Taekwondo is largely seen as a sport for tall people. This has in a way influenced your reason for the question I am about to answer in this post. So, does taekwondo increase height?
Taekwondo does not increase height in students and practitioners. This is because physical height in humans is influenced by factors such as genetics, hormones, and nutrition. However, if a person is below the age of 18, regular taekwondo exercises can help stimulate their growth hormones.
I often receive questions from parents and students looking to find out if Taekwondo is useful for height increase.
Their questions are fair enough since most taekwondo athletes appear to look tall, or should I say long?
Well, continue reading as I answer your question in more detail.
Can Taekwondo Make You Taller?
Taekwondo cannot make you taller as height growth in humans is influenced by factors such as genetics, hormones, and proper diet. However, physical exercises like taekwondo can help stimulate your growth hormones if you are below 18.
To be clear, taekwondo training, drills, and exercises do not directly increase the height of practitioners.
According to Medical News Today, the main factors that influence the height of a person are their genetic makeup, DNA, and Hormones.
This means that if your gene or hormones does not encourage adding a few more inches, even the most rigorous taekwondo training like stretching exercise can be less helpful for height growth.
In fact, it has been shown that taekwondo exercises such as stretching don’t increase a person’s height.
I believe most taekwondo players often appear tall (some are actually tall) simply because they often lose weight and body fat at training which makes them look taller than they really are.
Regardless, there is no correlation between weight loss and height increase.
So, while you might lose weight after several rigorous taekwondo drills and appear taller, your height does not increase.
Note, however, that despite my clear position that taekwondo does not increase the height of an adult student or practitioner, a slight exception is created with persons below the age of 18. Here is why…
Because individuals below this age are still developing physically, several factors such as nutrition, enough sleep, and regular exercise can help increase their height during this period.
And since taekwondo is not just a martial art but also a beneficial form of exercise, it can play its part in helping persons below the age of 18 to improve their developmental growth process through training and regular exercise.
Regular exercise is great for proper physical development as it supports muscle tissues and the health of bones. It helps stimulate the growth of hormones.
However, to achieve any positive result, regular physical exercise at taekwondo training must be combined with other major height improvement factors such as DNA and hormones.
So, although height is mainly determined by genetics, most people will not grow taller after age 18 even if they lose weight because their growth plates have closed.
The growth plate is the area of tissue near the ends of long bones in teens and children that determine the future shape and length of the mature bone.
Usually, growth plates close near the end of puberty. For boys, this is usually when they’re 15–17; for girls, it’s when they are 13-15.
Factors That Affect Height Growth
To better understand the limited role of taekwondo in height growth, it’s important to understand some of the main factors that affect height growth.
Children and Babies grow continuously due to changes in the growth plates in the long bones of their arms and legs.
As the growth plates make new bones, the long bones get longer and the child grows taller.
Babies typically grow by 50% in the first year of their lives.
A child typically grows 2.5 to 3.5 inches (in) or 6.3 to 8.9 centimeters (cm) a year between the ages of 2 and 5.
By the time they are 10, the average child grows 2.5 inches, or 6.3 centimeters every year.
Teenagers will reach the final 15–20% of their adult height during adolescence, which lasts from approximately 11 to 21 years old.
The growth plates stop making new bones after this, and a person will stop growing.
The typical aging process causes people to lose height gradually as they age.
Now, here are the main factors that affect the height of a person.
Scientists estimate that about 80 percent of an individual’s height is determined by their inherited DNA sequence variations.
Growth plates and growth hormone production are affected by some of these genes.
DNA is the main determinant of normal height ranges for people from different ethnic backgrounds.
A person’s adult height can also be affected by genetic conditions.
Growth plates are instructed to make new bones by hormones produced by the body. Hormones such as these include;
- Growth hormones: These are the most important hormone for growth. Some health conditions can restrict the number of growth hormones the body makes, which can affect height. For example, those with congenital growth hormone deficiency will grow more slowly than others.
- Sex hormones: Estrogen and testosterone are very important for growth during puberty.
- Thyroid hormones: The thyroid gland makes hormones that help influence growth.
Does Taekwondo Stop Height Growth
Taekwondo does not stop height growth in any way and is a tool for growth stimulation for teens and children below the age of 18.
Martial art such as taekwondo does not stunt growth in practitioners, and the notion that they do is a misconception.
Some people even believe that basic stretching exercises slow the physical growth of a student.
Well, height has nothing to do with muscles since the structure of your bones determines how tall you are.
Interestingly, with children under the age of 18, taekwondo can help facilitate their growth, just like any other physical exercise.
A study has shown that regular taekwondo training can positively improve the physical fitness and growth index of children in their growth period.
As adults, we already know that our growth is capped by Mother Nature once we reach adulthood (which is not the fault of any martial art training).
Is Height Important in Taekwondo?
Height is not important in Taekwondo as you can excel even if you have short legs. However, being tall can be an advantage for anyone participating in this long-range martial art.
So, do you have to be tall for taekwondo?
Well, several taekwondo athletes are doing very well despite not being the tallest on the mat.
This is because they see their height as a strength rather than a weakness.
Short persons can improve other aspects of their training to help them equal and even surpass the height advantage of their opponent.
They can achieve this by improving their;
- Punching skill
- Strength and endurance
So, learn to master techniques with all counter moves (including punching).
Do a lot of fast-twitch training, and look intimidating and badass during competitions.
Also, avoid slacking during gym practice as this will help boost your endurance level.
Taekwondo is not a sure way of increasing your height even as a child or teenager.
However, regular training and exercises can be used to stimulate the growth hormones which can contribute to facilitating the height increase.
Hi, my name is Godwin. I am a passionate martial artist with black belts in Taekwondo and Karate. I have over 15 years of martial art experience. I created this platform to enable me to help you learn martial art the right way.