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CrossFit athletes are known to be shorter in stature than some other sports. The average CrossFit male is about 5’10: and the average female is about 5’5″. These heights are slightly taller than the average American adult (male 5’9″ and female 5’4″). What about those athletes that are shorter than that? I thought I was 5’3″, but when Julie measured me one day I came in at a whopping 5’2″. Shorter people have struggled their whole lives because of their height: Not being able to reach things high up, not having as long of a stride when walking with a tall person, getting looked over because someone couldn’t see us, and not being able to see over someone taller standing in front to name just a few.
What about CrossFit movements that may prove to be more challenging for the shorter than the average CrossFitter? I know which movement came to my head first: Wall Ball Shots. This one is hard for us because the shorter athlete has to throw it a lot higher than a taller athlete. This was the consensus when I asked a few other of our vertically challenged box members.
Here are a few others that were mentioned to me or I found: Rowing, Box jumps, Running, Rope climbs, and GHD- sit-ups.
Rowing- shorter people normally have shorter arms, therefore cannot get as long of a pull as a taller person
Box Jumps- These can be scary when you have short legs. Most of the time a shorter person will not have as high of a vertical jump as taller people
Running- one word: stride. Shorter people do not have as long of a stride as taller people, so in theory, taller people could easily cover double the distance with one stride than one stride of a shorter person
Rope Climbs- Shorter people normally cannot jump as high to get onto the rope, which means they have to climb more of the rope. Also they have to climb higher to be able to touch the top of the rope before they climb down.
GHD-Sit-ups- longer reach, easier to touch the floor; longer legs to power back up
With all this being said, whether you are tall, short, or in between, there will be movements that will be difficult for you. There are difficult movements for all of us despite our heights. Work on your weaknesses and they will make you better…and they may become your strengths.
By: Cheyenne Castillo
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