Short Girl Hacks for The Gym


If you’re anything under 5’2” you’ve been there. You’ve tried to reach the handle bars for a machine at the gym, or the pull up bar, or tried to use the leg press… The list goes on and on but the fact remains that the gym just isn’t built for small people. After years of struggle and failure to use gym equipment that’s built for an average to large size world, I decided enough is enough. I would no longer be held back. It’s time to get creative. I’m going to make this gym my b*tch. If you’re reading this, it means you need some solutions for your short girl gym problems. Say no more, because I present to you my small friend, my top 6 hacks for a short person at the gym. 

Now, before I get in to the specifics I have two major tips that changed my entire fitness regime... First and most importantly you need to see everything as a stool. Let me say it again. EVERYTHING. IS. A. STOOL. There are no boundaries as to what you can climb on. Benches, weights, plates, other machines, people. I have made this gym my damn jungle gym okay. 

Second, you cannot care what anyone around you thinks. At first, you’re going to feel a little weird climbing on everything but you and everyone else around you will get used to it. Consider this, what’s more important: my workout or average height people who are staring and judging me because they don’t know what it’s like to not be able to reach the pull up bar? MY. WORKOUT. Keep staring that’s fine, I’m going to keep climbing my tiny self on to every structure in this place so I can get a sick pump in.  

Alright, here we go. 

1. Rack Hooks to Boost Up to Bar.

As much as I would love to take credit for this one I really can’t. I was taught this at a CrossFit gym a few years ago and let me tell you – G R O U N D B R E A K I N G. All you have to do is adjust the power rack hook to a height you can step up to and then climb up. BANG done.

2. Risers Under The Back Machine.

This machine is amazing, I love the grips, I love the weight placement, everything. BUT standing regularly in front of it results in a higher than desired row position if I’m trying to target my back. I just placed one of these risers under my feet and VOILA! Perfect height and angle.

3. Plates Under Your Feet While Benching. 

This one is for my powerlifting friends. If I can’t bench press with all the power and drive from my legs planted firmly on the ground then I’m not bench pressing. We need alllll the strength. Some benches however just don’t let that happen. Let’s bring the floor to us then shall we. Simply place some plates close enough to the bench that you can firmly plant your feet on them and get pressin’. 

4. Stand on The Plate Holder. 

Let’s be honest here, the biggest part of the workout is setting up the weights. Especially when the plate stack is literally bigger than you. You see those little pieces that cover the wheels sticking out at the bottom of stack? Ya. Get up there. Stand up on those little pieces, pull your weight off, step down and off you go.

5. Stand on The Lat Pull Down Seat. 

Odds are you’ve either done this or seen it before somewhere. But reaching and getting a good grip on the lat pull down is probably the first short girl struggle I came across in the gym. Easy fix, just stand on the seat. 

6. Knee Pads on The Leg Press as a Booster Seat. 

I would often get back pain while using the leg press and could never figure out where I was going wrong until I came to the realization that it just does not fit. I added the knee pads under my butt and back to change the angle of my body and GUESS WHAT… no more back pain.