How to Grow 2-6 Inches Taller After 18 (Proven Methods)

Written by Joshua Leaf | Updated on October 18, 2021

Are you unsatisfied with your height? Are you wondering how to grow 2-6 inches fast? Growing after 18 may sound impossible, but with some persistence, some people can naturally grow taller in adulthood or increase their height with other means

No matter the age, there are ways to become taller, so keep reading to find out how…

How Is It Possible to Increase Height After 18?

If an individual goes through puberty later than most and the growth plates aren’t fused yet it’s possible to grow taller after 18 up to their early twenties 

When considering most people’s growth plates “expiration”, most people won’t naturally grow taller after eighteen, but there are other means to permanently boost height. This halt in growth results from growth plates fusing, which happens in all humans at some point. The fusion of growth plates occurs around age 13-15 for girls and 15-17 for boys.[1] 

Once the growth plates have closed, it’s impossible to become any taller through natural means, no matter what age. However, there are surgical or temporary fixes to become taller, which we’ll get to below. 

What are Growth Plates?

Growth plates are soft tissue or smooth cartilage present at each end of the long bones in children. These bones include the femur or thigh bone, the tibia or calf bone, the radius, and ulna or forearm bones, and some in the hands and feet.[2] This cartilage allows for the elongation of bones in both height and width. 

During puberty, the release of estrogen and testosterone commands the growth plates to harden and close, which prevents the bones from growing any further.

What Dictates and Facilitates Height in Kids?

Height is 80% dependent on genetics and is the main factor for height differences across ethnicities and countries. The other 20% depends on outside environmental factors such as sleep, exercise, and nutrition, especially during the first two years of a child’s life.[3] Therefore, overall health and nutrition play an essential role throughout childhood and puberty.

Height can be an indicator of socio-economic status as well since people in better economic circumstances have easier access to proper nutrition, so they’re more likely to reach their full potential height.[4] 

Nutrition Needs For Kids?

Consuming an adequate amount of macro and micronutrients is vital to grow and achieve one’s full genetic potential. Some nutritional aspects that can affect bone growth are calcium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, protein, and nutrients like Vitamin D. It’s always best to discuss dietary needs with a nutritionist to ensure the right approach. 

If a child is otherwise healthy and gets enough nutrition and 6-8 hours of sleep, they increase the likelihood of reaching their full genetic height.

Ways To Grow 2-6 Inches Taller

Post-puberty, a doctor can examine an x-ray of a person’s left hand and wrist to determine their “bone age” and check whether growth plates are still open.[5] If they are, it may be worth trying out natural ways to increase HGH or talk to a doctor about HGH injections.

If an adult’s growth plates are already fused, they can still emphasize their height by improving posture through stretches and exercises. Or, they may still increase their height through height-increasing surgery as well. 

Can Stretching and Exercising Make You Taller?

Regular stretches and exercise can straighten out your back, bring your shoulders up, and fix your posture, but it can’t make you grow taller. That being said, correcting a slouching neck and drooping shoulders can make you look taller even if it doesn’t change your height.

On top of that, strengthening the muscles through lifting weights makes you look leaner, giving an appearance of height. Moreover, exercise releases endorphins and improves people’s state of mind, which can help alleviate insecurity related to size.

Some exercises to stand straighter and look taller include:

  • Child’s Pose – This stretch lengthens the spine, the glutes, and the hamstrings, elongating the entire body. It also releases tension in the lower back and neck. Doing this stretch can help alleviate a drooping neck.
  • Chest Opener – This exercise opens up the chest and loosens the pectoral muscles. If the chest muscles do not pull the shoulders forward, one can stand straighter without pushing the shoulders back.
  • Plank – Planks strengthen the core and back muscles, allowing a person to cultivate balance and stand straight without tiring out their muscles. Strong core muscles lend strength to every muscle group connected to them, including the glutes and the hamstrings.
  • Bridges – Bridges help alleviate anterior pelvic tilt, another posture problem that can make people look shorter by tilting the torso back while pulling the hips forward. They strengthen the glutes, thighs or quadriceps, and core muscles.

How to Get Taller by Boosting Human Growth Hormone

As long as the growth plates are open, people over 18 can talk to a doctor about HGH injections or try to increase it naturally. These hormones can add inches of height depending on the maturity of the bones. However, HGH therapy can be pretty expensive, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 per year.[6]

HGH therapy is also a long-term commitment that can take several years to show effects, which may not be worth the results for many people. And if an individual is already 18 with their plates still open, they have a limited amount of time to gain extra height. 

How Can I Boost HGH Naturally?

If one doesn’t want to spend a fortune on HGH, one can also try natural methods to boost HGH. These include:

Losing Fat

Regardless of age or gender, excess belly fat inhibits the release of HGH, so losing belly fat in a healthy manner is an effective way to boost this hormone. Increased insulin has the same effect – those with diabetes have 3-4 times reduced HGH production than healthy people.[7]

Reducing sugar intake and fasting intermittently to lose belly fat can boost HGH naturally. Intermittent fasting keeps insulin levels low for most of the day since it only allows for a limited eating window, leading to increased HGH production.

Exercising

High-intensity exercise not only helps with losing fat but also increases the release of HGH. Exercise, in general, is beneficial for this, but any form of high-intensity workout, whether it’s sprinting, weight-training, or HIIT (high-intensity interval training), boosts HGH the most.

Over the long term, exercise optimizes hormone production in general, which affects HGH as well.

Sleeping

Children sleep a lot, and HGH is released mainly when a person sleeps, and it emits in pulses, the most significant happening before midnight and a few smaller ones occurring in the early morning.[7] Therefore, poor sleep quality may lead to lower HGH production.

Reading a book before bed, avoiding looking at your phone, and forgoing coffee late in the day can help one get adequate sleep.

Permanently Increase Height 2-6 Inches Taller After 18

If the growth plates are closed, the only way to get taller is cosmetic leg (limb) lengthening. If using heel inserts or wearing heeled shoes doesn’t sound appealing or causes pain, this surgery might be something to consider.

When someone is bothered by their height constantly to the point where it causes them psychological distress, they may be suffering from height dysphoria. Height surgery may benefit such patients as long as they don’t have a severe case of BDD (body dysmorphic disorder). The recovery period can be up to a year or more and has a high success rate overall. While it’s not a cure all and surely has risks, it’s a proven way for adults to grow two-six inches taller after 18.

Don’t fall for magical supplements or hacks that sound too good to be true. Consider all the options available and discuss the matter with a healthcare professional before coming to any decision.

References

[1] DukeHealth. (2021, July 6). Growth Plates: What You Need to Know. DukeHealth. https://www.dukehealth.org/blog/growth-plates-what-you-need-know

[2] KidsHealth. (2019, January 23). Growth Plates. KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/growth-plates.html

[3] MedlinePlus. (2020, September 17). Is height determined by genetics? MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/traits/height/

[4] Perkins, J. M., Subramaniam, S. V., Smith, G. D., & Özaltin, E. (2016). Adult height, nutrition, and population health. Nutrition Reviews, 74(3), 149-165. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892290/

[5] Lerner Children’s Pavilion. (2017, June 28). Is it Possible to Predict Height? HSS. https://www.hss.edu/pediatrics-is-it-possible-to-predict-height.asp

[6] Iannelli, V. (2021, July 1). Using Growth Hormone to Treat Short Stature in Children. VeryWellFamily. https://www.verywellfamily.com/growth-hormone-to-make-kids-taller-2634507

[7] 11 Ways to Boost Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Naturally. (2017, May 15). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-ways-to-increase-hgh

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