Yesterday we talked about the advantages of short and long femurs, and short and long torsos. Remember there are no good or bad exercises … there is just finding what works best for you. Today I am going to discuss some fixes:

Long Femurs

You have a couple of options to address your long femurs:

  • If you can get good abduction at your hips (push your knees way out to the side), doing so “shortens” your femurs, giving you less distance you have to compensate for with forward lean. You may need to also widen your stance.
  • If you cannot get good abduction at your hips then you may need to track your knees forward a bit to compensate.
  • A raised heel may help a lot for those who lack ankle mobility.

Notice how this guy begins his squat with his feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and feet slightly turned out (and his HUGE quads).

Long Torso

A long torso (especially with short arms) can be difficult to stabilize especially for movements like the deadlift.  Long torso people fit into two camps: 1) Short legs, and long torso or 2) Long legs, and long torso (aka. you are TALL). More than anyone, you need to focus on packing muscle on your upper and lower back to protect your spine. Long torsos find that their spines take a beating when deadlifting and squatting.

Here is a great picture of someone built for deadlifting, look at those arms!


Here are some other good articles to read: Overcoming Lousy Levers (Part I, Part II)