Do Squats Make You Shorter?

by   |   Jun 11, 2024

There have always been controversial concerns about whether or not squats stunt your growth and make you shorter.

So, do squats make you shorter? Is this the truth or myth?

A quick and short answer is no, squats don’t make you shrink or look short as you thought.

But, research pointed out that if you squat with a weight on your spine, this might compress your spinal discs, called spinal shrinkage. In fact, it only compresses your spine less than 3/16 of an inch (3-4mm), and then your spine will decompress and turn back to its usual length during an hour of working out [1].

In case you still worry because you are performing squats every day, keep reading because we will be talking about helpful information and advice to help you do squats safely and properly in this article.

Do squats stunt height growth?

As mentioned above, squats don’t make you shorter if you are a grown adult. But if you are a teen, what will happen?

The common myth is that lifting heavy weights while squatting will put pressure on children’s growth plates. We all know that growth plates are the active area close to the end of a kid’s bone. So, the damage to this area might make the bone bent or shorter than usual.

However, there is no record or science about squats stunting growth in children or damaging their growth plates as long as they lift weight correctly. Only poor form with heavy weights or lack of supervision might damage the growth plates.

In fact, if lifting while squatting is done responsively, the injury rate is almost lower compared to other physical activities. Hence, if a child is lifting a weight appropriately, you don’t have to worry about stunning growth in any case [2].

Which types of squats increase height?

Instead of performing all types of squats, you can try one of the three ways or all below to promote your height effectively.

Basic squats

basic-squats-help-you-increase-height

This standard exercise is an excellent way to give you longer legs.

  • Stand tall with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips behind. Ensure your knees do not go past your toes while your weight is on your heels.
  • Move down and back until your thighs are as near to parallel to the floor.
  • Hold for seconds, then lift and repeat.

Jump squats

jump-squats-help-you-increase-height

This jumping exercise helps support the conditioning of joints and muscles of the lower body, thereby promoting height.

  • Begin with a usual standing position.
  • Bend your knees while lowering your hips back and down.
  • Raise your arms in front of your shoulder.
  • Jump up off the floor while pulling your arms down and back your hips.
  • Make sure your body is upright and straight when you jump.

Side deep squats

side-deep-squats-help-you-increase-height

This exercise is a combination of jump squats and basic squats.

  • Start with a normal squat position.
  • Bend your knees down and raise your body on one side and hands up.
  • Then bend your knees and continue raising your body on the other side.
  • Make sure your body is straight when you lift yourself.

What are the benefits of doing squats?

Doing squats not only does tone and strengthen your legs, but it also comes with a far-reaching list of benefits for your body.

Develop muscle mass

If you want to improve your muscle mass, squatting is an ideal choice. When doing squats, you make lower extremities more powerful. And if you continuously put enough force on them, your bones will grow stronger and naturally, thereby resulting in muscle development.

Burn extra calories

Do you know that squats help burn fats quicker than any exercises? If you do squats regularly, this is an easy way to help you lose weight, especially weight from your abdomen.

Prevent chances of injury

If you often play sports or are an athlete, knee and hamstring damages sound common, right? So, if you do squat exercises quite often, it helps strengthen your hamstring muscles and enhance the stability of your knees.

Promote flexibility

By moving your body back and down continually, you do not only build up strength but also promote flexibility. For instance, deep squatting is ideal to boost a range of motion in the whole hip complex.

Improve your posture

When you develop your core strength and lower extremities, you improve your posture for sure. If you squat in a proper form, it can improve your hip health. It also builds your torso strength to prevent hunchback or internal rotation of the shoulders.

Be a versatile exercise

Squats are versatile in many ways. No matter who you are, boy or girl, young or old, man or woman, you can do squats. Additionally, you don’t need to go to the gym or buy expensive equipment because basic squats are totally free to perform. Last but not least, you can squat anywhere and anytime.

How many squats should I do a day?

There is no magic number as it depends on your needs. If you are a newbie, 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps of at least one type of squat will be okay. Doing a couple of days per week is a great place to start as well.

do-squats-make-you-shorter

And after you master all the squats above, you can upgrade your game with a 30-day squat challenge. But remember that 1 set should be at least 12 to 15 reps. In case you want a higher intensity workout, it’s fine to add some reps (but make sure when you hit day 15 or week 3, not first days).

Things to consider before squatting

Always do a warmup before doing squats – at least 5 minutes of stretching and 10 minutes of cardio to prevent injury – to loosen up muscles and enhance range of motion.

Be aware of your limits and ensure your form is shaped before adding more reps.

Although squats are an effective exercise, they are not the best. Combine them into a full-body workout regime, eat healthy and rest enough to get the best results.

To sum up

The idea of doing squats makes you shorter might be false. This exercise might compress your spine a little bit, but it is not more than other daily activities. As long as you are performing the proper form, you cannot stunt your growth while squatting.

Keep in mind that squats can make you taller by improving your posture. They also enhance bone density and overall fitness.

Time to squat and good things come!

References

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003687005001146?casa_token=J6B4Teujl8UAAAAA:zGgSzzq1xJ5VbP70FBa3lCPh69XSiY1xyTLtLo3XQc2qRk-PAhHOda0FTsoQ_mymCCdjsUpP2z8Y

[2] https://crossfitatlanta.typepad.com/SoccerDangerous.pdf

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