Does Swimming Make You Taller?- Facts Or Myths?

Many wonder whether it is possible to increase their height.  Some people claim that good nutrition can increase an adult’s height, while others believe that particular exercise plays a role in improving your height.  But does swimming as a sport make you taller?

Swimming is a popular form of exercise dominated by many tall athletes worldwide. It is a fun sport and leisure activity that provides numerous health benefits. Apart from burning calories, swimming also helps to build up your muscle tone and improves your cardiovascular fitness.

Can Swimming Make You Taller?

Can Swimming Make You Taller

Many people believe that swimming and height growth are closely linked together. However, this is a myth since swimming can only make you appear taller, which many people often mistake as growth in height.

There is a belief that swimming can make you taller because many professional swimmers such as Michael Phelps, Matt Grevers, Cate Campbell, and many others are incredibly tall, measuring over six feet. Therefore, since swimmers have been swimming since they were little, people believe that the sport has contributed to their height.

Swimming cannot increase height, but it can make you appear elongated, which many people confuse for growth. When the body stretches and elongates during swimming, the development is temporary and may not be noticeable in the long term.

Mostly, swimming is a low-impact exercise that engages the entire body. Therefore, when swimming, the muscles stretch out to resist the water and cause lengthening. The sport eliminates the force of gravity on the spine, which allows the spine to decompress and give the impression of increased height.

Unfortunately, although your body may elongate due to swimming, there is no concrete evidence suggesting that a lot of swimming can help people increase their height. The height of a professional swimmer does not correlate whatsoever with the sport.

What Determines How Tall A Person Will Grow?

The main factor that determines how tall people grow is their genetic makeup. People from a family lineage of tall people, including grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews, are likely to grow tall since it is in their genetic makeup.

On the other hand, people from families who generally have short members are highly likely to be short. It is essential to know that this may not always be the case as there can be exceptions where a person from a tall family may turn out short while a person from a short family may grow very tall.

According to scientists, our genetic makeup (DNA) is responsible for nearly 80 % of our height. The remaining 20% is determined by other factors which may influence height, including nutrition, hormones, activity levels, and some medical conditions.

Do People Still Grow Tall After The Age Of 18?

The majority of people’s growth occurs between age 1 and 2, and from there, it tailors off and stays relatively even until a person gets to twelve years. After one gets into puberty, their curve rises steadily until adulthood. Growth stops at around 18 years for most people, although some may still experience a slight increase in height until they get to 22 years.

Why Are Most Professional Swimmers Tall?

Why Are Most Professional Swimmers Tall

As mentioned above, many professional swimmers are pretty tall. Unfortunately, many people believe that their heights can be attributed to swimming; but the truth is, there is no correlation. The professional swimmers appear taller as they have a height advantage in water but are not tall from their years of practice.

Moreover, being tall is usually an advantage for professional swimmers as they join the sport. Like we often see with most basketballers, even swimmers come in extremely tall heights.

Why Are Tall People Good At Swimming?

People who are generally tall and lean can navigate through the water pretty fast. These people also have long arms and well-built hands, which serve as oars and allows them to push a lot of water to propel their bodies forward.

Additionally, tall people often have long legs and big feet, which act like fins and allow them to swim quickly without much kicking. The tall people are also quite skilled at swimming, technically meaning that height is only an added advantage to be good at swimming.

Can Short People Swim Well?

It is not only tall people that are good swimmers. Many short people are discouraged from swimming because their tall professional counterparts have a height advantage. However, being short should not prevent you from being a good swimmer. Numerous short swimmers are also quite good at the sport.

It takes more than height to become good at what you do. Other factors such as determination, regular practice, and good nutrition play a significant role in becoming a good swimmer. However, during competitions, a swimmer’s height may favor them.

Swimming FAQ

Does Swimming Make You Taller?

The assumption that swimming can make you taller is just a myth with no scientific proof. The stretching that may happen when swimming is temporary and will not be a noticeable change or make any difference in your swimming speed. Although swimming may elongate your body, there is no conclusive evidence suggesting that plenty of swimming will increase your height.

Does Swimming Make You Stronger? 

Although swimming can’t make you any taller, it obviously can make you stronger. Swimming engages all the muscle groups in the body. Moreover, this low-impact activity does not add extra stress to your body. When you spend long hours swimming, you get the advantage of developing various muscles when practicing all four strokes. Not only are most professional swimmers tall, but they are also lean with tight muscles.


Before you get discouraged from being short, you should know there is nothing wrong with being short. Height doesn’t determine whether you can swim or not. There are plenty of successful swimmers who are short as other external factors determine how good you will be in the sport. Focus on perfecting your stroke technique, practicing frequently, and ensuring you take a proper diet; you will be good at what you do overtime.

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