Even a super tall NBA star could do an ass to grass squat if he has the right proportions!
Do not blame squat problems on being tall. Being tall, in and of itself, is not a disadvantage in performing a parallel or even deep back squat. The issue is not your overall height.
The issue is relative length of body segments!
It’s not an issue of getting long legs to bend under the body–UNLESS the torso is shorter than the femurs.
With “normal” proportions, those long legs will be under a proportionately long torso.
The proportionately long torso of the athlete will balance things out. If you stand a 6-8 athlete next to a 5-8 athlete, who will have the longer legs? Obviously, the 6-8 person.
Now, who will have the longer torso? On average, the very tall athlete will have a much longer torso than the short guy.
Athletes do come in different proportions (anthropometrics), and these proportions influence efficacy of a particular weightlifting movement.
Ever see a champion in the deadlift who has T-rex arms?
Or how about a champion in the bench press with gorilla arms?
So what about the parallel squat? A tall individual can easily sink to parallel with an “upright” form as long as their femurs are shorter than their torso, and their shins are at least the length of their femurs.
Take notice of tall people’s femur to torso ratios. If you observe enough tall people, you’re bound to eventually spot some with “stubby” femurs.
They’ll have an easy time squatting (assuming they don’t have a history of back pain).
If distance from hip to knee is shorter than distance from clavicle to waist, they’ll have no problem back squatting.
Short stature is not necessarily an advantage in squatting.
It absolutely is not if one’s femurs are longer than their torso.
Remember, while a tall person has the long legs in the absolute sense, you must look at these legs within the context of the rest of their physique.
I’ve seen 6-4 men with gorilla builds and short people who were “all legs” and had the torsos of a person half a foot shorter. Being very tall, in and of itself, “ain’t no excuse” for having trouble squatting.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.