A Tall Guy’s Guide to Getting Stronger.


As a tall guy, getting stronger can be more difficult than for the little dudes.

You want to get in shape but don’t know how, so you ask your friend who’s 5 foot 8 to write you a workout plan.

He doesn’t realize that your arms and legs are twice as long as his, meaning you have twice the opportunity for injury.

After following his program for a little while, you find that your knees start to hurt, your back aches, and you actually aren’t getting as strong as you wanted.

It’s not as easy for you to do exercises like the squat, bench press and deadlift.

For a guy who’s built like Gimli, these exercises are a fantastic way to get stronger and fitter.

What does that leave a tall guy like you to do?

Does that mean it’s impossible for a dude built more like Legolas to get fitter, stronger, and add a little muscle?

While getting stronger might be more challenging, your height should never hold you back from improving and being in the best shape YOU can be.

Sure, it’s going to look different for you as it would for your 5 foot 8 friend, but for you getting stronger and getting in great shape doesn’t have to be impossible.

This article is for you, my tall, lanky friend.

Following this short guide, you’ll be ready to get stronger, fitter, and using exercises that work for YOUR body.


TALL GUY SUBSTITUTE: Heavy goblet Squat to box.

Doing a back squat is an amazing leg builder, but as a longer dude, it can pose some issues.

Having longer legs and upper body means that you have to travel a lot longer distance so your thighs are parallel to the ground. And with a back squat, you end up leaning forward more than with a goblet squat. This creates a higher chance of hurting your lower back, ESPECIALLY as a tall dude.

Back squats don’t have to be out of your program forever, but if you’re looking to get stronger without your knees and back hurting every time you look at a barbell, try this exercise:


This exercise allows the weight to be more on your quads and legs. Having the weight near your chest allows the core to be used more than your lower back.

Having the box below your butt takes the worry out of falling with the weight.



Having long arms isn’t always bad! You can be your wife’s hero when she needs something from the top shelf, AND you have a better chance at slam dunking a basketball.

But for bench press, those tarantula arms put you at a significant disadvantage. Most of the time dudes like you with long arms will feel the bench press more in the shoulders than in the chest like your short arm friends.

Instead of getting bitter at both the bench press and your friends, try mastering push-ups.

Doing a push-up for a tall guy is harder because of the core strength needed. Since your body is longer, that puts a greater demand on your core and chest to stay strong.

The push-up done properly is a stellar exercise to help your shoulder feel like a dream.

Plus, there are always ways to increase the difficulty.

Just because your workout might look different than your gym buddy doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get in great shape, without pain.

SHORT GUY EXERCISE: Deadlift off the floor. 

TALL GUY SUBSTITUTE: Deadlift off blocks. 

Deadlifts are a great exercise, but not always the best for tall dudes. While the barbell might come up to the higher part of the shin for a short guy, for you the taller dude it might only come to the ankle.

The deadlift is one of the greatest ways to train your glutes, hamstrings, core and lats, but if it comes at the price of jacking up your lower back every time you grab the bar, it’s not worth it.

Instead, what you’ll do is give yourself a little bit of a break. Time to lift off blocks.

I’ve done this for a lot of different clients, as well as myself. There is nothing that says you HAVE to lift off the floor for it to be a deadlift.

Use this exercise, save your lower back, and improve your strength and athleticism.



Sorry my friend. You don’t get a break with this one. Everyone should be able to do pull-ups, regardless of if you’re short, or tall. You can use any grip, like chin-ups.

Sure, short guys on average have less mass to pull up, but it doesn’t excuse you from your duty to get your back stronger.

If you can’t do a pull-up yet, then you will get some variations that will get you there.

Variations like ground assisted pull-ups, jumping pull-ups, and eccentric pull-ups will help get you to the illustrious world of pulling your own weight.

Until then, rock your chest supported rows to improve your back strength and lat strength.



TALL GUYS, REJOICE! Finally, a program that keeps your long limbs in mind.

Don’t feel like you have to train like the 5 foot 9 personal trainer who shoves the exercises he uses down your throat. Use exercises that work for your body, and your strength and fitness will thank you.