Height can be a problem during exercise but only when a person is not trained on good fitness exercise habits. For instance, a person who has much taller legs than his torso could have trouble doing lifting exercises but there are ways to make it easier to exercise. Wingspan can also be a problem for tall people when exercising. To lift weights a person has to apply force to counter the resistance of the weights. Regardless of how heavy a weight is, it exerts more strain on the body of a tall lifter. Let’s now bring some physics into the argument. Work done is equal to force exerted multiplied by distance covered. In a lifting exercise such as full range squats, a shorter person moves much less distance than a taller person. This means that while doing the same number of reps, the taller person moves a lot more distance hence does more work. This helps to put fitness training into perspective.
Why go all the way to complete ROM?
Being tall does not always have to be a negative thing. The first thing to consider as mentioned earlier is range of motion (ROM). Tall people do not need to cut corners to avoid going through their full ROM. When a person goes through a full ROM more time is spent during a single rep. This gives the person enough time to produce more force and in essence have a better workout than shorter people. Adding size to a tall person is the ultimate challenge of health and fitness.
Increasing size when you are tall
It is one thing to build strength but size increases for tall people often go unnoticed. The reason is that additional weight is distributed over larger space and thus people might not notice it. For a tall person to grow visibly bigger there is no shortcut and exercising does little to help. Eating a lot is definitely a step in the right direction. Gaining a little fat is not bad for a tall person since it is not easily noticeable just like increasing muscle mass. Isolation training can also help to accentuate certain parts of the body creating the impression of increased size. If a person wants to get bigger when tall, the SAID principle should be taken into account. The essence of this principle is that when a person exposes his muscles to a lot of strain, the body has to increase muscle mass in order to deal with the additional strength requirements.
Tall people often have to ignore blanket cues
There are many blanket cues gyms give in fitness exercise instructions that can be broken by tall people while making minimal difference to the effectiveness of exercises. One of them is to prevent the knees from passing over the toes in standing exercises. It is very difficult to do this when a person has long legs and arms. Another blanket cue that can be broken is the one that instructs people to pull all the way to the chest in pull up or pull down exercise. For shorter people, the full lat contraction is often achieved when the bar is pulled all the way to the sternum. Taller people however have longer muscles and full lat contraction is achieved before the bar reaches the sternum. This means that pulling the bar beyond this point causes a person to activate muscles in the arm and this breaks the lat muscles’ isolation exercise.
Relief for people with bad joints
The extremes of appendages for long people are significantly further away from joints as they are for shorter people. Exercises that require full range of motion can be particularly tasking when they involve heavy weights. A person should therefore seek to identify his weaknesses and adjust the routine accordingly.
In conclusion, tall people are at a disadvantage in many exercises because of their height. It is however not impossible to have meaningful workouts due to this disadvantage. Being smarter when working out is the solution and almost every exercise can be modified to suit the height of a person.