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Pull ups, do they help you grow taller?

You wish you were taller and to do that you've tried cycling, swimming and all different types of stretches and now you've herd “pull ups will help you grow taller” how true is that statement? Do they help you grow taller? let's find out. 

How to do a pull up? 

pull up
standard pull up

Pull up exercises in simple terms is the act of hanging on your arms on a leverage and pulling yourself on the said leverage vertically up and down. 

Easier it may sound but it is a difficult move to perform, performing a pull up efficiently depends on one's age, weight and bone density. 

The best advice for doing a pull up is to brace your core and pop your chest out and instead of thinking to pull yourself up think of bending the bar/leverage you are hanging from. 

If it's still difficult to perform a single pull up you can do Australian pull up's or use an assistance band or a pull up assistance machine or just do all of these. You can also try doing just the negatives of pull up movement for practice. 

Pull up is a skill that comes slowly and it takes patience and practice to learn and master it. 

What muscles do pull up work? 

The primary muscles that pull up work (if done right that is) is the back muscle. From rear delts to lower lats the pull up works the entire back. The spine, shoulders and arms are stretched in a perfect way that blood flows in properly to every joint and ligament. 

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Different style of pull ups

different grips on a pull up bar
Different grips on pull up bar

The pull up exercise has different variations based on which grip style you choose to do them with. 

A pronated grip is the most popular grip for doing a pull up, a supinated grip pull up is commonly referred to as a “Chin up”. The neutral grip pull up is preferred by most who do pull up everyday or do a weighted pull up. 

You can do an arch back for maximum back engagement or a hollow back for a front torso engagement. 

Mind muscle connection with pull ups

The biggest indicator of a good workout is the mind muscle connection and exercises like pull ups require a very strong mind muscle connection. 

When you do a pull up your mind really engages into that movement and ties all the muscles together and increases blood flow in the active muscles responsible for pulling you up. 

Best compound lift

A compound lift is one which involves multiple joints and muscles to move together at once. 

Pull up is going to be one of the best compound movements because of its multiple joints in arms and hips activation at once and involving multiple muscles in back and arms to work together. 

The average compound lift workout are also risky to some extent as they might cause injury, but pull up stands apart from these the joints and tendons are stretched instead of being loaded so an injury risk is far less in a pull up. 

Comparison with lat pulldown

In the matter of fitness there are variations to every and most people consider the Lat Pulldown as a substitute to pull ups but that is far from the truth.

The lat pulldown seems like it's similar to a pull up but it doesn't stress the spine and shoulders like a pull up does, the core engagement is also off and wrist are also less strained.

The lat pulldown is a great exercise for the back and thinking that it will provide you with the same benefits as a pull up, will keep you chasing like a donkey chasing a carrot tied to a string in front of it. 

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Recovery ability of a pull up exercise

The pull up, unlike most exercise, not just provides a great load but also provides a great stretch too.

 If you just load your muscle and not stretch it then your fatigue build up shoots up and mobility also reduces greatly, occasional cramps occur and injury risk raises. 

If you do pull ups your recovery ability will improve and stretching that happens every rep of a pull up will help your entire body. 

What hormones does a pull exercise help release

Exercising helps regulate bad hormones and helps release good ones and with pull up exercise it helps release a lot of good hormones. 

The pull up exercise triggers production of testosterone, endorphins, growth hormones and adrenaline. 

Notice how all of these hormones are essential to a growing human body. These hormones are responsible for getting taller in growing years. But let's get in depth further to confirm whether pull ups help us grow taller. 

The age range for which pull up will help to grow vertically

Your growing years will probably end with your teen years, so gaining more height after 18 or 20 years is going to be a challenge for both men and women. 

You need to ensure your diet is on point. Your protein, carbs, fats and all essential nutrients are regularly replenished. Your activity levels and rest are also needed to be in a good healthy range. Once you have a good foundation of nutrition, exercise, rest and you are in your growing years, you can start thinking about how to grow vertically faster. 

Some people may claim that their height has grown after their teen years, which maybe because their spines stretched out from exercising but that is not true growth technically speaking, they were already that tall to begin with they just realized their true potential with working out. 

3 best ways pull ups help you grow taller

The pull up exercise has been proven to help grow vertically and some studies suggests how that exactly happens

  • Stretch the spine: The spine may sometimes be incorrectly shaped or compressed too much. The pull up exercise helps relieve the spine's tension and brings it back to its natural shape. 
  • Hormonal boost: The pull up exercise helps stimulate hormones like endorphins, testosterone, adrenaline and growth hormone. All these hormones promote growth and having them in our system is a plus if you want to grow vertically. 
  • CNS stress: The pull up exercise stresses the central nervous system (CNS) to send out a strong signal all throughout the body to change the body's reach and shape with every rep of pull up. Doing pull ups everyday just makes that signal more prominent and that might just trigger our body to grow. The CNS stress to grow vertically is very strong with pull ups compared to any other exercise. 
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The pull up exercise is a very good tool to help you grow vertically, if you are already in your growing years. Anyone who has passed their teen years and is looking to grow their height, it might not be possible naturally. You can do pull ups and still gain an inch or two by stretching your spine but that is all, you won't break through your genetic limitations.

Remember, your height may be accelerated from pull ups but it may never surpass your genetic boundaries. Your age, diet, activity level and rest all hold an important place in your physical growth but even they fall short in front of the genetic boundaries. 

So be weary of your expectations and don't let them turn your hopes into delusional dreams. 


Can I grow 1-2 inches by doing pull ups? 

You can stretch your stressed spine to gain an inch or two but that's it it won't be a permanent change and once you stop doing pull ups and other stretches the spine might compress again. 

Can I grow taller after the age of 18? 

The chances of growing taller after teen years is very slim, some people may still show growth for a couple of years after teens but everyone's body eventually balances out the hormone production and vertical growth stops permanently. 

Can I grow taller if I substitute lat pulldown with pull ups? 

No, pull ups will help you grow in your teen years to grow vertically till you reach your genetic potential and as for lat pulldown, it is a substitute to pull ups so people can train their lats properly. Lat pulldown is no proper substitute for pull ups either way. pull ups are superior exercise compared to lat pulldown

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sandesh Khade
sandesh Khade

Hi I'm Sandesh khade and I am an electronics and telecommunications engineer, I have taught math to engineering, diploma and 10+2 students. I am also an avid fitness enthusiast and workout regularly. I love to analyze and write. I try to write about almost any event or make one up just for the sake of practicing writing.