How To Look Taller With Easy Stretches For Petites

brunette woman wearing a white workout tank, red workout skort and a white hat, showing how to look taller with easy stretches

I’ve never met a petite woman who wouldn’t love to have even an extra 1/2″ of height. Yes, those 5’4″ and under always try to dress to look taller or somehow create the illusion of height. I suddenly “grew” a half inch a few years ago when I went for my annual physical. After being the same height for over 30 years I was stunned. So, it made me think. Did I grow or was what I was doing having something to do with how to look taller?

As I had started to age I realized that I needed to add yoga and stretching into my daily routines. Yes, just a few minutes a day of stretching and a good yoga session once a week suddenly made a difference.

Before we look at ways to appear taller there are some other fitness and fashion posts I have written that you might want to check out. It’s always good to have a few ways to enhance our height as a petite woman.

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link or picture and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for shopping thru my links.  Beth

How To Look Taller: Why Stretching Is So Important

It’s funny because people who know me through social media are always shocked when I come out and say that I am 5′ 1/2″. Yes, that 1/2″ came about in my 40s when I started making a daily stretching routine a priority. The stretching routine and doing a yoga class once a week have now been a part of my life for more than a decade.

Yes, the key to looking taller is simply having good posture and spinal alignment. Just a few stretches a day can help with this. I like to do my stretches to “grow” taller in the evening before I go to bed. Many of us sit for hours every day and just opening up my back and chest helps me sleep even better. Here are some stretches that I like to do to make myself taller. Even if it is just an illusion. How to look taller is just that. We may not be tall, but we can look a little taller than we are.

Cat-Cow Stretch

Cat-cow pose increases the flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and spine. It also stretches the hips, back, abdomen, and chest. Here’s a great video to walk you thru how to do this stretch properly. I usually do this stretch 6-8 times slowly in the evening and it really helps me relax before bedtime.

Down Dog

Down dog is a great yoga pose that both lengthens and strengthens the body. It helps to relieve stress and tension in the neck and back while stretching the hamstring, calves, hands, and spine. Here’s a great video on how to do the pose correctly so that your body will benefit.


The cobra pose opens up the shoulder blades, neck, and collar bones. It will help improve your spinal posture, alignment, and your flexibility. Here’s a quick video to show you how to do this beneficial pose. This mini backend helps counteract all of the rounded positions that we put our back in all day.

Child’s Pose

This is a pose that I look so forward to every day. It helps open up and relax so many muscles that need some TLC by the end of the day. Child’s pose opens the hips, lengthens the spine, stretches out your ankles, and relieves any tension in the pelvis area. Try to stay in this pose for at least 30 seconds and try to work your way up to a minute if you can. You will just feel the tension leave your body. That is why I love to do if just before I crawl into bed. Here’s a great image of child’s pose if you are not familiar with it.

What Types of Workouts Can Also Help Increase Height

The first that comes to mind when you think about stretching the body and aligning the spine are yoga and pilates. I also find that doing barre classes improves my posture. You have to keep your upper back in proper form which helps with overall posture. Think about ballerinas and how beautiful their posture is.

Other things that you can do are hand from a bar. At the gym, you can just hang from the pull-up bar for as long as your upper body will let you do so. Just work up to 30 seconds and do it a few times. This actually feels great. I will do it between other exercises from time to time to stretch my back.

Swimming is another great full-body workout that helps to align your spine. You can do this outside when the weather permits or indoors at the gym. It is a fabulous cardio workout, just get in your lane and swim laps. Don’t like the water, here’s another workout option from childhood. Get out the jump rope on a regular basis. This is another great full-body workout that burns lots of calories. Consistent jump roping has been shown to expand the spinal cord and reverse compression which gives you better posture. You can read more about how often you need to jump rope here.

Womens Workout Shorts and Skorts That Are Great On Petites

Workout wear is one type of clothing that I have never found in petite sizing. I have searched high and low and I don’t believe it exists. So by lots of trial and error, I have figured out what does and doesn’t work for this 5’1/2″ body so that I can stay cool when I work out and do all of my stretching.

Exercise Shorts

Whether you are going for a walk, doing yoga, or lifting weights there are different styles of shorts that come in handy. Over the years, I have found that I don’t like them to be too short, but then you don’t want them too long either. Usually a 3-4″ inseam works best for petites. Just depends upon your comfort level. When it comes to biker shorts, a 5″ is a nice length for our short legs.

When I am lifting weights at the gym I prefer to have a built-in short that is longer under a flowy short. This short is great for that. Another option is a 5″ biker short. The biker short comes in a 7″ version as well. These styles would also work for a pilates or yoga class.

If you are a cardio person, then shorts with a built-in liner are a must. These are some of my favorites. I also like these since the bottom has a little personality to them. You can’t beat a good pair of Nike shorts when it comes to a cardio session.

Another good option for outdoor activities is UPF 50 fabric shorts. This pair is referred to as swim shorts, but I call them my humidity shorts. They are so silky and lightweight. Great for those sweltering summer days and outdoor workouts. They are also great for walks on the beach, paddleboarding, or any other water activity.

Exercise Skorts

Tennis players and golfer have loved their skorts for forever. However, in the last few years, they have become more popular for other sports and just for everyday life. The skort that I am wearing above is 13.5″. I find that a 13.5″-14″ skort is a great length for petites. They have good coverage for whatever sport your a doing, yet they are not too long.

Skorts can be pretty straight like this one, pleated for a little sass in the back, or even more of a flounce skirt. Try different styles to see which one suits your body type and personality. Have a little fun with them. If you want more of a knit fabric, I love this skirt. The fabric is so soft.

Just remember that you can wear a cute skort any time that you would wear a pair of workout shorts. They allow you to move just as well and with the same amount of coverage. So add one to your closet and change things up a bit. They also look nice if you want to meet up with friends after a workout.


Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post. I genuinely appreciate every read, share, and follow. I hope that this helped you find a few stretches and activities that you can incorporate into your routine so that you can appear a little taller. Who knows your posture may improve so that your height even registers a little taller next time you go to the doctor. Let me know if it happens.

You can also find me on Instagram and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow me there. I also have a newsletter that I send out every Sunday morning. In it, I share things that I don’t share on other platforms. I hope you will sign up by clicking here.

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