Height is a product of many factors, including genetics and overall health and nutrition when you were still growing. In adulthood, it's impossible to grow taller. Bodybuilding won't directly affect your height, but working your upper body can create an illusion of height and prevent some conditions that cause people to shrink.
Preventing Bone Loss and Shrinking
As you age, you can lose bone mineral density. In some cases, this can cause you to shrink a few inches or develop a stooped posture that makes you look shorter. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, weight-bearing exercises such as building the upper body can help strengthen your bones, reducing your risk of osteoporosis and slowing the course of the disease if you already have it.
Good posture won't make you grow, but it can make you look taller. Hunching over creates the illusion of a shorter body, and if you spend most of your time sitting or working on the computer, your posture can suffer. Working your upper body, particularly your back and shoulders, strengthens your body, making it easier to maintain good posture and helping you look taller.
Illusion of Height
When you build your upper body enough for your muscles to visibly expand, your entire body can look larger, potentially improving others' perception of your height. Depending upon your natural body shape, this may make you look taller. If, however, your muscles cause you to look broader or more square, you could end up looking a few inches shorter.
If you push yourself too hard with bodybuilding, your strategy can backfire, particularly if you're still growing. Excessive training -- especially if you develop overtraining syndrome -- can stunt growth if you're still growing, and many men continue to grow well into their twenties. If you don't eat enough or injure yourself while building your upper body, you could damage your bones, resulting in a stooped posture and the appearance of a shorter height.
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