If you want to add an inch or two to your height, you’re not alone. Most people stop growing naturally between the ages of 18 and 22, but that doesn’t mean you’ve reached your body’s height potential. Believe it or not, you can use these spine stretching exercises to increase height by inches.
You don’t need to start growing again to get taller. Increasing height in adults is done by fully realizing your body’s true height. Most people live sedentary lifestyles, and one of the results is a compressed spine. If the muscles and body could be stretched to their full height, an average adult could gain over an inch in additional height.
Acrobats and contortionists are two types of professionals whose jobs allow them to reach their maximum height potential. Luckily, you don’t need to join the circus to increase your height. Any activity that stretches the spine, back, and neck muscles will help you gain centimeters. And reaching your full height isn’t just a matter of looking taller. A fully stretched spine has all sort of associated health benefits, from improved circulation to reduced back pain.
Below are the top five exercises to reach your body’s full height potential. Many of these can be done without any equipment, but for best results you should use a home gym.
You may associate the pull up bar with strengthening your arm and back muscles, but it’s also an ideal way to lengthen your spine. When you do a pull up, you’re allowing gravity and the weight of your body to pull you toward the ground. This provides the resistance you use to help build muscle. It also allows your backbone the rare opportunity to expand.
To perform pull ups, grab the bar with a grip slightly wider than your shoulder width. Make sure your palms are facing away from you. Now pull yourself up while keeping your chest slightly facing upwards. Pull upwards until your chin is above the pull up bar. While coming down, pull your shoulder blades downwards and together. Make sure your shoulders are straight. Do not swing your body. To pause from pull ups, you can hang in the bar while keeping your body straight.
Tip: Make pull ups a regular part of your exercise routine. Stretching out the spine to its full potential is a process that can take years to fully complete, so continued maintenance is a must.
The lower back is often the most compressed portion of the spine, so exercises that loosen the hip area are key in helping you increase your height. This simple exercise involves lying on your back with your knees bent, your feet about a hand’s length away from your bottom.
To perform a pelvic shift, first get comfortable on the floor with your knees bent at an angle 80 to 90 degrees. Rest both of your hands down by your side and your heels flat on the floor. Then slowly lift your hip up towards the sky as far as you comfortably can and stay in that pose for few seconds. Then slowly bring it downwards and touch the ground. Repeat this process for 15 to 20 counts. This will open up the lumbar portion of your spine, aiding in its overall decompression.
Tip: Do a set of pelvic shifts every morning, or during your pre-workout warm up. This stretch is gentle enough to do on a daily basis to help keep your spine loose. Pelvic shifts also strengthens your core.
Pull ups allow your spine to lengthen while vertical, and toe touches do the same thing without the element of strength training. By bending at the waist and relaxing your upper body, you’re increasing the space between each vertebra. Over time, this can add inches to your height.
Tip: Don’t do any active stretching when you touch your toes. Simply let your upper body hang. Relax your neck muscles, and let your arms fall naturally. Hold this pose for about thirty seconds, occasionally shaking and nodding your head to loosen your neck.
Alternatively, you can do toe touches while sitting on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. In terms of increasing height, this is most effective when you’re limber enough to reach your toes without effort. Bend at the waist and allow yourself to remain in a folded position for several seconds. This stretches the lumbar region of your spine.
If you’re unable to reach your toes, you can use an exercise band to help stretch your spine while doing toe touches on the floor. Place the band around the soles of your feet, holding onto the band with both hands. Relax your neck and shoulders while you hold the pose.
Yoga exercises to increase height
There are dozens of excellent yoga stretches designed to elongate the spine and increase your height. We’ll quickly go over some of the most helpful here. Remember that yoga is not like strength training, or even regular stretching. The goal is not to push your body to go any farther than is comfortable. Instead, move through the poses gently and without straining.
1. Child’s Pose: This very simple stretch is similar to the fetal position. Begin by kneeling with your bottom resting on your heels in a table top position. Keep your palms a little bit forward from your shoulder. Spread your knees about hip’s width apart (keeping your feet together). Now inhale looking forward and then exhale folding your upper body over your thighs until your forehead is touching the floor. While you are touching the ground, let your elbows relax.
You can also clasp your hands behind your heels and hold for up to a minute. This pose allows your spine to stretch while in a fully rested position. Every posture takes time and practice, your forehead may not come to touch the floor or your backs may not touch your heels. So give this posture some time to get used to it. This is a great yoga posture to do when you first wake up in the morning or before you go to bed.
2. Cat & Cow Poses: Start this stretch on all fours, with hands and knees about hip’s width apart. Make sure your hands are straight underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips.
Start with the cow pose, inhale and then slowly drop your spine so your mid-section creates a “U” shape. Then exhale while moving into the cat pose by arching your back like a frightened feline. Hold each pose for several counts, shifting slowly from one to the next. Remember not to move your hands or knees during this exercise.
3. Cobra Pose: Begin by lying in a prone position with your elbows bent and palms flat on the floor by your chest, fingers pointed forward. Keeping your pelvis on the ground, start by inhaling and pushing your upper body off of the floor by straightening your arms. Then stay in the pose for few seconds. Then come back downwards while exhaling and touch the ground. As always, perfecting yoga poses takes time and practice. But with continued practice, you will definitely see good results.
4. Lotus Pose: The most iconic of all yoga poses, this position elongates the spine in a simple seated posture. Sit in a comfortably cross-legged position with your hands resting on your knees. Straighten your spine from its natural curve, making a straight line from the tail bone all the way to the top of the neck. Now inhale and exhale in this pose. Depending on your body condition, this pose requires constant practice to achieve perfection. While in this pose, if you feel any pain in your knees or feet, free your legs and relax yourself.
5. Downward Facing Dog Pose: This stretch starts in the same all-fours position like the cat and cow poses. Tucking your toes under your feet, straighten your legs until your body forms a triangle with the floor. This is an excellent exercise for stretching out the cervical portion of the spine. Make sure your head is facing down and below your shoulders. Stay in this pose for few seconds. This pose is also good for blood circulation.
6. Table Stretches: Start with a seated position on the ground with your knees bent around 45 degrees and your feet flat on the floor. Make sure your knees and feet are aligned straight with your hips. Rest your arms behind you with palms facing the ground. Make sure your spine is straight.
Now slowly lift up your body to a table top position facing upwards. Do make sure you have a 90 degree bend from your heels to your knees and hips. Stay in this pose for 10 to 20 seconds seconds. Then slowly come back to the original sitting position. Repeat this process several times.
Tip: Use Yoga as a cool down session after your regular workout.
Longer legs makes you look taller. So it is a good practice to stretch your legs every single day. There are several types of leg stretches. Quad stretch will stretch your quadriceps. Quadriceps are the muscles from your hips to your knees. Start by stabilizing yourself on one leg, slightly bend your knees and then grab your other leg and fold it backwards. Hold in this pose for 30 seconds and breathe. Repeat the same for the other leg as well. While doing this, make sure your knees and hips align in a straight line with the floor. If you are not able to balance yourself on one leg, you can alternatively do this stretch by lying down on the floor.
If adding inches to your height is your goal, make all of these exercises a regular part of your workout through the week. Get enough sleep each night. Your body grows at the time you are sleeping. So make sure you sleep 7 to 8 hours every day. As with all physical training, it takes dedication and persistence to achieve your goals. With repetition and discipline, you can increase your height until you reach your body’s full potential.