The best stretching exercises to increase height
Many of us are not satisfied with how we look, be it our appearance, height, or weight. For those who wish that they were taller, there are a few things they can do to increase height. It is no secret that how tall you will become is largely determined by genetics, but you can make dietary and/or habitual changes that allow you to reach your maximum height potential, especially if you are still in puberty. Once your bones have fused and stopped growing, improving your posture and practicing stretching exercises can help you look taller. As the discs in your spine are compressed by gravity, try to do these stretching exercises to decompress your spine and be as tall as you can.
Doing basic stretches
- Touch your toes daily to improve flexibility and strengthen your lower back. This stretch helps decompress your spine by stretching it every day. To get started, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, bend down forward and let your arms drop down. Keep bending until you feel the tension. Hold your hands down for 10-30 seconds. Bear in mind that you will not stretch the lower back muscles properly if you bend from your upper back. Do not worry when you cannot reach your toes. Give yourself some time and you will become more flexible if you stretch every day.
- Practice the Cobra pose to stretch out your spine and relieve back pressure. This yoga pose is highly useful in stretching your back out if you find yourself regularly hunching your shoulders forward. To practice this pose, lie flat on your stomach with the palms of your hands facing down at the sides of your head. Straighten your arms slowly to lift your chest up and breathe deeply. In doing so, try to relax to decompress your spine and avoid tensing up the muscles in your bottom and lower back.
- Perform a bridge exercise 5-30 times a day to stretch your lower back. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Keep your arms flat at the sides of your body and squeeze your lower abdominal muscles. Raise your hips while keeping your upper back on the floor. Take 3 big breaths in this position. After that, lower your hips to the ground and repeat the exercise at least 4 more times. A bridge exercise attempts to stretch your hip flexors, thereby decompressing your spine so that you can sit or stand a bit taller.
- Make sure your daily workout includes hip flexor stretches. Spending most of your waking hours sitting can push down on your hips and lower back. To stretch yourself out, especially after you have been sitting at a desk most of the day, put a cushion on the ground and then bend 1 knee onto it. Keep your other knee in front of you so your leg is bent at a 90-degree angle. Then, lean your hips forward until you feel the tension in your thighs. Hold the position for 30 seconds. You should repeat this exercise 3 times for each leg every day. In case kneeling is difficult for you, you can stay standing, slide 1 of your legs forward until it bends slightly, and repeat this for your other leg.
In addition to doing these basic stretches, you should exercise throughout the week to maintain your flexibility. Exercising regularly encourages your body to repair itself and stimulates growth hormone production. As your flexibility increases, it is also easier to perform stretching exercises. Choose a sport or physical activity that you enjoy and you will not need any encouragement to practice it frequently.
Improving your posture
- Stand tall and imagine a straight line passing through your body. When you are standing, it is easy to hunch over or place all your weight on 1 foot. However, this actually makes you look shorter than you really are. Standing straight and keeping your shoulders pulled back will help you reach your full height. Imagining that you can see a straight line passing through your body from the ceiling will help in the process, especially when you notice yourself slouching or slumping throughout the day. It will not be easy at first, but with some practice, by degrees, you will stand tall and straight without even thinking about it.
- Sit with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. To prevent the effects of gravity on your spine, you should sit in your chair in a way that your back forms a 90-degree angle with your legs and your feet are flat in front of you. It is also a good idea to walk around or get up and stretch once an hour to keep your muscles flexible.
- Learn Pilates to make you more aware of your posture and improve your flexibility. Pilates is one of the most effective ways to improve your posture, which in turn allows you to appear taller. By tucking your shoulders back, standing tall, and practicing Pilates stretches regularly, you can reach your full height. To sign up for a beginner or intermediate Pilates class, check with your local community center for classes they offer.
- Do tai chi or yoga to help you align your spine. Stretching is important, but having good posture requires flexibility and strength. As a result, it is advisable to practice tai chi movements or yoga poses to focus on how your body moves as well as your posture. You will become more mindful of how you stand, sit, and walk throughout the day.
Leading a healthy life
Doing stretches and improving your posture would be in vain without a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. As a matter of fact, your body needs a mix of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber in order to grow. The best way to get these essential nutrients is to have a variety of healthy foods in every meal. While trying to fill your body with bone-nourishing nutrients, it is better to avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can stunt your growth.
Another food to avoid is junk food. Instead of resorting to these growth inhibitors, you should try drinking milk or eating yogurt as they are rich in Calcium which is important in building strong bones. Last but not least, sufficient sleep is required for growth hormone production. Your body also repairs itself while you sleep, which is why you usually feel better after a good night’s sleep.