Can a 21 year old still grow taller?

Height increase is a journey that occurs within the first 18 – 20 years of life. After this age range, bones are nearly fixed, signifying the end of the height growth process. However, in some cases, especially for late bloomers, height can still increase slightly up to the age of 22. Here, Health is Golden will share some information related to whether height can still increase at 21 years old.

Can you still grow taller at 21?

There are three main stages of human height development: fetal stage – first 3 years of life – adolescence. These are periods when height changes rapidly and significantly. After adolescence, height improvement slows down significantly until growth plates close.

Usually, after the age of 20, it’s unlikely for you to grow taller as bones have already ossified. However, some individuals might continue this process until around 22, depending on their living environment, diet, exercise, rest, etc. Notably, males who experience late puberty tend to have a slower end to their height growth.

Can a 21 year old still grow taller?
Can a 21 year old still grow taller?

How to determine if you can still grow taller at 21?

To confirm the possibility of growing taller at 21, you can take an X-ray of the leg or wrist bones to check the growth plate’s condition. If the growth plates are still open/active, you can still grow taller. If the plates have closed/stopped, try other height “cheats.” Some methods to determine this with the naked eye, though not highly accurate, include:

No change in shoe size: Foot size usually corresponds to bone lengthening. Therefore, if your foot size remains constant for a long time, your height may no longer be developing.

Stable physiological factors: During puberty (also the final period of significant height increase), your body experiences physiological upheavals. If these physiological traits become more stable, such as smoother skin, regular menstruation, stable mood, etc., it’s likely your height growth has ceased.

Standard height at 21 you should know

What is the average height for a 21-year-old male?

According to the WHO’s standard height chart, the average height for a 21-year-old male is around 177cm. To achieve this, males should focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, sufficient nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate rest.

What is the average height for a 21-year-old female?

The average height for a 21-year-old female is around 164.2cm. This height is attainable for those who follow healthy lifestyle habits. It’s important to monitor personal growth progress to plan for timely improvements to reach this optimal result.

What to Eat to Increase Height at 21?

As growth tends to slow down at this age, focusing on nutrition becomes crucial, especially on nutrients directly involved in the height development process. Essential nutrients for bone development that you should incorporate into your daily diet include:

πŸ‘‰ Calcium: This is the primary component involved in building bone structure and maintaining strong bones. Supplementing calcium is essential for successful height development.

πŸ‘‰ Collagen type 2: It forms a mesh in bones, aiding in calcium and mineral adherence, ensuring solidity.

πŸ‘‰ Vitamin D: Enhances the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

πŸ‘‰ Vitamin K: Supports calcium absorption into bone tissues, preventing excess or accumulation in the kidneys.

πŸ‘‰ Other minerals: Magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, potassium, etc., support bone health, enhance flexibility in joint movements, and boost overall physical development.

What Exercises Should You Do at 21 to Increase Height?

Hanging exercises

The body naturally compresses bones in a static state, demanding movement to stimulate activity. Hanging exercises elongate bones by releasing tension in muscles, stimulating growth in the cartilage that’s still active at 21. Subsequently, the body fills in the gaps with nutrients, effectively elongating bones.

Stretching exercises for joint flexibility

Without regular stretching, the muscles, bones, and joints become constricted, limiting flexibility. Stretching exercises designed for height increase at 21 help reduce muscle tension, improve overall body movement range, and aid recovery after physical activities.

Running, basketball, jumping rope, swimming

Engaging in activities like running, basketball, jumping rope, and swimming continually impact bones, stimulating growth. Choose a workout routine that suits your current physical condition and personal preferences to ensure a conducive training environment and height growth acceleration.

Extended cycling

Cycling affects leg muscles, shinbones, tendons, hips, etc., stimulating elongation in leg bones. Daily cycling trains bone joints, supports respiratory and cardiovascular systems. If you’re seeking height development exercises, consider cycling for a simple yet effective approach.

How to Naturally Increase Height at 21?

Improve nutritional intake

Nutrition significantly impacts a person’s ability to grow taller. A well-balanced, nutritious diet ensures proper bone nourishment and protects various organs, providing a robust foundation for overall health.

Calcium, collagen type 2, vitamin K, vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, iron… directly participate in the growth process. Include these nutrients in your daily diet through foods such as fish, seafood, leafy greens, broccoli, spinach, eggs, chicken, yogurt, butter… Maintain a balanced nutrient intake proportional to weight and height.

Healthy Living

Adopting healthy habits helps prevent factors that hinder growth stemming from one’s living environment. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle to increase height effectively at 21 includes:

πŸ‘‰ Avoiding stimulants like alcohol, beer, cigarettes…

πŸ‘‰ Limiting fast food, processed foods, carbonated drinks, and beverages high in caffeine.

πŸ‘‰ Avoiding excessive use of mobile phones and computers to prevent a sedentary lifestyle.

Improving Sleep

Most bone development occurs during sleep when the body isn’t exerting significant pressure on bones. During deep sleep, the body produces growth hormones maximally, enhancing metabolism, energy conversion, and toxin elimination. At this age, sleep disturbances due to stress or unstable emotions are common. Therefore, establish a habit of going to bed before 10 PM, ensuring a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per day for a relaxed mind.

Enhancing Mood

Emotional instability, fatigue, stress, or sadness can disrupt various bodily functions. Individuals with negative moods often have poor appetites, leading to reduced nutrient absorption, shallow sleep, and decreased physical performance. To optimize growth, start by cultivating positive thoughts, optimism, and engaging in more outdoor activities.


For individuals past 21 with no natural height growth potential left, leg-lengthening surgery can be an option. This medical intervention involves fixing and stretching bones with inserted implants. However, one must prepare mentally for:

πŸ‘‰ High surgical costs, including post-surgery physical therapy and medications.

πŸ‘‰ Lengthy recovery period, typically around 6 months.

πŸ‘‰ Enduring physical and psychological pain and limited activity for an extended period.

πŸ‘‰ Potential risks such as allergic reactions, infections, joint deformities due to early movement…

Hormonal Treatment

Growth hormones secreted by the pituitary gland promote height increase. At 21, the natural production of growth hormones might be difficult. Currently, these hormones can be supplemented through injections. Consult a doctor, undergo tests, and get advice on improving height at 21 through this method.

Height-Increasing Shoes

A highly effective “height-boosting” method involves using special shoes. These are available for both men and women and can be matched with suitable outfits to add a little extra height. Choose a shoe height that suits your improvement needs.

Fashion Choices

Skillfully coordinated clothing can deceive observers visually. Some petite individuals adeptly wearing certain clothes can achieve the desired appearance. Vertical-striped tops/dresses, high-waisted bottoms, crop tops, monochromatic outfits, simple patterns, A-line skirts, V-neck tops… can make you appear taller to others.

Using Height-Increasing Products

Height-increasing supplements work when natural growth potential still exists. These products supplement vital nutrients that aid in bone elongation. Select products supporting both height and brain function to achieve comprehensive physical development. Ensure to check the product’s origin, quality, and authenticity.

Habits to Avoid for Height Increase at 21

To achieve optimal height growth, you need to change daily habits. Here are some habits to avoid:

πŸ‘‰ Prolonged use of stimulants.

πŸ‘‰ Inadequate water intake.

πŸ‘‰ Skipping meals frequently or eating too late.

πŸ‘‰ Maintaining improper standing, lying, or sitting postures.

πŸ‘‰ Wearing tight clothing, especially during physical activities or sleep.

To successfully increase height at 21, determine your current growth potential and invest in healthcare if additional height is still possible. Hopefully, these tips we’ve shared will help you achieve your height improvement goals.


Can height increase after 22?

It’s uncommon for height to increase after the age of 22 as most individuals stop growing in their late teens or early twenties when their growth plates close.

Do boys grow to 21?

Boys generally experience their maximum growth spurt during puberty, which can continue until around the age of 21. After this age, significant growth in height becomes less likely as the growth plates typically close.

Is it possible to grow taller after 25?

While there might be some exceptional cases of minimal growth after 25 due to factors like posture improvement or lifestyle changes, significant height increase at that age is highly unlikely as growth plates have typically closed by then.


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