What types of exercises or physical activities favor a body type that is:

  • small framed (thin bones, lighter bodyweight)
  • relatively tall (6 feet+)
  • long limbs (arms and legs)

At what can a person with this body type can excel or just progress to advanced levels with low likelihood of injury?

This being my built, i noticed i do well on pulling exercises (deadlifts, pullups, chinups) and have a hard time with barbell squats, bench press, holding weights overhead with a wide grip (in a snatch or overhead squat).

There's obviously a lot of other factors, i can think of joint strength, explosiveness, flexibility but focusing on body proportions for this question.

Some thoughts:

  • gymnastics/calisthenics favor small frame but not a lot of height.
  • combat sports (eg. kickboxing) favor long limbs but not a small frame.
  • I will write an answer when on mobile, but olympic taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, high jump all come to mind. – JohnP Feb 10 '17 at 22:18

My first thought on reading this was climbing!

Arguably the ideal body type for climbing is a small frame (light bodyweight), long limbs (ideally, positive ape index) and long reach. Look at someone like Adam Ondra, for example.

The likelihood of injury is kind of down to you. If you take up climbing and immediately try to pull on crimps on an overhang for a few hours at a time, chances are you're going to get a pulley injury. Same could be said for an overhead squat, if you try and load up the bar but don't have the requisite shoulder stability, then you're likely to screw up your shoulder.

The key to anything is to build up slowly.

With lifting, the key is to just keep working at it, take very small jumps and eventually you'll get stronger. As a guy standing 6' 6" (just under 2m), I'm also a lot more comfortable with deadlifts over squats. It's honestly taken me several years of practice until I'm (relatively) comfortable squatting with my bodyweight equivalent sitting across my shoulders.

  • i though climbing too, i have never tried it though, so i was not sure about that. what you say makes sense! – dandroid Feb 10 '17 at 19:13
  • @dandroid Bouldering is possibly easier to get into, but you tend to hit plateau's faster. You'll probably know within the first hour or so if you're going to like it :) – Dark Hippo Feb 12 '17 at 18:39

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