We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our strength potential has a lot to do with genetic physical architecture. However, this is a statistical phenomenon, not a law. Two reasons why shorter people can be "stronger":
- More compact muscle mass. A smaller person might have the same genetic muscle base as a 6'2" person.
- The laws of levers. Most physical movements involve Third Class Levers of bone, tendon, and muscle. Longer bones mean the range of motion (say, in inches) in a physical effort has further to go, and is thus more challenging. When the fulcrum is in the same place, and the lever is longer, it takes more force to move. Basic mechanics.
So if your 5'8" friend can bench more than you, this might be part of why that is. Speaking statistically, of course, because there are plenty of short weak people and plenty of giant strong people (like Thor, in photo).
I wrestled in High school and boxed at the boys club. You worry about the shorter wrestler; more compact, better leverage with arms and legs. And they have a lower center of gravity. Tough opponents. As a boxer you worry about the taller opponent; longer reach, head higher than your own and they have better view of their oppnent even when they are covering.
But in martial arts the rules and techniques are different and you adjust your attack to the opponent. But then you worry about greater speed or strength.
Shorter height is not a necessarily a disadvantage and in fact can be a great advantage. Never under estimate your opponent. Start slow and careful and let them commit first.
Thanks for this - always believed, hadn't seen much confirmatioin in casual surveys. I may have peaked at 5'8" but joined the 1000# club (bench, squat, deadlift combined) while around 135#. Always believed I had advantage due to 27" inseam, longer torso, shorter-but-normal arm, wide chest. Basically physics-wise I had to do less work than others, and had better leverage. [Work done is defined as product of the force and the distance over which the force is applied.]
I am married to a wonderful man. He used to wrestle in high school and in the Navy. Very quiet and well read, great wit and courage. He's not as tall as most 5'6", but I have never noticed. I was once asked "how did a short guy like him end up with a babe like you?". I learned my response from Johnny Carson and was ready: "his legs may be short, but his wife is happily married!" I have on two different occasions seen him life someone much heavier and at leas 4 inches taller and put that person over the hood of a car. One guy was about a foot taller. It is absolutely about fulcrum and focus.
I'm not quite six foot tall. When I was 20ish I lifted with a supervisor who was 5'7" or so. Very squat and compact but as a former wrestler and football player he was very well built and strong. I used to get very frustrated that he could bench press 40-50 lbs more than I could. Until I realized I had to lift it 5 inches higher than he did. He definitely had a mechanical advantage.