While most adults generally retain the maximum height they achieve after puberty, some people want to increase their height even more through the use of stretching exercises. A person’s height is determined by a number of factors, such as family genetics, according to KidsHealth.org. By engaging in regular stretching exercises, such as yoga postures, you can exercise and elongate your spine to its full potential while reversing the ill effects of poor posture.
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When it comes to becoming taller naturally and reaching your full potential in inches, a proper diet may play a crucial role in stimulating the growth of bones and muscle tissues most particularly in those who are still growing. According to a study cited in the "Journal of Nutrition," children and adolescents who were recovering from shigellosis and fed a high-protein diet during critical growth stages exhibited consistently taller heights compared to children who ate low-protein diets. Address your diet and alter it to maximize the lean protein, essential nutrients, and minerals found in foods such as whole grains, dark leafy greens and fish.
Basic Stretching: The Dead Hang
The dead hang is a very simple at-home stretch that requires a chin-up bar or other sturdy horizontal surface that you can hang from. Grip the bar with your hands roughly shoulder-width apart, keep your palms facing away from you, and slowly bend your knees until your feet are off the ground. Allow your arms to fully extend so that your shoulder and elbow flexors are fully stretched, creating a tight lengthening sensation in your spine as you allow gravity to slowly elongate your spine and back muscles. Hold the position for 1 to 3 minutes as needed before allowing your feet to return to the floor. This stretch can be particularly effective for people with poor posture and can increase height by 1 to 2 inches with regular practice.
Yoga Stretching: Sasangasana
The rabbit pose, called sasangasana in Sanskrit, is a particularly effective yoga pose for stretching the spine and can be performed by the yoga beginner. Bikram’s Yoga College of India recommends this posture for everything from relieving tension in the neck and shoulders to creating a maximum extension of the spine. Begin this posture by kneeling on your yoga mat with your knees next to each other and your back erect. Allow your butt to rest just above your feet as you reach back and grab each heel with its corresponding hand. Tuck your chin to your chest so that you effectively create a “double chin” impression and slowly roll forward so that your back arches as your head slowly lowers to touch your knees. Stretch your spine upward to the ceiling and curl in your forehead as high on your thighs as possible and hold this position for 30 to 90 seconds.
Safety Concerns and Considerations
While most spine stretches you will encounter are relatively harmless and easy to perform, there may be complications if your spine is currently disfigured or you have scoliosis. Talk to your doctor or chiropractor about your plans to grow taller through nutritional and stretching regimens and make sure you are fit and healthy enough to do them.