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Wellness > Health

Short Girl Survival Guide: Fitness Edition

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Salisbury chapter.

Y’all, let me tell you the struggle of being under 5 feet tall and finally getting the courage to go to the gym. It started when my friend wanted to start going to the gym to improve her health and she wanted me to join to support her. I had a gym membership once for 3 days so it’s safe to say I wasn’t the most active to begin with.

However, I love learning about health and fitness, and follow workout videos on YouTube. But doing a kickboxing workout in my room didn’t require a height limit.

When I first arrived at the gym my friends and I headed to the cardio machines to warm up. That’s where I first realized my height was going to be a problem. At the shortest height setting I still needed to scooch up to be able to comfortably pedal without over extending my legs or having my feet fall out.

The next time I realized my height was going to be a problem was when I made my way over to the weight machines and felt like a child climbing on a jungle gym. My feet were dangling, I couldn’t reach certain things and all I was trying to do was get fit.

So, if you ever find yourself struggling with situations like these, I’m here to help.

Embrace your height

Unless you plan on going to the gym in heels or platform sneakers, there’s not much you can do about your height so just learn to love it! You’re at the gym to better yourself and your health not to see how you compare to those around you.

If you need to carry around a folded-up sweater or a yoga block to comfortably fit on the machines, then carry it with confidence. Don’t feel like you need to hide it because honestly, most people will be focused on their workout, not if you can’t reach the pedals on the bike. And those who do notice will probably commend you for doing what you have to do to get healthy.

Don’t be afraid of the free weights

I feel like a lot of women (especially the short stacks) are scared of being bulky or mini-hulks running around if we even glance over at the free weights, but that’s not the case! Building muscle supports your joints, helps your metabolism, gives you a booty that the peach emoji would be jealous of and is all around beneficial.

Free weights also give you the freedom to modify and do a diverse amount of exercises without a height setting. Machines are great but if you have to sacrifice your form or can’t go as hard as you want because the leg press in its lowest setting does nothing for you (been there, done that) then look up some videos about weight lifting and see if it works for you.

Find something that you enjoy

If being in the gym isn’t your cup of tea that’s totally fine! You can always go to Five Below, Walmart, Target or search on Amazon to get a set of weights or resistance bands so that you can workout at home or at the park or wherever make you comfortable.

Taking care of your body shouldn’t be a chore, it should be something that you enjoy and will implement for the rest of your life. Look into local gyms or fitness studios that offer classes like yoga or Zumba.

*I would suggest a spin class, but if you’re worried you’re not tall enough for the bikes, call and ask or check that studios website. They usually have the minimum height listed and from what I’ve seen it tends to be around 4’11”

And finally, I’ll leave you with some of the YouTuber’s I watch for fitness motivation, gym workout ideas and follow along type workouts.


Fitness motivation/lifestyle and gym workouts:

Shiva Sheevz: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ1ya7ajVrJVExlhPs49dWw

Whitney Simmons: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEQi1ZNJiw3YMRwni0OLsTQ


Follow along workouts:

Fitness Blender: https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender

HasFit: https://www.youtube.com/user/KozakSportsPerform



I'm a student at Salisbury University studying to major in Medical Laboratory with hopes of going into the Forensic field. I love my Puggle named Bruno and am blessed to have a great group of friends.