Why Slavs Are Strong
It is a matter of genetics/history and cultural.The area was constantly subjected to invasions by warring tribes and those people who could run the fastest, see at night, fight the best and the women who survived rape by the invaders survived.The Eastern European culture teaches to be self-reliant, tough, non-complaining and physically fit.It's a matter of pride - because it was a matter of survival.
It was a brutal region historically where one had to be tough as nails just to survive to age 16.Constantly under assault by the Hun from the west, the Mongol Horde from the east, the Vikings from the NW, the Rus from the NE, and various Arab, Jewish, Greek and Roman conquerers from the South.Think "Conan the Barbarian" or "Red Sonja," but 1000 times more brutal.The word "slave" of course came from "Slav."
A particular genetic profile in men (called Y haplotype I-M170) is correlated with height. Ecological data shows that as the frequency of this genetic profile increase in the population, the average male height in a country also increases. In the Netherlands, about 35% of men have this genetic profile, but in Herzegovina, the frequency is over 70%. Extrapolating the genetic trend line suggests that the average Herzegovinian man could possibly be as tall as 190 cm (nearly 6' 3").