Does swimming help people get taller?

For almost a century, sports scientists, coaches and, of course, athletes have asked themselves: What does the perfect swimmer actually look like? A template of how the optimal body must be shaped for our sport rightly does not exist to this day. In the studies and examinations of the past years and decades, however, some physical conditions have emerged that can have a positive effect on the performance in the pelvis. One of them: the so-called monkey index.

This mainly relates to arm length, more precisely its relationship to body size. Roughly it works like this: You measure the body height and the span of the outstretched arms. Then divide the arm length by the body height. If the result is greater than 1.0, you have good prerequisites for the swimming pool.

It is therefore an advantage for swimmers if the span of the arms is larger than your own body height. Superstar Michael Phelps for example has a monkey index of 1.08 (wingspan 208cm, height 193cm). By the albatross Michael Gross it was 1.06 (213cm / 201cm). The higher the monkey index, the better.

There are two reasons for this: swimmers with long arms can reach a few centimeters further with every pull. In addition, long arms can better use the physical laws of leverage. Used correctly (correct technique!), The long arms can provide more forward force than shorter arms. It is important that you have the appropriately trained drive muscles with you.

Further interesting information on the proportions of float bodies can be found in the new summer edition of swimsportMagazine.You can find the magazine here in stores: