Unfortunately, life is not always fair, and some people are born with better genetics than others. We can do a lot about many aspects of our bodies like weight or stretchiness, but there are some that we can’t do anything about, and height is one of them. In climbing, height is not as important as the “reach” of your arms, and that is our article’s topic. So if you ask yourself “Can a short person reach further than a taller person” then you are in the right place because we are going to explain it all to you with details and many tips to overcome your weaknesses, so stay with us!
You can’t trick nature’s laws but there is a slight chance that a short person can reach further than a taller person, even without any cheating, but that distance won’t make much of a difference unless you want to compete on a top level with top climbers. There are also some methods to help you increase your current reach and we will show them to you in this article.
How a short person can reach further than a taller person?
You have to know that the average wingspan to height ratio is 1:1 which means that your height should be equal to the length of your arms combined with corpus while they are raised out to the sides horizontally. That is only the average number, and that can still give you hope that maybe your wingspan is longer than your height, which is good for sports like climbing.
Don’t give up until you measure yourself, because maybe you have a great body suited for climbing. That also means that if your wingspan is longer than your height by about 2 inches then that means that you can have an even better suited body for climbing than a person who is 2 inches taller than you because you don’t have that additional body mass that comes with that height.
Unfortunately, the height also gives you a different type of reach that comes from your feet to your arm, so there is still a drawback that comes with being a shorter climber.
How can I measure my wingspan?
It’s not that easy because to get precise results you will need to ask your partner to help you with measurements. Doing it by yourself will make the results a bit falsy. You don’t even need your friend to do that, because you can ask someone at your climbing gym to help you for only one minute, remember that the climbing community is very friendly and no one will be mad at you if you ask nicely.
You will need the tape measure and someone who will help you. You need to spread your arms out straight from the shoulders on the sides of your body, and try to stretch them as far as you can from each other. Your partner needs to take that tape measure and measure the distance from the tip of your longest finger to the longest finger of the second hand. That way you will precisely measure the wingspan.
The next value that we need to have is our height, and note that your height can be different based on the time of the day. If you just woke up from a long sleep you will be an inch taller than you are right before going to bed, because when you are standing up your bone structure slowly compresses with every single minute, and at the end of the day that difference is visible. You should not measure yourself in socks or shoes.
The difference between your height and your wingspan will give us information about your real reach. Because let’s say that you are 5ft 2in tall which means that your height is 62 inches, and your wingspan is 63 inches which means that your reach is longer by about 1 inch and that is great for every climber!
What can I do to increase my reach?
There are some techniques that can give increase your reach by a few inches. To use them you need to practice a lot, but after that time you will be able to reach further without changing your body structure at all. Tips to increase your reach:
- Using heel to swap with your holding hand – Sometimes the route has bigger handholds that you can hold with your foot heel to free your hand, that way your reach will drastically increase.
- Standing on your tiptoes more often – Climbers tend to forget about standing on their tiptoes while climbing, which can give you even about 4 inches of additional reach. Especially beginner climbers tend to forget that.
- Being more dynamic with your beta – Your way of climbing can be static or dynamic, and over time you will start to be less scared of falling and that will let you use more dynamic movements, like jumping. That is the most effective way to overcome the issue of being a short climber.
There are many ways that you will notice once you get enough experience and flexibility.
In Summary – Can a short person reach further than a taller person?
There are some people out there in the world of climbing that has even 3 inches longer reach than their height is, so that means that there is a possibility for a short person to reach further than a taller person. Take that measuring tape, ask someone for help, and learn something new about your body.
Don’t be depressed if you see taller climbers, and how easy it is for them because there are some problems that their height will be an issue, and you as a shorter climber won’t even notice how they have struggled to overcome that. After some time you will start to understand what you can do about that height difference, so try to use our tips from above and keep practicing!
Make sure to check out our new article about climbing shoes “Do Climbing Shoes Make A Difference? – (Tips For Beginners)“!