I was in the gym the other day and heard some teenagers talking about ways to get taller. They were specifically talking about pullups. Do pull ups make you taller?
They kind of do. But what do I mean when I say kind of? Well, pull ups are going to exercise your back muscles. Specifically the muscles that improve your posture. And posture is a major factor in your appearance.
For example, someone who is 5’8” but with bad posture is going to probably appear closer to 5’6”. This might seem like an extreme example, but how you are perceived matters a lot, even if it is just by a couple of inches.
Unfortunately, there is no proof that pull ups, or any workout makes you taller. Your height is more determined by your genetics than anything else.
But we can grow in other areas, which we will discuss in this article.
Working out improves your growth
While there is no proof that working out makes you taller. There is definitive proof that it improves your growth in other areas and might contribute to increased height.
If we are asking the question, do pull ups make you taller, we know that you can’t definitively say that pull ups make you taller.
But what we can say is that in general, working out improves your posture, muscle density, and confidence. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that working out does increase your confidence significantly.
When we improve ourselves in other ways, we will come to be satisfied with the progress that we are making.
I think our culture is obsessed with height. I will admit that I am 6’1”, so I can’t say that I have struggled with the quest of becoming taller.
What I have struggled with though is the lack of confidence that comes with being scrawny and out of shape.
As you would imagine, when I built some solid muscle, I grew confidence, my posture improved, and my body has never felt better.
Just last weekend I went to a Christmas party and I saw my uncle, who I haven’t seen in a few years. He asked me if I had grown in height.
Now, this is a fairly common thing to ask a teenager or someone growing in height, but I am a 34 year old man.
I had some time to think about this, and I realized that his perception of me changed with my improved posture and increased confidence.
Working out in general is going to do this for you. Whether it’s pull ups or a combination of weight training and something else.
Don’t just do pull ups
If you have made it this far, you have realized that pull ups won’t make you taller. They may benefit you in other ways though. But doing pull ups alone is not going to cut it.
You need a plan that is not only going to incorporate pull ups, but will ensure that other parts of your body are along for the ride.
The key to building a solid body is through consistent weight training and long term commitment. It is not that difficult to follow a consistent schedule and make a habit of exercising.
It does become emotionally taxing if your mind has different ideas for what working out can do for you. If you are still asking the question, do pull ups make you taller, you are missing the point.
I will give you a good example. When I first started working out, I assumed that my muscles would grow rapidly and I would be jacked in no time. I was upset when months later I didn’t gain a pound of muscle.
This is where expectations come into play. You should probably consider what realistic fitness goals for beginners look like.
Instead of learning more about my body and trying to meet expectations, I doubled down on working out. I was in the gym 5-7 days per week, thinking that would accelerate my muscle building desires.
It only frustrated me more than I was before. What I realized was that nutrition was what was holding me back.
Don’t neglect nutrition
As we continue to understand the relationship between growth and nutrition, let me take you back to year 1 of my nutrition revelation.
I had been working out off and on for 7 years. Yes, 7 years. I hadn’t seen any visible signs of muscle growth. Then a friend told me that I probably wasn’t eating enough.
Long story short, I figured out how much I needed to be eating, and started eating in a caloric surplus. I gained over 20 pounds of muscle in 1 year. It was a shocking truth to find out that I wasted 7 years in the gym simply because I wasn’t eating enough.
And if you are struggling with growth of any kind, you first need to make sure that it is not a nutrition issue.
But how do you know you are eating enough to begin with? Start by calculating your maintenance calories. While this is a tedious task, it is going to set you up in the future for incredible success.
If your goal is growth, whether it is making yourself taller, or growing muscles, step one is to always ensure that you are in a caloric surplus.
And maintenance calories differ from person to person. A great example of this is myself vs my wife. My maintenance calorie number is 3,100 while hers is 1,800. So if we both ate 3,100 calories per day, I wouldn’t gain any weight, and she would gain weight rapidly.
This is another reason why you shouldn’t go too far over your maintenance number. Start with just 500 calories per day over maintenance and move up from there if you are experiencing slow growth.
Main Point: Do pull ups make you taller
It is a simple question that we have complex answers to. Do pull ups make you taller. At the end of the day, there is no proven evidence to suggest that pull ups make you taller in any way.
But there is evidence to suggest that the improved posture and confidence that comes with a regular workout routine can give the appearance of increased height.
Even though there is no proof that pull ups make you taller, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them. And it doesn’t mean that they won’t make you taller.
What we should be focused on is being the best version of ourselves. And the best way to do that is to set realistic goals for ourselves and do what we can with the information that we have.
Here are the facts. We know that if we eat at a caloric surplus, we are going to grow. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we are going to grow in height, but we are putting our body in a state that would allow that.
Now, make sure that your caloric surplus does not go to waste. Workout alongside that caloric surplus and see what your body is capable of.