Basketball player Rudy Gobert’s Instagram recent post has reignited controversy through numerous comments. The topic was: Should Rudy Gobert squat, in view of his height (2m16/7’1)?
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Why is it difficult to squat when you are tall?
The long segments of tall people do not seem to be suitable for a movement like the squat. With the same range of motion, tall people need to have more angle in the main joints of the ankles, knees and hips. And this is often where the problem lies: the mobility of the joints.
It is impossible for a tall person to perform a traditional full range of motion squat if they don’t have the required mobility, especially in the ankles. If you can’t get down in a squat without needing your arms for balance, you’re not ready for the full squat.
Your body type will also impact your movement. If you have limbs that are proportionally larger than your back you will be at a disadvantage.
What can you do to be able to squat when you are tall?
The squat being one of the pillars of strength training it seems important to work certain weak points in order to be able to carry out this movement.
1/ Improve the mobility of your ankles.
Regularly working on your ankle mobility via a squat or duck walk will allow you to start working on the full squat.
2/ Do a half squat.
The half squat consists of stopping the movement when the femur is parallel to the ground. This is not necessarily more obvious because the knee is in a position of maximum pressure. Pressure that is exacerbated by the length of the individual’s segments.
3/ Try the front squat.
The front squat consists in placing the bar in front, laid on the front of the shoulders. By doing this you can allow yourself to be further back. You can therefore be less mobile in the ankles.
4/ Try the goblet squat.
Same principle as above but instead of a barbell you use a kettlebell or simple dumbbells.
5/ Try the air squat.
If you are a beginner it may be best to start with air squats. Performing them at full range of motion should improve your mobility and develop the strength you will need to lift a barbell.
6/ Test the guided load squat
There are also machines that allow you to perform squats in a more “secure” manner. This machine makes the bar follow an axis and allows you to put the bar down at any time.
7/ Embrace the TRX squat
The TRX is a Y-strap system. Many exercises are possible. In this case it is possible to squat with or without a weighted waistcoat and to perform squats with more backward movement than the classic squat.
8/ Explore other solutions
There are other ways to squat when you are tall. For example with a swiss ball against the wall. Or by wearing small heels to gain an angle or by spreading your thighs with the toes pointing more to the outside.
Many bodybuilding experts have already discussed this topic and have submitted articles or videos. You will find many other solutions in the following videos:
To go further, discover the reference books on bodybuilding :
If you like this topic take a look at our post What are the best sports for tall people ?