Squats are a fundamental compound exercise in weight training that targets multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, core, and legs. They are well-known for their ability to build muscle, burn fat, and improve bone and leg strength. However, there is a widespread misconception that squats can make you shorter.
The notion that squats can reduce height is indeed a myth. Squatting does not compress or shrink the spine, which is the primary factor influencing one’s height. In reality, squats can actually have a positive impact on posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. This can result in improved alignment and the appearance of a taller stature.
To gain a more comprehensive understanding of this topic, let’s explore it in greater detail.
Do squats stunt height growth?
The idea that squats can make you shorter or cause long-term shrinkage is false. However, when performing squats with weight, there is a temporary compression of the spinal discs known as “spinal shrinkage,” which may lead to a minor height decrease (around 3-4mm) during the squatting session . It’s important to understand that this height loss is only temporary, and your spine will return to its normal length within an hour.
Concerns about squatting affecting the growth of young teens exist due to the belief that heavy weights during adolescence can exert pressure on the growth plates, which are active areas near the ends of a child’s bones. Injury to these growth plates could potentially result in shorter or misaligned bones. However, experts suggest that growth plates typically fuse between the ages of 14 and 19 in boys, and around age 16 in girls. Therefore, if you are older than this age range, squats are unlikely to stunt your growth.
It’s important to note that there are no documented cases of children damaging their growth plates from properly performed weightlifting. However, it’s crucial to maintain proper form, have appropriate supervision, and avoid using weights that are too heavy to minimize the risk of growth plate injuries.
What are the best types of squats for height?
Squatting in a proper form can result in an improvement in posture by increasing back muscles that support the spine. Besides, doing squats helps to increase testosterone production and other growth hormones that support vertical growth.
And here are some of the best types of squats that you should try to increase your height.
Basic squat helps strengthen the conditioning of muscles and joints of the lower body in order to boost height.
- Start with a normal standing position.
- Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Raise your arms in front of you.
- Pause your knees over and feel the squat in your thighs and glutes.
- Exhale and turn back to the starting position.
This is one of the best ways to improve height because jump squats support the conditioning of the joints or muscles of the lower body.
- Start with a standing position.
- Lower yourself in a squat position with your hip-width apart.
- Explode upwards powerfully by pushing through heels. Make sure to expand your legs.
- Land in the squat and repeat.
Side deep squat
Side deep squat is a combination of basic squats and jump squats. This exercise helps strengthen your legs, outer thighs, and glutes for strong legs and a toned lower body.
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- With your right foot, take a wide step out to the right and bend your knees.
- When straightening the legs, step your right foot back in.
- Repeat on the left side.
By activating muscle groups all over the lower body, including hamstring, calves, glutes, quadriceps, hip flexors, and lower-back muscles, doing sumo squat helps put less stress and maintain a more upright posture.
- Put your feet wider than hip-width apart.
- Lower yourself in a squat position with your knees tracking over your toes.
- Bring your arms up above while keeping your upper body upright.
- Raise back up to a standing position and repeat.
Not only does this type work on the lower body but also the core and the upper body. It engages and shapes up the muscles of the back, core, forearms, and even the upper back and shoulders.
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart with toes slightly turned out.
- Hold a dumbbell in front of your chest.
- Keep your weight in your heels, bend your knees and lower your bottom back and down, like you are about to sit in a chair.
- When you lower, try engaging your core by pulling your weight back through your hips. Make sure your shoulders do not round.
- As your thighs are parallel with the floor, pause a bit.
- Drive through your heels to turn back to the starting position.
The key to improving posture is to have a strong core, and doing front squats supports this. By putting the bar on your shoulders, you can activate the upper back muscles without compressing the spine.
- Safely load a barbell or two dumbbells on your front side, resting it on your shoulders.
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, with toes turned out slightly.
- Keep your weight in your heels, bend your knees, drop your bottom toward the floor, like you are about to sit in a chair.
- Engage your core, pull your weight back through your hips without moving your shoulder as you lower.
- Pause a second when your thighs are parallel with the floor.
- Finally, push back to the starting position and repeat.
What to consider when squatting for height increase?
Know the basics
Make sure you know the fundamentals before starting. It is advised to speak with a certified professional or watch the ultimate squat guide online.
Take it slow
You should not perform hard at first. Remember that you need time to do it and push yourself gradually. Once again, focusing on the proper form is a must. Or injury might happen.
At first, you should start 3 or 4 times per week and train for at least 5 minutes. Then increase the frequency about 5 or 6 times per week.
Taking a rest in-between sets is necessary to relax the spinal discs. Avoid overusing them, or it makes them slowly lose height.
Have a healthy lifestyle
Aside from squatting regularly, you should do other exercises, like yoga, cycling, walking, or swimming, to support your posture and make you look taller. Always keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water to support your spinal discs to retain fluid during the day. Eating a wholesome diet with more protein and calcium is necessary to boost the effects.
Other benefits of squats for health
While squatting, your body burns more calories than usual, allowing you to get a slimmer stature faster. Even when you are already at rest, your body needs higher amounts of oxygen to cool down and burn calories.
Support balance and mobility
As you age, strong legs are necessary for staying mobile, and that is where squats come in. Not only do they support leg strength but also your cores to stabilize muscles. These muscles play a vital role in maintaining balance while improving the communication between your muscle groups and your brain, thereby preventing falls.
Your muscles, ligaments, and tendons become less elastic with age, so you need to slow down this process by squatting. By bending and stretching your leg muscles while squatting, you will be more flexible and limber.
Squats help strengthen not only the muscles in your lower body but also your bones, tendons, and ligaments, which might lower the risk of injury.
Be versatile and convenient
There are many ways to alter squats to challenge your body and change up the muscular demand. You can choose a different squat for every day of the week, and this keeps your muscles challenged and prevents boredom.
You do not need any equipment while squatting. Everything you need is your body and enough space to lower your hips into a squatting position.
The notion that squats can make you shorter is untrue, although they do result in temporary spinal compression of a few millimeters for about an hour. Fortunately, the intervertebral discs quickly return to their normal shape. Squatting offers numerous benefits for individuals of all ages. However, it is important to approach this exercise with caution and prioritize proper form and technique.
For parents whose children show an interest in squats or for adults considering incorporating them into their fitness routine, it is always advisable to consult a healthcare provider. Seeking guidance and support from a professional can help ensure safe and effective execution of squats, taking into account individual capabilities and potential considerations.
- Related post: Can Pull-Ups Make You Taller?
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