Does Cobra Exercise Make You Taller?

While genetics plays a big role in determining our height, other factors like exercise, nutrition, and environmental conditions support it. Most get a growth spurt during the puberty years and then it stops. But contrary to popular belief, some reckon we can get extra inches after 20 with yoga practice, especially, cobra exercises. What do you think? Follow us to know now!

What is a cobra pose?

The cobra pose, also called Bhujangasana, is named for the animal the pose resembles. In this case, it mirrors the look of a slowly rising serpent.

Cobra belongs to a category of poses, called backbends, in which you bend your spine backward, a movement known as spinal expansion. Practicing this pose helps prevent all the forward motion and rounded shapes we might make during the day; for instance, using computers so often.

How to perform a cobra pose?

  • First, you need to lie on your belly. Then separate your feet and leg to hip width and point your toes, making the tops of your feet on the floor.
  • Arch your elbows and put your hands on the floor beside your ribs.
  • Breathe in and push up to raise your upper body.
  • Keep your low belly on the floor and your elbows bent to perform a low cobra. Look down toward your cheeks or straight ahead.
  • Continue pressing your arms straight without locking your elbows to perform a full cobra. Do it until your belly is off the floor. Look straight forward to keep your neck long.
A woman is laying on her stomach on a wooden deck doing yoga .

Which muscles worked and stretched in a cobra pose?

When stretching the body in any yoga pose, like the cobra, the opposite side is being lengthened. Generally, backbends tend to extend the muscles of the front body, while making your posterior muscles firm.

Muscles stretched in this pose include:

  • Tops of your feet
  • Abdominals
  • Pectoralis muscles
  • Hip flexors
  • Cervical flexors on the front of the neck
  • Brachialis and biceps

Muscles engaged in this pose include:

  • Triceps
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Muscles of the upper back
  • Spinal extensors

What health benefits of doing the cobra pose?

Reduce lower back pain

A study pointed out that practicing yoga, including the cobra pose, for 12 weeks, helped improve lower back pain and tension that comes with chronic pain. Although the study revealed physical changes to the intervertebral discs were not enough to report, most participants self-reported fewer experiences with pain [1].

Improve posture

Our posture always suffers pain or incorrect alignment because most of us often sit for work every day and look down at phones or other devices at night. Regularly practicing the cobra pose or other spinal extension exercises might hinder issues, such as slumping shoulders or forward head posture.

Decrease inflammation

A study published in 2014 mentioned that 200 breast cancer survivors showed improvement in inflammation after joining a 90-minute yoga class, which introduced the cobra pose, twice a week for 12 weeks [2]. Another study is related to those with rheumatoid arthritis. They also recognized good changes in inflammation and other symptoms after practicing yoga, including the cobra pose, 5 times a week for 8 weeks [3].

Enhance sleep quality

In a 2014 study, menopausal women who joined a regular yoga practice, involving the cobra pose, in 18 weeks experienced improved sleep [4]. Another 2017 study showed that regularly performing yoga, including the cobra pose, in 12 weeks might promote sleep quality for women with type 2 diabetes [5].

Lessen symptoms of depression

Research suggests that a constant or long-term yoga practice contributes to changes in depressive symptoms. Particularly, a 2017 study pointed out positive improvements in people suffering from mild to moderate depression after joining an 8-week Hatha yoga program that involved performing cobra poses twice a week [6].

Promote self-esteem

Believe it or not, training in yoga daily for 4.5 months can improve self-esteem in school-age children [7]. Also, another small 2020 study pointed out that yoga can be helpful for adolescents as they might suffer higher levels of depression and loneliness [8].

Does cobra exercise make you taller after all?

If you are below 18, particularly when your growth plates are still open, practicing cobra poses or other stretching exercises might support your height growth. However, it does not increase your bone length after puberty because your plates close.

Should you stop doing it when you are an adult?

In fact, it is still good if you keep practicing it daily due to the health benefits mentioned above. Importantly, the cobra pose might improve your posture and spinal alignment, offering the look of being taller.

A woman in a black top and black shorts is doing a yoga pose

How to boost height growth for children?

Adapt healthy habits

As parents, the first and foremost thing is to guide children to have a healthy and balanced diet. Focus on key nutrients for growth and health such as calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin K, zinc, and more. Of course, it is easy for you to get them from dairy products, leafy green, fresh fruits, and lean meats.

Next is to encourage kids to get enough sleep because it is vital to help their bodies repair themselves and regenerate tissues needed for growth. Depending on various age, children need to get a night of adequate sleep. For example, teens aged 13–18 years should sleep 8–10 hours. Besides, they should have a consistent bedtime routine to maintain a good night’s sleep.

Practicing cobra poses or other stretching exercises is, of course, essential for promoting bone health and density. Also, you should engage in outdoor physical activities to obtain vitamin D from sunlight for overall height development.

Try alternative exercises to promote good posture

Swimming and hanging from a bar are good alternative exercises that you should try to benefit your posture as well as your overall musculoskeletal development.

  • Swimming is a popular sport for height growth as it involves full-body movements that might improve flexibility and build up muscles without stressing growing bones. 
  • Hanging exercises help stimulate upper body strength and core stability as well as proper spine alignment for potential height growth. 

Have regular check-ups

This is necessary when you have a kid. Because doctors might help assess growth milestones, identify concerns about growth, offer nutritional advice, and recommend suitable exercises. 

To sum up,

Practicing cobra poses or yoga exercises is not the sole solution for increasing height. However, it might have a positive impact on your posture, spinal health, and other health benefits, contributing to a healthy appearance. Keep in mind that you need to combine many holistic factors if you want to grow taller effectively. In some cases, supplements can be considered to improve height.

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