Ever get that feeling that your gym workout is simply adjusting the machines to fit your legs? We hear you! Charlene Hutsebaut, 5'10" PT and Pilates instructor, shares her tall girl gym hacks to lengthen, open and align tall women so they stand taller and stronger.

1. Adjust. Adjust again.

Most gym equipment is designed for people up to 6'4" but I'm willing to bet that the person on the equipment before you is shorter than you. Don't just hop on. You WILL need to adjust it. Don't know how? Ask.

2. Push up like a pro.

As tall women, we have longer 'levers' which makes push ups that much harder. Be kind to yourself and elevate your starting position on an aerobics bench. Just make sure your hands are always directly beneath your shoulders.


3. Spin smarter.

Heading for spin class? Choose a seat that moves forward and back, as well as up and down. Slide the seat back to free up maximum space for your shoulders and back. Now make sure there's a slight knee bend in your extended leg when your foot is at 90°.

4. Wear a corset.

A virtual corset, that is. As a tall woman, your core is longer so it needs more support. Before you do any weight training, think Pilates foundations. Imagine you're wearing a waist corset supporting the area between rib cage and pelvis. Tummy in, shoulders back, length between ears and shoulders. Perfect tall form!


5. Raise the barre.

Ballet class? Great! But for some tall girls, the ballet barre can fall a little… short, with some positioned as low as 36". Tall women ideally need 40"+. Before booking a class, do your research.

6. Aim high.

Step up exercises are easier for longer legs than shorter legs. So make your workout count by choosing a higher step. Yes you can!


7. Take it easy.

Weight training can be harder on our longer levers. Picture a bicep curl. For a tall woman, it's a less efficient use of force because it's dissipated throughout the length of your arm. So don't pile on the weights to begin with. Start lighter and work your way up.

8. Skip the skipping.

One of my tall clients said she'd been asked to skip outside as her rope was hitting the ceiling sprinklers. First I consoled her (I mean REALLY) then I reassured her that she could still get a great cardio workout with the same footwork, minus the rope.


9. Swim and streamline.

With longer arms and longer legs, it's only too easy to swim inefficiently, expending energy unnecessarily on windmilling arms and ungainly legs. My tip? Book a couple of 1-2-1 sessions. There's a real technique to getting the strokes right.

10. Pull in the panel.

Tall workout trousers have a panel that sits right at the waistband. Use it as a tactile tool to remind yourself to engage your abdominal muscles. Try it, it really works!


11. Get on your feet.

Research shows loud and clear that standing exercises are more body-neutral and more functional than seated exercises, particularly when weights are involved. For tall torsos needing support, it's even more critical. General rule of thumb? Stand don't sit.

12. Choose wider and longer.

When it comes to yoga mats, you'd think the problem would be finding the right length. Well, that's half the battle. The biggy for my clients is width. Choose the longest, widest mat you can find for the comfiest workout.


13. All rise.

If you’re doing Pilates and have tightness in your hamstrings or lower back, always elevate your sitting position using a bench or a couple of yoga blocks to improve your posture.

14. Focus on the mid point.

Choose a tall-fit bra with a criss-cross back. Use the criss-cross midpoint, like a physio uses tape, as a physical reminder to draw your shoulders down and back. Essential for maintaining a long, lean spine.


15. Make sure it fits.

Workout leggings that slip and tops that rise will only distract you from your A-game. Long Tall Sally’s new line of MPG x LTS activewear is designed to work out as hard as you: leggings with a longer rise and longer inseam; tall fit tanks and jackets that cover your wrists.

16. Fill your feed.

And finally, enrich your Insta feed with motivational goodness courtesy of @PositivelySlim, @EmmaFitnessGoal and @SharonMountain It’s hard to slack with us cheering you on.