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How to Stretch Your Spine to Increase Height

author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.
How to Stretch Your Spine to Increase Height
Elongating the muscles around the spine can help you stand and look tall. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Since you cannot make your bones grow longer with exercise, your best course of action for standing taller is to strengthen your posture muscles and to increase flexibility in your spine. Elongating your spine with stretching exercises will allow you to stand unhindered by tense and tight muscles. This way, you can reach your maximum height. You won't be able to truly grow taller, but you can look taller without resorting to painful surgery, which is the only way to actually make your bones longer.

Intense Side Stretch

Step 1

Stand with your feet together to prepare for the intense side stretch pose, also known as scissor. Breathe out and step your left foot approximately 3 to 4 1/2 feet forward, depending on your height. Turn your right foot out approximately 45 to 60 degrees, but place your left foot to point forward.

Step 2

Straighten both of your knees. Wrap your arms behind your back with your elbows bent to grab your opposite elbows. Pull your shoulders back as well.

Step 3

Lengthen your spine and hinge forward at the waist. Bring your chest and chin toward your left leg. Touch your chin to your shin if you can. Reach your arms straight to the floor and walk your hands toward your toes if you wish. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds as you breathe through your nose. Stretch a little more with each exhalation to lengthen your spine as far as it can go without pain.

Step 4

Stand up slowly and then bring your left foot back next to your right. Step your right foot forward approximately the same distance that your left foot stepped. Wrap your arms behind your back, retract your shoulders and hinge forward as you did on the left side. Hold the pose with the same body position as you assumed before for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position.

Extended Puppy Pose

Step 1

Come onto all fours on the floor to prepare for extended puppy poses, which stretche the spine and shoulders. Position your knees and hands on the floor like the four legs of a rectangular table with your arms and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Align your knees with your hips and your hands with your shoulders.

Step 2

Curl your toes under you. Walk your hands forward a few inches. Shift your hips backwards halfway to your feet while arching your lower back slightly. Keep your hands flat on the floor in the same spot so that you have to stretch your arms, shoulders and back to get your hips back.

Step 3

Rest your forehead on the floor but keep your elbows up. Use a yoga block or folded blanket to rest your forehead on if this is more comfortable. There should be no tension in your neck. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose and try to further lengthen your spine by pushing down into your palms and back with your hips.

Step 4

Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Release the pose by lifting your arms and sitting onto your heels.

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