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Did you know that your torso or trunk is your body‘s core? It includes the shoulders, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and back. It also protects your internal organs.
However, despite its many functionalities, people with longer torsos often worry about being unattractive. It’s because most think shorter torsos and long legs are more appealing. Moreover, having a longer torso means being prone to back and neck problems. Finding suitable chairs, bicycles, and clothes is also a challenge.
On the bright side, individuals with longer torsos can have more muscular and stronger legs which are vital in fitness training. Most of them don’t need to spend much time and effort working out to maintain it.
Table of Contents
- Will My Torso Get Longer?
- Is a Long Torso Good for Bodybuilding?
- Long Torso Advantages Over a Shorter Torso
- Is a Long Torso Good for Swimming?
- Does Stretching Make Your Torso Longer?
Will My Torso Get Longer?
Your torso will stop growing between the ages of 15 to 20. After that, no amount of exercise can assist you in getting a longer torso.
The human skeleton grows and stops one by one. It starts from hands to feet. Then arms and legs. Finally, to the chest, spine, and torso. Once the bone of the torso completely grows to its fixed size, it’s impossible to extend it without expensive surgery physically. Most torsos are 18 inches and below. Long torsos are those with more than 20 inches.
Don’t worry! You can still have a longer torso without changing anything in your body.
Here are some tips on how to create a longer torso:
If you want your torso to appear longer, take advantage of illusions created by clothing. A quick solution is to keep your shirts out and untucked. This hack effectively shows that your waist is lower than its original place. Pick longer tops that cross your midline and avoid high-waisted pants to keep the mirage of a longer upper body.
Yoga and Pilates
Make it a habit to do stretches from yoga and Pilates. These poses extend your spine, make you more flexible, improve your posture and create torso muscles that can help your overall health.
Is a Long Torso Good for Bodybuilding?
There are different opinions on this particular topic, and more evidence and studies are needed to prove each account.
An athletic, hard, solid body that can gain and define muscles like the “mesomorph” type is the best for bodybuilding.
Unfortunately, more body types exist with both distinct and overlapping details. Because people with longer torsos generally have shorter legs, it’s difficult to tell what kind of body it belongs to.
As one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proportions became the standard in bodybuilding. Thus, most bodybuilders find shorter torsos ideal for the sport. If you’re planning to join a competition, remember that most winners have shorter torsos and longer legs. It’s because of their thicker and more robust upper body and longer lats, making them more aesthetically pleasing.
However, some bodybuilders also say that a longer torso is better for a good body mass foundation. People with short torsos and long legs sometimes find it extremely difficult to put mass on their thighs.
Bodybuilding is all about muscular balance. To bodybuild, you’ll have to adjust your exercises for easier execution. For example:
- Because of a longer torso, you’ll have to lean slightly forward during squats. You’ll also need a wider stance to keep your balance.
- Work on your lower lats because most people with long torsos also have high lats.
Note that there’s no one way to do exercise. Listen to your body and gradually modify your routine based on what works for you.
Long Torso Advantages Over a Shorter Torso
Many factors affect torso and leg length. These include:
- Neanderthal Ancestry
- BMI (during puberty)
It’s normal to have a long torso. However, if you find yourself getting insecure about it, here’s a checklist of the benefits you’re privy to:
- You have larger back muscles and pecs.
- You find sprinting a breeze.
- You can easily do squats and bench exercises.
- You have a significant advantage in sports like gymnastics, weightlifting, and powerlifting.
- You have a wider wingspan for your bigger arm size.
- You have muscular legs which are perfect for soccer, gardening, and moving furniture.
- You have a mechanical advantage in doing sumo deadlifts.
- You’re more flexible than people with a shorter torso.
- You won’t need a lot of leg room.
- You find it easier to develop triceps, upper traps, and quads.
- A longer torso makes a man look bigger and bulkier, even with short legs.
Is a Long Torso Good for Swimming?
Yes. A longer torso is better than a short one in sports like swimming. Michael Phelps has the best example of a swimmer body – a 6’ 4” tall man with a long torso, long arms, and shorter legs. To have an excellent swimmer body, you must have:
- Wide arm length
- Broad shoulders
- Tall stature
- Thin waist
- Powerful legs
Being tall in swimming includes having a long torso and flat abs. Phelps’ long, thin, and flat bodies gave him a massive advantage in penetrating the water more efficiently without using a tremendous amount of energy.
Swimmers prefer long torsos with more upper muscles. Gravity pulls swimmers with longer and heavier torsos forward as they move in the water. On the other hand, gravity drags and slows swimmers with short torsos and long, heavy legs.
Does Stretching Make Your Torso Longer?
You can’t lengthen your torso once it stops growing. But you can do daily exercises and stretches to achieve long, lean torso muscles. Static stretching, where you stay in a particular position for a specific time, is one of the most common and accessible training you can do to expand your spine.
Below are various stretches and steps to do it:
Cobra stretch or Bhujangasana is a yoga pose that targets the neck, shoulder, and back muscles.
- Place the yoga mat on the floor and lie on your stomach.
- Position your hand directly under your shoulders with your fingers facing forward.
- Keep your legs straight, and your toes pointed.
- Slowly begin the upward phase and gently exhale.
- Ensure that your abdominal muscles are supporting the spine.
- Push your chest away from the mat to lengthen your upper body, and keep your hips on the mat.
- Continue rolling your shoulders down and back.
- Stay in this position for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Gently lower your upper body to the mat.
- Repeat at least three times.
Note: It’s normal to feel an ache in your lower back during the downward phase. Stop if the pain becomes unbearable and consult your doctor.
Hanging helps with gravitational force, decompresses the intervertebral discs, encourages proper posture, and stretches your back muscles. A stand-alone pull-up bar is required to perform this exercise. You can also install pull-up bars on your walls, ceiling, or door frames at home.
- Hang in the bar for about 15 to 20 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise three times.
Note: As the days go by, gradually extend your hanging time until you reach 30 seconds.
Like what its name suggests, dry swimming is “swimming” outside the water. Aside from teaching water safety concepts, it’s also effective in directly stretching the upper body, lower back, and hip muscles.
- Lie down facing the floor. Your legs and arms must be straight and pointing forward.
- Lift your right hand and left leg off the floor, diagonally away from the body. Hold it for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Relax for 10 seconds and switch to the left hand and right leg.
- Repeat three times.
- Stand up and cool down with cat stretches.
Marjariasana or cat stretch is usually done after performing cobra and dry swimming exercises. It’s excellent for flexing and relaxing the spine and releasing tension in the upper back and neck.
- Get on your hands and knees on the floor.
- The position of your hands should be wider than your shoulder width. Your knees should not be touching.
- Take a deep breath as you arch your spine and lift your head.
- Slowly exhale as you lift your spine into an arched position while lowering your head.
- Do at least one to three repetitions.
Toe touching is the most common stretch of the batch. It’s an easy but potent exercise that targets the lower back, torso, and popliteal fossa.
- Stand up straight and slowly bend over to touch your toes.
- Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds and repeat it three times
Note: It’s okay if you’re unable to touch your toes. Only stretch to a comfortable bend and slowly ease your body. Soon, you’ll be flexible enough to reach the edge of your toes.
Here are some tips to make the above stretches more effective:
- Consult your doctor first before trying any of the above stretches to ensure they’re safe for you to do.
- Be patient. Consistency is key when doing these exercises and stretches.
- Focus on your goal. Don’t think about negative things.
- Always be in a proper sitting posture.
- Keep your body hydrated and active.
Although there is no way you can elongate your torso after it stops growing, there are means you can use to make it appear longer. Change up your wardrobe, do daily stretches for leaner torso muscles, and continuously care for your body to live a healthy and fulfilling life.