Best Rowing Machines For Short People

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Best Rowing Machines For Short PeopleIt can be a daunting experience trying to find rowing machines for short people, even if you’re not vertically challenged, trying to decide between the multitude of options available can become quite the mission. That is without even considering what type of rower is best for your personal situation.

However, one thing that is clear for the short person, is that a compact rower is more than suitable and what this means to you as the consumer is a lower upfront cost. Fewer materials used to develop the product typically result in a lower purchase price. That’s the good news for us short people.

The bad news is, you need to decide between the four main types of rowers available. To make the buying decision all that much easier, I have compiled a buyers guide below. This guide includes my top rated choices for rowing machines from each type available. Following these recommendations, you can find a guide to rowers and rowing in general for short people.

Quick Links To Info On This Page

Compare Types Of Rowing Machines For A Short Person

Type Short Features Price
Hydraulic 38" Inseam, Slide Rail 40", 350 LB Capacity, 12 Levels of Resistance Check Price On Amazon
Magnetic Slide rail length/inseam: 39”,User height: 4’9”~6’6”, eat height range - 9. 5 – 12" Check Price On Amazon
Water 38" Inseam, Slide Rail 42", 300 LB capacity, 16 fan blades provide unlimited resistance and a dynamic response Check Price On Amazon
Flywheel Designed for people with inseams shorter than 38", 500 LB capacity, 14" high seat, commercial grade quality Check Price On Amazon


Compact Rowing Machine For Short Users

Compact Rowing Machine For Short UsersSlide Rail Inseam: 38″

Slide Rail Length: 40″
Sunny Health & Fitness has a good reputation of making quality exercise machines that don’t the bank. This is why their hydraulic rowing machine has made this list as it’s high-quality and offers a good range of features that will improve your next work out.

Having a wide range of resistant levels makes this rowing machine excellent for people who’re beginners and those who are much more experienced. This rowing machine has an impressive 12 levels of resistance that you’re able to adjust to what level of experience you have which is a big plus.

You’re able to keep track of a number of crucial things when you work out with this rowing machine. This is thanks to the digital monitor it includes that allows you to track things like your count, and time. These are great ways of keeping motivated and helping with pushing yourself for a better workout.

The machine is really compact and doesn’t take up a lot of space. The measurements are 12-inches high by 57-inches long by 29-inches wide. This allows it to fit in a good number of places for you to store it or even if you wanted to leave it out since it’s not very bulky.

Safety Is Crucial

When using a rowing machine there are times when it can be unsafe and the foot pedals can be the main concern for some. The pedals on this rowing machine are incredible and are extremely safe since they’re a decent size and are non slip. For those who want to be even safer, they include straps to keep your feet in position as well.

While the full motion arms on this machine are great for getting a larger range of motion and work really well for this. They’re improved by having anti-slip grips on the handles that will keep you safer and prevent slipping.


One of the biggest complaints I see why rowing machines is how the seats can get uncomfortable when you’re exercising. There is extra padding in this seat that will help with reducing some of the pressure from where you’re sitting. This is really useful when you’re doing those longer more intense workouts.

Full Motion Rowing Machine Rower


Magnetic Rowing Machine For Short People

Magnetic Rowing Machine For Short PeopleSlide rail length/inseam: 39”
It should come as no surprise that a magnetic rowing machine has made the list and this model by Fitness Reality is one of the best. It offers a great workout and a lot of versatility that will keep you motivated since you won’t be doing the same exercise all the time.

Having a total of 14 different levels of tension makes this an excellent machine for most users. The amount of tension this magnetic rowing machine offers might be a little low for people who are wanting to build muscle. But for cardio and staying fit it’s hard to beat this rowing machine.

The handlebar has a comfortable foam grip that makes it very comfortable to use. This works really well with the handlebar being 21.5-inches wide since you’re able to get a comfortable grip on the bar. It makes the next advantage of this rowing machine even better!

A Full Body Workout

First and foremost this is an amazing rowing machine and will work out the muscles a rowing machine will. Because of its design, you’re able to do more exercises instead of just the rowing function. You’re able to do front raises, tricep extensions, reverse grip curls, and many more.

This is thanks to their unique design front foot stabilizers that will allow you to do these kinds of exercises and are very beneficial for beginners. So if you want a full-body workout then this rowing machine by Fitness Reality is one of the best on the market that offers more then your standard rowing machine.

20th Century Design

Companies like to put Bluetooth on their products even when they don’t need them to. With this machine and its Bluetooth, you’ll be able to download the free app that will allow you to track more than your standard rowing machines. You’re also able to set it to have 3 workout foals to help keep you even more motivated.

For those who don’t like the idea of downloading an app to track your work out progress. Then you’ll be happy to know that it has a 3.5-inch LCD display that will still track the important stats that you need. The app is just an added bonus for those who are looking to take it to the next level.

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower


Water Rower For Short People

Water Rower For Short People
For those who are looking to take there rowing training to the next level then this water rower by Sunny Health & Fitness is a great way to start. Being a water rower is the best way to simulate the resistance you’ll get when rowing on the water and this rower, in particular, is one of the best.

Most types of rowing machines have a somewhat janky motion when you’re using them. This is where water rowers shine as they offer a much smoother motion when you row with them. The motion on this particular rowing machine is really smooth and feels good when you’re using it.

It’s hard to argue that a seat on a rowing machine is what you’d call comfortable. This is why I appreciate Sunny Health attempting to make this better with its molded padded seat that is more comfortable than your average rowing machine.

Easy Storage

This is a very long rowing machine so it can be a little bulky since it’s 80-inches long (6’6″).  You do store it in an upright position which does help with it being so large when you store it. So it’s usable in a smaller apartment without sacrificing an entire room to it like some other machines.

Safety Features Are High

Something that is overlooked on so many rowing machines is that your floor might not be level due to a number of reasons. This is why it was a clever decision on Sunny Healths part to include foot-levelers on this machine. This makes it easier to get into position and less chance of the rower becoming unstable.

With how intense a rowing workout can be there is no way you won’t be sweating which can lead to slipping. This is why I like how the made the pedals and handlebar be non-slip which makes this safe to use. The handlebar is also sweat resistant which is another nice safety feature of this rowing machine.

This Obsidian Surge water rower is an amazing water rower that gives you a great workout at different intensities. Being a water rowing machine does have the added advantage of not having to do as much maintenance compared to other models which is a nice advantage.

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine


Rowing Machine For Short & Heavy People

500 Lbs Capacity Rowing Machine

Rowing Machine For Short & Heavy People
This air rowing machine by Concept2 is going to give you some of the best workouts of your life. Even if you’re experienced you will still get a great workout with this machine which is one of the many reasons it’s worth your time considering if you want an excellent rowing machine.

Often the biggest problem with rowing machines is that they do often lack a lower weight capacity with most offering 300lbs which is good. But for my larger friends out there who want to improve themselves get left out because of it. This is why this rowing machine having an excellent weight capacity of 500lbs will allow them this great workout.

It’s able to achieve this level of capacity due to the frame being made of high-quality aluminum. With the rear legs being made out of steel which adds to the durability even more. So as long as you maintain this rower you will have an excellent piece of equipment for years to come.

The Best Rowing Arms!

The arms of rowing machines can be overlooked and it takes a machine like this to see why they’re so important. The arms on this rowing machine allow you to pivot them into a number of positions. This allows you to adjust to the height and angle which will make for an overall better experience.

The Noise Is Minimum

One of the biggest issues people have with air rowing machines is that they’re noisy and put people off. While this machine is still going to make noise when you use it, it’s one of the more quiet ones on the market in my opinion. Tho most people have headphones when they workout so noise might not be an issue for you at all.

Excellent For Competitive People

If you’re someone who loves a good competition then this rowing machine does something you will love. It has an online ranking feature so you can compare yourself to others which can really help with pushing yourself and getting a better workout. This feature is great for helping keep you motivated and help you attain your workout goals.

Concept2 Model D


Alternative Exercise Equipment For Short People

What Type Of Rowing Machine Is BestRowers For Short Inseam Person

There are four kinds of rowing machines on the market all with there own pros and cons. These different types of rowing machines are air, water, magnetic, and hydraulic rowing machines.

Air Rowers

One of the most common and older types are air rowing machines. What they do is produce resistance by having air go against the internal flywheel which can replicate the rowing on water feeling some people are going for.

While they are fairly common machines they can be quite noisy for inside use for some people. If you don’t mind the noise they’re a good option. But apart from this, air rowers are the rowing machines that people who want to simulate rowing on the water will go with.

Hydraulic Rowers

If you’re on a budget then a hydraulic rower is a good option since they’re generally cheaper then most other models. They are often foldable which does make them good for people who lack space in there place and need to put their machines away.

Hydraulic machines are starting to lose there popularity and are getting harder to find. This is because they don’t give the smoothest action when you’re rowing. They also require more maintenance than most other machines which can put people off.

Water Rowers

These are the “new kids” on the block and are not the most common machines on the market yet. They have some handy advantages like they don’t need as much maintenance which is something a lot of people like. The resistance with the stroke is very consistent which makes for a better experience.

The price point of these water rowing machines can be a little high for some people’s budgets which makes them not the easiest to recommend. Space can be an issue if you don’t have a dedicated area for where you will be doing your workouts.

Magnetic Rowers

There is a reason that magnetic rowers are the most common types of rowers on the market. They offer a wide variety of different things that are all beneficial for a workout such as giving you more resistance levels and are really quiet. They’re usually smaller than other types of rowers in most situations except for hydraulic rowers.

If you want your rowing machine to feel like you’re rowing on the water then a magnetic rower might not be for you. They’re excellent at being workout equipment but don’t emulate the rowing on water feeling which some people require in their rowing machines.

Are Short People Disadvantaged For Rowing

Like all sports there is a bias to tall people and people selecting them over short people and rowing is no different. For a long time, the sport went through a phase of only recruiting tall people who were only tall and not very coordinated. This made it very difficult for shorter people who want to row seriously as they’re already at a disadvantage.

Just because someone is 6’3″ doesn’t mean they’re going to be better than someone who is shorter. As with all things in life, there are a lot of variables that will affect the results. Someone who has more experience and has a much better technique will be better than someone who is just tall with average technique.


An Important Factor

With everyone making it about height there is something that is often overlooked when it comes to rowing. This is there are different weight classes but not different height classes. This is something that so many people seem to ignore but it offers a lot of insight into this question.

You will need to generate power for every stroke and having more weight is a way of generating this power. Since you’re transferring more momentum into the machine due the extra weight plays a big part in your overall speed. So weight is more of a factor then height in a lot of cases.

Rowing Is More Than Size

If you look at any professional athlete then look at the people who are at the top of that level and you will see they all have something in common. This is they all have incredible mental strength which is a big part of the reason why they dominate their sports.

The same goes for rowing with it being more than just your ability. Having incredible mental strength plays a much larger factor in sports then a lot of people think so if you have better mental strength then someone you already have an advantage.

Benefits Of Using A Rowing Machine As A Short Person

There are a number of reasons as to why you should use a rowing machine to help improve your workouts. They’re excellent machines that offer a lot of advantages and can actually be an enjoyable machine to use in my opinion.

If you’re working out and you’re ignoring cardio then you’re doing it wrong no matter what age you are. There is a lot of benefits to doing aerobic exercises such as having a stronger immune system and of the best ways to help with this is by using a rowing machine.

One of the biggest advantages of using a rowing machine is how it can help in increasing your overall endurance. This goes back into what I was saying about getting a good cardio workout and how rowing machines are excellent at giving you one while working out other things.

Excellent Variety

Rowing machines are excellent at working out a wide range of muscles and not just focus on one area. Your upper body gets an excellent workout with a rowing machine working on your back and shoulders. This really helps with improving your posture which can help reduce back pain that people get.

If you’re more interested in working out your lower-body then a rowing machine also has you covered. While the main muscles that you’ll work out in the lower body are your quads. A rowing machine will work out your glutes and calves as well just not as much as your quads.

Working out is a good way to put a lot of pressure on your joints which can stop certain people from being able to work out and improve themselves. Rowing machines are considered low impact machines so they don’t put as much pressure on your joints as things like running or yoga. This makes them good for people who have preexisting joint issues and heavy people.


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