Being 6 ft 4 I know all to well that taller lifters can find it hard going when it comes to training and certain exercises. Our bodies are built differently, with long levers, (eg. gangly legs). Certain exercises and activities that come easily for a shorter, stocky guy won’t be as straightforward for us tall lifters.
As tall guys we must training smart. This will help you avoid any drawbacks in your training such as injuries, and will also make sure you’re getting the most effective workouts for you.
Here are my 3 best tips of advice for you tall lifters out there. Follow these tips to build strength, prevent injury and gain muscle regardless of how tall you are.
Increase recovery time when training pulling movements (eg. Deadlift)
In compound exercises such as the deadlift, the bar will have to travel a lot further when being executed by a taller lifter. This increases the amount of time under tension, which is great when it comes to muscle gain as more time under tension equals more hormonal release to help with muscular growth.
There is a down side though, it also puts the body through more stress, which can make certain efforts less sustainable over time. Especially when is comes to pulling exercises, I recommend to rest for roughly 30 additional seconds on top of your normal rest time, between sets to restore grip strength and get the most out of a heavier set.
Stop comparing numbers!
Lets take myself as an example, I’m 6’4”, 220lb, compare me squatting the equivalent of my body weight on the bar, won’t have the same ease as a 5’8 170lb guy doing the same thing.
Tall guys have to travel much further in both directions, creating additional work (force x distance) performed per rep. Don’t get dishearten when it comes to your strength maxes.
Focus on your goals.
Don’t get confused when I say forget about the numbers, strength is still one of the most important parts of overloading and gaining muscle, you should always be striving to add weight to the bar and increase your strength, as a stronger muscle equals a bigger muscle.
Don’t forget to mobilize the ankles
If you want to hit good depth in your squats ankle mobility is key! Poor ankle mobility will hold you back when it comes to how deep you can squat. Most tall guys tend to have long legs, this means if they want to squat deep their knees need to track forward past the toes, (no this isn’t bad) in order to maintain proper balance and ensure that the barbel stays over the middle of the foot.
Poor ankle mobility will cause you to lean forward in the squat making it look more like a good morning and not a squat. This will result in the weight being taken off the quads and more stress on the hamstrings and lower back. This isn’t optimal when trying to squat heavy weight as we want to use as many lower body muscles in the squat as we can to increase strength.
Here’s the ankle mobilization routine that I recommend, and has helped me most;
Hope this article was helpful, if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Thank you for reading!