T Nation

Body Structure and Exercise Choice

I have a question regarding my girlfriends training. She is 5’11 with very long legs and arms, but a short torso. I have read on many posts that her structue has nothing to do with the ability to perform the big 3 exercises. She is very good deadlifting, but the bench press and ATG squats are too challenging for her.

What other chest exercise would be best (she cannot do dips either) for her, and can the leg press or Hack machine ATG squats be a viable replacement for barbell squats? I have also read that seated good mornings are a solid alternative for taller people. But what if their torso is very short? We train at home so equipment options are limited, any suggestions?

My wife shares a similar build to that of your girlfriend, with the similar problem (she weighs 153, pulls 215, but has trouble squatting with any weight due to the long legs). I am sure Coach Thibaudeau has much more informed advice than I, but my personal experience is that the Leg Press and Hack Squat have been good alternatives for quad emphasis.

Also, my wife is able to do ATG bodyweight squats (somehow the bar throws her balance) so we do paused free squats. She’s also had a lot of success with RDL’s for the posterior chain.

As to chest, the bench has worked okay, so I don’t know that I can help there. Good luck!