When you see the pictures of bodybuilders in your favourite muscle mag, I am sure you are like – damn, that guy is huge. But little did you know that while they have insane amounts of muscle mass, a number of these athletes are two bricks and a tickie high. This is because individuals of short to medium height generally find it easier to gain muscle mass than tall individuals with long limbs. Shorter individuals generally have thicker muscle bellies and with just a few ounces of growth, they look like their muscles have swollen beyond proportion.

With that said, gaining decent amounts of muscle is not impossible for the tall individual. So how should you overcome these obstacles? In this article we are going to look at ways to make your muscle-building efforts easier.


1. FOCUS ON TIME UNDER TENSION RATHER THAN WEIGHT


One of the biggest disadvantages most tall lifters have is that their longer limbs make it difficult to the amount of weight that their shorter counterparts do. Having longer limbs means that the bar has a further distance to travel between the bottom and top position of the lift. For example, if you are performing a bench press, the bar has a greater distance to travel down to the chest and back up again. This makes it difficult to push heavier weights.



So how can you capitalise on this? Rather concentrate on performing slightly higher reps with a lighter weight. The higher reps and the long distance that the weight travels will increase time under tension which is a great technique for building muscle mass.


2. WORK ON ANKLE MOBILITY TO IMPROVE SQUATS


We all know that squats are king when it comes to building a muscular set of wheels. While squats are essential for muscle gains, you will only reap the benefits if you are performing these with full extension. This can be an arduous task for the tall lifter due to the fact that they have longer legs. Because of this, you will need to improve ankle mobility so that you can improve overall flexibility in order to get drop down as low as possible when you squat.



To improve ankle mobility you can perform calve raises, ankle stretches and step ups. These will all help you to get full extension on your squat. Also, increasing strength in the calves and ankles will assist in going heavier on this move.


3. RATHER OPT FOR THE FRONT SQUAT


As mentioned in point number 2, squats are the king of muscle building for the lower body. But what squats should the taller individual opt for? Besides being uncomfortable, performing a back squat can be difficult to perform. For these individuals to get the most from the squat, they have to track their knees over their toes. This means that ankle and calve mobility needs to be excellent, especially when the body is placed under heavy load. If it isn’t, it could lead to improper form or even injury. To avoid this, opt for front squats which promote a straighter, more upright posture and will help to activate more leg muscles.


4. MAKE USE OF THE PIN PRESS


The bench press is probably one of the most difficult exercises for tall gym-goers to go heavy. For this reason, it is time to make use of the pin press. This adapted bench press will allow you to perform a heavy lift without having to fully bend your elbows; which would normally make pushing the bar back up a tremendous task. In order to maximise the muscle-building effects of this exercise, make sure you do cluster reps.



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