My close friend, recently, took up badminton and confided in me that he was playing badminton to increase his height. Being 5 feet 4 inches, he felt too short and lacked confidence. He came across an online forum stating that playing badminton can increase height. I did not offer any opinion, instead encouraged him by saying that he will surely enjoy the sport and that there are a lot of benefits in it.
There is no scientific evidence that playing badminton can make you taller. Height is largely determined by genes. There can be some effects of playing sports, like badminton, during the growing years on increasing the height. But if you are a fully grown adult, there are not a lot of inches you can add by playing badminton.
Disappointed? Not so fast!
Although it may be disappointing to know this, in your quest for increasing your height, badminton can be a great help. Let me explain how. Badminton cannot make fully formed bones longer or change your DNA. But it can help you stand straighter, increase muscle density, and make you leaner so that you seem taller.
The limbering up of your bones due to the jumping, sprinting, and stretching along with the improved muscle tone makes you look taller. The full height possible for your physical structure can be achieved. That, along with a better physique and more energy, will make you more confident. Isn’t that is why you actually wanted to be taller in the first place?
Elongation of the spine?
While we did establish that bones do not elongate after a certain age, there is still one avenue to consider.
The spine is composed of 33 vertebrae that interlocked with each other. This means that it is not a single bone. These vertebrae have some space between each other. When engaging consistently in stretching activities or games that involve extending the torso, the space between the vertebrae increases, thereby elongating the spine. This elongation of the spine can ‘enhance’ your height and make you look taller.
5 Ways Badminton Can Help in Your Quest to Become Taller
After a specific age, we humans stop growing taller. The bones of the arms and legs do not elongate as it did during the growth spurt you had during your teens. But, if you are short, there are some ways in which badminton can help you:
1. Become leaner
Leaner people look taller. If you are short and starting to put on weight, you can keep your weight in check by playing badminton regularly. Badminton is a low impact sport and helps increases the body’s aerobic capacity. It requires a lot of running and jumping, which are good aerobic activities and great for improving fitness.
The secret to losing weight through exercise is by being consistent and being able to keep at it for an extended period. Most people start up exercise regimens but are unable to continue them. The excuses cited for falling off the wagon are, usually, work pressures, family commitments, etc
2. Remove the slouch
As age increases, people tend to slouch. The modern desk jobs do not help much as well. Unknown to the person, a sedentary lifestyle combined with an increase in body weight makes them slouch. This makes a person look shorter. Slouching then becomes habitual and permanent. Your potential maximum height is compromised when this happens.
Playing badminton is an effective way to remove “the slouch.” Badminton requires a person to extend and stretch the whole body. This shakes the body out of the habit of slouching. Consistently playing badminton will help straighten your spine, stretch and loosen the muscles, thereby removing the tendency to slouch. You will sit and stand taller as a result.
3. Improve posture
When we sit or stand, there are numerous muscles at play. The muscles of the legs, back, shoulder, abdomen, etc. Our posture is directly affected by these muscles and their condition. When we do not use these muscles, they become weak and reduce in size and tautness.
The shoulder and back muscles can shrink while the gut increases in size. Slowly the normal posture changes as the weight shifts from the upper back and shoulder to the stomach. The back muscles and the feet bear the brunt of the weight now. This can be dangerous for your back and your feet
4. Improve your gait
Playing badminton can improve how you walk and carry yourself. The sport involves a lot of twisting, reaching, and jumping. This has a strengthening effect on the hamstrings, quadriceps, and the glutes – all the muscles that are important while walking. These muscles, when strengthened, will improve your gait as you will no longer shuffle or drag your feet. You would, instead, have a good rhythmic stride and demonstrate quick reflexes.
5. Stretch the muscles
The muscles undergo a lot of stretching when playing badminton. For instance, when you counter a shot, the whiplash effect that is created in the body while making the shot benefits all the muscles. The muscles of the chest, arms, shoulder, legs, and the back are specifically helped as they are used the most during the game. This also helps your core muscles, such as the abs and the lower back.
Enhance the Effects of Badminton on Your Appearance
You can enhance the effects of badminton on your height by:
1. Following a healthy diet
Looking taller is possible when you are leaner. While exercise plays a significant role in weight reduction, diet is an equally necessary aspect. Following a diet which is healthy and helps you reduce your body weight gradually and steadily is essential. Starving yourself will get you results, but a better way to lose weight permanently and without compromising health is a mix of exercise and diet. Badminton can take care of the exercise part while you develop a diet that works for you.
2. Including Yoga in your regimen
Yoga helps you improve your flexibility by stretching your muscles and relieving excess stress on the body. It is a good preventative for sprains and injuries that may occur while playing badminton. It helps calm the mind, and the breathing exercises are invaluable to clearing and focusing your energies. You will experience a heightened sense of peace and clarity that will help you with the sport as well as with your life. Yoga could also help in making you look taller, as some of the exercises elongates the spinal column and strengthens the muscles surrounding it.
3. Improve core strength with Pilates
Pilates include exercises that increase the core strength of muscle groups such as the back and the abdomen. This can improve your performance in badminton as well as help you avoid muscle sprains and injuries.
Pull-ups are a great exercise that will help with improving your posture. It can strengthen the back muscles and shape the
5. Adequate sleep and rest
In the pursuit of transforming the body, it is possible that you may overly stress and injure it as well. Sleep and rest are equally important as exercise and diet. An important benefit of sleep is that the rebuilding process happens during sleep. The human growth hormone that repairs and enhances growth is released during sleep.
So, 8-10 hours of sleep are vital to ensure that you recuperate and set into the process of rebuilding of damaged tissues. It is estimated that 60-70% of the Human growth hormone secretions happen during sleep. HGH is one of the factors that regulate how tall you grow from childhood to adulthood. Don’t skimp on sleep as it may affect your height.
Overall, it may be said…
Society values height and ‘looks up to’ taller people. So, human beings tend to want to increase their height to feel more confident. But height alone cannot be the factor of confidence. Confidence is more about a healthy body and a happy mind.
While playing badminton may not increase your height, it can certainly help you be healthy and happy. This is the reason why I did not dissuade my friend from playing badminton as a way of increasing height. Even though he may not actually become taller, I hoped that in its pursuit, he may gain confidence and happiness through the game of badminton.