Why do some individuals who practice Pilates for a while find that they appear taller than before? It is often believed that the foundation of this exercise helps strengthen muscles and improve posture, potentially contributing to an increased height. However, is it true that Pilates can make you taller, or is it merely a myth? Let’s delve into the topic and provide a clear explanation.
Why does pilates help increase height?
Doing pilates can improve flexibility, awareness, and strength, which can lead to a slight increase in the extension of the spine. However, this increase typically amounts to less than a few millimeters in actual height difference. So why do many people claim to feel and appear taller after practicing pilates? The truth is, pilates cannot physically make you taller, but it can help you achieve a taller appearance and sensation in the following ways:
- Pilates can strengthen core muscles, which improves posture.
- Pilates can help build lean muscles and reduce body fat.
- Pilates can address underlying spinal issues that contribute to slouching.
- Pilates can enhance body confidence.
While pilates cannot add height, it can help prevent slouching and reduce the risk of vertebral compression, which may cause a person to appear shorter.
One way that pilates contributes to a lengthened body is by elongating the muscles themselves. Both explosive muscle training and resistance training have been shown to elongate muscle cells, resulting in a leaner and more elongated appearance. Regular practice of pilates can add muscle definition without increasing bulk, as often seen in weight training. Additionally, pilates promotes fat loss, which contributes to a streamlined look throughout the body. The reduction in width across the body can create the illusion of length.
Top 9 pilates exercises to increase your height
- Lie on your back on the carpet.
- Put two hands on your sides.
- Bend your left knee and put it flat on the floor.
- Stretch your right leg up so that it is perpendicular to the floor.
- Rotate your right leg four clockwise and turn counterclockwise.
- Try to make the circle as big as possible while keeping your lower back on the floor.
- Switch to the left leg and repeat.
- Lie on your back.
- Raise both legs as in the picture to create an angle.
- Bend your head up and stretch out your arms as far as possible with your palms down.
- Move your arms up and down when you breathe in for five counts and breathe out for five counts.
- Perform a cycle of 10 full breaths.
- Lie on your stomach with hands held together backward.
- Stiffen abdominal muscles and start raising upper arms, legs, and torso.
- Gently lower yourself down and repeat.
- Lie on your back with arms alongside the body, and your palms should face down on the carpet.
- Slowly raise both legs with two feet bunched upward.
- Continue bending your legs through your head with toes facing the floor.
- Try to keep your toes as close to the floor as you possibly could.
- Maintain this position as long as you possibly can.
- Lie on your back with arms stretched above your head.
- Slowly raise your arms up and then bend your spine up and off the floor.
- Bend to a seated position and continue folding your torso over your legs, making your core tight the whole time.
- Slowly roll back down to the carpet and repeat.
- Begin on a high plank with both hands under your shoulders.
- Take turns to raise one leg off the floor as high as possible but avoid passing your shoulder height.
- Maintain your core, bottom, and quadriceps engaged to prevent rocking your hips.
High plank to pike
- Begin on a high plank with both palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, and legs stretched.
- Push your tailbone up towards the ceiling while you stretch your legs as much as you can.
- Bend your knees if you want to get your heels near the floor.
- Come back to the high plank and repeat.
- Stand straight with a small distance apart and both legs parallel to each other.
- Bend your hips forward until your hands reach your feet or the floor.
- Maintain this position for a couple of seconds.
- Slowly turn back to the starting position and repeat.
Exercise ball stretching
- Place your back to the center of the ball with both arms bunched together and stretched overhead.
- Place your feet on the floor and balance your body.
- Make the most of your foot force, and bring the ball forward.
- Roll back and lift your breast and head out of the ball.
- Maintain this position for 5 seconds and repeat.
What are other health benefits of pilates?
Aside from improving your posture and strengthening your core, doing pilates regularly brings many other benefits. Let’s check them out!
Support weight loss
Pilates is a whole-body fitness exercise that can support weight loss if practiced regularly and coupled with a well-balanced diet. It does not only tone your muscles to give a lean look but also indicates the use of bodyweight and resistance training to burn more calories. Since these might speed up your metabolism, they might help you reduce some unwanted kilos.
Boost flexibility and mobility
Pilates is a combination of strengthening and stretching, which improves flexibility, mobility, and strength. Through the soft progression with steady and careful motions from pilates exercises, pilates would help balance strength and flexibility to maximize mobility.
Pilates makes your circulation move, which triggers up the muscles and spine and makes your body feel good from exercising. Since it is the best low-impact form of exercise that you easily include in your routine. The more you exercise, the more energy you will get. And the more energetic you get, the more you enjoy pilates.
Reduce back pain
Many pilates exercises involve spine lengthening, which supports restoring muscular imbalances by showing proper alignment. This, in turn, reduces back pain because it shows you how to secure your body by using your core instead of tightening your lower back.
Improve body awareness
The ability to concentrate on the sensations in the body and the attention inward help increase your awareness of comfort, your feelings, and your surrounding environment. And with enhanced awareness, your body is able to prevent falls and injuries.
Pilates does not show much real effect on your physical height. Instead, pilates helps improve posture, which can create the look of a taller and longer shape. Also, pilates delivers many health benefits that boost self-confidence and support overall health, not only spinal health.
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