back Extensor
- Trapezius Muscle/Neck
- Rear Delts
- Front Thighs
- Glute Muscles
- Ab Muscles
- Forearm Muscles
Impressive, isn’t it? The best part is that you can train all these muscles at the same time! This saves you a lot of time and makes sure that 30 minutes of training is enough.
But that’s not even the best part. Such a large number of activated muscles results in another great advantage. Our body has to supply almost 80% of our muscles with energy during workouts. This is an enormous amount of energy that our body has to provide. And how does it get this energy? Right, it draws on our stored fat reserves. So, a rowing workout also represents the perfect possibility to burn fat. On average, you burn between 700 and 1000 calories per hour.
Building muscle and losing weight is possible at the same time, and you don’t even have to train for hours. What is a pipe dream for many, might become reality with a rowing machine! 😉
In addition, I personally think that rowing is much more fun than going for a run or working out in the gym. That’s just my opinion, of course, but I’m sure that many people will agree that you won’t lose the motivation for rowing as quickly as with other sports activities.
What does the Perfect Rowing Machine for Tall People Look Like?
Even more than when stepping on a treadmill or an exercise bike, proper rowing technique plays a very crucial role. There should be a fluent movement and at the end of the motion you should be able to fully extend your legs. The rowing motion must not be compromised in any way. However, since some machines are not designed for tall people, this is only possible to a limited extent.
So, if the seat rail is too short, it is more difficult to complete the fluent movement and in the end the risk of injury is increased because the limited range of motion is usually compensated for in the wrong way.
For this reason, tall people need a rowing machine with a long seat rail and a correspondingly long pull strap. In the end, though, the perfect size of the rowing machine does not depend on your body size, but on your inseam length.
Another important aspect that is often neglected is the height of your feet on the foot stretcher. The foot stretcher is the part of the rowing machine on which your feet are fixed with a strap. The correct adjustment is a crucial factor for a healthy rowing motion.
You can easily adjust the height of the foot stretcher, which in turn determines the height of your feet. This has a great effect on your joint angles and the general mobility during the rowing workout.
In general, the foot stretcher should be lower if you are tall. If it is too high up, as often happens with tall people, your own legs compromise your rowing motion. By the way, this also happens when you are a bit stiffer in general. In this case, the foot stretcher should be adjusted a little lower.
It is only too low when you occasionally lift your bottom slightly off the seat during the eccentric part of the rowing motion. In this case, you should set the foot stretcher a little higher. There will be a perfect length to power ratio that you will have to find out for yourself.
The Best Rowing Machine for Tall People
The Concept2 Indoor Rower
You can always rely on the Concept2 Indoor Rower. This model is not only one of the most popular rowing machines in general (if not the most popular), it is also the perfect choice for tall people. The device is 96″ long in total and has a very long seat rail with a maximum inseam of 37″.
People up to seven-feet tall should be able to work out on this rowing machine without any problems. Moreover, if you are even taller, it is no problem to request a larger seat rail from the manufacturer. The support is very helpful and I have always had good experiences with them.
The Concept2 Indoor Rower is an air rowing machine (more info here), which makes the rowing experience come very close to rowing on real water and just feels amazing in general.
By the way, many people are worried about the “high” price. All I can say is that the money is absolutely well invested, because this rowing machine is extremely durable and will last for decades with conscientious care and maintenance. So you might have to dig a little deeper into your pockets, but in the long run you will definitely save a lot of time, energy and in the end also money (gym fees, etc.). In addition, you get the ideal opportunity to effectively build muscles and burn fat within your own four walls.
I can assure you that this is an excellent rowing machine which doesn’t lack in any way. I would suggest that you just have a look at it for yourself.
Is the Waterrower Suitable for Tall People?
Since many people are particularly interested in the very popular Waterrower rowing machine, I decided to include it in this blog post as well. People mainly know this model because of its awesome design and because the main character in the US-series “House of Cards” uses it to stay in shape.
Apart from the A1 model, all versions of the Waterrower are suitable up to a height of 6’7″ without any restrictions. Again, if you are taller, you can simply contact the manufacturer and ask for a longer seat rail. As with the Concept2 Indoor Rower, the support is also very helpful.
As the name already suggests, the Waterrower is a rowing machine with water resistance (you’ll find more information here). Basically, you row against the resistance of water, just like in real rowing. This makes the rowing feel very natural.
The Waterrower is one of the most popular rowing machines, just like the Concept2 Indoor Rower. It is very durable and you probably won’t have to worry about buying a new one for many, many years to come.
Again, I recommend that you form your own opinion. Take a look at this machine here.
Time to Get Started: The Proper Rowing Technique
Since the technique can be learned much better with pictures than just with text, I’ll leave a little video for you here to show you how to do it correctly. I think this one explains it very well, so pay attention.
The Bottom Line: Rowing Machines for Tall People
In summary, there are many suitable rowing machines for tall people. Nobody should have to do without the advantages of an indoor rowing workout, and fortunately nobody has to! The Concept2 Indoor Rower and the Waterrower are very recommendable.
I hope I helped you with this article and answered all your questions. However, if you have any further questions or would like to share your own experiences as a tall person on a rowing machine, feel free to write me an email or just leave a comment below.
Otherwise, I wish you a lot of fun at the start of your rowing journey! 😉