How to Get Longer Legs & Make Yourself Taller Fast

Written by Joshua Leaf | Updated on October 8, 2021

Most methods to make your legs longer or to get taller are pure rubbish since genetics determine 80% of your height, while 20% is affected by external factors like nutrition, physical activity, etc., especially during puberty.[1] Even more so, these external factors aren’t applicable to adults who’s growth plates have already closed.

However, no matter the age, there’s a few things like improving posture, shoe hacks, wearing the right clothes and even leg lengthening surgery that can help you reap the benefits of a taller stature. 

I Want to be Taller: What are the Benefits of Longer Legs?

The desire to be taller is such a common phenomenon and recent studies have shown there are actually benefits to being tall, which generally means having longer legs too. Sure, some of these benefits may be miniscule but for some, it may actually improve their quality of life. 

Increased Attractiveness

While this isn’t the case across the board, people generally consider long legs more attractive. Most models and actors – people considered conventionally attractive – tend to be tall and posses long legs. Research has found that, regardless of gender, people usually see those with legs longer than 5% compared to the average person as more attractive.[2]. We’ll touch more on this below, but increased attractiveness has also shown to have a positive correlation on income too. 

Marker of Good Health

Long legs, or more so a taller stature is also an indicator of good health. On average, short-legged people have a higher chance of heart disease and diabetes. Men of shorter stature are especially more likely to have arterial disease and strokes due to more elevated triglycerides.[2] . Please note, these are generalizations, but the data doesn’t lie. 

Higher Rate of Happiness

Men more than 3/4th of an inch shorter than average rate their lives more negatively than taller people.[3] Tall people experience more positive emotions like joy and excitement and less negative emotions like anger and sadness than those shorter than average.

Higher Income

Tall people are also likely to make more money than their shorter counterparts! Each additional centimeter in height is associated with a 1.3% increase in income.[4] Even when controlling for environmental factors like age and level of education, this disparity remains. You might be thinking, “Well this famous actor is shorter than average and he still makes tons of money!”. This might be true because again, these are generalizations. But these particular actors or successful business people are usually an exception and not the norm.

Can You Make Yourself Taller with Stretches and Exercises?

Adults’ bones have already calcified or stopped growing. Yet, children and teenagers have areas of soft tissue at the ends of their long bones known as growth plates. These growth plates allow the bone to grow, but they close between 14 and 19 years of age.

Once the growth plates fuse, it’s impossible to gain height naturally. Stretches and exercises can’t make adults grow taller, but they can help fix stooping posture and tone leg muscles, both of which can give the appearance of increased height.

Stretches and Exercises That Can Make You Look Taller

Child’s Pose – This stretch helps loosen the upper back and neck, especially if someone has an office job where they spend the day working at a computer. It also stretches the spine, glutes, and hamstrings – the main muscles that contribute to leaner legs.

Lunges – Lunges work on every muscle in your legs and many in your core. Attempt different variations of for different results, like standard lunge, reverse lunge, and curtsey lunge.

Bridges – Bridges stretch and strengthen your thigh muscles, glutes, and hip flexors, making your thighs look longer and improving your posture.

A few other exercises and stretches and exercises include the hamstring stretch, squats, cat-cow, hanging from an inversion table, and chest opener. In a nutshell, any movements that stretch the hamstrings, quads, and glutes can tone legs, and those that loosen up the neck, shoulders, and upper back can fix posture. An elevated bicycle seat may also be a great choice as it forces the muscles to stretch with every pedal. 

Are There Any Other Ways to Get Longer Legs?

Since society is rife with heightism or discrimination based on height, being short might cause people severe distress. If someone is constantly aware of their stature and can’t stop thinking about getting taller, they might be suffering from height dysphoria or height neurosis. 

In such a case, they can try other methods of making themselves appear taller before considering height increasing surgery.

Heel Inserts

You can create the appearance of longer legs by wearing heel inserts or high-heeled shoes. Heel inserts are placed inside the shoes to increase your perceived height by an inch or so. Monochromatic clothing can also help create the illusion of long legs.

Monochromatic Clothing

Monochromatic, or matching clothes with the same color can help create the illusion of long legs by forming an unbroken silhouette. The torso and the legs appear more like a long line, which makes you seem taller.

How to Permanently Make Your Legs Longer? Leg Extension Surgery

The only way to actually elongate legs is stature lengthening or leg lengthening surgery. It utilizes the natural healing capacity of the human body to increase your height by a maximum of 6.3 inches.

How Does Leg Extension Surgery Work?

With modern methods like PRECICE 2.2 and STRYDE, a stainless steel or titanium nail is inserted into the marrow of your femur (thigh bone) or tibia (calf bone). This nail is connected to either an External Remote Controller in STRYDE or external screws in PRECICE.

The external layer of bone is cracked to form a small gap. When the external device or remote controller is used, the two ends of the internal or intramedullary nail move apart by 0.75 mm to 1 mm a day. This process is repeated every day for 3-4 months. This lengthening period is known as the distraction phase.

After 3-4 months, the lengthening is complete, and the bone is allowed to heal fully. This healing period is also known as the consolidation phase. Once the bone has fully calcified (which can take up to a year), the nail is extracted, and the patient is free to enjoy their newly lengthened legs.

Can I Make Myself Taller With Leg Extension Surgery?

Only adults with fully mature skeletons can get height surgery. Once the growth plates have fused, the bones have matured, and the adult can’t gain any more height naturally. Besides this, the patient should be in good mental and physical health without any chronic conditions or addictions like smoking.

A patient may have to go through a mental evaluation to qualify for surgery as well. Performing this evaluation ensures patients don’t have an acute mental condition like body dysmorphic disorder, which surgery can’t solve.

Are There Any Risks to Leg Extension Surgery?

Though leg extension surgery is 95% successful,[5] there are some minor risks, including:

  • Soft tissue tightness
  • Muscle tightness
  • Stiff joints
  • Pain
  • Increased chance of fractures

There’s also a slight risk of a fat embolism or nerve compression, both of which require surgery to fix. Your legs may also lengthen unevenly due to different rates of bone calcification.

Regular physical therapy can aid stiff joints and tight muscles, but make sure to visit the surgeon every 10-14 days so any severe risk factors can be caught and rectified before they cause permanent damage.

Is Limb Lengthening Surgery Right for Me?

Though height surgery can be expensive, a procedure that helps your mental health is money well-spent. Results won’t be visible overnight, but people are confidently up and walking with longer legs in less than a year post surgery. Of course, talk to your doctor before making any decisions, but rest assured that modern medicine and technology have made it possible for you to grow taller even when you feel like you can’t.

References

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

[2] Sample, I. (2008, January 17). Why men and women find longer legs more attractive. The Guardian. https://www.forbes.com/sites/traversmark/2020/04/16/your-height-has-a-big-impact-on-your-salary-new-research-seeks-to-understand-why/?sh=58c17e991071

[3] Reuters Life! (2008, September 11). Taller people have the edge when it comes to happiness. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-height-happiness-idUSSP35300020080911

[4] Travers, M. (2020, April 16). Your Height Has A Big Impact On Your Salary. New Research Seeks To Understand Why. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/traversmark/2020/04/16/your-height-has-a-big-impact-on-your-salary-new-research-seeks-to-understand-why/?sh=58c17e991071

[5] Rozbruch, S. R. (2020, April 28). Limb Lengthening – An Overview. HSS. https://www.hss.edu/conditions_limb-lengthening-overview.asp

 

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