The spine is responsible for much of your height. Anatomical drawings show that, right after your legs, it is your spine that affects whether you are short, medium or tall. Fortunately, you can shape your spine with exercises and prevention. Check out the exercises you should do on your own to straighten and stretch your spine and grow taller.
Why is the spine so important?
The spine is the part of the skeleton that supports the entire upper body and serves as a shield for the spinal cord. The human spine (with the spinal cord running inside) consists of 33-34 vertebrae, separated by intervertebral discs. Proper posture while standing and sitting improves spinal health and helps increase or maintain current height. With a straight and unbent back, you gain about 1-2 cm in height in an instant. A journalist told the Daily Mail how she stretched her spine by over 4 cm using Pilates, the Alexander technique and a visit to the chiropractor! It’s something to fight for 🙂
What spinal stretching exercises for kids and teens?
If you are a child, teenager or about to finish your growth stage, the following recommendations will be for you. They are mainly advice on prevention and simple exercises. Provided you apply them systematically, you can achieve a lot with their help. If you suffer from back pain or have any spinal problems at an early age, see a doctor.
1. Hanging on a bar
Bar hanging, is an effective exercise that causes spinal decompression. You can perform it by simply hanging with your hands touching the bar or by using arm/leg hooks. The hooks make it easier to persevere in the hang position longer, so it’s a good idea to use them.
It is best to hang classically with your head up, as you will find it difficult to hold upside down. Additionally, this type of position is unnatural for our body, and it can be dangerous if used for a long time. A few minutes seems to be safe for most healthy people.
Another device is the inversion table. This device is safer because you control the angle of incline and can quickly return to a normal position.
Caution People with heart disease and high blood pressure, eye disease, or who are pregnant are at increased risk for the dangers of inverting the body upside down. They should consult their doctor. Others should perform the exercise alongside another person the first time.
Swimming is a classic sport recommended for children, teenagers and people of all ages.
Every hour in the pool will help you build sturdy muscles and release your body from the force of gravity during daily sitting, standing etc. Swimming strengthens your respiratory system and engages most of your muscles, including the back muscles that support your spine. This is an effective way to get rid of back pain caused by sitting in front of a computer, for example.
3. Don’t hunch over! Keep a straight back.
Keeping a straight back by children and adolescents, promotes a taller height. Conscious posture while standing and sitting maintains proper posture and further strengthens muscles by releasing intervertebral discs from unnecessary pressure. This will improve and build strong back muscles to support the spine. Strong muscles free the spine from pressure and eliminate compression of the entire spine. Additionally, you will develop lifelong habits of maintaining a straight posture while standing, sitting and lying down.
4. Don’t carry heavy things!
Stop carrying heavy loads on your back (especially backpacks). Carry your backpack straight, on both straps. Any curvature will cause you to lose height. If you go to the gym, don’t strain yourself with too much weight. You are still young and need to choose your weights individually. You can make up for it with proper technique to get better results. Don’t do what all your peers do. This is not a competition, and you are far from Burnejka or Saker.
5. Individual exercises to straighten the spine
Depending on the condition of the spine and the bending, different exercises are used. Mostly because of the sedentary lifestyle, people have the spine bent forward. Then backward bending exercises are used, including the cobra pose from yoga. Sitting side twists also work well. First thing in the morning, when the spine is relaxed. The right exercises for you will be those recommended by your doctor – a physiotherapist after examining your spine and determining which way it is tilted. It is possible that the lumbar part looks good, and you need to stretch only the thoracic and cervical parts. There are no universal exercises if you don’t know which way the deviation is. Therefore, if you suspect you have spinal curvature or just want to get checked out, benefit from seeing a physiotherapist.