I got a question from one of my readers asking if “lifting weights will make me short”?
This is an interesting question because growing up, I was told to not lift weights because it would make me short. In fact, I was told to “play basketball” if I want to grow up tall.
And, not to play soccer either, since that’ll also make me short.
Of course, this is just idiotic and stupid.
Playing basketball doesn’t make you tall – It just happens that TALL people play basketball.
And playing soccer doesn’t make you short either — it just happens that “shorter” people tend to play soccer.
And similar to lifting weights, most “muscular” people are shorter simply because they don’t need to gain as much muscle to look big… Versus someone like me who is 6’3”, I need to gain a lot of muscle to fill out my large frame.
So it’s a lot more work for me.
However, certain exercises can cause damage to your spine, not allowing you to get as tall as you could. Additionally, some exercises CAN actually improve your height, make your shoulders and rib cage bigger, if you do them during puberty and up to the age of maybe 21-23 or so.
And I’ll get to the exercises in a minute.
The Secret To Getting Taller
However, genetics aside, the secret to getting taller is to lower your estrogen and increase your testosterone and GH/IGF levels at the same time.
You see, estrogen fuses the end of the bones and thus, prevents them from growing. This is why girls are actually taller than boys when everyone first starts puberty …
But after about a year or two of puberty, once estrogen shoots up, the ends of the bones “fuse” and growth and height slows down dramatically.
Yet, the boys keep getting taller and taller, slowly… because they don’t have as much estrogen and have higher testosterone.
And when you have a lot more growth hormone and IGF, your bones will keep growing because the ends haven’t “fused” yet because of the high estrogen.
And this is why women who typically have naturally big breasts, are shorter. While taller women generally have smaller breasts — again, due to estrogen.
And you’ve probably heard the saying about guys who are “short, fat, bald, and hairy”.
Well, the “short and fat” is due to higher estrogen, and the “bald and hairy” is due to higher DHT levels.
And in both of these cases, these men also have LOWER testosterone levels.
However, all of this only matters if you’re under the age of 23 and are still going through puberty.
And yes, genetics does play the biggest role here – however, if done correctly, you can “naturally” grow an extra 2-4 inches or more.
And yes, I’ve seen this happen many times.
Which Exercises Make You Shorter?
Now, regarding the exercises that can potentially keep you shorter — don’t do anything that compresses the spine.
This means no squats, overhead presses, deadlifts, shrugs, and similar exercises.
Instead, focus on doing pull-ups and “chins”. Not machine pull-downs. You want to pull yourself up and at the bottom, hang for 2 seconds.
This makes your shoulders wider by stretching out your scapula and decompressing your spine, which will help accelerate the growth of your nerves, CNS, and bone growth.
Of course, there are diet factors as well, but that’s for another article.
Just do your best to eat as naturally as possible and eliminate any foods that can increase your estrogen and decrease your testosterone.
If you want more information on increasing testosterone and decreasing estrogen, watch a special video about this topic.