Tall Guy Workout Tips
FYI: We're not fitness experts. We make clothes. This article is about researching credible pieces on the subject and compile our best takeaways for you. See your doctor or a licensed trainer if you want to get crazy with your workouts. Get swoll.
There are many reasons that short guys don’t outshine their taller counterparts in regard to height. Tall guys are spotted in a room faster. We don’t get lost in the crowd. We can reach almost anything without a ladder.
The gym might be the one place where height isn’t an advantage and where shorter guys wear the crown. It’s not that we tall, (thin) guys don’t hit the gym and aren’t interested in body building, it breaks down to science. If you have long legs and arms, you usually don’t fit the typical gym machines well.
Bones, ligaments, and muscles are the structures that form levers in the body to create human movement. Levers allow us to move efficiently. If a tall guy misses a rep on a heavy exercise, our joints can be injured quicker than a short guy’s because long levers magnify poor joint angles under load. Tall guys must make adjustments to exercises in order to prevent injuries and accommodate for our long levers. At Heights we have put together three important workout tips for tall guys that you can safely incorporate into your existing fitness routine to help you look and feel your best. Detailed instructions on how to do the exercises and links are below.
Skip the Barbell for Deadlifts
You should skip the barbell for deadlifts and use the Trap Bar. Do this because a trap bar will help you utilize your center of gravity, so you can hinge more easily without injury. Trap bars, sometimes called “hex bars,” because of their hexagonal shape, have sleeves on the end that let you load weight. Trap bars generally have two sets of handles, “low handles” are at the same level as the rest of the bar, while “High handles” are elevated.
To deadlift a trap bar, you stand inside the bar, grab one of the sets of handles, and lift it. To do it correctly, place your legs just outside your arms, so your legs are no longer blocked by your forearms.
Sets: 12, 10, 8, 5, 5
Use your hands! Say Goodbye to Ab wheel rollouts
Longer arm levers help work your core efficiently. If your abs aren’t strong enough, the pressure is on your lower back and that can cause injury. Hand Walkouts, allow you to have more control over the position of your shoulders. You work at your own pace and improve the ending position as you gain more strength.
To do it right: Start at a standing position, put your hands on the ground in front of your toes. Gradually walk your hands forward past the press-up position, and out as far as you can stretch. Slowly walk them back in to the starting position. The walk out and back counts as one rep.
Double (Dutch) Rope Face Pulls
A great exercise for shoulders is the Face Pull. In most gyms it is done with a cable machine, using the pulldown cable ropes. If you’re a tall guy with long reach, doing it the traditional way doesn’t allow you to pull your arms apart. You will be missing the rotary aspect of the rear deltoids that helps protect your body against impingement and shoulder glide.
In our tall guy adjustment, we suggest you attach two ropes to the cable hook, grabbing each rope with one hand, keeping your back straight and your knees slightly bent. Hold the rope tightly with your palms facing each other. Drive the arms back, then pull the rope toward your forehead. Make sure your arms are above shoulder level. Rotate your shoulders out at the end of the movement. Squeeze the upper back muscles once fully extended. Hold the position for one to two seconds, then return the rope back to neutral, while keeping tension in the ropes.
We some slight modifications you can optimize your workout for your height and get more out of it. Have a great workout!
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Sources and links for examples