This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in May of 2020. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmLxHjk1n4o&t=254s
Bob: Hi folks I’m Bob Schrupp, physical therapist.
Brad: Brad Heineck, physical therapist.
Bob: This sounds a little bit crazy Brad, but we’re going to show you how to add two inches to your height in one day.
Bob: That sounds a little suspicious to me.
Brad: Yeah, but Bob, you’re going to find out, you can do it. We’re going to prove it.
Bob: Alright, Brad, snake oil salesman. How does this work?
Brad: Actually, Bob, there’s no magic here. But it’s really important and it’s really critical, and it’s going to help your daily life. First of all, now this is the one most people aren’t aware of. You’re going to gain approximately one centimeter in height, from when you go to bed to when you wake up in the morning. Know what that is from? Imbibition. Imbibition is a term, that used to describe what happens to your discs. If we look at the discs, the discs are between the vertebrae. Each disc has fluid in it, and when you lay down at night,
Bob: When you lie down.
Brad: Lie down, thank you Bob. The discs imbibe, or actually they absorb fluid from your body. Then in the daytime, when you stand, the body weight squishes down, and each disc pushes that fluid out. There’s a very good functional reason for that. It keeps the discs alive and healthy. The nutrients are in the bodily fluid around the disc, it sucks that in, there’s nutrients are used for the discs to stay healthy. Then the waste products in that fluid, during the day, they push out. So every day you go up and down approximately one centimeter. It depends on how tall. Bob maybe goes a little more than a centimeter.
Bob: That’s right, I have a lot of discs. No, we all have the same amount of discs normally.
Brad: But, you know, I had to say something, ha-ha.
Bob: Large discs, yeah.
Brad: So, the next thing now, this is something everyone can do easily. What dominates your height? Posture. So many of us, including Bob and I, find ourselves with poor posture.
Bob: We have to work on this all the time.
Brad: So, what we have here is on our nice, white wall, is a mark and the first mark to the top of this line, is where Bob stands. Bob, can you demonstrate?
Bob: Sure. It’s funny, when we started doing videos, we started realizing how bad our posture was.
Brad: Yeah, ha-ha. Here, Bob’s got head-forward posture. He’s rounded in the spine. He’s got this posterior pelvic tilt that’s making things drop.
Bob: I’m locking my knees actually; I’m not bending them because that could make me shorter.
Brad: Yeah, yeah, but that would be cheating. Everything else is going on with the spine, and that puts a lot of pressure on the spine, the neck, it causes pain, it causes knots.
Bob: I don’t look good either.
Brad: No, you don’t look good, Bob. Okay, here we go. So, right there, you can see it lines up with the top of that mark. Now, Bob, can you correct your posture? There we go. Two inches!! We did it!
Bob: We made it!
Brad: Bob, you look better now. You’re taller.
Bob: I look better, I look more confident. I’m going to get that job interview.
Brad: We just did the video on power posing.
Bob: And as you might well suspect, if you have poor posture over time, you’re going to end up with neck pain. Upper back, shoulder pain, lower back problems.
Brad: Breathing problems. There’s just nothing good from poor posture.
Bob: No, there really isn’t. So, we want you to correct your posture. We will show a couple ways to do that.
Brad: Yeah, they’re easy. All you need is a wall. You simply go back up against the wall, take your shoulders, bring them back. Make sure your buttocks are touching the wall. Shoulders back, chin in, but don’t look up, keep the chin down here, that’s what we call a chin tuck. You can just do scapular retractions and hands up against the wall is one option. Then you’re going to do that five times, do that every hour for one day. Put it on your cell phone. We should have a posture app.
Bob: That’s right. That’s a good idea! Now, what you may find also is some of you probably can’t get your head back even yet.
Brad: That’s very true.
Bob: You’re going to want to work your way back there and you’ll be able to note your progress. By seeing how far you are from the wall the first day and then continue to work on this. See if you can get to the point where your head is back without you head tilting up.
Brad: Right. What I’ve done this with patients is, I’ll measure how far they cannot get their head to the wall. Say it might be an inch the first day. After a week of doing that, maybe they can get a half inch from the wall.
Bob: It’s very motivating.
Brad: So, that’s one exercise, the wall angel. You want to show the wall angel, Bob?
Bob: Sure. Basically, it’s the same thing. You get in position here, chin tuck, if you can get the head up against the wall, do it. Now you’re going to put the hands out, palms forward and you’re just going to do some angels. Just like you used to do in the yellow snow.
Brad: Not the yellow snow.
Bob: The white snow.
Brad: You probably went to the yellow snow.
Bob: What you’re going to find is that as you get up overhead, it gets harder and harder. I’m starting to hit the ceiling, but I can’t keep my elbows back. I’m just stretching the front of the shoulders; my upper back is not as stretched out as it should be. You want to go as far as you can, keeping those elbows up against the wall. This is where you really feel it, Brad. Where you really feel the stretch.
Brad: You may start with your elbows coming off the wall down farther like mine, but as you work on it, it is should get better. Bob’s much more flexible, I have tight shoulders. I get to shoulder height, and once I get above there, (grunts), the arms come off the wall. There’s so many options for good posture.
Bob: We just thought we’d show you that. You can actually take a tennis ball, do we have one nearby, Brad, or not? We probably don’t.
Brad: No, not today.
Bob: So, take a lacrosse ball or tennis ball, and this one, I think is a great one, Brad, the lacrosse ball, because a lot of your posture problems, you mind coming over here?
Brad: Oh, sure.
Bob: A lot of posture problem are right here, that’s where the roundness occurs. So, if you put a ball on the side of the spine. Don’t put it on the spine, put it on the side of the spine, and you can work like this, six different spots here, all the way up and down the spine, off the spine but just to the side of it. You can roll on it, you can start up against the wall first, because it ends up being a little intense for you, especially just starting. Then, eventually, if you can, you can lie on the floor – and roll on the ball. I do something similar to this every day. I think this has been the number one thing that’s helped my posture.
Brad: Plus, it gets those knots out of those muscles. Feels good.
Bob: Yup, it feels good. Whenever I get done, I go for a run. I feel like I’m running really straight up and down. Well I probably am.
Brad: Well, you’re two inches taller now.
Bob: Yeah, I’m two inches taller now!
Brad: The neighbors notice that.
Bob: Yeah, the neighbors, by the way, they make fun of me on my bike because my bike is so tall, so I look so stupid.
Brad: Ha-ha. They probably make fun of you for other reasons.
Bob: Yeah, there’s a whole host of reasons they could make fun of me for.
Brad: Bob’s coming! Ha-ha
Bob: Ha-ha. Anything else you want to include Brad?
Brad: Well, I did, if you have the booyah stik. You don’t have to have a Booyah, you can use any five-foot-long stick, usually works well.
Bob: Or a broomstick.
Brad: We are going to put that so my head touches on the top.
Bob: Yes, we have three points of contact. We have the head, the mid-back and the low back or the pelvis.
Brad: Then you’re in good posture. Bring your shoulders back, and then you can do some exercises, getting used to some body movement while you’re doing that. It’s good muscle memory for body mechanics for bending to lift things up. It’s a win-win.
Bob: Brad, you mind giving me the Booyah stik? If I’ve found anything out that you’re going to realize that a lot of times, your posture was a lot worse than you thought it was. Sometimes people film you, like we said when we first started filming ourselves, that’s when we realized it. I had a friend that was at work and a security camera picked him up, and he goes, “Who’s that old man?” It was him. So, another stretch I like, I like just taking the Booyah Stik, Brad and taking it up and then going back like this and squeezing the shoulder blades together. This is just a great stretch here.
Brad: Show from a profile once. If you do this, just make sure your head doesn't go forward because you’re trying to get away from the stick.
Bob: Right. You want to make sure you’re keeping your head back. And if you’re hitting your head, you don’t have the posture right yet. You’re not getting the arms back far enough.
Brad: Until you get stretched out, you may not be able to do it. I’m a little tighter, I like this one though. Especially when I can get down here across the shoulder blades, I can work that. It’s just amazing what a little thing like this can really work.
Bob: Yes, you can use a broom handle for so many things. If that’s what you have around.