Have you ever watched the Summer Olympics and also wondered why most of the swimmers seem so tall? At 6’4”, 23-time Olympic medalist, swimmer Michael Phelps is a perfect example. Excelling in the sport of swimming takes hard job-related and trained approach. However before, being tall offers a swimmer an included benefit. Using my specialization as a swimmer and a coach, I will define why being tall offers swimmers an edge in the pool.

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So, why are swimmers so tall? The best swimmers are tall bereason their height helps them swim the fastest. Having a length benefit – longer arms, legs, and torso, offers them even more surchallenge location to propel themselves forward through.

The swimmers you view on TV went via a herbal selection of the sport, which indicates that taller swimmers are even more most likely to be quicker.

When we say a perkid has actually a “swimmer’s body,” we are frequently referring to their height. There is a correlation in between elevation and also the swimmers you check out standing on the podium. No matter what elevation you are, understanding around these advantages can aid you be a much more effective swimmer. Let’s look at the reasons why taller swimmers have an advantage: 

Tall Swimmers Dominate Olympics

In 2016, the average elevation of an Olympic swimming finalist was 6’2” (188 cm for males, and 5’9”, 175 cm for women). That is 5 inches over an average male or female’s height. This is a recent statistic, however we have been watching tall swimmers conquer the sport for a long time. Tall bodies deliver to lengthy bodies in the water, making it less complicated for them to make a swift relocate from one end of the pool to the other. Though there is a bit of variation, this is mostly true for all four strokes: freestyle, butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke (though breaststrokers’ height varies the most).


Tbelow are two significant parts to look at when expertise the benefits that tall swimmers have. The initially is concerning the length of their body from head to toe. The second is a taller perchild normally has larger and also much longer hands and also feet. When these variables occupational together in uniboy, they enable a taller swimmer to move faster via the water, as opposed to a shorter swimmer, wbelow eincredibly other variable is the exact same.

This suggests if the technique, effort, and determination of two swimmers were the same, the taller swimmer of the 2 would win the race.

First, let’s comment on the advantage of body length. A guy by the name ofFroude came up with a formula to allow us to understand also why the taller swimmer is at an benefit in relation to his/her body size. I won’t bore you with all the scientific details, so here’s the premise: The quicker a swimmer is relocating, the longer his body needs to be to save wave drag (the resistance against the swimmer) to a minimum. When moving at the same speed, a brief swimmer will need to deal with a significantly higher amount of drag, resulting in him to need more strength and energy to save up via his taller challenger. Because of this, the shorter swimmer will tire out even more quickly.

2nd, regarding how much longer, larger hands and feet aid taller swimmers move much faster, let’s make a comparichild. The arms and also hands work choose oars for the swimmer. When they are longer and bigger, the swimmer have the right to pull more water enabling for greater velocity. Additionally, the stroke price deserve to be lowered without loss of speed, which implies the stroke is even more reliable.

Big feet also market an advantage. Have you ever before swum with fins on? If you have actually, you know they make you go significantly much faster. More surchallenge location to kick with allows for more organic propulsion via the water. It’s as if civilization with longer legs and also bigger feet are currently fitted with fins!

Due to the advantages outlined above, it’s crucial to remember that elevation plays a huge component in the natural selection of swimmers. Swimmers that we watch on TV are of the highest possible caliber in their sport, and also at that suggest have endured many kind of rounds of organic selection. What you are witnessing are not only swimmers who have worked very tough in the sport, however swimmers that were also born through the genes to offer them an added edge.

A Field of Tall Swimming Greats

Obviously, having actually extra elevation offers swimmers an edge. It’s clear by just how many tall swimmers we have watched stand on the Olympic podium. Matt Grevers, an Amerihave the right to swimmer nicknamed the “Gentle Giant” for his elevation of 6’9” (205 cm), boasts 6 Olympic Gold medals. Many type of other swimmers of this caliber are additionally tall:

Nathan Adrian, towering at 6’6” (198 cm), earned 8 Olympic medalsMichael Phelps, who is slightly shorter at 6’4” (193 cm), has actually won more Olympic medals than any type of other swimmer Female swimmer Missy Franklin is a 6-time Olympic medalist standing at 6’2” (188 cm)Leisel Jones, at 5’10” (178 cm), has won 9 Olympic medals

Being tall seems to come with the (swimming) region. But it would certainly be remiss to go around saying these swimmers are excellent because they are tall. Their grit and determicountry, in addition to many hours in the water perfecting their strategy, are where the crmodify is due.

Height doesn’t hurt, however possessing many positive character traits plays a higher duty in permitting a swimmer to excel at the sport. Fortunately, all those traits can belengthy to shorter swimmers, as well.

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With Work, Short Swimmers Can be Successful

Yes, having actually tall parental fees will certainly provide you an advantage through no manage of your very own. However before, also if you’re on the shorter end of points, don’t let that save you from pursuing the sport of swimming. I’m pretty sure swimming excellent Janet Evans (5’5” or 165 cm) would certainly most likely tell you something comparable.

Although the average swimmer elevation at the 2016 Olympics was 5 inches above the international average, there were still many shorter swimmers who were able to compete. The shortest male participant stood at 5’6″ (168 cm), while the shortest female participant was 5’1″ (155 cm). 

Let’s look at some components (that have actually nopoint to perform with height) that make a perboy a great swimmer:

They focus on what they have the right to controlThey collection objectives and work-related in the direction of themThey press via discomfortThey trust the training processThey say, “I can,” rather of, “I can’t”They don’t make excusesThey present up early and continue to be late

If you compare a taller swimmer to a shorter swimmer, that are equal in eextremely one of the characteristics stated above, the taller swimmer will certainly win the race. But, life doesn’t always work-related that means. Tbelow will always be someone via a higher amount of drive than someone else, so blaming any type of shortcomings (no pun intended) on a absence of height won’t perform anyone any type of favors.