Top 3 Exercise Tips for the Shorter Man
It’s a brand new 2019, and if you’re one of the millions who have resolved to exercise more in the new year, then bravo for you! But for shorter guys, putting on muscle is a tricky proposition because a generic exercise regimen that works for someone who’s 6’9” will tend to make you either bulk up into a cube, or slim down more than you wanted. So, if you want to look AWESOME in a natural way, check out our top tips for this year’s new you!
Tip 1: Know Your Body
Worldwide, the overwhelming majority of men fall into two body-type categories: either a Rectangle, or a Triangle.
Basically—the body type that you have is defined by the genetic structure of your muscle. Men with a Rectangular build are designed for endurance; they have long, lean muscle structures and don’t easily put on a lot of muscle bulk, which would slow them down. Men with a Triangular build are designed with a ton of stopping power; they have broader shoulders and shorter, bulkier muscles designed for quick, overwhelming bursts of speed and power.
Unsurprisingly, Rectangles tend to be drawn to sports like distance running or swimming, tennis, and rock-climbing—sports where their sleek, agile builds are a critical asset. In contrast, Triangles tend to be drawn to high-impact sports like boxing, body-building, sprinting, or football—sports that depend on intensive bursts of unstoppable force.
And this is where things can get confusing, because most of us aren’t trying to become world-class marathoners or professional wrestlers. We just want to look and feel amazing. But to do that, you have to balance your exercise instead of just following your muscle’s natural inclination.
Tip 2: Change it Up
If a Rectangle only gravitates towards exercise that require long, low-impact endurance, he’ll never put on any bulk. And if a Triangle only gravitates toward heavy lifting or high impact-exercise, the huge bulk of the muscle on a shorter bone structure will make him look square and shorter than he actually is. So, for shorter guys, the secret to a strong, trim Hollywood build is to balance your exercise.
If you’re a Rectangle body type, focus on lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions: curls, chin-ups, and bench pressing will all build that sculpted pectoral muscle you’re looking for. And as you expand your workouts, aim for shorter, faster runs, or runs with a lot of elevation changes where you can sprint uphill and jog downhill. If you like to bike, head for the hills, where you can power up the inclines and then rest on the downslopes. And, to support your new muscle mass, you’ll also want to consider stocking up on protein shakes. Your goal will be to focus on exercises that have the biggest impact on bulk in the shortest amount of time—this is how natural Rectangles put on enough upper-body muscle to slam home ace after ace at Wimbledon while retaining their underlying endurance.
If you’re a Triangle body type, resist the urge to overperform, and aim for the lighter weights with lots and lots of repetitions. At first it will feel unnatural, because the lighter weights won’t provide that massive resistance that you’re used to, but if you keep pushing through those reps, you’ll definitely feel the burn. It’s also a good idea to consider doing yoga three or four times a week. If you want to meet some ladies, head for the nearest studio; but if you want to practice on your own (at least at first), check out sites like dirtyyoga.com, which will help you protect your joints, improve your balance, and keep your waist trim. As you expand your workout, try running distances of at least 5-6 miles a couple of times a week, and walking a couple of miles every day. But remember that your body doesn’t naturally gravitate toward distance and endurance, and your extra muscle weight will strain your joints if you don’t build your regimen slowly.
Tip 3: Maximize the Short Guy Advantage
By definition, taller guys have longer arms, with a wider grip, a larger range of motion, and greater length between the joint and point of muscle insertion. This might sound like an advantage, but it actually means that taller guys have to complete longer, slower reps in any muscle-building exercise, so it takes them a lot longer to put on proportionate, substantial muscle. The broader grip also means that they’re balancing the weight further from the more heavily-muscled core, so shorter guys are at a huge advantage for exercises like pull-ups, curls, and bench pressing because our naturally narrower grip and shorter range of motion makes the exercise more tightly centered and controlled, allowing us to maximize all of those core muscles.
Shorter guys are also at an advantage for balanced exercises like yoga, because our center of gravity is more compact. Basically—if you start exercising with a taller friend, and you put in the same amount of effort, you’ll see results a lot faster—and with less wear and tear on the critical joints.
And, of course, you’ll want to show off your new muscle with clothes that highlight your build while adding visual length to your profile—and that’s where Otero will always have your back. Fashion and fitness make for the perfect pairing.
So, here’s to a new year and a stronger you!
Otero Menswear: Anything But Average