Physical Exercises to Increase Height
As you age, you can lose a little height. And if you have poor posture to boot, you are going to be looking up at the people you used to have a few inches on. If you'd like regain a little of your former stature there are breathing, stretching and specific postural exercises to help you achieve your goal.
Breathing to Increase Height
Poor fitness habits and a rounded back due to slumping your shoulders forward can impede the natural function of the diaphragm; not to mention make you look inches shorter than you really are. The muscles in your chest and abdomen can shorten and your breathing can become irregular and fast. Perform the deep breathing exercises found in disciplines like yoga, Pilates and tai chi on a regular basis and integrate them into your daily life. Broaden your shoulders, lift your rib cage and breathe slowly and fully through your nostrils.
Stretching to Increase Height
Short, tight muscles need to be lengthened through exercise in order for you to gain height. Stretch your hamstrings, quads, calves, hip flexors, back, chest and neck daily in order to lengthen your muscles. Stuart McGill recommends you hold all stretches for 60 seconds, giving the muscles time to elongate, in his book, "Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance."
Exercising to Increase Height
Focus on exercises that strengthen and lengthen your back and shoulders in order to improve your posture and gain height. Rowing exercises allow you to strengthen your middle back and shoulders, which, in turn, help to keep an upright posture. Try standing cable rows and standing resistance band rows to maximize the results. Perform prone bench flyes by lying face down on an incline bench or an exercise ball, with a of light dumbbell in each hand. Choose a weight that you are able to hold for 12 to 15 repetitions. With the elbows locked, raise your arms out to your sides, in a fly motion. Squeeze the shoulder blades for two seconds, and return to the start position.
Bryan Fass began writing in 2003. His column appears on EMS1.com, Officer.com and he has numerous books on fitness, wellness, injury prevention and human performance, including "The Fit Responder" and "On the Road to Feeling Great." He is a certified/licensed athletic trainer, strength and conditioning specialist, paramedic, speaker and consultant. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in sports medicine from Catawba College.