Top sports for tall women of all body types go well beyond basketball and volleyball.

Other top sports for tall women of all body types are plenty, sports you’d never think tall would be such a significant advantage.

Tall women who think they have no athletic skills should try these sports.

Previously non-athletic tall women may be pleasantly surprised to discover an untapped aptitude and passion.

And if such tall women are young enough, there might still be time to get good enough to compete nationally!

We all know that basketball and volleyball love tall women.

It’s also no longer a secret that tall women have an advantage in tennis or badminton, either because of a better reach or more torque when serving.

It’s common sense to know that tall women have an advantage in high jumping, though an amazing vertical jump is also required.

But tall women of all body types can do quite well in other sports; tall women need not be as thin as high jumpers to possess aptitude in sports.

Top sports for tall women with “skinny” body types:

High Jump, Pole Vault, Fencing, Sabre Fighting

Most of these sports require the ability to deliver great reaches, which include lunging motions to get to a ball or target as quickly as possible.

Fencing. Shutterstock/ Fotokostic

Pole vault and high jump require ability to clear a height, so it’s obvious why tall, lightweight women would like to try these.

Top sports for tall women with lean (not stick-thin) body types:

Basketball, Volleyball, Lacrosse, Tennis, Swimming, Golf, Handball, Softball, Martial Arts, Soccer Goalie, Javelin, Fencing, Sabre Fighting

Martial arts. Shutterstock/Fotokvadrat

Several of these sports are not listed in the skinny body type category because to do really well, a little more muscle mass is required.

Top sports for tall women with medium body types:

Basketball, Volleyball, Rowing, Tennis, Lacrosse, Swimming, Golf, Handball, Discus, Shot-Put, Javelin, Soccer Goalie, Softball, Martial Arts, Fencing, Sabre Fighting

Javelin throw. Shutterstock/Brenda Carson

This list is a lot longer now because some of these sports require more muscle mass than a very lean woman can deliver, such as rowing, discus and shot-put.

For example, two tall women may both weigh 155 pounds, but one is 16 percent body fat, and the other is 24 percent body fat.

The one at 16 percent body fat will do a lot better at rowing, because more of her body weight is muscle, and rowing combines power with endurance.

Top sports for tall women with bigger body types — “husky,” “overweight,” “big boned”:

Basketball, Volleyball, Rowing, Discus, Shot-Put, Javelin, Softball, Golf, Martial Arts, Fencing, Sabre Fighting, Powerlifting

Javelin throw


Powerlifting. Shutterstock/Miljan Zivkovic

Yes, tall women who can stand to lose a bit of weight can still do wonderfully in basketball and volleyball, even though these sports require a lot of quick movement and running.

You’ll see tall but heavy women in the WNBA, and at least one beach volleyball player I saw at the 2008 Olympics was noticeably pudgy, though because she was 6-4, I’m sure she’s referred to as big boned rather than pudgy.

A tall heavy body is not necessarily a hindrance in softball, depending on position played, and the weight going behind the ball at bat is a definite asset for tall women who can swing a bat well.

Discus, shot-put and javelin are not the type of sports that women must take up as children, like tennis, in order to excel at high levels.

Young tall women can try these sports and still have a crack at becoming nationally ranked.

But bear in mind that just because being tall and a bit weighty is not a hindrance as it would be in competitive tennis, lacrosse or pole vaulting, it’s important to note that if tall women want to truly excel at these sports, they will need to alter their body composition so that 180 pounds on a 6-1 body doesn’t include excess fat.

The powerlifter, discus thrower and shot-putter can actually be overweight with body fat and still excel.

One reason is because the execution of the sport takes only seconds, and hence, doesn’t require endurance.

Martial arts, fencing and sabre fighting can be draining on the cardiovascular system, but the drain is short-lived as opposed to long-duration like lacrosse or tennis.

Further, some martial arts tournaments have board breaking competitions; endurance not required.

Forms or kata competitions are also suitable for a well-trained heavy tall woman.

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. 



Top image: Shutterstock/sirtravelalot