This post is related to “The Pros & Cons of Being a Tall Crossfit Athlete”
Crossfit is no different than any other sport in the way that certain body types are better for different things.
Heavier people are better at moving things around (NFL lineman).
Lighter people are better at swimming.
Taller people are better at basketball.
And shorter people are better at burpees…
But exactly how much of an advantage do shorter people truly have when doing burpees? It always seems like they are moving through reps a lot faster than their taller counterparts, but are they just fitter or is the taller person just making an excuse?
In fact there actually is recorded evidence to prove that shorter people indeed do have a significant advantage.
“In Crossfit, smaller athletes have an advantage in burpees, with height accounting for roughly 11% of performance variance.”@fitness.analytics
You may think that variance may change when you get to the elite levels but the relationship was consistent across both genders and all skill levels.
“A 1 inch decrease in height improved performance/score by roughly 1.5%”@fitness.analytics
That is a huge advantage for shorter athletes, especially in short duration, sprint-type workouts where every second counts. We typically see at least one of these in the Open each year.
Below are the male & female graphs representing the effect that height had on score in the Crossfit Open workout 12.1 (7 minutes – max burpees).
The next time the short person at your gym tells you that you’re just slow show them this.