As most people are perfectly aware, not one single person has the exact same body; therefore, how you care for and train varies from person to person. Especially, a tall individual. Objectively-speaking, there are a ton of advantages that are associated with being tall. You don’t have to ask for help or clamber on top of counters when you’re trying to rummage through a cupboard, being at the back of a crowd usually isn’t an issue, and you won’t get stopped at amusement park rides because you don’t meet minimum height requirements (although you might be too tall). If you come onto a tennis or basketball court, you shouldn’t have a very difficult time moving around and crushing your enemies (assuming that you can play decently), but beyond that, there are some disadvantages associated with height in the world of fitness.
Here, we’re going to look at a few disadvantages and explore various forms of fitness that are most advantageous to those who are vertically gifted because, yes, while you can do almost anything when you try hard enough, there are some tasks your body absolutely will not allow you to attempt. Try not to be too hard on yourself; it happens to everyone.
First, we need to discuss what counts as “tall.” In the United States, the average male tends to be around 5’9” tall while your average American woman usually grows to stand at 5’4” tall. Of course, there are a variety of factors that need to be considered when calculating this measurement such as diet and your genes. As a matter of fact, approximately 60 to 80 percent of your height is entirely dependent on your genes; the remaining 20 to 40 percent is based on environmental factors like your diet. For the purpose of this article, let’s target men over 6’2” and women who are over 5’9”.
Now, as before stated, being tall can lead to a ton of benefits. However, there are other places in which height can serve as a real disadvantage. Take for instance, the gym and more specifically, the weight room. There are three key points that you should be aware of if you’re tall and you’re getting into training regularly.
1.People who are taller tend to have more difficulties building muscle mass. Or rather, it takes a taller person a little more time to gain muscle as opposed to a shorter athlete. If you’re wondering why that is, the answer is quite simple: your body has more area to work with. This means that while you are technically gaining muscle, you might not see results as quickly as someone shorter than you.
2.Taller people struggle performing traditional strength training exercises. One thing you need to keep in mind is not everybody was built the same; therefore, the proper form of certain exercises isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of task. Because you’re tall, you might have to position yourself in an awkward, uncomfortable form in order to “properly” execute an exercise which very well could result in injury.
3. Coming off of the previous point, if you aren’t diligent in actively paying attention to what your body can or can’t do, then you will suffer. Treating your body like a shorter lifter can possibly make you more susceptible to joint aches and pains. It is also quite possible that you could feel aches and pains in your lower back as well. Negligence in properly taking the time to adjust your workout regimen can ultimately result in a spinal injury.
Regarding health and fitness for taller people, here are a few suggestions that should ultimately help you in the gym.
-Train often, but in shorter sessions. On average, you should be exercising anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour per session 3 to 4 times a week. Research has shown that shorter, higher intensity workouts have been proven to be more effective. These shorter, more intense bursts yield higher fat loss and, if you aren’t interested in spending hours pumping iron every day, are more convenient for people’s day to day lives.
-Don’t worry about capturing the full range of motion (ROM) when performing an exercise. Typically, it’s encouraged to follow the motion all the way through for optimizing your workout routine, but these circumstances change for taller people. For example, going too deep on a squat to achieve the proper form will hurt your knees and going too deep on the dip-rack can severely injure your shoulders. When performing these exercises, if you ever experience any kind of pain, do yourself a favor and stop immediately.
-Say it with me: ISOMETRIC EXERCISES. Read the term and read it again. This will be your best friend if you are tall. We’ve already talked about how performing the full ROM can seriously injure your joints. That’s where isometric exercises come into the picture. Isometric exercises are exercises in which you hold a static contraction, such as a plank. Isometric exercises allow an athlete to practice holding a position for longer periods of time. Additionally, these exercises help athletes prepare themselves for different ROM. Get the best out of your workout by trying out some free weights, weight machines, and even elastic bands.
-Last but not least, Rued Caspar, editor of Tallsome, has put together a very helpful resource to help tall skinny guys build muscle. We strongly suggest looking it over