Who wouldn’t want to be tall and beautiful? Well, we all want to!
Height plays an important role in enhancing the persona of an individual. No doubt, people are always desperate to increase their height in any way possible. Nowadays, a number of medicines and acupressure treatments are available which claim height gain. But, these are quite expensive and have associated side effects. Moreover, there is no 100% guarantee of success for these methods.
Thus, the best possible way to increase height is naturally combining an exercise routine with the right diet. Proper exercise helps in toning and strengthening your muscles, releasing the growth hormones which are responsible for height gain. Proper diet keeps these hormones fresh and active and helps in rebuilding themselves.
Exercises To Gain Height:
Though it is a well-known fact that the vertical body height is determined by genetic factors, it can be even influenced to an extent by physical factors like diet and exercise. Mostly, growth stops after the onset of puberty when the growth plates in the long bones in our body get fused. However, growth still continues for some people even at the age of 22-25 and so, it is possible to add a few inches to your height even after this stage by resorting to exercise to increase height.
These exercises should be adopted and practiced regularly 2-3 times a week for best results. Over exercising should be avoided as it can cause injury and will hamper the recovering capacity of the body.
1. Bar Hanging:
Gravity adversely affects your height by compressing your spines and joints, which squeezes and thins the cartilage, giving you a shorter appearance. Hanging on a vertical bar is a simple way to combat this problem. Hanging makes the lower torso’s weight stretch the spine and decreases the pull on the vertebras. This results in increasing the height by 1 to 2 inches, but not instantly.
A horizontal bar for this should be placed at such a height that it allows the body to extend with room to move. If your body cannot fully extend, then bend your knees slightly in order to hang freely. Ensure that while grasping the bar, your palms are facing outwards. While hanging keep your arms, shoulders and hips as relaxed as possible, so that the gravity effectively pulls the body further. For additional benefits, you can try wearing ankle weights. This process should last for 20 seconds with a gap in between and should be repeated at least 3 times. This can most certainly be considered a good choice among the height increasing exercises.
2. Dry Land Swim:
This exercise is also known as “alternate kick” and it basically focuses on your lower back.
Start off by laying down flat on your stomach. Your body should be fully extended. Place your arms straight in front of you with your palms facing down towards the floor. Then raise your left arm higher than your right arm. Keeping your legs straight, lift your right leg as far off the ground as you can into the air. Remain in this position for at least 4 seconds and then repeat the procedure with your other leg and other hand. You should aim to hold the position for 20 seconds. Adding wrist and ankle weights will be more beneficial as it will tone your lower back muscles and increase your resistance.
[ Read: Vestibular Adaptation Exercises ]
3. Pelvic Shift:
Being extremely simple, this exercise helps in stretching your body up and down from the spine and also your hips.
You can start off by lying on your back. Place your shoulders and arms firmly on the floor. Now bend your knees and draw your feet as close to your buttocks as you can. Arch your back to thrust your pelvis upwards. This position should be held for 20 to 30 seconds. This exercise enables you to stretch more giving flexibility to your front hips.
4. Cobra Stretch:
This yoga exercise is intended to stretch your spine, thus making it supple and flexible. It is beneficial for the growth of the cartilage between your vertebrae, causing an increase in your vertical height. Lie on the floor with your face down and palms on the floor under your shoulders. Arch your spine up leading your chin also to form an elevated angle. Arch back as far as possible. At least 3-4 reps should be done with each repetition lasting between 5 to 30 seconds.
[ Read: Best Exercise for Biceps ]
5. Super Cobra Stretch:
Start by keeping your arms perpendicular to the floor and the spine arched (similar to the end position of cobra stretch). Now bending your hips, bring your body up to form an inverted V position. While doing this, tuck your chin against your chest and then return to the original position. Each repetition should last for 10 to 20 seconds.
6. Hopping with One Leg:
Being one of the simplest exercises ever, this can be done anywhere, in the course of any activity like watching TV, playing in the park or while doing any other work. Hop on your left leg eight times with your hands pointing towards the sky and then hop on your right leg in the same way. This bouncing activity is beneficial for brain development, strengthening of legs and generation of growth hormones.
7. Pilates Roll Over:
This excellent workout helps in stretching your spine and provides added length to your upper body. It also stretches and lengthens the vertebrae of your neck.
Start off by lying on your back with your arms along your sides and palms facing down. Keeping your legs together, extend them straight up towards the ceiling and bend them backwards making them to touch the floor. Touching the floor in this way may appear difficult at first, but with practice it will get easier. The more you stretch yourself, the more your spine lengthens.
8. Forward Spine Stretch:
Sit up straight on a mat with your feet in front. Your legs should be extended about shoulder width apart and your feet should be flexed. Inhale and extend your arms out in front of you. While doing so, bend forward and try to touch the tips of your toes.
If you are able to touch your toe tips, then you can try stretching even forward to keep your spine flexed to the maximum extent. This may appear to be difficult initially, but the position can be achieved through regular practice.
9. Cat Stretch:
Also known as the Indian Dandwat, this exercise is meant to open up your spine and strengthen your shoulders, chest, palms and back. It basically stretches your hamstrings while putting a stress on your stomach. It is beneficial for blood circulation.
Place your hands and knees on the floor with your arms locked out. Inhale while flexing your spine down and exhale while bringing your spine up into an arched position and your head down. The spine at this position should be arched. Keep your shoulders high and elbows straight. Your pelvic bone should touch the floor. Each repetition should last for 3 to 8 seconds.
10. The Bow Down:
Stand straight with your hands placed on your hips. Staying in this position, bend forward as far as possible, leading with your head. Always remember not to bend your knees and keep your chin off your chest. Each repetition should last for 4 to 8 seconds.
11. Forward Bend:
This is a well-known and widely followed exercise to increase height. Stand straight with your legs wide apart. Extend your hands up straight, bend down forward and touch the floor with your hands, without bending your knees. Then return back to the original position.
12. Spot Jump:
Keep your legs close and stand on your toe. Now, start jumping with your hand straight up in the air for at least 2 minutes.
13. Hands on the Head Bow Down:
Stand with your hands placed together behind your neck and bend forward as far as possible. Bring your chin onto your chest but do not bend your knees. Each repetition should be done for 4 to 8 seconds.
14. Super Stretch:
Stand with your hands placed together behind your neck and bend your head upwards and back as far as possible. Each repetition should last for a duration of 5 to 15 seconds.
15. Wall Stretch:
Stand up against a wall and try to reach your hands as high as possible. While doing so, you can get onto your tiptoes. Your spine should be kept flat against the wall as much as possible. Each repetition here should be done for 4 to 6 seconds. This stretch is a bit harder than it looks because your spine is kept flat against the wall.
16. Straight Legs Up:
Lie on your stomach with your hands behind your neck and raise one of your legs as high as possible. Now, repeat the procedure with the other leg as well. Keep your legs straight while stretching. Each such repetition should last for 3 to 5 seconds.
17. Two Straight legs Up:
Lie your face down with your palms down and on the sides of your chest. Try to raise both your legs together as high as possible while keeping your feet straight together at the same time. Each repetition should last for 3 seconds.
Stand with your hands together and arms behind you. Bend down at the waist as far as possible and slowly swing your arms as high as possible behind you. Each repetition should last for 4 to 6 seconds.
19. The Table:
Sit down on the floor keeping your legs straight. Your torso should be absolutely straight. Now, place your palms on the floor next to your butt and tuck your chin against your chest. Having done so, bring your head as far as it will go. While doing this, you should raise your body so that your knees bend while the arms stay straight. Your torso and upper legs should be straight and horizontal to the floor while your arms and lower legs should be perpendicular to the floor. In this way, you occupy the shape of a table. It is quite a difficult stretch and you should try to do the best you can even if you cannot do it perfectly. Each repetition should be done for 8 to 20 seconds.
20. The Bridge:
Lie down, keeping your knees bent and feet flat on the floor as close to your butt as possible. Having done so, grab your ankles and hold onto them. Now, raise your hips up and arch your spine, thereby lifting your abs towards the ceiling. Try to lift your abs as high as possible and then go back to your original position. If you have difficulty in holding on to your ankles, keep your arms to the side and use them to push yourself up. Each such repetition should last for 3 to 10 seconds. This stretch might seem difficult initially but with regular practice you will be able to do it in the right manner.
21. Ankle Weights:
This exercise is primarily meant to increase the length of your lower body as it focuses on stretching the cartilage between the knees. Due to prolonged stretching, the cartilage gets elongated and increases in mass. Hence, the length of your lower body increases.
Sit on a high chair and tie an ankle weight fastener to add weights to your ankle. You can start with small weights and gradually increase your weights as you go on. Allow your legs to stretch down due to the pressure of the weights. After completing this procedure, remove the weights and allow your legs to relax by kicking your legs gently 5 to 10 times and then vigorously 5 to 10 times. This flexes your knee cartilage and enables it to grow in length.
22. Alternate Leg Kick:
This exercise is similar to swimming except for the fact that it is not done in a pool. It basically focuses on your lower back, strengthens it and makes it firm so that you stand tall.
You can start off by lying down on your stomach on a flat and firm surface. Stretch your body to the maximum extent. While resting your chin on the floor, stretch your arms out in front of your face with your palms facing downwards. This should be the starting position. Now raise your right arm a few inches from the floor and lift your left leg off the floor simultaneously without bending your knees, as far up as you can. Maintain this position for a few seconds and then come to the starting position. Repeat this process with your left arm and right leg. This exercise helps in toning the lower back and prevents slouching. A toned back can stay upright and make you appear taller.
Swimming for a couple of hours for at least 5 days a week is considered to be extremely beneficial for increasing your height. Being a full body exercise, swimming is the most intense form of exercise done in water. It enables you to use your legs, body and arms to the fullest and thus, develops muscle strength. Breast stroke is the best swimming style to increase your height. Hence, if you want to increase your height, it is advisable to learn and practice swimming.
24. Rope Skipping:
Apart from the exercises given above, Rope skipping is no less important than exercises when it comes to the growth factor, which is closely related to height.
Sprints also help in height gain.
These exercises will definitely help you in increasing your height. But the key to success lies in doing them regularly and consistently. Besides, the intensity and duration of these exercises should be increased gradually and the exercises should be combined with a balanced diet for best results.
We hope you liked this article and will benefit from these exercises as much as hope you do. Please be advised to start any form of exercise only after consulting your medical practitioner to confirm whether these are suitable for you or not.
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