Lifting weights has been shown to increase bone mineral density, boost hormone production, build muscle, and improve posture
But, can lifting weights make you taller too?
Lifting weights will not make you taller, as your height is greatly determined by genetics. That said, lifting weights, among other factors, can have a positive effect on height, especially during adolescence and as you age.
When you lift heavy weights, you increase hormone production and bone density, both of which can help you build more muscle, potentially improve posture, and help develop and maintain denser, stronger, and healthier bones.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:
- Does lifting weights make you taller?
- 6 factors that can affect your height
- How to stand taller by lifting weights
Does Lifting Weights Make You Taller?
No research has been produced to show that lifting weights will make you taller as the vast majority of your height is pre-determined based on your genetics.
In addition to genetics, nutrition, sleep, and hormonal production are all key factors that can impact normal growth of muscle tissues and bones during childhood, adolescence, and adult life.
Working out can help you improve your bone density, improve your posture, and help you resist many of the negative side effects of aging, which indirectly could help you maintain or achieve your height limits based on your genetic profile.
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6 Factors That Affect Your Height
While there has been little to no research showing that you can manipulate your height through exercise, the below factors all affect height to some extent.
Your height, while almost entirely determined by your genetics, can be negatively impacted by poor nutrition, sleep, and posture, which when addressed, especially during adolescence and young adulthood, could help you reach your full genetic potential.
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Let’s dive deeper into each of the factors that can impact your height potential:
Genetics plays the biggest role in determining how tall you are, making manipulating your height through lifting weights (or doing anything else) not possible.
Some factors, such as the knees below, can have an impact on your growth potential (to meet your genetic ceiling), with the most impactful time being during adolescence and young adulthood (early 20s).
Nutrition is a key component of optimal growth, with it being of high importance for children during their most formative years.
Balanced diets delivering enough calories, vitamins, minerals, protein, and calcium are all vital to ensuring optimal growth during adolescence and early adulthood.
Sleep is one of the biggest growth factors for children and adults.
While we sleep, the body produces hormones and repairs the body from the stress it is placed under.
Additionally, during adolescence and young adulthood hormone production is highly dependent on sleep, making sleep a critical aspect of optimal bone and tissue development.
The key hormones involved in bone and tissue growth are human growth hormone (HGH), sex homones (testosterone and/or estrogetn), and thyroid hormones.
All of these, when performing optimally, can signal bone growth and tissue generation (muscle and connective tissues), primarily during puberty and young adulthood.
Exercise and lifting weights can also help keep HGH and testosterone levels elevated, even as a young to middle aged adult when proper nutrition and sleep are delivered to the body.
Lifting weights may help you stand taller.
Performing corrective exercises and flexibility training can help to increase joint and muscle tissue range of motion.
For example, tight chest muscles or poor posture from a desk job can lead to your shoulders being rolled forward and a rounded upper back.
Similarly, tight hips can pull your pelvis into an anterior tilt, which can lead to lower back pain and failure to fully extend the hips.
Those are just two examples of how poor posture and flexibility can limit you from being able to fully express your height potential.
Numerous studies over the years have concluded that resistance training and aerobic exercise has the ability to increase bone density and help slow down bone loss due to aging.
Some studies have further shown that traditional weight training can have a more profound effect on bone density than aerobic exercise, making weight lifting a great form of exercise to maximize bone growth, slow down muscle atrophy and bone loss due to aging, and keep you functional as you get older.
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How to Stand Taller with Lifting Weights
If you are looking to maximize your height potential the best you can through increasing bone density, muscle growth, and posture, you want to make sure to include compound exercises, posture techniques, and flexibility training in your program.
Compound exercises like back squat, overhead presses, and deadlifts all increase spinal loading, which can help increase bone density and growth. Additionally, these movements tend to be associated with heavier forms of lifting, which can help stimulate muscle growth and hormonal adaptations.
Posture training techniques can help restore your body after strenuous training and address common posture issues seen in today’s work and life environments. Making sure to address joint and posture issues of the hips, lower back, upper spine, shoulders, and neck all can keep you pain free, training hard, and help you stand taller.
Lastly, making sure to increase and/or maintain our flexibility can further improve your posture and performance, all while staying pain free.
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Your height is almost entirely pre-determined at birth by your genetic profile, however there are some factors that can help you reach your full height potential.
Making sure to live an active lifestyle that incorporates weight training (spinal loading) can help you increase bone density, improve hormonal output, and enhance muscle growth.
Additionally, focusing on eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can aid in your efforts to reach your full height potential.
About The Author
Mike holds a Master’s in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), USA Weightlifting Advanced Coach, and has over 10+ years of experience working with collegiate athletes, national level lifters, and beginners alike. Mike is Founder of J2FIT Strength and Conditioning, a growing global training company with gyms in New York City, Cincinnati, and online offering personal training, online custom coaching programs.