Skip Nav
Beginner Fitness Tips
Want to Stand on Your Head? A Yoga Sequence to Get You There
The All-Day Energy Tips That Will Change Your Life
Beginner Fitness Tips
The Top 5 Myths About Weightlifting That Need to Be Busted

Olympic Fit Tip: Know Your Body Type

I find the Olympic Games inspiring and want to get out and try everything, except the vault because that just seems suicidal. Unfortunately, I don't have the height for basketball or the speed for sprinting (even though I have been doing my sprint intervals almost weekly). Sam Callan, an exercise physiologist and the coaching education manager for USA Cycling, stresses the importance of knowing your body type when dreaming of gold deciding what fitness avenue to take.

For instance Kerri Walsh, standing six feet two inches tall, is built for blocking volleyballs on the sand while Shawn Johnson who is only four feet nine inches tall is perfect for attacking a balance beam. So before you decide to tackle a new sport, consider your body and your likes and dislikes. You might not make it all the way to the podium, but at least you would be fighting a winning battle.


Join The Conversation
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 8 years
no vault, fit?! it was my favorite part of gymnastics, until i literally outgrew it when i reached 5'5" at age 12 (am now 5'10"+). after that, i switched to ballet, where they love it if you're tall and lanky.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
holy ass kerri walsh.
neonbee neonbee 8 years
I'm about 5'4" and play tennis well. I still beat taller people. Tennis is usually for everyone anyway, but there are just a lot of tall players. I only know about 2 or 3 professional tennis players who are shorter than 5'5". I guess for volleyball and basketball though you really need to be extra tall.
courtneyh courtneyh 8 years
I'm 5'10" and the sports I excelled in were volleyball basketball and track (discus) so i have to say, i agree! However, i suck at swimming, i always end up vertical some how. haha
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 8 years
I was the tall girl @ 5'3 in basketball til everybody kept growing. I was told I had bad feet for ballet. Too short for tennis (I can still beat most people) Too tall for gymnastics. I was told I'm perfect for cheerleading (The only sport I refused throughout high school)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well - i used to play volleyball - i'm 5'7 and i thought that i was ok. but then i realized that to be successful at the net i'd have to be taller - so i resigned myself to be the setter. otherwise i swam - and i guess if i was taller i would have more success - but i did pretty decent there too. now-a-days, swimmers are SOOOO tall.
anna_muffin anna_muffin 8 years
Yeah, it kinda sucks when you don't have the right body type for the sport you love. I started dancing when I was little, because there wasn't much else to do and I fell in love with it, even actually showed some promise. Then, in puberty, I became all wide and heavy on the bottom...well, that's not really a dance-friendly figure. It was really frustrating and even though I kept taking classes, it just didn't feel so good anymore. However, once I let go of my ambitions and just started to really enjoy dancing for the sake of dancing, it started make me happy again.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
I respectually disagree, Fit! I'm not built for running(short overall, short legs) but I love it! I don't run to win marathons -- I run to race marathons, to beat some people, to beat my old times, etc. If we are talking competition on an elite level, that's one thing, but no one should be discouraged from trying a new sport simply because she isn't "built" for it!
nancita nancita 8 years
Also, though I have the body of a former gymnast, I would kill for the body of Kerri Walsh.
nancita nancita 8 years
Totally great tip. I was just talking about this with some friends the other night. You wonder: Do people go into sports because they have the right body? Or do they just excel when they have the right physique? It's interesting how even amateur swimmers, gymnasts, and volleyball players often have the same build.
jkat jkat 8 years
Seriously I would kill for Kerri Walsh's backside. Actually, her whole body is pretty bangin'.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 8 years
shawn johnson is adorable :) teehee
WeightingGame WeightingGame 8 years
those volleyball players have the greatest butts!!!
brutalcupcake brutalcupcake 8 years
makes sense x)
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
Short girl here too, but even if I was taller I would still love dancing and yoga.
syako syako 8 years
Four feet nine inches!? Wow, that's tiny! She's adorable. Good tip, Fit. I found this out quickly when I was about 12 or 13. I was playing basketball and soccer, and after one summer everyone on my basketball team had a growth spurt and I didn't (I'm still 5 feet!) so I just kept playing soccer and let the tall girls have basketball! ;)
Things to Do Before Exercising Postbaby
Cute Sports Bras
New Water Yoga Fitness Workout Trend
Best Tank Tops For Summer Workouts
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds