Compact exercise equipment for non-compact person
November 17, 2015 8:41 PM   Subscribe

What is the best piece of home exercise equipment, with the smallest footprint, for a 6'5" guy?

Asking for my husband: I’m looking for some kind of exercise equipment that will fit into a fairly small room and is something that will work well for someone who is taller than average (6’ 5”). I’ve found that the exercise bike type of equipment doesn’t really tend to adjust well to a person of my height. I do 45 to an hour of cardio three times a week. Any recommendations that would work for a tall guy? Treadmill? Elliptical? Brands to avoid?
posted by Wavelet to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If the room has a high ceiling, then a jump rope.
posted by aniola at 9:50 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

You can put any bike that actually fits you on an indoor bike trainer. Bonus: bike!
posted by halogen at 9:52 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

As a fellow 6'5" redwood, the Sunny spinning bike (which you can get off Amazon) fits me pretty well. I do have to set the handlebar post to the max height, but it works.
posted by un petit cadeau at 10:53 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

It isn't cardio but you could get some TRX straps and an anchor to mount them off of (I suspect your husband may be too tall to hang it off the door.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:00 PM on November 17, 2015

Best answer: I am only 5'10", but after I got plantar fasciitis that made it painful for me to run for about a year, I acquired a Concept2 Model D rowing machine a couple of years ago.

I row six days a week now. It is a full-body workout that resists your pull and keep you challenged. You want sprint drills? The rowing machine will get your heart rate up enough you'll be gasping for breath. Want to do an hour at 70% of heart rate max? You got it. It doesn't take very much space, breaks in half, and can handle everything you can dish out.

Here's a little video instruction on how to do it.

There's a computer on it, so you've got some metrics. I sometimes put my iPad in front of me and watch TV or listen to audiobooks. The Concept2 rowing machines are built like tanks. I don't know what I'd do without mine.
posted by phoebus at 1:42 AM on November 18, 2015 [5 favorites]

Consider the kettlebell. It's not pure cardio, but 10 minutes of swings (or snatches, if your shoulder and the ceiling height can handle it) will get your heart rate up, to say the least. Its footprint is minuscule and the return on investment for diligent practice with a heavy KB is solid.
posted by daveliepmann at 1:56 AM on November 18, 2015 [5 favorites]

Rowing machine! Concept2. It can stand in a corner when not in use. Great for tall people, amazing full body workout.
posted by hepta at 6:03 AM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]

We have a Schwinn recumbent bike. Works well for my 6'4 husband and myself at 5'4. I don't think it would work well for those under 5' but otherwise is very flexible in height.
posted by typecloud at 6:07 AM on November 18, 2015

Seconding both the jump rope and the kettlebell suggestions above. Not only can disciplined use of both of these instruments of torture offer a tremendous metabolic workout, but will teach additional skills (footwork, agility, balance etc.) that may not be learned sitting / standing on a machine.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 10:14 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm only 6'2", but we also have a Schwinn recumbent bike, but when it's adjusted for my height there's about 6" of more potential leg room. Sadly recumbent bikes themselves tend to have a larger floor footprint so it might not be compact enough for you. Depending on the bike, it might be able to be tilted 90 degress upright when not in use. That's not usually something that's designed for however.
posted by nobeagle at 10:23 AM on November 18, 2015

I agree that the Concept 2 is awesome for working out. Just watch the instructional videos, because people who aren't rowers often use it (hilariously) wrong, and that can cause back issues (not hilarious). It's expensive, but it's pretty much the standard erg (rowing machine) used the world over, so if you have a competitive side, you can legitimately compare your times against everyone from the high school crew team to the Olympic teams.
posted by smackfu at 11:17 AM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nthing the kettlebell. Serious cardio in an extremely small footprint.
posted by culfinglin at 3:05 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

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