These Are 7 of the Best Exercises for Tall People

The fitness center is for everybody. Quick, tall, massive, small, you identify it. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply that everybody can, or ought to, practice the identical manner. The fantastic thing about resistance training lies in its customizability: You’ll be able to tweak and tailor your exercises to match your targets and, extra importantly, your physique.

In the event you’re vertically blessed — that’s, you’re a tall gymgoer — you most likely keep away from the bench press just like the plague and really feel at house with all manner of back work. Tall individuals excel at some workouts greater than others, true sufficient, however you possibly can modify many movements to make them work in your wants as nicely.

A tall person workout with dumbbells.
Credit score: Lebedev Roman Olegovich / Shutterstock

These are seven top-of-the-line choices for taller people to attempt within the weight room. They cowl the entire fundamental movement patterns, however with small changes to your approach or the tools you’re employed with. 

Greatest Workout routines for Tall Folks

Earlier than you dive in, know that you just shouldn’t limit your self to sure workouts within the fitness center by default simply since you’re tall. If a raise feels good and you’ll execute it with correct type, there’s no motive to alter what’s working for you. 

Editor’s Notice: The content material on BarBend is supposed to be informative in nature, but it surely shouldn’t be taken as medical recommendation. When beginning a brand new coaching routine and/or food regimen, it’s all the time a good suggestion to seek the advice of with a trusted medical skilled. We’re not a medical useful resource. The opinions and articles on this website usually are not supposed to be used as analysis, prevention, and/or remedy of well being issues. They don’t seem to be substitutes for consulting a professional medical skilled.

Sumo Deadlift

When you’ve got bother reaching the barbell for the standard, close-stance deadlift, you would possibly wish to attempt the sumo pull as an alternative.

Sumo deadlifts work the entire similar muscular tissues as typical deadlifts, however can accommodate long legs a bit extra. 

Learn how to Do the Sumo Deadlift

  1. Step up to a loaded barbell and take a really huge stance; your toes ought to level outward and be only some inches away from the plates.
  2. Sit your hips straight downward by driving your knees out to the perimeters till you possibly can attain the bar.
  3. Flatten your again, brace your core, and deadlift the bar by pushing your ft into the ground.
  4. Hold your arms relaxed as you come to a standing place by thrusting your hips ahead and locking out your knees. 

Coach’s Tip: The broader you stand for the sumo deadlift, the extra hip flexibility you’ll must arrange comfortably.

Advantages of the Sumo Deadlift

  • Gives a extra snug beginning place for these with lengthy legs.
  • Shortens the range of motion of the deadlift.
  • Ought to permit you to work with heavier weights.

Entice Bar Deadlift

Solely powerlifters are sworn to the barbell for his or her deadlifts (powerlifting is a barbell-exclusive energy sport). In the event you raise weights recreationally, you must most likely nonetheless deadlift in some vogue.

The entice bar may also help make the motion really feel extra intuitive and permit you to concentrate on what issues: working arduous. 

Learn how to Do the Entice Bar Deadlift

  1. Stand inside of the entice bar body together with your ft beneath your hips and your toes pointing ahead or barely out. Most entice bars have two pairs of handles; seize the upper ones for those who’re rigid as you arrange.
  2. Crouch down right into a high squat position and seize the handles. Your knees ought to be bent and your again ought to be flat.
  3. Push downward into the ground as if you had been performing a leg press.
  4. Hold your arms relaxed and rise up with the body. 

Coach’s Tip: You need to really feel each your quads and posterior chain working through the entice bar deadlift. 

Advantages of the Entice Bar Deadlift

  • Locations the load nearer to your middle of gravity, which ought to assist you preserve your steadiness.
  • Has a less-complex approach than the barbell deadlift.
  • Works your legs and back equally. 

Zercher Squat

The squat is, bar none, the very best bang-for-your-buck train you are able to do in your legs. It additionally occurs to be extremely customizable; you don’t must drive your self to do the barbell back squat if the approach doesn’t jive together with your physique. 

Adjusting the way you maintain the load could make all of the distinction. A front-loaded squat variation just like the Zercher squat would possibly assist you squat deeper and, thus, construct your legs larger and stronger. 

Learn how to Do the Zercher Squat

  1. Set an unloaded barbell in a squat rack at across the top of your stomach button.
  2. Hook the bar into your elbows and clasp your arms collectively, then step out of the rack.
  3. Assume a snug squat stance, brace your core, and sink down right into a low squat.

Coach’s Tip: Hold your higher arms pinned to your sides and don’t shrug your shoulders. Enable the bar to relaxation immobile in your elbows. 

Advantages of the Zercher Squat

  • The position of the load helps you preserve an upright torso and sit right into a low squat.
  • Nice for coaching your core stability.
  • Even mild weights are extremely stimulating, so that you don’t must raise heavy. 

Security Bar Squat

Again squats are one heck of a leg-builder. In the event you love loading up and squatting heavy however discover the barbell awkward to work with, you must give the protection bar a go as an alternative (if your gym has one, that’s).

This distinctive bar adjusts the position of the load in a manner that ought to assist you preserve an upright posture. 

Learn how to Do the Security Bar Squat

  1. The protection bar squat is not any totally different from a regular barbell squat.
  2. Unrack the bar by greedy the handles and permit the body to relaxation in your higher again.
  3. Assume a snug stance, take a breath, and slowly sit down as little as you’re in a position. 

Coach’s Tip: Grip the handles tightly however don’t push up onto the bar together with your arms. 

Advantages of the Security Bar Squat

  • Adjusts the position of the load so it’s nearer to your midline, which helps maintain balance.
  • The handles present a extra ergonomic option to maintain the bar that doesn’t depend upon shoulder flexibility.
  • You need to use the protection bar for almost any barbell-based squat. 

Dumbbell Row

Rows and different pulling actions are a tall gymgoer’s bread and butter. Lengthy arms pay dividends right here by offering ample vary of movement to make the most of for muscle progress and energy achieve.

Barbell rows could stress your again and restrict how a lot weight you should utilize, so chances are you’ll wish to head to the dumbbell rack as an alternative. 

Learn how to Do the Dumbbell Row

  1. Set one dumbbell to the aspect of a weight bench. The leg on the aspect of your working arm ought to be planted on the ground behind you want a kickstand.
  2. Relaxation your non-working knee and hand on the bench. Your torso ought to be roughly parallel to the ground.
  3. Attain down and grab the weight so it hangs a couple of inches off the bottom.
  4. Pull your elbow backward till your higher arm is aligned together with your torso. 

Coach’s Tip: Keep away from twisting your torso while you row; preserve your trunk at a constant angle by bracing your core. 

Advantages of the Dumbbell Row

Flooring Press

Lengthy arms are normally the bane of a big bench press (until you’re a world-record-holding powerlifter like Jennifer Thompson), however that doesn’t imply there’s nothing you are able to do.

If a wide range of movement on the bench is inhibiting your efficiency, you would possibly wish to ditch the bench altogether. Enter the floor press.

Learn how to Do the Flooring Press

  1. In the event you’re working with a barbell, set it up round knee degree in a squat rack and lie in your again on the ground beneath it. You’ll be able to plant your ft on the ground or prolong your legs out straight for those who choose.
  2. Unrack the barbell and stabilize it instantly over your shoulders.
  3. Decrease the bar slowly till your elbows gently contact the bottom, after which reverse the movement by straightening your arms. 

Coach’s Tip: Decrease the bar slowly to keep away from bashing your elbows into the bottom. 

Advantages of the Flooring Press

  • Limits your vary of movement and means that you can raise heavy.
  • You are able to do ground presses with a barbell, dumbbells, or on the Smith machine.
  • Emphasizes your triceps.

Weighted Plank

Core stability is essential, irrespective of your top. Tall people ought to dedicate much more time to their midline energy, as they’ve to maneuver weights farther from their middle of gravity.

Planks are all nicely and good for coaching your abs to withstand undesirable forces, however to turn into immovably sturdy, you must add some additional resistance in. 

Learn how to Do the Weighted Plank

  1. Lie in your abdomen on the ground. Your greatest wager is to have a pleasant gymgoer or spotter place a weight plate in your decrease again.
  2. Prop your self up onto your elbows. Your legs ought to be prolonged and your backbone ought to be straight; contract your core to keep away from any dip in your decrease again.
  3. Maintain this place for time or till you lose management of your brace. 

Coach’s Tip: You might be able to kneel and hold a plate behind your again to arrange for the weighted plank with out help. 

Advantages of the Weighted Plank

Understanding Your Anatomy

Being tall is nice for an entire lot greater than reaching the highest shelf within the kitchen. Nonetheless, within the weight room, your top could not work in your favor. If hitting the weights feels extra awkward than superior at first, don’t fret. Your anatomy performs extra of a task than you suppose. 

Tallness isn’t an inherently poor trait for lifting weights (though you do have to fret about bonking your head on the squat rack or lat pulldown extra typically than a shorter particular person). Tall individuals, although, are inclined to have longer limbs relative to their torso.

Top vs. Limb Size

That is the defining attribute that separates somebody with an “excellent” construct for weight coaching from somebody who could discover resistance coaching clumsy or cumbersome. Analysis exhibits that, whereas top and limb progress aren’t essentially the identical factor, taller individuals generally find yourself with longer legs and arms as nicely. (1)

How does this have an effect on you within the fitness center? Effectively, virtually all workouts contain transferring your arms or legs. Your torso should “accommodate” that motion. Lengthy-legged squatters naturally fold over on the waist greater than shorter ones. You might have issue setting up for your deadlifts because you merely have longer legs that should bend so you possibly can attain the bar within the first place. 

A person working out on a cable machine.
Credit score: Reshetnikov_art / Shutterstock

Conversely, resistance training typically feels fairly intuitive for stocky individuals with brief limbs. Quick arms or legs imply a smaller vary of movement, which implies fewer alternatives to lose management of the load. The resistance may even all the time be nearer to that particular person’s middle of gravity, making it a lot simpler to steadiness.

This doesn’t imply that weight lifting is a silly use of your time for those who’re tall — the iron is for everybody. It does, nevertheless, imply that you might have to be a bit extra cautious together with your workouts and the way you carry out them, particularly for those who’re nearer to seven ft tall than six. 

Coaching Ideas for Tall Folks

In the event you habitually get requested, “How’s the climate up there?” sure weight lifting workouts could really feel uncomfortable or unnatural to you. That doesn’t imply they’re off the desk, but it surely would possibly imply that you just’ll want to change them a bit. Right here’s how one can maximize your time with the weights. 

(Barely) Decrease Your Depth

Lengthy limbs usually imply an extended vary of movement. Whereas that is implausible for exciting muscle growth, it additionally means you’ve got extra probabilities to mess up your approach or lose management of the load.

That is significantly true for free-weight, lower-body exercises like squats. As a tall particular person, you need to transfer the load additional in area than a brief particular person. You would possibly discover it tough to take care of good approach while you’re fatigued and have to maneuver the bar to date or for therefore many reps.

In the event you discover your squat or deadlift approach deteriorating over the course of a tough set, it could be value pulling again on the depth considerably and leaving one other rep or two within the tank. You may make up for the loss in stimulation by performing an extra set as an alternative, which additionally affords you one other alternative to dial in your type. 

Prioritize Eccentrics

Exercising management over the weights you employ within the fitness center is among the greatest methods to make sure your exercises are protected and productive. The eccentric section — that’s, the reducing portion — additionally occurs to be the place you build a lot of muscle measurement and energy.

Resisting a weight can also be simpler than lifting it. In the event you’re on the tall aspect, it pays to emphasise your eccentrics. Not solely will this help you get stronger and construct muscle, however doing so additionally teaches your physique to take care of rock-solid stability and management over no matter load you’re working with. 

This high quality is essential for everybody who hits the fitness center, but it surely issues much more for folk who’ve lengthy legs and arms. 

Go Vast 

If squats really feel awkward, you would possibly want to regulate your stance. Taller people are inclined to have longer thigh bones on common, which is able to have an effect on the way you arrange and carry out most lower-body movements

To take a seat right into a deep squat, you’ll want to stay upright sufficient to assist no matter weight you’re utilizing. This may be tough to realize in case your ft are too shut collectively — you would possibly discover that your ankle or hip mobility limits your means to squat far earlier than you attain your required depth.

Widening your stance and turning your ft out (suppose anyplace from 20 to 45 levels) will artificially “shorten” the size of your legs and assist you preserve a extra upright posture while you squat. Swapping from conventional to sumo deadlifts can present related reduction. 

Play to Your Strengths

You will not be constructed to squat or bench like a professional, however that doesn’t imply that your stature supplies you with no benefits in any respect within the weight room. Tall people are inclined to excel at pulling exercises.

In the event you can nail down a deadlift technique that works for you, chances are you’ll discover that you’ve got an exceptionally sturdy pull. Having lengthy arms means you don’t have to drag the barbell as far off the ground as somebody with brief arms, as an illustration. 

Powerlifter sets up to perform the sumo deadlift in competition
Credit score: sportpoint / Shutterstock

Higher-body pulling actions like rows or pulldowns additionally most likely really feel fairly intuitive. A protracted, sweeping vary of movement will interact the musculature of your back and permit you to generate plenty of drive over an extended time period. 

That is true for standard back exercises but additionally assists you for those who love to do explosive workouts like power cleans or excessive pulls. An extended vary of movement means extra time to generate momentum, which may also help you elevate your barbell a bit increased. 

Attain New Heights

The workouts you carry out in the weight room ought to work with you, not in opposition to you. This implies discovering actions that fit your wants and how you’re built in equal measure. For tall people, urgent and squatting, particularly, may cause loads of frustration. Fortunately, there’s so much you are able to do to make these workouts work in your favor. 


  1. Bogin, B., & Varela-Silva, M. I. (2010). Leg size, physique proportion, and well being: a overview with a observe on magnificence. Worldwide journal of environmental analysis and public well being, 7(3), 1047–1075. 

Featured Picture: Lebedev Roman Olegovich / Shutterstock

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