Lifting with Short Thighs

I have always known that i have a long torso and short legs. But after more careful peeping around at other people I see that the problem is mostly my thighs. They are super short compared to my lower leg. I see this is linked to poor nutrition in early childhood and in the womb. Makes perfect sense in my case. Childhood wasn’t great and mother smoked all during pregnancy as well. This was pretty common in the seventies though. Anyway, I saw this regarding diabetes…

But to keep this more positive and bodybuilding related… I have read about different builds being better at different excercises… such as long and lanky… good for deadlift… short and stocky… better for squat.

Anyone have any insight to help me in my training with short thighs? I’m 5"10 and around 200 lbs by the way.

i don’t think it would matter too much unless you are really unbalanced…your back angle will probably be more vertical in a squat than someone with more balanced proportions…same with deadlift(which is why your build is not ideal for deadlifting because you have a bad starting angle)…

Also, you may want to check out this article by cressey(first issue addressed)…he talks about an athlete he is training with a freakishly long spine…

Short femurs means better leverage for squats.

If the short thighs counteract the long torso, you might be good at pulling, as well as squatting. How long comparatively are your arms?

i have the same prob, i like to do alot of box squats to make sure i get low enough. but having short thighs isnt really can hamper you.

Very interesting… thanks everyone.

I have always had pretty large glutes compared to my legs. Even when I was in high school, weighed 150 @ 5"10 with sticks for legs I had pretty full round glutes. Wonder if this has anything to do with it. On a seperate note I am waiting for my front squat harness to arrive. Ordered that before I figured out I had short femurs just because of the butt to quad thing.

Short femurs are a blessing when it comes to squats and a curse when it comes to deadlifts. And I want a goddamn front squat harness too.

[quote]LUEshi wrote:
Short femurs are a blessing when it comes to squats and a curse when it comes to deadlifts. And I want a goddamn front squat harness too.[/quote]

Not everyone gets socks for fathers day. :wink:


[quote]Bokkokan wrote:

Whether they are 5’0 tall or over 6’0 in height, most elite Olympic lifters are blessed with relatively short femurs and proportionatley longer tibias. World class sprinters tend to also have this attribute. You have the lower body proportions many would KILL for. Since this is a bodybuilding thread I will also add that in my opinion having short femurs and long tibias is as visually aesthetic as having narrow hips and long clavicles. With regards to squat performance, you may actually find in easier to recruit and build your quads than those cursed with long femurs and relatively short tibias. Individuals with the latter proportions tend to turn squats into a glute/hamstring dominant movement which is further accentuated by having a short torso and/or poor flexibilty in the relevant joint structures.[/quote]

woo hoo!!! Seriously though… thanks a lot. Really good stuff to know. Anyone know about measuring these things? As in what an ideal ratio should be and where to measure from etc. I mean i really think i have short thighs… When i sit next to someone on a bus of the same height, my knees go right to the edge of the seat and others will go far beyond that. They really do look stubby with my knee bent but I am going to check. And no they don’t look stubby because they are massive. That is definitely not the case.

FTR, I think I’m dislexic because at first I read this thread as “Lifting with High Shorts”. I thought to myself, “why doesn’t this guy just buy a longer pair of shorts?”

hahahahaha, i do that shit all the time, i was telling my gf that i wasn’t a bad planner and i said “i am not a Plad Banner!!” haha

Ok so I measured… not sure if i did it right but i did from the floor to middle of my kneecap is 18 3/4 inches and from where i can feel the begining of my femur up on the side of my hip to the middle of my kneecap is 17 1/2 inches. Was I correct in my assumption of short thighs?

Wait I’m confused.
I thought long legs for sprinters is good?
Wouldn’t they want LONG femurs? (sprinters that is?)

I think I have short thighs (femurs) and from my ankle to my knee long (probably same length actually)
I am good at squatting, shitty deadlifter lol



One of the recent “Myth Buster” articles was from Nate Green and I believe he had certain training myths dispelled by a variety of coaches. One of the myths were that compound exercises are always the best choice for full development.

This coach went on to describe how different leverage factors (between short limbed and long limbed lifters using compound exercises) determined results. According to him long limbed lifters need more isolation work for their limbs and less if any for their torsos. Short limbed folks were the opposite (need more isolation work for torso).

He continued with examples of how lifters with short arms could generally build good triceps from heavy bench presses and biceps from chins. Same with huge quads from squatting. At the same time the recruitment of their chest, lats and posterior chain would be accordingly less. Of course the opposite would be true for lanky types.

Interesting to note; My training partner is 5’6" with a long torso and short limbs. His arms and legs are huge but often he complains how his chest and back are not up to par. I’m 6’ tall and bench the same weight as he does but have a fuller chest and wider back. At the same time my arms and legs suck compared to his.

To get back to the article, I don’t remember which coach it was, but according to him you should be able to recruit your quad muscles more effectively from squats than someone with an average femur length.