Does Tennis Make You Taller?

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Maybe you are looking for a sport that will help you or your child grow taller. One myth persists that tennis is a sport that can make you taller. If you want to know the factors that influence your height for sports and what you can do to increase your height, we will answer all of those questions in this post.

Playing tennis does not make you taller. Your genetics and nutrition determine your height. A person’s genes will determine the maximum height potential of that person. A person’s environmental factors and nutrition will determine whether that person will reach their maximum height potential. Playing tennis has not been proven to have an impact on a person’s height. 

This is a myth that has persisted without any scientific evidence or proof to substantiate the claim. While genetics are the most impactful in determining your height, some environmental factors can play a role. We will talk about how this myth has become popular and discuss the environmental factors you can control.

Black tennis rackets with tennis ball lying on tennis court floor, Does Tennis Make You Taller?

Why Are Tennis Players So Tall?

Being tall is an advantage in certain sports, including tennis and basketball. Being tall is not the only factor in athleticism, but it does provide certain benefits over shorter players. Taller players have longer arms and legs. Longer legs give the player a longer stride and allow them to get to the ball more quickly than a short player. The player does not need to reach as far with his or her arms to hit the ball. A shorter player has to work harder to run and reach for the ball, which gives tall players a distinct advantage.

The longer arms allow tall tennis players to hit the ball at more angles. They can cover more space with their arm span and swing, which means the contact can be more powerful and faster. All of these benefits show why professional tennis players are taller than the average height of the population.

Teenage couple having some quality time in the park

What Is The Average Height Of A Tennis Player?

Professional male tennis players are between 6’1 and 6’3 on average. Women tennis players in the World Tennis Association are an average height of 5’7. The average height of American men is 5’9, while American women average 5’4 in height. Tennis players are taller than the average American by three to six inches. Billie Jean King is an example of a shorter woman who was a very successful tennis player, although she is still an inch taller than the average American woman.

There are professional tennis players as short as 5’2 for women and 5’6 for men. The top 10 tennis players average 6’3 in height, two inches taller than the average for tennis players ranked 11-25. Every segment of the top 500 tennis players averages at 6-feet or more in height.

Young female tennis player playing tennis

Which Sport Can Make You Taller?

Sports cannot make you taller. The majority of your height is determined by genetics. Whether you reach your genetically pre-determined maximum height depends on receiving adequate nutrition while in a growth phase. Once your growth plates close, you will not grow any taller regardless of environmental factors or playing sports. Growth plates close around age 15 for females and age 16 for males.

Does Exercise Make You Grow Taller?

There are various myths about exercise making you grow taller, and there is only one small fraction of truth. Stretching, yoga, and strength training can help you improve your posture. When you have an appropriate posture, you will express your height accurately and stand taller. This is not because you have longer bones, so it is not true growth.

Good posture is important for standing tall, but it is also vital for your health. Smartphones and technology cause many people to have bad posture from looking down throughout the day. There is a brace that can be worn to train your spine and shoulders to have proper posture.

Posture Corrector For Women And Men

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Can Exercising Make You Shorter?

Another related myth is that gymnastics and weight training stunts growth or makes people shorter. There is no evidence to suggest that this is true. Gymnasts are shorter on average than the general population. This is a sport that requires you to move your whole body around and in between bars. It is one sport that favors short people.

Weight training and gymnastics may cause broken bones and other injuries. These injuries, such as a broken growth plate, can stunt a person’s growth. It is the injury itself that stunts the growth and not the activity of gymnastics or weight lifting.

What Nutrition Is Important For Growth?

There is no specific food that can improve or degrade your ability to grow. The most important thing is receiving enough carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Ideally, you would receive these nutrients through various foods from dairy, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains. This is not to indicate that certain diets would inhibit growth as long as your body receives nutrition from multiple sources.

The most important thing is to avoid junk food with empty calories. These kinds of food can make you feel satisfied, but it does not provide the nutrients a human body needs to grow and thrive.

Other Environmental Factors That Impact Growth

Besides nutrition, the only environmental factors that affect growth are impact trauma or disease. Fractures are the most likely to cause this problem. About 42-percent of boys and 27-percent of girls sustain a fracture before the age of 16. Up to 30-percent of these cases can be a physical injury or growth plate related. Among those cases, about five to ten percent will have growth plate arrest that inhibits growth or causes a deformity.

This means three to twelve boys out of every thousand will have growth plate arrest or a deformity due to the physical fracture. The number of girls is less than eight out of every thousand.

How To Prevent Injuries

The most common physical fracture occurs close to the knee. Tennis players and other athletes can wear braces around their joints to prevent injuries. While it is unlikely to get a fracture that inhibits growth, this risk can be minimized by wearing a knee brace. Wearing braces around your elbows or ankles can also help prevent other kinds of injuries.

IPOW Knee Stabilizer 2 Pack

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In Closing

Playing sports will not affect your height. Nutrition and eating a balanced diet are the most important factors you can control to promote growth. Genetics already determines a maximum height for each person. Getting the appropriate amount of nutrients will allow a person to reach the height that has been determined genetically. A child who plays sports should also make sure they receive enough calories to offset what is burned during competition and practice.

There are a few environmental factors that can inhibit growth, although little you can do to prevent this from happening. Playing in sports could certainly increase the potential for bone fractures and growth plate arrest. Among the general population, less than one-hundredth of a percent may experience inhibited growth due to injury. This is not enough of a risk that you should be concerned with the danger of playing sports to inhibit growth.

Interested in how tennis can positively impact your health? Please read, Does Tennis Count As Cardio.

Make sure your gear is ready for the court, before you play read, Do Tennis Strings Go Bad Or Expire.

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