T Nation

How Tall is Too Tall for Squats?


Forgive me if this question is naive. I have heard references in articles to the fact that some people are too tall (or proportioned undesirably) for the squat. What sort of body type and height is bad for squats?


I will forgive you.

My guess is, that you are tall.
And that you don't like squats.
Because they are hard.
And now, you're wondering if they're hard because you aren't built to squat.

Well if that's it- stop it, suck it up and squat.

Sure, some people are built to squat.
Some people are built to deadlift.
Some people are born to have 12 inch cocks.

So, ok, you might have to work a little harder than the other guys.
But, then you have to work harder than a whole range of people who are genetically predisposed to be better than you. Is that going to stop you? If it is, then I suggest you take up a new hobby.
Like knitting.

I too, hated squats. Because they were hard. And I too, heard that tall people are built to squat. So it got me thinkin, an bitchin, and wonderin if I should be squatting.

And then someone came along, and said something profound-


And so I did. And I'm glad I did. Because squats are one of, if not the best strength and mass building exercises.

I hope this helps.

EDIT- Tall guys (I dunno, > six-3?) with proportionally long femurs tend to find squatting big weights somewhat harder. Apparently.


Thanks tassietaekwon. I will duly shut up and squat.


I'm 6 Foot 5 inches tall and almost as old as dirt. I squat...it hurts.....I squat more.....it hurts more. It's what you do if you wannna be strong and well balanced. Yes, if your tall you will squat a little lighter than a guy that's 5'6" tall but I'll bet he would trade his squat numbers for your height in a split Second.....!!


8'9". then you can be excused from squatting. dent, when you say it hurts, do you mean joint pain?


OP- No worries!

Now that's out of the way, welcome to the site!
Is there anything else that we can do for you?

I like you already. Because you didn't argue with my logic, and because you're now going to squat.
And because alot of people would have gotten pissy with my post, thinking I was having a go. Which I wasn't, I even made an attempt to keep sarcasm to a minimum. You must understand, that it's a hard thing for me to do.

Give us abit of an intro-
age, height, weight, been lifting for long?
What program you got yourself on?

You're obviously doing one thing right- and that's reading articles.
But remeber take it all with a grain of salt. And realise you learn more from experience than anything else.

And good luck with the squats!


No joint pain. My max squat for reps is 225 X 10 (4 to 6 sets)and I never go beyond 90 degrees on my lower joints. No ass in the grass in my world. I prefer box squats which limits how low I go and hammers my quads. Hope this helps...Now I actually look forward to doing them.....NOT!!


Im fairly tall also about 6 3' and i also prefer box squats. I sometimes have joint pain doing regular squats is this a form issue? I was a catcher in baseball for nine years? Box squats tend not to aggravate my knees


I also like the bench one leg squats. Less wait and the form has to be perfect or else your balance is comprimised


It was hard for me too, at first. While not too tall (6'1.5"), my femurs are long. I find a wider stance helps, and cannot for the life of me go past parallel without a power-squat stance.

As said though, try, try again. Squatting is more than worth it.


8'9" (wow) I have a hard time getting into a car at 6'5". what the frick do you drive??


im 6 foot 3
my back started hurting from squats cuz thats all i did for my leg days. i would just squat heavy n hard for like half an hour. than i switched to just warming up n maxing out and n i do a bunch of hack squats with a barbell. burns my quads good n now my back doesnt hurt.


I am 18 and I've been lifting for about a year. I am just over six foot and still growing. I weigh just over 190 pounds.

My training has been a bit too varied for the last year, so I'm looking for a good program that will get me stronger and bigger. At the moment, I'm an avid reader of Ferruggia's blog, so I'm sticking to the basics like sprinting, squatting, shoulder pressing, gymnastic ring push-ups, pull-ups and deadlifting.


Oh, and I do judo and bouldering on and off.


I'm 6'4" and a squat newb really. I started improving when I widened my stance, really helped me to sit back deep enough and not to round the lower back.

Balancing single leg squats are fun too.


front squats
switched to these two months ago and am loving it, no low back stress, shoulders don't hurt, and I can hit great depth


Thanks for the advice, guys.


Don't listen to short peoples advice on this, although most of what I read above this post seemed accurate for the most part. It sounds like you are not too short to get out of squats though. If they do bother you try higher reps (up to 20). After getting good at those you can probably lower the reps and do heavier weight easier. Front squats are also good. Experiment with difference feet stances and read up on articles that explain how to squat in detail. You may find some small tips that end up helping.

Personally having long legs I find myself horrible at the leg press and even having knee problems on that, Squats worked better for me, I've also heard tall people comment on just the opposite of that.


flexibility and stability are more of an issue for taller guys than any joint issues but the result is that joints will be affected.

The longer the lever, the more torque applied. A guy who has a femur of 60 cm is going to have more torque acting on his knee than a guy who has a 30 cm femur for the same weight. Similarly, a guy who has a torso of 70cm will have more torque acting on his hips and may do in his back easier. The idea of course is to get as strong as buggery in movements that require the whole body to fire off as a unit.

Military presses for example for the taller guy or overhead squatting and lunging building up to heavier weights can help the body work as one unit which it should be doing. All this talk of Isolation is absolute bullshit from a physiological perspective. You can never ever isolate a muscle on it's own unless you sever all nervous activity to other areas or you are superiorally gifted genetically and are able to shut down the rest of your body from firing. It's our attempt to isolate that does however limit the activity in other areas of the body and thus limit the amount of force we can generate in a movement.
A guy who does a lot of leg extensions or leg presses may develop some legs but then get him to squat and all of a sudden he is only as strong as his weakest link even though he's a leg press monster.

Train movement not bodyparts and feel the difference!


jared gailer from the Baltimore Ravens is 6'9". Tallest player in the nfl. He squats...so can you