A Closer Look: The Height of Female Lifters
The height of female lifters are different from male lifters. There are several reasons why women have shorter heights than men. First, there is the fact that they grow up with a smaller body size.
Second, their bodies develop differently due to hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy. Third, they may not lift weights as much because it requires them to use their legs more. Finally, some women do not like lifting heavy objects so they choose other sports such as tennis or swimming instead.
Height and Weight
In general, girls tend to be taller than boys at birth. For example, the average height of a girl born in the United States today is 5’2″ (1.6 m).
By age five most girls reach 5′4″ (1.7 m) and by age ten most will be over six feet tall (1.8 m). Most boys don’t reach these heights until adulthood.
For girls, the difference between their actual height and their measured height is called “body mass index” or BMI. Women with BMIs under 18.5 are considered to be underweight; those above that are considered overweight.
Girls with BMIs between 18.5 and 24 are considered normal weight; those over that are obese. For adult women, a BMI between 18.5 and 24 is considered ideal.
This seems like it would make things very easy to say which height is best for female weightlifters, but there’s one more factor. The average woman grows nearly three more inches and gains 30 pounds by age 20. This is because hormones like estrogen and other growth factors spur the body to grow after puberty.
These changes affect bones as well as muscles. Even though a girl may be over 18.5 BMI at age 15, she may be under that at age 20.
So what is the ideal height for female weightlifters?
Unfortunately there isn’t a single ideal height because it really depends on many factors. For example, if you’re a 16-year-old who is 5’9″ (1.75 m) and you want to be a gymnast, you might need to grow another few inches so you can be competitive.
Sources & references used in this article:
Facial features and unethical behavior–Doped athletes show higher facial width-to-height ratios than non-doping sanctioned athletes by B Krenn, C Buehler – PloS one, 2019 – journals.plos.org
Force-time curve characteristics of dynamic and isometric muscle actions of elite women olympic weightlifters by GG Haff, JM Carlock, MJ Hartman… – Journal of Strength …, 2005 – search.proquest.com
Biomechanical differences in the weightlifting snatch between successful and unsuccessful lifts by J Rummells – 2016 – scholarworks.uni.edu
Contraception for Athletes: Which Option is Right for You? by A Larsen – breakingmuscle.com.au
Skill and masculinity in Olympic weightlifting: Training cues and cultivated craziness in Georgia by P Sherouse – American Ethnologist, 2016 – Wiley Online Library
Firm but shapely, fit but sexy, strong but thin: The postmodern aerobicizing female bodies by P Markula – Sociology of sport journal, 1995 – journals.humankinetics.com
Response of vertical jump height in female athletes 10-14 years old to a lower body strength training program by L Schuler, CE Forsythe, A Cosgrove – 2008 – Penguin
The Anatomy of the Bench Press by R Sylvester – 2014 – mspace.lib.umanitoba.ca