How to increase height with exercise and more? If a teenager normally grows a lot, what to do after puberty and when you have finished your growth to be taller? This article is for anyone who wants to gain a few centimeters in height with method and young people who want to optimize their future adult height.
Becoming taller in height is the dream of many people, and not only tiny ones. Having a little more height would be advantageous, since it is unconsciously associated with better health and high social status in society.
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The role of hormones and genetics in growth
Photo of Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in the world at a record height of 8’11” (2.72m)!
First of all, it is necessary to talk a bit about human growth thanks to the contributions of medicine, in order to remain realistic. Is it possible to grow in height in adulthood, after 20 years old? This is what we will see.
The size of an individual is conditioned by his/her genetics to about 95% and is inherited from parents or grandparents. In short, someone with tall genes will become taller most of the time, except in the case of serious illnesses or accidents. The field of study concerning this subject is called auxology.
For information, for example, the French or the Dutch have grown about 13 cm over the last century for various reasons. Height is also correlated with social success (but this is not a causality).
It is important to know that the average human being is about 5’9″ or 1m75 tall. However, the country where people are the tallest on the planet is in Holland with 6 feet on average for men, 5 feet 7 inches for Latvian women. However, the Dinka people of Sudan have very tall people. As for the Pygmies, the men hardly exceed 5 feet.
You should also know that, in general, women prefer tall men, or at least men who are taller than them.
The main cause of height gain is the growth hormone before adulthood. It is even prescribed to some people as a treatment for height gain against dwarfism. In the liver, it stimulates the production of IGF-1. The latter generates the growth of the conjugation cartilages of the long bones.
During adolescence, there is normally a peak in the production of growth hormone, which causes some individuals to gain up to 4 inches in one year or more. However, this period of life also makes produce sex hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and its derivatives.
Estradiol (a female estrogenic hormone) is the main one responsible for stopping linear growth by maturing the epiphyses (the end of the long bones). Boys produce less of it than girls, which is why they are taller since their growth period is often longer.
Thus, it ends completely at about age 15 for women (about 2 years after the first regular menstrual period) and 19 years old – sometimes a little more – for men. These averages can be seen in the growth chart by M.Ds. The growth hormone does not make you grow in height any more once the growth plates are fused.
The scientific method of Tanner Stages can be used to determine the progress of puberty.
This is why people with acromegaly – a pituitary tumor that produces GH and causes gigantism if contracted early in youth – also stop growing after a while. Other diseases can cause a large size, such as Sotos or Marfan syndrome.
Therefore, a growth hormone injection treatment in adulthood, when the skeleton is mature, is unnecessary even for short people, and even dangerous for health.
Ask your general practitioner for advice in case you need to consult an endocrinologist.
Learn more about gigantism and acromegaly :
Assessing your bone age is a great help in our approach since it is an indicator of your skeletal maturation. In fact, it consists of taking an X-ray of the wrist and comparing the degree of bone maturation using the Greulich and Pyle method with standardized reference images.
The other technique is that of Lefebvre and Koifman where we focus on several points. Finally, the Risser test compares the pelvis. If your bone age is less than your civilian age, then you still have growth potential. However, this does not necessarily mean that you can still grow another 10 cm.
This evaluation concerns mainly teenagers and it is therefore useless to undergo it if you have not grown at all for one year without pathology (it is an indicator of growth arrest). It is necessary to ask for a prescription from your general practitioner or an endocrinologist to have the X-ray.
Food to grow taller
Eat your vegetables! This section is mainly for children and teenagers. However, adults can also pick up some tips. It is indeed necessary to eat well for good health.
Avoid looking for a medicine to grow in size or miracle pill and other pills. These are scams, like a product such as Heightmax more than 15 years ago or more recently, Mabrem. Micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals (such as the famous calcium) and trace elements, on the other hand, are essential. Just as energy and “bricks” are needed with adequate intakes of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates for healthy and optimal growth.
We recommend eating organic food and cooking with extra virgin olive oil.
Depending on age, gender and body type, it is recommended to drink between 750 ml and 2 liters of mineral water per day (more in summer). Adjust the amount of food according to these criteria as well.
You can drink homemade or commercial organic vegetable juices regularly.
Get up (first thing in the morning)
-A squeezed organic lemon diluted in a bowl of mineral water
-50-150 g of oatmeal mixed with milk (almond milk if you are lactose intolerant or allergic), lightly cook this porridge
-1 cut up banana or/and a few handfuls of dried fruit
-Several handfuls of walnuts/almonds/hazelnuts/Brazil nuts/pecans if you are not allergic
-2-3 egg whites cooked with a raw yolk
-A bowl of organic green tea
-50-150 g of starchy foods, cereals such as rice, bulgur or pseudo-cereals (quinoa, buckwheat…)
-50-150 g of lean or fatty fish (eat raw if possible)/red meat/poultry with skin if possible
-Pour two tablespoons of extra virgin, uncooked rapeseed oil over your dish
-30-75 g of green or well colored vegetables in general, vary with broccoli, beans, celery, spinach, cooked or raw carrots etc…
-1 fruit of your choice
-Several handfuls of walnuts/almonds/hazelnuts/Brazil nuts/pecans
-30-100 g of starchy foods or pseudo-cereals
-50-150 g lean or fatty fish/red meat/poultry with skin if possible
-Half an onion browned in a pan
-Several leaves of salad seasoned with a little cider vinegar
Cod liver oil is excellent because it contains a good dose of vitamin D, which helps the assimilation of calcium. To make your own, it is also highly recommended that part of your skin be exposed to natural light for at least 30 minutes a day, and 45 minutes in winter when it is darker in some regions.
L-arginine, what is it? It is an amino acid (component of a protein) which has the particularity of being a growth hormone secretagogue, that is to say this stimulates the endogenous production, our own natural synthesis increase and not by the outside as with doping.
To help grow, this supplement is only effective for children and teenagers, in a one month cure several times a year. Its effectiveness is increased and potentiated when taken on an empty stomach (at least 2 hours after the last meal) and just before a short and intense exercise such as sprinting. It is advisable to rest just after the effort. For a supplementation, ask your doctor for advices.
Exercises to grow taller
Why do we grow in space? In the repeated absence of weightlessness, the spinal discs decompress and the spine adapts. Thus, some astronauts can gain more than 5 cm during a space mission (which they progressively lose back on Earth). The same phenomenon – in a less spectacular way – occurs in the morning when we wake up, where it is common to have gained 1 cm, since we have been lying down for several hours.
Unfortunately, the thickness and height of the intervertebral discs decrease with age due to desiccation, the production of collagen which decreases (those discs are difficult to regenerate).
Some people will have understood: it is necessary to gain flexibility in the spinal column, in order to limit the effect of the compression, or even to gain a few cm. Working on good posture is essential, especially once growth is over. Simply standing straighter can add precious inches. This explains how to increase your height after 20 years.
Forget the techniques of riding a bike in a high saddle or sprinting and then carrying ankle weights while lying down. This is ineffective.
Practice these exercises everyday and according to your abilities.
Regular practice is highly recommended.
Hanging for height increase
Do this exercise to grow every other day and hang as much as you can several times without letting go.
Inversion table to grow
Gradually increase the time upside down until you reach 15 minutes. Daily practice.
You can order a high quality inversion table on Amazon here.
Anti gravity boots
Same principle and you can easily get them here.
Cigarette and growth stunt
Smoking is probably detrimental to growth according to a 2008 Canadian study.
A smoker who starts smoking 10 cigarettes a day around the age of 12 could lose a little more than 2 cm of potential height once he is an adult.
Indeed, smoking hinders the oxygenation of the cells and they are therefore less healthy. In an organism that is still in the process of construction, it is therefore particularly inadvisable to smoke.
If you have an addiction, try methods such as hypnosis or electronic cigarettes.
Does weight lifting stunt growth?
Not necessarily, it can even be beneficial.
Let’s go deeper: if a teenage weightlifter is doped on anabolic steroids on a regular basis, he or she will accelerate bone maturation (by increasing the conversion of testosterone to estrogen) and may not reach their full growth potential.
By pushing extreme weights (powerlifting or weightlifting), he also risks a vertebral collapse and spine injury. Excess cortisol caused by too much physical stress also lowers the production of growth hormone.
On the other hand, moderate exercise without doping is very beneficial for growth. It actually stimulates bone mineralization. Polyarticular exercises also help to stimulate the synthesis of GH for a short time after the effort.
Does basketball make you taller?
Let’s remember that 5% of genetics depends on the environment. So practicing a sport is a healthy tip, provided that you are not tempted by what we mentioned above and that you avoid abuse.
All sports that include small jumps and extensions contribute to osteoarticular development. We can also mention swimming, which reduces the influence of gravity on the spine. However, simply practicing this type of sport does not ensure that you will grow much or exceed your genetic potential.
Tallness is one of the selection factors for certain positions in a sports career and some players have chosen this path because of their predisposition. Not to mention the fact that if one is aiming for the top level, it is tempting to take growth hormone injections before the end of bone development.
We advise you to do sprints, which help the body to secrete growth hormone. It is not advisable to engage in strength sports, as mentioned above, or even gymnastics (at a high level).
Sleep and growth
It is during sleep that the greatest quantity of growth hormone is produced. It is therefore in your best interest to rest properly and without interruption!
Turn off the wifi and all electrical devices in the room where you sleep. Also avoid having your head near an outlet or power line. The temperature in the room should be between 16 and 18 degrees. Make sure there is no noise. You can also put blue light filters on your screens or install software.
How to look taller?
You can definitely look taller with your style. Just look at the actor Tom Cruise measuring 5’7″ on this Youtube video. He easily looks 5 feet 9 inches:
What can we notice? He wears plain, dark and close-fitting clothes. They are exactly his size. This is an inspiring way to make you look taller. Vertical stripes are also known to elongate the figure, even if they are difficult to wear.
Timberland boots, Doc Martens or Nike Air Force One sneakers are suitable. As for women, they obviously have high heels.
Want a significant increase ? Try Mario Bertulli elevator shoes.
Modern men’s hair fashion is the short cut around the head (neck and ears clear) with volume above, Pompadour style. It’s a great way to add height without forcing it.
Discreet insoles for men and women can be ordered here.
Bone lengthening surgery
This is an orthopedic operation and therefore not a natural one, which is why we mention it last. This leg lengthening consists – as its name indicates – in enlarging the lower limbs. It is an expensive operation (several tens of thousands of dollars in the West) and restrictive, since it requires several months of immobilization.
However, it seems to be the only sure way to gain real bone in the legs in adulthood, up to 16 cm of gain. Unfortunately, it is not possible to naturally lengthen the legs once linear growth is complete.
Of course, not all orthopedic surgeons will accept your request for limb lengthening, especially if you have a near-average stature.