3 Exercises That Make You Taller

woman stretching on a yoga mat(BlackDoctor.org) — Stretching is one of the most neglected exercises in regard to staying healthy — overshadowed by lifting weights, running, swimming or playing sports. But stretching can regularly have a profound effect on our bodies,  including improved circulation, lower muscle tension, better coordination, and the little known benefit lengthening your back and making you taller.

Following are 3 exercises that are guaranteed to make you look like you’ve grown an inch or two:

1. Downward Dog

Downward Dog is a great yoga exercise that both strengthens and lengthens. To achieve the position correctly, straighten the legs to your personal limit, send your tailbone to the ceiling and pull the lats down (via the shoulder blades). Do a deep inhale, then exhale. Repeat the breath 8 times and relax. Resume the posture at least 2 more times without letting your head drop or your back arch. Keep your head on your spine, making your spine one long line.

2. Getting Your Back on Track

This one is more of a stretch. Interlace your fingers behind your neck and slowly roll down as if you’re pulling your head down to your toes, taking it as far as you can go. Hang there for 4-5 breaths. Take your middle finger and pointer on each hand and wrap them around your big toe to pull yourself closer to your toes — this is a great hamstring stretch. Once you get to the bottom of that stretch, pull your back toward the ceiling as you pull your head to the floor. This is an amazing stretch in the sacrum and lower spine. Use your abs to push the lower spine toward the ceiling, and repeat up to 3 times.

3. No Time Spine Align

Take a 2.5 lb weight or a very heavy book and balance it on the crown of your head. Think of the weight pushing down into the top of your skull. Keep the energy in your neck going up, letting the neck get as long as possible — hold it for about a minute. You feel like you get a little taller standing there in this meditative state. Let your shoulders drop and concentrate on your breath. Hold for at least minute. You’ll be left with a sense of height and length in the neck and spine.