View Full Version : Height's effect on lifting strength

03-26-2004, 12:31 AM
Hey, I've been having a conversation about how height affects one's strength, especially with certain excersizes like bench, squat, deads...

I'm 5'5" and the guy I'm having the conversation with is about 5'10"ish. We measured our arm length and his was 1.5 inches longer.

His arguement is that with a shorter arm one would have a leverage advantage + would not have to push the weight as far (formula for work includes distance).

I tried to come up with something to defend my work by saying that it you made a lever with a short stick, it would be harder to lift the object than if you had a long one. This would greatly depend on where the fulcrum is though and I don't remember everything from school about leverage.

Can someone please help that has some scientific evedance on one or the other?


03-26-2004, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by alanjlamore

Can someone please help that has some scientific evedance on one or the other?


How about this?

Relationships of structural dimensions to bench press strength in college males.

Mayhew JL, Ball TE, Ward TE, Hart CL, Arnold MD.

Human Performance Laboratory, Northeast Missouri State University, Kirksville.

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between structural dimensions and bench press performance in college males. Members of required fitness classes (n = 170) were measured after 14 weeks of strength and aerobic endurance training. Anthropometric dimensions included upper arm and chest circumferences, upper and lower arm lengths, shoulder and hip widths, %fat, and height. Arm muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) was calculated from upper arm circumference corrected for triceps skinfold. Drop distance was measured from the bar to the pectoral muscles. Multiple regression analysis selected upper arm CSA, %fat, and chest circumference as the best items to predict bench press strength (R = 0.83; SEE = 11.6 kg). Cross-validation of the prediction equation on a similar sample (n = 89) produced an r = 0.74 between predicted and actual bench press (t = 0.53, p greater than 0.50). In a second cross validation sample (n = 57) who had trained more extensively with weights, the correlation between predicted and actual bench press was r = 0.57 (p less than 0.05). The prediction equations significantly (t = 6.59, p less than 0.01) underestimated bench press performance in the more extensively weight trained subjects. The results of this study suggest that bench press performance is related to structural dimensions in males and that extensive strength training may alter the relationship between size and strength.

PMID: 1753717 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

In other words, it looks like these guys didn't find much of relationship between arm length and bench press ability...

Hope this helps.