When I was in grade school, I didn’t worry about my height. Compared to the other kids, I was a beanpole. I was certain I was going to be the tallest guy I knew when I grew up.
I was so wrong.
The problem was that I stopped adding height around age 12. It was like I’d just done all my growing, and that was going to be it, forever. Other guys I knew shot past me. Suddenly, I wasn’t the tallest person I knew—I was the shortest. Heck, I was shorter than a lot of girls.
I remember someone telling me, “Don’t worry, Adam. You still have a few more years left to grow. You’ll probably add a few inches.”
I practically laughed in his face. I wanted to believe him, but I knew in my gut that it wasn’t going to happen.
It didn’t, of course.
For a while, I tried to be okay with my height (or lack thereof). I told myself that it was okay to be short—lots of badass people in every era have been short. Napoleon Bonaparte was only 5′ 7″ after all.
The thing is, Napoleon wasn’t really short—not for his time. Considering the average bloke during that time was around 5’ 2”, he probably looked pretty imposing.
And that’s just it.
As much as we might claim we don’t care about height, as a culture, we do.
The short guy who walks into a meeting at work is less likely to be listened to—or promoted. Later that night if he goes to a bar, he’s more likely to leave alone.
So I got to wondering if there was anything I could do about my short height. Can adults grow taller? Was there some magical stretch or supplement I could try to change my life?
What I found out may surprise you.
What Makes Us Grow Taller When We Are Young?
To understand what you can and cannot do to grow taller as an adult, it is helpful to first understand what makes us grow taller when we are young. During our youths, our bodies manufactures a hormone called “Human Growth Hormone,” or “HGH.” Just as the name implies, HGH helps fuel our growth. As you get older, HGH production starts winding down. Once it bottoms out, you are probably done adding inches to your height.
This process happens more quickly for girls on average than it does for guys. Girls usually reach their full height by age 16 (or younger). Boys might continue adding inches until they are 18 or even 20.
Now, one thing which is important to know about growth is that there are plates called “physes” which are located at the ends of your bones when you are young. Physes are made of cartilage. As you get older, the physes are absorbed by your body.
If however your physes have yet to be absorbed, you might actually still have a shot at adding significant height. That means some people continue to grow taller well into college.
Interestingly enough, some people keep adding height even later in life, because they have a condition referred to as “gigantism.” With gigantism, there is a tumor in the pituitary gland which leads to the development of excess HGH. Usually growth still stalls after age 25 or thereabouts.
Why Are Some Of Us Shorter Than Others?
What makes one kid shoot up like a tall tree while another remains short? The main factor is genetics.
Shortness or tallness runs in families. There’s a good chance that if you are short, there are a lot of other people in your family who are also short. There’s nothing you can do about that.
Another factor is nutrition. You need plenty of vitamin D and calcium to support healthy bones when you are young if you want to grow up to be tall. If you don’t get enough of either or both, you might end up shorter.
Is It Possible to Grow Taller When You Reach Adulthood?
If you’re reading this as an adult now, whether or not anything I have shared above is good news probably depends on your age. If you’re 20 right now, or even 21 or 22, you may be feeling encouraged, since you could still add on some height. But what if you’re 30 or 40? What if you are even older than that?
Well, I am going to be totally honest. Right now, there is no hard, scientific proof that you can add inches onto your height.
That being said, a lot of guys have reported results—and I am one of them. I am going to tell you exactly how I did it. I used a combination of approaches in order to get the results I was looking for.
Start Taking Human Growth Supplements
The biggest secret I discovered to getting taller was to start using a height enhancer— specifically HGH supplements.
Now, I do not actually take HGH injections to get taller. That would be potentially very unhealthy. Instead, but I take is a supplement which contains a combination of herbs, vitamins and minerals which helps to stimulate my body’s production of its own natural HGH.
With your pituitary gland producing more HGH, you give your body the best chance at adding inches to your height. If you are still relatively young, you may even have a shot at a dramatic effect when you take HGH supplements.
What if you are older? At this point, the physes in your body have probably been absorbed. But there is a theory that the cartilage in your spine can still elongate even after this happens. So while your results may not be quite as pronounced, you may still be surprised by how much taller you can get.
I cannot tell you what a big difference this made for me—and I did not start doing this as a young guy still in college. Of course, not all HGH supplements are made equal. A lot of what is on the market right now is just snake oil so you need to do your homework on the company behind any OTC supplement.
So you need to make sure you’re getting good stuff. The product I recommend from my own experience is made by HGH.com. Their Growth Factor+ supplement is all-natural and contains all the nutrition your body needs to grow tall fast. It also has no unnecessary additives, and is manufactured by a pioneer in the industry.
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
While you are taking vitamins to grow taller, there are a number of other simple adjustments you can make to your lifestyle which help to support your body’s production of HGH, helping you achieve the height that you dream of.
Make sure you are eating a healthy, nutritious diet. It should be rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients which your body needs to grow. Stay away from sugars, artificial additives, and other unhealthy ingredients which take a toll on your health and which might potentially stunt your growth.
Moderate your intake of drugs and alcohol. Taken in excessive amounts, these substances can interfere with your growth.
Exercise enough to maintain an ideal weight for your height. If you are very overweight, the extra mass you are carrying around will weigh down on your bones, which in turn may have a compressing effect on your height. Additionally, if you are rounder through the middle, that will create the visual illusion that you are also shorter. If you are thinner, that will add to the impression that you are taller.
Get plenty of sleep. HGH is released during sleep. So if you do not get enough sleep, you may be interfering with your body’s natural ability to manufacture growth hormone. That will do nothing to help you get taller. Resolve to try and get around eight hours of sleep a night, or whatever is ideal for you to function as your best.
The earlier you make these changes, the more you will be able to do to potentially enhance your height. But it is never too late to get healthy and potentially get taller too. So no matter your age, give these lifestyle adjustments a try.
Stretches to Get Taller
Now, there is a chance that you have been walking around with your spine compressed for some time, especially if you are inflexible and have poor posture. Years of bad habits can take their toll, literally reshaping your body.
But that means that if you can lengthen out your spine again into its proper shape, you may appear significantly taller. To do this, there are number of stretching exercises you can try. Here are some of the ones that I have used to get taller.
Cobra. This is a yoga pose. Begin by lying face-down with your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders. Then, start bending your spine up and back to arch your back. Hold this pose for around half a minute, and repeat several times.
Super Stretch. With this stretch, simply sit or stand upright, and then raise your arms up straight over your head toward the ceiling. Stretch them directly upwards (not at an angle). Hold it for a few seconds, making sure that you feel the stretch clear down through your back, not just in your arms. Repeat it a few times, like all the other stretches you do.
Vertical Bar Hanging. This is exactly what it sounds like. Grab hold of a pull-up bar, and simply hang from it. You do not need to do anything else, but if you want, you can try to stretch your feet toward the ground.
Pilates Roll-Over. Lie down on your back, keeping your arms at your sides. Lift up your legs, and then try to maneuver them back and over your head so that your toes touch the ground on the other side.
Touch Your Toes. Start by standing, and then bend over at the waist and reach for your toes. If you have a hard time with this stretch, the best thing to do is just hang. Let gravity do the work for you. Gradually you will get to the point where you can reach your feet, or even put your palms flat on the ground.
Forward Spine Stretch. This is the same as the stretch above, except you do it sitting on the floor instead of standing up.
Ankle-Weights. Try attaching weights to your ankles. Lift your legs and let gravity stretch them. You could also do this while hanging from a bar.
Along with these stretches, there are other exercises you can also do to potentially increase your height.
Skipping rope is popular, as is swimming. I stuck mainly to stretching. Combined with the action from the HGH supplements I was taking and the changes I was making to my lifestyle, I was able to tack on a couple of inches this way!
Posture and Alignment
While you are stretching to elongate your spine, you should also take steps to improve the alignment of your spine as well as your posture. If you think your spine alignment may be really off, consider seeing a chiropractor to get it straightened out.
As to posture, you might be surprised that a seemingly small thing can make a huge difference—but it can. If you have a tendency to hunch over, learn how to stand with your back straight and your shoulders pushed back ever so slightly. Visualize a string running through your spine up toward the sky, pulling your body upright.
If you learn good posture, people will notice. Not only does it make you look taller, but it communicates self-respect. This makes it more likely other people will treat you with respect as well.
Style Choices to Enhance Height
Finally, never underestimate what you can do to appear taller through simple changes in fashion. Wear black instead of white, and stick with vertical stripes in lieu of horizontal ones. Wear shoes with a slight platform. Keep your hair short.
It Takes Time and Commitment to Increase Height, But You Can Do It
Now you know how to get taller fast by combining the best supplements, exercises and lifestyle changes! Note that this is not going to happen overnight, and if you don’t stick with your new regimen, you are not going to be successful. Commit to doing this for at least a few months before you judge the results, preferably a year.
It does require effort and dedication, but when you see those extra centimeters, it will all be worth it!
And when other people see your increased confidence, you might finally start getting the respect and recognition you deserve.