Does Swimming Make You Taller?

November 9, 2022 | By NuBest
Like basketball players, swimmers are known as one of the tallest athletes on the planet, and swimming is one of the best forms of exercise with many benefits. But does swimming make you taller? Take a look at today’s article and get the answer!

Does swimming increase height?

The short answer is no. But it can give the look of being lengthened, which most people mistake for growth. Any stretching and extension during swimming are temporary and might not be clear in the long run.

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that engages the whole body. And since the muscles need to stretch out to fight the water, they can extend or grow. Also, swimming lowers the force of gravity on the spine, allowing it to relax and delivering the appearance of increased height.

Engaging in swimming or any physical activities is a good way to stimulate growth hormone production, which is necessary for growing body tissues and bones. But only swimming cannot help you gain height. You, of course, need to combine this exercise with a well-balanced diet and proper sleep to support your height.

Unluckily, although swimming tends to stretch the body, there is no strong proof that swimming frequently might make you taller.

So, why are swimmers so tall?

The truth is that most swimmers are tall because their heights are generally influenced by their parents and ancestors, which is called genetics. And since they have long bodies, they can cover large distances in a short time. Moreover, their big toes and hands help them cut through the water easily and swim through the water quickly.

If tall swimmers can take full advantage of their height to swim better, can shorter people be good swimmers?

Yes, even if you are on the shorter end of things, you can be a good swimmer, though it might take more than just height. Such would include constant practice, a healthy lifestyle, determination, and resilience. And it is crucial to understand that being shorter should not scare you from pursuing this amazing exercise.

Does swimming make you taller if you are younger?

If you have attained your maximum height during puberty, swimming cannot help you gain any height. But you might wonder if it can help you add a couple of inches if you are younger.

The answer is still no because growth is mainly determined by genetics. But there is a belief that swimming, just like nutrition and other forms of exercise, may support growth. So, if you are younger and your growth plates are not fully close, swimming regularly could extend your body and make you grow a bit taller.

But when is the best time to start swimming?

Although studies point out that the best time for a kid to start learning basics is between the age of 1 and 4, infants aged 6 months to 3 years can start enjoying and getting acclimated to the water [1]. If your kid is older than 4, do not worry because it is never too late to learn. The most successful Olympic swimmer of all time, Michael Phelps, did not learn to swim until he reached 7.

Which is the best swimming stroke for height gain?

Front crawl

This stroke aims at your chest, abs, triceps, thighs, and upper back muscles. It is known as the quickest and most practical one for longer workouts, becoming the first choice for calorie burning and weight control. Also, stretching your body means you are moving your muscles, which is necessary for joint mobility and muscle flexibility.

Frog swimming

This style requires you to kick your legs a lot back so that your body slides forward. This also makes the muscles in your legs stretch after each movement. But remember to combine with a long forward stride to promote the length of the spine and lengthen some other parts of the body.

Butterfly

You need to focus on your arms, shoulders, chest, core, back, and legs at the same time while carrying out this stroke. Since it is one of the challenging ones, it asks for more endurance and strength. But once you are proficient, your height will be increased well since the butterfly stroke makes your body flexible and lengthened.

Backstroke

Backstroke is considered a good choice since it adapts the opposing muscles and helps them develop on the front and back equally. Stroking the arms backward is also helpful in decompressing the spine, thereby extending the upper body effectively.

Breaststroke

If you need a short yet challenging workout for height increase, breaststroke is an excellent pick. That is because it stretches your shoulders, chest, triceps, upper back, legs, and butt, thereby making your whole body lengthen.

When is the best time to swim?

Most claim that swimming in the morning is the best time of day, but the truth is that you can enjoy swimming at any time of day.

If you are a morning person, hit the pool in the morning to get energized and boost testosterone levels. Besides, swimming early in the evening is proven the best time to work out since your muscles are at peak performance to work out effectively.

How often should you swim?

Spending about 30 minutes to an hour two to three times a week will be perfect.

How to optimize your height growth?

Sleep well

Getting enough sleep is vital for your body’s growth, and it also stimulates the production of growth hormones. These hormones are necessary for speeding up bone mass and repairing tissues and cells in the body. It is suggested that 8 hours of sleep is a good amount, but more sleep might be necessary at certain ages [2].

  • 0 – 3 months: 14 – 17 hours

  • 4 – 12 months: 12 – 16 hours

  • 1 – 2 years: 11 – 14 hours

  • 3 – 5 years: 10 – 13 hours

  • 6 – 12 years: 9 -12 hours

  • 13 – 18 years: 8 -10 hours

  • 18+ years: 7 – 9 hours

Try to sleep enough hours and do not skip a night’s sleep because this might hurt height growth in the long run.

Have a healthy nutrition plan

If you want to reach your genetic height potential, following proper nutrition is a must.

Firstly, make sure to consume enough healthy calories. Secondly, eat healthy nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin C, and calcium from fresh fruits and vegetables, which are necessary for making you taller and healthier. Furthermore, protein plays a fundamental role in promoting bone health and growth. It is suggested to take at least 20 grams of protein from good sources, like poultry, lean meats, eggs, dairy products, soy, and legumes.

Get regular exercise

Exercise in itself is a good thing to contribute to a healthy lifestyle, which is necessary to optimize your genetic growth potential. Also, if you are doing outdoor exercises, like swimming or playing basketball, it is a good way to synthesize vitamin D from the sun.

Do not skip yoga

Practicing yoga regularly also helps align your body, heighten your muscles, and support your posture, which all contribute to height increase. But do you know that the great thing about yoga is that you can do it at home using YouTube? Try common yet effective yoga poses to improve your vertical look, like the cobra pose, child’s pose, warrior pose, and mountain pose.

Wrapping up

Swimming is a great way to exercise because it aims at most muscles and all parts of the body. Also, the risks of injury are minimal. But there is no scientific proof when it comes to height increase by swimming. It has been said that this sport can extend your body, giving an illusion of growing taller. Generally speaking, if you swim regularly, it can help you relax as well as make you grow strong and healthy

(*) All pictures shown are for illustration purpose only.
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THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS FOR REFERENCE ONLY and shall not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or starting any medication or treatment without discussing it with a qualified health professional.