Are tall people stronger than short persons? This appears to be a simple question but the answer to it is not as straightforward as you might expect. This is because when considering a person’s strength as it relates to their height, different factors come into play.
But it is relatively easy to assume that a tall person would be stronger than a short person because the strongest strength athletes in the world are tall. Also, you often find bullies to be taller and stronger than their victims, which makes it easy to assume that tall people are stronger than short people.
But that is not always the case. Although being tall could put you at an advantage, it is not the sole determinant of whether you would win in a fight.
Take Darren Sadler for instance. A British former strongman competitor, notable for winning the world strongman challenge despite being 5’8” tall which is a small stature compared to other competitors. This proves that the strongest people aren’t always the tallest.
So, if you’re wondering how all of this works, stick with this article to the end to discover whether or not a person’s height truly determines their strength.
Bone mass is an important factor in determining a person’s strength. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to do anything. It is the reason we’re able to stand, lift objects, and do other regular things.
Taller people usually have heavier bone mass as a result of their extra-long bones, which means that they have longer muscles. By implication, they’re often stronger than shorter people.
Here’s how it works…
Although, we all have the same number of muscles and the ability to work it out and become bulky, having more bone mass means you have more room to grow muscles. This benefits taller people because with some work, they can become physically bigger and stronger.
For instance, if a tall person and a shorter person are put through the same workout regimen, the taller one will most likely build more muscles, thus making them stronger.
Also, when you have taller bones, you’re at leverage when it comes to arm lifting objects. A person who has shorter arms has lesser arm leverage. So, on average, a taller person will find it much easier to lift items than a shorter person would.
However, if the shorter person works out regularly and the taller one doesn’t, the former will be stronger and able to lift more load.
Another variable that influences a person’s strength is bone length. The longer the arm, the longer the muscles, which means more strength. The length of a tall person’s bone is usually longer than that of a short person, which puts them at an advantage.
It works the same way when trying to lift a heavy object on the end of a plank. A longer plank would be more effective than a shorter one.
But then, it is possible to build strength despite having shorter arms. Even though taller people have leverage because of their long arms, you can expect a shorter person who works out all the time to be much stronger than a taller person who doesn’t work out at all or as much.
A taller person indeed has the potential to build more muscle because they have more room in their arm to accommodate it. So, one can quickly assume that a taller person would have a longer muscle belly because of their long arms, thus making them stronger.
But that is not entirely the case. The size of the muscle belly is not solely determined by the bone length. The length of the tendons connecting the muscles and bone also comes into play.
Longer tendons in the upper arm mean smaller muscle belly and vice versa. Everyone has different tendon lengths. This means that a taller person with long arms could have longer tendons, thus making their muscle belly smaller, whereas, a shorter person with shorter arms could have shorter tendons, thus creating room for a bigger muscle belly.
In the end, having a bigger muscle belly will make you stronger regardless of your height or weight.
The tendon insertion refers to the point at which the tendon joins the bone. Typically, your limb will be stronger if the insertion is further from the joint. If the site of the insertion is too close to the joint, it can cause severe weakness. As a point of fact, some people suffer from this condition caused by shorter tendon insertion points.
The site of the insertion is a little different from person to person. Some people are fortunate to have been born with better tendon insertion, thus making them stronger even without going to the gym.
This also puts taller people at an advantage because they usually have their tendon insertions positioned further, causing them to be able to have more muscular limbs.
How the Way a Person Lives Impacts Their Strength
Like it or not, the way you live does play a role in determining how strong you are. You cannot compare the strength of someone who works out nearly every day to someone who doesn’t.
Likewise, the strength of someone who has a job at a place that requires the use of physical strength for work to someone who works at a desk every day and hardly does anything that requires the use of their physical power.
The more physically challenging your life is, the more physically strong you will be. It’s that simple.
For instance, if two people, one taller than the other, both of them leading equally less physically challenging lives, are made to compare in strength, the taller one is more likely to win because they have several advantages that come with height.
But if the shorter one leads a more physically challenging life and the tall one doesn’t, then the shorter one is most likely to be more fit and strong.
This means that a short person can be stronger than a tall person if they regularly make use of their physical strength and the tall person doesn’t.
About The Gravitational Advantage and Disadvantage That Comes With Being Short or Tall
For short people, they’re at an advantage when it comes to gravity. They have a lower center of gravity. Their short height makes them closer to the ground, which means that they can lift stuff off the ground with less effort than tall people.
For instance, at the gym, it might take a shorter person lesser time than it would a taller person to do one deadlift. So, a short person might be able to do more deadlifts than a tall person because they have a shorter distance to lift.
Also, it is quite easy for a tall person to develop lower backaches because of the longer length they have to bend when lifting things off the ground. Such activities can take a toll on your spine. Some tall people are even slightly hunched.
However, just as short people have the advantage when doing low lifts, tall people have the advantage when it comes to lifting stuff higher. When doing lifts, the higher you go, the harder it gets, especially when you’re lifting stuff above the head.
So, a short person might struggle to lift weights above their head, but for a tall person, their longer muscular arms will come through for them, making it easier for them to lift heavy objects higher above their heads.
Other Disadvantages That Come With Being Tall
Even though being tall comes with a lot of perks such as more bone mass, long bones, and the ability to pack more muscles and become stronger with regular workouts; exercising, especially when making use of certain equipment can be more challenging for taller individuals compared to shorter individuals or those with regular heights.
For instance, working out using a rowing machine or a recumbent exercise bike can be a great way to build the upper half and lower half of the body respectively, but they are not always fit for a tall person.
Taller people would have to find equipment suitable to their tall stature, whereas, shorter or regular height individuals will have it much easier to find equipment that fits.
After all that has been said, we can conclude that the answer to the question, “are tall people stronger than short people?” is a lot more complicated than one might think seeing that there are different factors that determine how strong an individual is.
Surely, taller people have many advantages compared to others, with more potential to achieve longer and bigger muscles, which is why on most occasions, they are often stronger than people with shorter or regular heights.
But with what we have explained in this article, you find that a person’s way of life and how hard they put their muscles to work can impact their strength.
Furthermore, short people can take advantage of their lower center of gravity and carry out exercises that require heavy lifting with less effort. This means they can pack more muscles quicker and become stronger than a taller person that hardly or never works out.
So, the answer to the question is not a simple yes or no. Although most tall people are strong, they are not always stronger. How much hard work you put your muscles through will determine how strong you will be even if you’re not tall.