How to grow taller by playing basketball
Does Basketball Make You Taller?
If you’re a fan of professional basketball or have ever watched an NBA game, you’ve probably noticed that the players are substantially taller than the average individual.
This begs the question: Does playing basketball make you taller, or does competitive basketball naturally select for taller athletes because of the advantage it gives them during play?
This is an especially interesting question if you’re looking to add a few inches to your height.
Unfortunately, for those looking to increase their height, no evidence to date suggests that basketball — or any form of exercise — plays a statistically significant role in increasing your maximum height.
Your maximum potential height is primarily determined by genetics, with environmental factors like nutrition during childhood and adolescence playing a secondary role in determining how close you get to your genetic height potential.
The good news is that despite the lack of effect on height, playing basketball offers a host of other benefits that make it an excellent activity for youth and adults alike.
This article breaks down everything you need to know about basketball and increasing your height.
No scientific evidence supports the idea basketball increases your height, and this lack of evidence is not due to a lack of research.
The sport of basketball has been around for a while, and plenty of research has analyzed its effects on physical parameters.
For example, a recent study looked at the effects of 10 weeks of basketball training on youth anthropometric and physiological characteristics. It observed improvements in lean body mass, jump height, grip strength, and other athletic performance (1).
Additional research on adults found that recreational basketball improved various health metrics, such as blood pressure and body fat percentages, after several months of play (2).
Although these specific studies were not specifically meant to assess changes in height, any theoretical height increases would have been noted, as this data was collected from participants.
The point is that basketball is not an understudied sport, so it’s fairly safe to assume that any research on basketball and height would be well published and publicized.
You can further assess the potential effect of basketball and height by breaking down the sport’s athletic movements and looking for research on whether these activities have the potential to increase height.
Basketball as a sport relies heavily on the following movements, all of which have been well studied for their effects on human physiology:
- running and sprinting
- changes of direction
- overhead tossing
- chest passing
If you expand your search to studies that have looked at these athletic skills, there’s still a lack of evidence supporting height gains from training programs incorporating exercises in these categories.
Although scientific discoveries can always change the potential evidence supporting the causes and effects of various exercise programs, no evidence supports basketball or any other physical activity intervention as a means to increase height.
There’s no evidence that basketball or any physical activity has a positive effect on maximum height.
Independent of athletic activity’s lack of effect on height, maximum height and the factors that affect it have been very well studied.
Growth in height is driven by bones growing in length. This process occurs throughout childhood and adolescence.
Bone elongation occurs at the epiphyseal growth plates, which are cartilaginous structures located on the ends of many different bones in children.
The greatest increases in height occur primarily during infancy and again during the pubertal growth spurt.
Toward the end of adolescence and early adulthood, the growth plates harden, and further growth in the length of bones ceases.
Note that it’s still possible to increase bone width and density via a proper exercise and nutrition program. Improving bone density is beneficial for your health, strength, and longevity, but it does not influence your overall height.
The overwhelming body of research on height shows that genetics plays a 60–95% determining role in maximum adult height (3).
Proper nutrition during childhood and adolescence fills in the final determining factor.
Adequate nutrition ensures that you reach your full genetic potential, but you cannot exceed your genetic maximum, which is predetermined at birth.
The same body of research suggests that malnutrition, which can include being either underweight or obese as a child, can decrease your ultimate height as an adult (4, 5).
If nutritional intake is insufficient during youth development, the body prioritizes vital functions and diverts the key nutrients away from bone elongation growth.
If your goal is to maximize the height of your children, ensuring they consume enough of a wide variety of healthy, nutrient-dense foods while limiting junk food is your best bet.
Once again, the limiting cutoff is their genetically programmed maximal height.
When it comes to increasing your height as an adult, there’s no scientifically proven method to do so.
Maximal height is genetically determined but can be stunted during childhood by inadequate nutritional intake. It’s impossible to increase your height in adulthood.
Although basketball will not increase your height, it’s an immensely beneficial activity for youth and adults alike.
The scientific benefits of basketball and its associated athletic skills have been well studied and include the following (6, 7, 8):
- increased maximal oxygen uptake
- improved time to exhaustion during physical activity
- improved lean body mass
- improved bone mineral density
- decreased mean blood pressure
- decreased body fat percentage
- decreased resting heart rate
- improved upper- and lower-body explosive strength
- improved coordination in both able-bodied and disabled athletes
In general, participation in physical activities delivers a host of benefits.
Given that basketball includes both cardiovascular training as well as plyometric, explosive movements like jumping and passing, playing basketball improves health in several ways.
Additionally, competitive basketball players and serious recreational athletes likely participate in related strength and conditioning to improve basketball performance. This separate training likely compounds the benefits experienced from basketball alone.
Although basketball does not increase maximum height, it offers many health and performance benefits.
While there’s no evidence that basketball increases your height, you may still be unconvinced when looking at the rosters of elite basketball teams.
This boils down to correlation versus causation.
Since basketball requires players to out jump one another for scoring, blocking, and recovering the ball, taller players have a distinct advantage.
For the same jumping ability, a taller player will reach a greater maximum height.
While a shorter player may be able to compensate for their height by increasing their vertical jump, there’s a practical limit to how much higher you can jump once you’re already an elite athlete.
An elite player with a height disadvantage of 6 or more inches (about 15 or more cm) compared with a similarly skilled player will have an exceedingly difficult time overcoming the physical discrepancy.
For proof of this fact, consider this 2020 statistical evaluation of elite basketball players. It found that teams with greater average player heights consistently outperformed teams with shorter average heights (9).
This was true on both a team level and individual player level, with taller players consistently outperforming shorter players.
As such, coaches selecting players for elite teams will likely favor taller players because, on average, these players will perform better.
Since players are selected on a performance basis, the ultimate result will be that elite basketball team rosters have players who are substantially taller than the average person.
It may be tempting to assume that the years of play required to even try out for an elite team might have influenced the players’ height. Nevertheless, there’s simply no evidence to support this.
Taller basketball players outperform shorter players, on average, leading to elite basketball team rosters having much greater average heights than the general population.
Although basketball is an overall healthy activity and fairly low-risk sport, there are a few considerations to note when it comes to height and bone growth in youth populations.
Because basketball involves jumping, cutting movements, and the potential for falls and fractures, care must be taken to minimize fracture risks and properly address any fractures that occur.
Research on long bone fractures in children reveals that upward of a third of fractures result in damage to the growth plate (10).
When effectively managed and treated, youth can often fully recover with little to no long-term damage.
In the event of improper treatment, damage to growth plates can stunt or halt growth regarding the overall length of bones.
Growth plate damage can cause a number of problems related to a reduction in maximum height, including the risk of limbs being different lengths.
To avoid this, ensure that any bone fractures sustained during the growing years are promptly assessed and treated by a medical professional.
Another preemptive measure to avoid the risk is ensuring that your child’s youth sports coach fully understands the risks and safety protocols when it comes to youth athletic activities.
During certain stages of growth, the plates are more susceptible to damage, and certain forms of exercise may be contraindicated.
A coach certified to work with youth populations will be very familiar with the ins and outs of safety regarding fractures and plate damage.
Overall, the benefits of youth physical activity, including potentially injurious activity, far outweigh the risks. If proper caution and care are taken both preemptively and following any injury, there’s little risk of stunted growth in youth populations.
For adults, fractures are serious injuries that require varying degrees of medical attention, but they’re not at the same risk of decreased maximal height given that bone length growth is complete in adulthood.
In addition to fractures, basketball has the potential to lead to other soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains.
While these injuries are painful and temporarily debilitating, they do not pose a serious risk of decreased maximal height.
Among youth, proper preemptive and post-injury care should be taken to minimize growth plate damage risk. Adults are not at risk of decreased height from injuries, and the overall benefits of basketball outweigh the risks among both youth and adults.
Although there’s no scientifically proven method to increase height beyond genetic capacity nor following the hardening of epiphyseal plates, a number of exercise programs and dietary supplements claim to make you taller.
Generally, the only risk of exercise programs aimed at increased height is that they will not work, at least when it comes to height.
The programs may be beneficial for other fitness goals, but be wary of any positive claims about exercise making you taller.
When it comes to supplements, you should practice even more caution. There is no evidence that supplements can increase the height of an adult.
Furthermore, the supplement industry is not regulated, and you run the risk of taking supplements with unverified, untested, or tainted ingredients.
The best-case scenario for height-improving supplements is that they do not work and are a waste of money.
In the worst case, you run the risk of taking potentially harmful ingredients, particularly when you do not know the specific amounts of each component in a supplement blend.
Exercise programs and supplements claiming to increase height are unproven and unlikely to have the intended effect. Always exercise caution when taking any dietary supplement and consult your healthcare provider in advance.
You may strive to increase your height for any number of reasons, including sports performance and general aesthetics.
Given that basketball players tend to be tall, you might assume that basketball can help increase maximal height.
Unfortunately, no evidence suggests that basketball or any other physical activity increases your maximal height. The same is true for supplements and any other tricks marketed to increase your height.
Height is determined primarily by genetic factors and secondarily by nutrition during childhood and adolescence.
By the time you reach adulthood, your bone growth plates close and further increases in height are biologically impossible.
Great basketball players are taller, on average, because height gives players a distinct advantage on the court. Accordingly, team selections consistently favor tall individuals.
The good news is that playing basketball and participating in similar physical activities offer a wide range of benefits for both health and athletic performance.
Do not be discouraged by the fact that you cannot increase your height.
You can still be a healthy, thriving individual and increase your performance in basketball and other sports through consistent participation and training.
Can Basketball Make You Taller? What The Science Says – Basketball Word!
You are probably reading the title and thinking it’s clickbait I assure you it is not. In this article, we are going to take a look at what the science says about growing taller, and is it possible that playing basketball makes you taller.
Can Basketball Make you Taller? New Findings suggest that there is a correlation between basketball and height. Although findings are not conclusive as genetics plays a major role in how tall you will be. Some evidence suggests that playing the game of basketball due to its physical activity may help increase height.
What evidence? Sounds like an old wives tale. I will present to you further studies of such findings that may help you decide for yourself if basketball can, in fact, increase one’s height. Could basketball be the reason why many NBA stars have huge growth spurts in High School? In one summer growing 8 inches taller while playing ball all summer.
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Is There Any Real Evidence That Says Playing Basketball Makes You Taller?
The average height of a player in the NBA is 6’7. That is 10 inches taller than the average height of an American male. I have looked and looked and found that there are no real studies exactly on if basketball makes you taller, there are only ways that you can help maximize your growth potential and genetics fully.
There is some research that is going around the world wide web that suggests that the act of continuous jumping sends signals to the brain and activates growth hormone. Also boosting blood flow to the spine and legs which then stimulates growth pates which are responsible for height increase.
Science suggests that playing basketball can add inches to your height due to the anaerobic movements and jumping during a game of basketball. It allows the pituitary gland to release more growth hormones into the body causing it to grow.
This is a hard pill for me to swallow as I played basketball my whole life and went through a 6 year period 9 years old to 15, where I dunked on an adjustable hoop all the time. My height is only 5’9 and I stopped growing when I was 16. Did I eat a healthy diet? Probably not. If I would have eaten more healthy would have I grown taller? I don’t know.
Then what about volleyball players, they jump a lot? The average height of the 2012 Top 4 Men’s volleyball Olympic Teams averages a height of 6’6.5 feet. Yes, this applies to them as well, but remember any time a player steps on the court that is tall they have a greater advantage against there competitors.
In volleyball, the advantage of height plays a key role and they can sacrifice skill jus a bit and still be dominant compared to a player with more skill and a few inches shorter. So what am I saying? If I had to guess, they were already tall when playing, not sure if volleyball made them tall.
We are talking about a player with a greater reach to get to the ball, a longer lever which means reaching for the ball and applying more power. Being taller also means the player is already at the net ready with hands jump and doesn’t have to jump as high. When is the last time you heard a player under 6 feet get recruited to play volleyball unless he’s the setter.
It’s actually a shame that most of the knowledge of what makes one growing taller or anything that may be important to maximize growth in a person is covered with the mass amounts of websites and advertisements for miracle pills and growth programs that promise so many inches added to your height if you purchase them. With absolutely no scientific backing, just twisting the simple truth and applying what the consumer wants to hear.
Many people assume that players in the NBA are tall so there must be some direct correlation. But the truth is tall people have an advantage over shorter people in sports and especially basketball. If you take two players who have the same skill set and you have one player who is 3 inches taller then the other, you will find that the taller will have the job/position.
I played basketball all my life and at 5’9 I use to try to increase my vertical to make up the lack of height that I had with the many vertical jump programs on the market at the time. Sometimes I would come across programs on the market and magic pills that that claimed to make you taller.
Man, did I want to grow taller as I loved basketball and it was my dream to make it to the N.B.A. But I was not stupid enough to fall for those scams, I just never thought it was an option.
Is there any real solid evidence that suggests that basketball can increase height? NO, there are a few things that you can do to help your genetics and maximize your growth potential.
How Can We Grow Taller Then?
If you are in that growth stage there are some things that can help and are proven by common sense. A couple of the things you may already know but maybe a good refresher to remind you that you really only have to maintain it for a few years until your out of the growth phase.
Sleep – So important when growing taller, you need to get your 8 hrs a day and not stay up playing video games all night and then go to school with 4 hours of sleep. You actually grow when your sleeping and resting that is why it’s so important.
Healthy Diet – Avoid anything that goes into the body that is not healthy to eat or healthy for your physical self. I would continue to eat eggs a lot, as the study suggested below that they help young children to grow and prevent stunting. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and even coffee just in case.
Exercise – We talked about this in the article already, play a lot of basketball, jump a lot, and definitely stretch every day to promote good health and loose muscles. Basketball actually helps to strengthen your bones.
Genetics – Unfortunately we have no control over genetics, but again you can try and maximize what is listed above and you can reach your full potential in height.
There are other ways on the market to help one grow taller but it involves thousands of dollars and complicated and dangerous surgeries. If it was a good idea then many athletes would be all over it. The process, recovery, lower limbs and your life isn’t worth it. So I won’t even bother.
Many NBA players who get to the league have a monster growth spurt that happens during high school, this helps them get a scholarship to a prestigious college basketball team.
So just imagine that you have been playing basketball, working on your game and fundamentals. You are considered an excellent player in your state and then in one year, you grow 6 to 12 inches with that same skill set you honed. This is why a lot of players make it to the NBA.
Many players who are already tall and athletic rely on their physical strengths more so then there skill. Which becomes much harder to be a stand out player unless you’re just a freak athlete.
Players who go through this growth spurt after having worked on their fundamentals and then by chance grow a few more inches become extremely dominant. this is why you have 6’7 point guards in the NBA. A player wasn’t already 6’6 and decided I want to play point now.
There are a few exceptions, obviously many players grow into there body at a quicker rate and are freak athletes and work the buts off to be as good as they can possibly be. Many standards have been broken the 6’11 shooting guard like Kevin Durant. Or the unicorn Kristaps Porzingas who used to play for the Knicks, this 7’1 shooting guard. Young players big or tall are trying to be lights out shooters.
NBA Players That went through growth spurts during High School:
Portland Trail Blazers, C.J. McCollum – was only 5’2 in his Junior year, he later grew to 6’4 by his senior year.
San Antonio Spurs, David Robinson – 5’9 his Junior Year, reached the NBA at 7’1.
Chicago Bulls, Dennis Rodman – 5’8 grew 12 inches during his junior and senior years of high school. I had read somewhere he grew 8 inches over the course of a few months leading up to his senior year.
Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen – 6’1 to 6’8 grew 7 inches after High School to increase his stock to make it to the NBA.
Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard – Who is now with the Wizards grew a foot in one year and was actually a point guard to start his career in High School.
San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan – 6’3 to 6’11, he was considered a late bloomer growing 8 inches in one year and getting a scholarship with Wake forest his senior year.
Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook – 5’10 to 6’3 his senior year growing an extra 5 inches before his senior year.
Some of these players above may have grown taller even during there college days. The Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks is said to have still been growing as he was only 20 years old when he entered the NBA. Giannis is now 6’11 and entered the NBA reportedly at 6’10.
At What Age Do We Stop Growing.
When puberty has started in an individual, the next 2 years is usually the fastest rate at which a person grows. Puberty lasts 2 to 5 years for a teen. Boys usually stop growing at 16 and are fully developed by 18 in most cases. But if growth plates have not closed then this an indication that an individual is still growing.
FYI growth plates are the ends of the long bones in children and adolescents responsible for growing taller. For myself, I stopped growing at 16.
Believe it or not when you first wake up in the morning your half an inch to an inch taller than before you go to bed. When I first read about this many years ago, a lot of people who were trying to make a buck on this theory. Adding there on twist and exercises. Avoid these scam programs all together there is no scientific backing behind it.
More on the subject of waking up taller Courtesy of this article at Knowledgestew.com
During the night when there is no load placed on your spine, fluid is slowly diffusing into the discs in a passive process called imbibition. Without forces compressing the spine, which includes gravity when you’re standing or sitting, discs grow in size due to osmotic pressures. An analogy to consider is that of a balloon with extremely tiny holes in it that is filled with gelatin and water sitting in a tub of water.
When the balloon is compressed, water seeps out, decreasing the volume in the balloon. When the compression is released the reverse happens. Each disc goes through this process at rest and increases in height by a small amount.
Myths On Growing Taller
Growing Taller Myths
Hanging From A Bar – Michael Jordan claimed that he hung from a bar for as long as he could many times a day because he wanted to grow taller. Jordan managed to grow to 6’6 No research proves that this actually helps.
Drinking Milk – You have to drink milk to grow taller, nothing proves this is the case. Many people believe this because milk is good for the bones and the growth plates are in the bones. Milk promotes healthy strong bones, no wonder the misconceptions, it definitely can’t hurt to drink it.
Magical Pills – If there was a magical pill, I would be taking it. I’m sure most pills for growth are a monthly supply for 100 dollars and you must take it for at least 1 year before you see any noticeable height gains.
Shoe Insoles – These things claim if you wear them they will increase your height, because of the pressure points the insole has that work on your feet. Just another fad.
Myths on stunting your Growth
Coffee – Drinking coffee does not stunt your growth, it’s just an old wives tale. There may be other concerns associated with this is the reason why its referred to as stunting your growth as kids all want to be tall. In large amounts of caffeine is not be good for you. The problem with this it is just assumed that it stunts your growth as no real studies on young children has been done. You can imagine why.
Weight Lifting – Many people think to this day that weight lifting stunts your growth still. But the opposite is true and it can actually help develop their bones by putting stress on them to help grow and make them stronger. This promotes growth to the bones just like jumping in basketball does encourage these activities to help an individual grow.
But Aren’t Tall People Clumsy On The Basketball Court
Many tall players that I have coached or played against that are 6’6 or taller are usually regarded as big men who play post and the center position and are still trying to catch up to their bodies. Meaning their movement efficiency on the court is poor in comparison to their height. Now the advantage to their game is that they are tall and can rebound if they get into the position they are able to score.
There are countless players that I have seen and have come across that are 6’5 and over, very clumsy, and have difficulty performing athletic movements. I have also seen players taller than 6’7 and can’t dunk. Now more than likely they didn’t pick up basketball till later in life when they realize they had an advantage over smaller players but realize quickly that there less skillful than most.
Then end up not taking the game as seriously because of the hard work and dedication it requires. It could take years to build up the type of movement efficiency that allows you to run around the court like a guard when you’re that tall.
When a player of that height has good footwork and understands the game of basketball and can hold his own, they usually depend on their height to play well. Now of course they’re using the best tool they have and maximizing it on the court, but here’s why many tall players don’t ever make it to the NBA.
At 6’6 to 6’8 they have played the post position all through high school and maybe into college. At the NBA level that position, the players would be several inches taller giving them an advantage while the player at 6’6 to 6’8 a disadvantage.
They really need to have an above-average skill set that allows them to have an advantage over all other players. But how can they when they have depended on their height through their career.
The Egg Study
There was an article published by Pediatrics publications in July 2017, Volume 140/Issue 1. The findings suggested that early introduction to eggs in young children significantly improved their growth and reduced stunting.
The results: Children who were on the egg diet experienced “reduced prevalence of stunting by 47 percent,” compared to a similarly sized control group. The study, entitled, “Eggs in Complementary Feeding and Growth,” was published in the June 6 edition of the journal Pediatrics.
More on this article Click Here
Well, that concludes this article, Again there is no significant, ah-ha research that states do this and you will grow taller, in the end, it’s all about who your mom and dad are, meaning genetics. Thank your Parents 🙂
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