Is it possible to grow taller after 20?
That is probably something you’d fantasized about at one point…
…until you heard that your growth plates fuse after a certain age, and thus, further height growth is no longer possible.
Or is it?
Well luckily for you, there is a way that you can overcome this obstacle, to increase your height even after passing puberty.
In fact, I used this exact same method to add an extra 2.3 inches (5.8 cm) to my height in my late 20s.
And on this page, I will demonstrate how this is scientifically possible…
…and show you a step-by-step guide that explains exactly how to grow taller after puberty.
Is It Scientifically Possible to Grow Taller After Puberty?
Before we go into the details of how to get taller after puberty, it’s a good idea to first grasp the basic principle behind what makes this even possible.
This will allow you to fully understand the importance of each and every step that I’m going to teach you on this page.
(If you want to skip right to the practical steps, click here to scroll down to the section.)
So, going back to the golden question: Is it really possible to grow taller after puberty?
I have a good news and a bad news.
The bad news is that yes, your growth plates do fully fuse after puberty, and as a result, most of the bones in your body plateau in growth, BUT…
The good news is that this mechanism doesn’t occur in every part of the skeletal system…
…and that is your spine.
It turns out that your spine is easily malleable, and if you apply the right techniques, you can increase its length.
So the key to being able to grow taller, despite the full development of most of your bones, is to make your spine grow in length.
At this point, you may be wondering, how on earth is this even possible?
Basic Anatomy of Your Spine
You see, you’re spine isn’t really a bone; it’s a series of bones.
Therefore, in order for your spine to grow in length, it must go through an entirely different process from that of your bones.
Your spine consists of 33 individual bones that are connected to each other. A single bone in your spine is called a vertebral body.
Each of the upper 24 vertebral bodies are divided by a space, called an intervertebral disc. Thus, you have a total of 23 intervertebral discs in your spine.
Here is a basic diagram of your spine:
Malleability of Your Intervertebral Discs
Your intervertebral disc is made up of dense layers of collagen fibers.
Unlike the growth plates in your bones, they do NOT solidify, or “fuse” with the vertebral bodies that they’re attached to.
Therefore, their size and structure are always malleable.
Now imagine if you could increase the height of a vertebral disc by only 1 mm (which is as thin as the tip of a pencil). Doesn’t seem like too much does it?
But imagine if every single intervertebral disc increased its height by 1 mm… you would grow 1 mm x 23 which equals 2.3 cm (almost 1 inch).
But the question is:
How can we actually do this, or even better, grow even more?
3 Stages of Lengthening Your Spine
There are 3 simple stages that you must go through in order to increase the height of each intervertebral disc in your spine, which will cause your spine to lengthen:
Here is an overview of the 3 stages:
Stage 1: Fixing the alignment of your spine
Most people today have poor and unhealthy postures, due to their stagnant lifestyle.
As a result, it increases the curve of their spine, conversely decreasing the height of their spine, hence their overall height.
The first step to take in being able to grow taller is to reduce the curve of your spine.
The good news is that by fixing your posture alone, most people can gain 1 or 2 cm instantly, because their postures are so out of alignment.
And much more importantly, your intervertebral discs cannot grow if the alignment of your spine is not straight, because any abnormal curve in your spine will keep your discs compressed, preventing them from being able to grow.
Luckily for you, your posture can easily be fixed with just one simple exercise.
Stage 2: Maintaining the new structure of your spine
Once you fix the alignment of your spine, you must then make sure to maintain the new alignment of your spine.
It is one thing to achieve a goal, but a completely different game to maintain that goal.
You must ensure that everything that you do throughout the day will help you to maintain your fixed posture.
We’ll go over a few simple exercises and tips that are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.
Stage 3: Increasing the length of your spine
After fixing your posture and maintaining the new alignment of your spine, it is just a matter of time until your intervertebral discs grow in height, and inevitably make you taller.
This is the most important stage, because it is when you witness the largest amount of height increase throughout the entire process.
It is also the easiest part of the process, because it is mostly a by-product of getting the first 2 stages honed in correctly, with a few more additional steps to follow.
Now that we have a good gist of what the 3 stages look like, let’s dive right in!
Stage 1: Straightening Your Spine
If you’re living in the modern world, you are more than likely to have a poor posture, due to the lack of physical demand that many of our most important tasks require.
Fortunately, as long as you don’t suffer from any severe postural misalignment, you can fix your poor posture by following just a few simple steps.
Here is a very simple exercise that you can do to correct your posture:
The Forward Pig-Posture Correction Exercise
For this to work, all you will need is a flat wall.
Here is a video demonstration of the exercise:
1. Lean against the wall, with your back and your heels touching the wall.
2. Touch the back of your head against the wall by tucking your chin inwards.
If you find this step too difficult at first, place a pillow in between the wall and the back of your head.
And DO NOT CHEAT! Your chin must be tucked inwards at all times.
3. Extend your arms at your sides, at a 45° downward angle, with your palms facing the ground. Then, slowly flap your arms up and down, as if they’re your wings.
Flap them around 10 times or so.
4. Go back to the original position with your arms at your sides at a 45° downward angle. From here, bend your arms to cover your ears with your palms, and afterwards, go back to the original position.
Repeat this movement around 10 times, at a similar pace as step 3.
5. Extend one arm upwards, with your palm facing towards the front, and pull down on an imaginary handle that is up above your head. As you pull the imaginary handle downwards, reach up with your other arm, and go through the same movement.
Repeat back-and-forth with each arm. When fully in motion, it should feel as if you’re rock climbing.
6. Go through steps 3 to 5 in their respective order, two more times. In total, you should go thorough 9 total sets of 3 different movements.
Most importantly: Make sure to keep the back of your head against the wall, and your chin tucked in throughout every set!
Aim to do this exercise, at least twice per day.
Just by fixing your posture in this way, you most likely witness a significant height increase!
Stage 2: Maintaining A Straight Spine
Now that you’ve fixed the alignment of your spine, it is just as critical to keep your spine in the newly aligned position.
It is easy for your posture to go out of alignment, due to the nature of the tasks that we have to do in today’s day and age.
Thus, for you to master this stage of the process, you must focus on 2 sides of the coin:
A) Installing habits that allow you to maintain a straight posture easily, and
B) Avoiding habits that put your spine back out of proper alignment.
Let’s look at each aspect more in depth:
A) Maintaining a Good Posture
By far, the best way to be able to maintain a good posture is to make the process as easy for yourself as possible, with the least amount of will-power necessary.
And to do this, you will want to engage in exercises that strengthen your postural muscles, so that it will require the least amount of conscious effort to keep your spine straight throughout the day.
There are 3 main muscle groups in your back that you want to focus on strengthening:
1. Trapezius (a.k.a. Traps)
3. Rear (back-side) Deltoids
These muscle groups all have different functions, but their common denominator is keeping your posture properly aligned.
Here are 3 different exercises that you can do to strengthen each of these muscle groups:
1. Seated Cable Row
This exercise strengthens your rhomboids.
Your rhomboid muscles are located in the middle of your upper-back, right below your neck.
Their primary function is to squeeze your back, hence keep your back straight, and your chest stretched out.
Here is a video demonstration of how to do the Seated Cable Row:
If you don’t have a gym membership, you can simply purchase an elastic resistance band through Amazon.
You can also find them at your local sporting goods store.
2. Bent-Over Raise
This exercises targets your rear deltoids, or the back side of your shoulder muscles.
It strengthens your rhomboid muscles as well.
Strengthening your rear deltoids will rotate your shoulders towards your back, preventing you from developing the rounded shoulders that most people get from slouching all day.
It will also enhance your ability to keep your shoulders in their proper alignment, just like your rhomboids do.
Here is a video demonstration of how to do the Bent-Over Raise:
Again, if you don’t have access to a gym, you can simply do this exercise with a resistance band or dumbbells.
This exercises strengthens your trapezius, commonly referred to as “traps”.
Your traps are made of different sub-groups of muscles, which all have different functions.
The shrug exercise that we’re going to do here will strengthen the part of your traps that keep your neck straight in its proper alignment.
Here is a video demonstration of how to do the Shrug:
2 important points for shrugging properly:
i) Keep your chin tucked in, and your shoulder blades squeezed at all times.
ii) Make sure to use light weights. If you use heavy weights, your spine may become compressed, which will prevent it from being able to grow to its longest potential length (more on this later).
Remember: We’re doing these exercises to straighten your back, not build muscles.
Aim to do these exercises, for 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.
You want to do them at least twice a week. But the more you do them, the easier it will be to maintain a straight posture.
B) Avoiding Poor Posture
As I mentioned earlier, there are many modern activities that cause people to develop poor postures.
And the single most deadly one of those activities is sitting.
Unfortunately, sitting is not something that you cannot avoid 100% of the times.
The best thing that you can do is to optimize your posture when sitting, and also minimize the amount of time that you spend sitting.
The next two strategies are going to be about just that:
1. Sit Straight
Maintain a straight sitting posture by regularly making these 3 simple adjustments:
i) Keeping your chin tucked in
ii) Pushing your chest out by squeezing your shoulder blades together
iii) Straightening your lower back
If you ritualize the 3 back exercises that I showed you above, this will be effortless.
Aim to do adjust your sitting posture as often as you can, once every 30 minutes or so if possible.
Having an app on your computer that rings regularly can help you remember to do this easily. I recommend using the Awareness app (it’s 100% free to download).
It rings every 25 minutes by default, but you can adjust the interval to whatever duration you prefer.
2. Use a Standing Desk
An alternative method to sitting straight would be to use a standing desk.
In all honesty, when you’re fully engaged in whatever task or activity you’re immersed into, it is quite a mission to simultaneously maintain a good posture, 100% of the time.
Standing desk can be a very resourceful for maintaining a good posture by default, without having to remind yourself on a regular basis.
Remember: You want to make sure that every part of your lifestyle is helping you to maintain your newly improved posture.
If you’re interested learning about additional ways of fixing and correcting your posture, check out this article on wikiHow.
Stage 3: Lengthening Your Spine
Now that your spine is in its proper alignment, it’s ready to grow in length!
This is the third and final stage of the process, and is when the real height growth happens.
To refresh your memories: The key is to increase the height of each intervertebral disc in between your spinal bones, in order to increase the overall height of your spine.
By solely fixing your posture, you should witness your spine grow slightly over time, since your intervertebral discs are no longer compressed as they used to be, and thus, have the ability to expand.
However, there are a few additional steps that you can take to make this growth process even faster and more effective:
1. Perform Spine Lengthening Exercises
These are different from the ones that we discussed in Stage 2, since they help you to actively stretch out the spine, as opposed to maintaining a straight alignment.
Here are 2 simple activities that you can do to stretch out your spine:
1. Simply stand on your feet, and extend your arms upward. Start to transition your entire bodyweight onto your tippy toes as you approach your maximum height.
2. Find a monkey bar that is taller than your height when your body is fully extended.
Jump up and hang on the bar, while extending the entire length of your body as far as possible. Swing back and forth for as long as you can before coming back down.
If you want to learn more exercises that stretch out your spine, check out my best exercises for growing taller.
2. Avoid Spine Compressing Exercises
Conversely, you should avoid exercises that compress your spine.
By a rule of thumb, you want to avoid any weight-lifting exercises that involve carrying a heavy load over your shoulders.
Examples of this type of exercise are squats, overhead shoulder presses, and handstand pushups.
Also, try to avoid carrying heavy weights or objects as much as possible.
If you’re a strength trainer or a bodybuilder, it may feel like you’re at a fork in the road.
And yes, you will have to make these sacrifices if you’re at all serious about growing taller.
Once you know that there is no more height to be gained, you can resume your usual activities without compromising your height, as long as you maintain a good posture.
So why not both?
3. Eat Right
To restate, your intervertebral discs are composed of collagen fibers, which are formed by protein and amino acids.
Thus, if you want your spine to grow, you must include a variety and sufficient amount of protein into your diet.
You must also consume Calcium, Vitamin D, and other essential nutrients to maintain the strength and integrity of the individual bones in your spine, and the rest of your bones.
If you want to learn more, check out my top 20 foods that make you grow taller.
Also, if you want to step up your nutritional game up even further, you want to supplement your diet with height growth pills that are proven to work.
For more information on grow taller supplements, check out my review of the Top 10 Grow Taller Pills.
You can also find some resourceful nutritional tips in this article on wikiHow.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
As you know, water is important for maintaining a good health.
But here, we’re mainly focused on optimizing your body for height growth.
It is absolutely critical for your body to be sufficiently hydrated, if you want your bones, muscles, and fibers to build and repair themselves effectively.
Daily water intake depends from person to person, but everyone should drink at least half a gallon, or 2L of water per day.
5. Get Sufficient Sleep
The main reason that sufficient sleep is crucial for height growth is that it allows your spine to decompress, since your body is in the lying position for an extended period of time.
That is why whenever you wake up from a good night’s sleep, you become instantly taller!
6. Use Anti-Gravity Remedies
There are many tools out there that help you to further stretch out your spine.
My favorite tool, by far, is the inversion table.
It requires a very little amount of effort on my part, and frankly, is quite relaxing to use.
It’s even more effective than sleeping, because when you’re partially or fully upside down, your spine stretches out even further than when you’re simply lying down flat.
You can ship an inversion table to your home through Amazon, or find it at your local sporting goods store.
7. Prevent Bone Diseases
Bone diseases are much more common that most people think, and can greatly hinder your ability to grow taller if you suffer from them.
There are many different types of bone diseases, such as Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, and Disc Degeneration.
There are also various levels of severity that one can face when it comes to bone diseases, and thus, different measures have to be taken to cure each unique condition.
The best way to prevent bone diseases is to consume a sufficient amount of Calcium, Vitamin D, and other nutrients that fuel your bones.
If you think that you may be suffering from a bone disease, make sure to check with your doctor as soon as you can, before the problem reaches an irreversible stage.
Now It’s Your Turn!
You now have all of the foundational knowledge and techniques to be able to grow taller after puberty.
Now I want to ask you:
Which tip are you eager to start implementing?
Are you going to start doing some rows?
Or are you going to get yourself a standing desk to stop slouching?
Or maybe you have a question you want to ask me.
Whatever’s on your mind, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
So comment below right now.