Mountain pose won't make you taller, but this stretch will lengthen your spine and improve your posture.
Scientific research doesn't confirm that stretching exercises can make you taller, but because stretching promotes better posture it might feel like you've increased your height. In addition to creating a lengthier-feeling spine, stretching can reduce the risk of injury, reduce muscle soreness, lubricate your connective tissues and make you feel more relaxed, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. You might not be taller, but you'll feel healthier.
Get the Dynamics Right
Make the most of your stretching by performing the stretches correctly. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests holding stretches for 20 seconds, although you can hold for shorter or longer depending on comfort level. Repeating stretches, with 20-second breaks in between, can be beneficial. Continue to breathe while you stretch, since breathing relaxes your muscles, increases blood flow and helps remove lactic acid. Stretch in the proper order, beginning with the back, sides and buttocks before moving on to the groin, hamstrings and calves. Next, stretch the shins, quadriceps and chest before finishing by stretching your arms.
Relaxing Your Shoulders
You can stretch your shoulders and back by trying an вЂњeagle armsвЂќ yoga pose, making you feel taller. To create eagle arms, extend your right arm in front and then cross the left arm on top, bending in your elbows to press your palms together. Sit up straight and then lift your crossed arms to shoulder height. Another stretching exercise to relax and elongate your shoulders is to stand straight, hinge at your hips and then interlace your fingers behind your back. As you breathe, let your head stretch closer to your knees and bring your interlaced fingers further overhead.
Elongating Through Your Spine
Mountain pose is a simple yoga exercise that stretches your back and lengthens your whole body. Stand straight, pressing your feet into the floor and lifting the top of your head toward the ceiling. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your arm muscles activated and strong. Every time you inhale, press your feet into the floor. On each inhale, lift your head a bit higher. You'll feel your spine lengthening as you complete each breath cycle. Spinal extension is an exercise also known as cobra pose in yoga. Lie on your belly with your legs extended and your palms pressing into the floor. Exhale all of the air out of your body, and then inhale to lift your torso and head. Try to keep most of the upward-lifting motion coming from your back strength rather than putting additional pressure in your palms.
Using Props for Lengthening Muscles
You can lengthen and stretch your hamstrings by sitting on an exercise ball with your left knee bent and your right leg extended, according to the Huffington Post. Place your hands on your hips and then lean forward slightly toward your right toes. Then switch to stretch the other side. The University of California, Los Angeles states that you can also make вЂњwall angelsвЂќ by leaning against a wall, standing straight and bringing your arms to press against the wall at shoulder height. Keeping your elbows bent, press the backs of your hands into the wall and slowly move your arms up and down. Both of these exercises allow your muscles to lengthen, making it more comfortable to stand tall using proper posture.