Can Ice Skating Help You Grow Taller?

You may have heard that ice skating can help you grow taller, especially kids, but wondered if that was a fact or just a myth. I decided to do some research to find out.

So can ice skating help you grow taller? Ice skating does not make you grow taller, however, figure skating can help you look taller. Learning to figure skate requires good posture and core muscles. Building your core muscles helps improve posture which, in turn makes you look taller.

There are many advantages to ice skating, especially for kids, but there are some disadvantages too. Ice skating and figure skating can benefit your health and also cause some harm that you should be aware of.

How Does Ice Skating Affect Height?

While ice skating and figure skating does not stunt growth or make you grow taller, the effect of figure skating could have positive and negative effects on your height.

Figure skating requires core strength and good posture so that the skater can make graceful jumps and moves. An ice skater must know their center of gravity in order to have stability and balance. In order to maintain the center of gravity, the must build up their core strength.

Some of the benefits of core strength for figure skaters are power, speed, quickness, agility, coordination, and balance. Their strength begins in the core of the body and extends outward through the arms and legs, connecting all movements of the upper and lower body.

Strong core muscles help maintain good posture and make you look taller. These muscles help support the spine, supporting it and keeping your back from slouching.

On the other hand, when a figure skater lands a jump, the force on her body is five to eight times her body weight according to research conducted by Brigham Young University and the United States Figure Skating Association.

Figure skating is considered an impact sport. When the skater lands a jump, they’re placing an incredible amount of force and weight on their bones and muscles. Due to the impact of the force on their muscles, the body might not grow as much because being taller for skating is much harder on the joints and bones. This is more impactful on children who are figure skating during their growing years.

Can You Be Tall and Be a Figure Skater?

It’s not impossible to be tall and a good figure skater. However, there are some disadvantages to it.

The more there is of you to get into the air, the more difficult it gets to do the jumps. The lower your center of gravity is, the higher and bigger your jumps will be. However, it’s not impossible for tall people to have high and big jumps. They must learn body control and technique to get off the ice.

Figure skating favors shorter, lighter athletes with slightly shorter limbs. This body type is best for overall body control and faster spins. Figure skaters also need stronger lower bodies to jump higher. However, too much bulk will prohibit them from propelling themselves into the air. In the United States, the average height for adult female figure skaters is around 5’4″ and average height for adult male figure skaters is about 5’9″.

This isn’t always a rule though. There have been some very tall and successful figure skaters!

Tall Figure Skaters

Andrew Poje: 6’3″ Canadian ice dancer with partner Kaitlyn Weaver. Three-time World medalist, a two-time Four Continents champion, a two-time Grand Prix Final champion, and a three-time Canadian national champion.

Chris Knierim: 6’2″ American pair skater with his wife, Alexa Scimeca Knierim. 2018 Olympic bronze medalist in the figure skating team event, the 2016 Four Continents silver medalist, the 2014 Four Continents bronze medalist, a three-time Grand Prix medalist, and a two-time U.S. national champion (2015, 2018).

Eric Radford: 6’2″ Canadian pair skater with partner Meagan Duhamel. Two-time world champion (2015, 2016), a 2018 Olympic gold medalist in the team event, a 2014 Olympic silver medalist in the team event, a 2018 Olympic bronze medalist in the pairs event, a two-time Four Continents champion (2013, 2015), the 2014–15 Grand Prix Final champion, and a seven-time Canadian national champion (2012–18).

Evan Lysacek: 6’2″ American figure skater. 2010 Olympic champion, the 2009 World champion, a two-time Four Continents champion, the 2009 Grand Prix Final champion, and a two-time U.S. national champion.

Robin Cousins: 6’0″ British former competitive figure skater. 1980 Olympic champion, the 1980 European champion, a three-time World medalist and four-time British national champion.

Brian Anthony Boitano: 5’11” American figure skater. 1988 Olympic champion, the 1986 and 1988 World Champion, and the 1985–1988 U.S. National Champion.

Alexei Yevgenyevich Urmanov: 5’11” Russian figure skating coach and former competitor. 1994 Olympic champion, the 1993 World bronze medalist, the 1997 European champion, the 1995–96 Champions Series Final champion, a four-time Russian national champion, and the 1992 Soviet national champion.

Scott Moir: 5’10” Canadian ice dancer with partner Tessa Virtue. 2010 Olympic champion, the 2018 Olympic champion, the 2014 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World champion (2010, 2012, 2017), a three-time Four Continents champion (2008, 2012, 2017), the 2016–17 Grand Prix Final champion, an eight-time Canadian national champion (2008–2010, 2012–2014, 2017–2018), and the 2006 World Junior champion.

Benefits that Ice Skating Has on the Body

While ice skating doesn’t magically make you grow taller, there are a lot of healthy benefits that ice skating has on the body. Here are just a few:

Weight loss. It’s estimated that, depending on how vigorously you skate, you can burn up 300 to 650 calories per hour you skate.

Improves cardiovascular health. Ice skating provides an incredible aerobic workout which is very beneficial to your cardiovascular system.

Build leg muscle. Ice skating puts a lot of focus on leg muscles and strength, slowing building up and toning over time.

Improves core muscle and balance. Ice skating requires and an incredible amount of balance and center of gravity which is maintained by stron core muscle. If you want to stay on your feet on the ice, you’ll learn balance pretty quickly! 🙂

Disadvantages to Ice Skating and Your Health

While it’s true that ice skating has a lot of benefits, there are also a lot of harmful results of ice skating. Without the proper equipment and training, here are a few things that your body is at risk for:

Knee injuries. These injuries often occur from falling and can include bruising, damaged knee cap, and even throwing the kneecap out of alignment. Other knee injuries can occur from the twisting force from jumps and spins.

Foot injuries. These often include damage to the achilles and tendinitis. Stress to the feet and toes from wearing skates could also induce a bunion.

Leg and groin injuries. The power and force required to propel a figure skater upward into a jump put a tremendous amount of pressure on leg and groin muscles that often result in tears and strains. 

Related Questions

Does jumping make you taller? The idea that jumping makes you taller is simply a myth as there is no evidence what so ever of the idea. You height is determined by genetics, activities as a child during peak growing years, and exercises that help with core and posture.

What age do figure skaters start? Some people start figure skating lessons at the age of three. However, between 5 and 6 years old is the best time to start learning as the child’s balance and coordination will be established for them to learn the required movements and jumps.