Does Swimming Make You Taller or Shorter? Facts vs Myths

Tall people tend to attract lots of praise and success. On the other hand, short people tend to get tons of ridicule and embarrassment. It’s no wonder why those who are not blessed with an impressive stature look for all kinds of ways to add a few inches to their height.

Fortunately for short people who are sick and tired of being mocked and not having a lot of success as tall people do, there are various natural ways that are proven effective for height increase.

One of those that seems to be mentioned frequently is swimming. While some people say that swimming can help increase height, some believe that it may stunt growth as it involves intense training, which could stunt growth.

So, does swimming make you taller or shorter? Swimming makes a person taller, and it can be due to various things. It reduces the shortening effect of gravity on the spine. The popular sport is also a full-body workout, which can help stimulate growth. Because swimming is best paired with healthy eating and lifestyle, height increase is possible.

Olympic medalists in swimming are known for their record-breaking speed in the water. Also, they are known for their great physique, which is what everybody refers to as a swimmer’s body.

It is fairly easy to tell apart a swimmer’s body from any other body type because it’s long and lean, which is what a lot of people would want to look like.

If you are not happy with your height and you want to have a swimmer’s body, then swimming is a sport that you should consider engaging in. Keep on reading if you want to know more about how swimming can make you taller.

Especially if you have family and friends who are looking for ways to grow taller, kindly share this article on your various social media sites later on so that they, too, may learn why swimming can be beneficial for them.

Being Tall is Advantageous for Swimmers

There are different types of sports in which tall people tend to excel in naturally. One of them is basketball. In the National Basketball Association or NBA, the average height of players these days is 6 feet and 7 inches. Because that is just the average height, it means that some NBA players are taller than that.

Aside from basketball, swimming is another sport which is dominated by tall people. You might doubt this because, unlike in basketball, there’s not a lot of jumping required in swimming. Well, take a look at the following table :

NameOlympic Medals WonHeight
Matt Grevers66″9′
Matt Biondi116″7′
Nathan Adrian36″6′
Michael Phelps226″4′
Tom Jager56″4′

These people are all male swimmers. But they’re not just any swimmer — they’re Olympic swimmers with multiple Olympic medals! And as you can see from the chart above, they are all tall.

Because they are tall, it doesn’t really come as a surprise why they are very good at swimming.

People who are long and lean are physically designed to be able to move quickly through the water. Their long arms and large hands serve as oars that enable them to push lots of water to propel themselves forward.

On the other hand, their long legs and massive feet serve as fins that make it possible for tall people to swim faster without the need to kick a lot.

In short, tall people are efficient swimmers. It’s no wonder why a lot of the best Olympic swimmers, such as those that were included in the chart above, are taller than everybody else. However, being tall is not enough to make them incredible swimmers. They also have to be very good at swimming itself.

Swimmers Because Tall vs. Tall Because Swimmers

Above, we established the fact that tall people make excellent swimmers. It’s because they have just about everything that will allow them to move faster in water.

However, we also made it clear that excellent swimmers won Olympic medals not just because they are tall, but also because they worked really hard to excel in the sport.

Perhaps you have heard or read about the fact that engaging in sports can promote height increase. This is especially true for teenagers who are still undergoing growth spurts.

This may be why you can’t help but wonder if swimmers are swimmers because they are tall people, or swimmers are tall people because they are swimmers.

You are reading this article because you may not be completely happy with your height, and the idea that swimmers are tall because of swimming can be quite interesting. Well, it is very much possible that the reason why some swimmers are tall is that because it’s the effect of swimming on their bodies.

According to health experts, engaging in sports can help boost height increase. That’s because it is a full-body workout, which means that it engages almost all the bones and muscles of the body.

While growing, it’s important for the body to be supplied with all the nutrients that it needs to maximize one’s growth potential.

However, no amount of workout can maximize the growth potential if the body is not supplied with the nutrients essential for height increase. This is the reason why regular exercise is best paired with healthy eating.

Going back to working out as being good for promoting height increase, it’s for this reason exactly why kids who love to engage in sports tend to be taller compared to their family and friends who are of the same age.

It is also because of this why many of the tallest athletes whose names you can think of are saying that they were very young when they started to engage in their respective sports. Clearly, there is a link between participating in sports and being tall.

Intense Athletic Training May Stunt Growth

This doesn’t mean, however, that engaging in sports at a young age can make a child grow up to be a tall person. It’s important to note that playing sports excessively can also delay growth or keep one’s growth potential from being reached. In other words, sports may also keep a person from growing tall.

Are you wondering why it seems like there are no tall gymnasts? Well, you’re not the only one who’s thinking about it. The fact is that there are not a lot of tall people who are involved with gymnastics. Just check out this table:

NameOlympic Medals WonHeight
Nadia Comaneci95″4′
Larisa Latynina185″3′
Simona Amanar75″2′
Aly Raisman65″2′
Simone Biles54″8′

If you think the last entry in the table above is short, think again.

Simone Biles is not the shortest gymnast there is. She has an alternate in Team USA, and she’s none other than Ragan Smith, who stands 4 feet and 6 inches only.

But wait — someone else is shorter than her. Flavia Saravia, a gymnast from Brazil, is only 4 feet and 3 inches tall! The only reason why both Smith and Saravia are not included in the table above is that they have no Olympic medals.

Many people believe that it’s the intensive training associated with gymnastics why there are no tall gymnasts out there. This is true, especially because most professional gymnasts started to engage in the sport when they were just kids.

Just like what was mentioned earlier in this article, intensive training that young athletes need to go through may stunt growth. It’s because too much training can be stressful to the body, which can cause all kinds of unfavorable effects on physical development.

Due to this, athletes may fail to reach their maximum height potential. There is no point in having a healthy diet, which athletes need to have to excel in their chosen sports, to have the body supplied with nutrients important for growth if it’s being exposed to a lot of stress, which comes in the form of intensive training.

So if you are thinking about getting into sports to add a few inches to your height, make sure that you train for it in moderation only. This is to avoid harming your body and overall health, too.

Why Swimming Can Help You Become a Taller Person

Going back to swimming, we already made it clear that it can make you taller. There are many other sports out there that can promote height increase, too.

However, swimming is the most promising of the bunch, and a lot of people will agree that it’s true. There are a few reasons why swimming is the sport to go for if you want to increase your height.

One of the main reasons why swimming is very good for people who wish to grow taller is that it reduces the impact of gravity on the body. Particularly, swimming minimizes the effect of gravity on your spine.

Your spine is made up of a total of 33 bones. Some of them are fused together, in particular the bones that make up the lowest portions of the spine — the sacral region and the coccygeal region. The coccygeal region, by the way, is what everybody calls the tailbone.

Between the bones of the spine, there are spinal discs. Also, sometimes referred to as intervertebral discs, these are rounded structures that contain a gel-like substance.

The spinal discs are tasked with serving as shock absorbers, allowing the bones of the spine to move without causing them to rub against each other.

Because the spinal discs are filled with a gel-like substance, they can shrink in size. One of the things that can leave the spinal discs compressed is gravity.

Each time you are standing or sitting, gravity is causing the bones of your spine to move towards the ground. This causes the spinal discs to become squashed.

As a result of such, your spine becomes shorter than usual, thus causing you to become a shorter person. The longer you spend time standing or sitting, the shorter your spine becomes due to the action of gravity.

When you are in the water, such as when you are swimming, the effect of gravity on your body is greatly diminished. It’s for this reason why people weigh less in water. Are you having a difficult time lifting a family or friend on dry land?

You are not going to have a hard time doing so if both of you are in a swimming pool. This is just proof that being submerged in water makes gravity almost powerless over your body.

And this is exactly the reason why swimming is a sport that can make you a taller person, especially if you engage in it long enough.

Gaining Up to a Couple of Inches is a Possibility

Since swimming helps reduce the impact of gravity on the spinal discs in between the bones of your spine, it’s a sport that can help you grow taller.

As a matter of fact, any other physical activity that helps save the body from the effects of gravity on it can make it possible for you to add a few inches to your height.

Take, for example, astronauts: did you know that when they get back to the ground after spending some time in outer space, they are taller than usual?

As a matter of fact, they could end up being over three inches taller! In outer space, there is absolutely no gravity.

Spending a few days up there inside and outside their rocket ships allows their spinal discs to expand, thus causing the entire spine to elongate. This lengthening of the spine causes astronauts to grow taller.

Unfortunately, once they return to earth, their spinal discs become subjected to the effects of gravity all over again. It’s for this reason why astronauts gain back their normal height after some time.

Not all of us can become astronauts and have the opportunity to be in outer space where there is no gravity. Especially if your goal is to grow taller, going to great lengths such as being an astronaut is too much as it requires a lot of training and preparation.

Besides, you can simply jump into a swimming pool where not a lot of gravity is acting upon your body. By spending some time submerged in water, your spinal discs are given the opportunity to expand.

Engaging in swimming, needless to say, is a wonderful idea if you want to grow taller. The more you swim, the taller you can get.

It doesn’t matter, too, if you wish to become an expert in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, or butterfly. Regardless of the style or stroke, one thing remains true: swimming encourages your spine to grow longer.

Because swimming is a full-body workout, it allows you to burn calories and get rid of excess pounds. Having a slimmer figure is recommended if you are not blessed with a statuesque figure.

That’s because being slim can give the illusion that you are a tall person. There are also many other benefits to enjoy for shedding off excess pounds other than looking taller.

Some of them include reduced risk of heart disease risk as well as other health dangers associated with being obese or overweight. So in a nutshell, swimming is extremely good for you!

Just Before You Wear a Bathing Suit and Swim

As you can see, it’s evident that swimming can make you taller. It doesn’t matter whether you are still in your teens or already past the puberty stage in which the growth plates of the bones are no longer working.

Swimming has a lengthening effect on the spine, and this is why it can promote height increase first and foremost.

For the best results, it’s a good idea to pair swimming with other natural ways to encourage growth. For instance, you may engage in physical activities that can promote the expansion of the spinal discs.

Some wonderful examples are hanging, yoga, pilates, and tai chi. Having a high-quality sleep for seven to nine hours per night is also good for increasing your height because being in bed helps reduce the impact of gravity on your spine.

What’s more, sleep encourages the pituitary gland in the brain to produce more growth hormones.

Definitely, you should also opt for healthy eating. This is important because it allows your body to get the many nutrients that it needs for it to grow, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin D.

If you believe that you are not obtaining these nutrients from your diet, you may try taking nutritional supplements. Just make sure that you consult your doctor first, especially if you have a known medical condition or you are taking prescription drugs.

When engaging in swimming or any other method to increase your height, always remember to have patience. It is also important for you to have consistency. That’s because, in order to maintain the effects of swimming on your height, you should regularly engage in the sport.

What’s Next?

If you are looking for my story and want to know how I got taller, I recommend checking the my article:

How I Grew 3 Inches Taller

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Hi, I am Greg. In 6 months I was able to grow by 3 inches. I was 5″7', and now I am 5″10′!

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