Unless you’re a 6”8 NBA player, chances are you wouldn’t mind being a little taller (or a lot taller in some cases), but is that at all possible once you become a fully grown adult?
While there are some temporary measures you can take to make you appear taller, like wearing big shoes or styling your hair (or if you work in a big-top tent … stilts) but what actions can you take to make you physically taller?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to add any appreciable height to your frame.
You won’t be able to make the jump from five three to six-foot-plus, but with some consistent effort, you be able to make some changes that’ll leave you feeling a lot more confident about your height.
Fixing musculature imbalances is the single best method of improving the appearance of being taller, so we’re going to look at some of these issues and how to fix them and improve your overall quality of life.
Rounded Shoulder Syndrome
Sadly, one of the most common problems of the digital era is rounded shoulders which gives a person a hunched over appearance and effectively reduces their overall height.
Cause: There are two primary causes of rounded shoulder syndrome, and they occur for two very different reasons.
The first is a distinctly modern problem because more and more Americans are spending increasing amounts of time hunched over in front of a computer monitor or smartphone. Sitting in this unnatural position for extended periods leads to rounded shoulders and can cause back pain.
The second cause is typically found in people actively trying to improve their health by incorporating weight lifting and resistance training into their workouts.
The bench press and military press are two of the most popular lifts in training and are often over-utilized which leads to over-developed front delts. This, in turn, tightens the shoulders pulling them together, creating that hunched-over position.
Fix: Fortunately for people suffering from this kind of poor posture, they can fix it with a little consistent effort and a single piece of equipment.
Buying some resistance bands and adding ‘Band Pull Aparts’ (as explained by Christian Thibaudeau) to your training routine will gradually correct this imbalance and have you standing as tall as was always intended.
Your spine is like a shock absorber on your car. As you walk, run, jump, and step, your spine compresses to absorb the impact of your movements, and without this ability, your back would shatter when you perform any high-impact actions.
But also like a shock absorber, the spine becomes less effective as you get older, and it won’t bounce back as well as it did when you were young.
Cause: If you like to lift heavy weights regularly (especially squats, overhead presses, and deadlifts), your spine will be working overtime as that high weight causes it to compress, and it’ll make you appear shorter.
Fix: Dead hangs are an excellent way of decompressing your spine and stretching out for a healthier back, and they’re super easy (in theory) to do. All you need is a pull-up bar.
Grab the bar at shoulder width, slowly lift your feet off the floor and hang for as long as possible, giving your spine a chance to decompress. This exercise is excellent for your spine and your upper back muscles, shoulders, wrists, and grip strength.
Time your first hang and try to add a second more every time you perform the move.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt
There are much more severe issues surrounding anterior pelvic tilt than it giving you the appearance of being shorter; muscle fatigue, and lower back pain being the worst offenders.
This complex problem arises when hip extensors become lengthened and the hip flexors becoming shortened, causing the sufferer to have a curved spine and stand with a lean.
Cause: This common problem results from a sedentary lifestyle, desk jobs, and spending extended amounts of time driving your car. Adopting the seated position without regular stretching allows your muscles to become imbalanced.
Fix: There are many exercises to correct anterior pelvic tilt, most of which have excellent benefits, but the best way to correct this problem (and many others) is yoga.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and with good reason, it promotes a healthy body, mind, and spirit. But don’t be fooled by the pictures of serene people looking relaxed; yoga is hard, really hard.
If you can find a teacher or take a class, yoga will go a long way to not only fixing anterior pelvic tilt but many imbalances in your body, making you feel amazing.
We know that you’re eager to get on with fixing your poor posture and becoming taller (let’s face it, that’s why you started reading this article). Still, it’s essential to speak to a medical professional before trying any new exercises.
Performing moves with poor form or that are beyond your skillset could potentially cause you further harm and lead to more complicated issues down the line, so be sensible and listen to your physician.
To sum up, working out doesn’t technically help you grow inches taller or increase height, but performing corrective exercises will give you a better posture and the appearance of more height, but more importantly, you’ll feel better, be healthier and live a longer, happier life.