You’ve heard: Pilates and yoga create long, lean muscles.
The truth: While you may feel longer and taller after a great Pilates or yoga session, it’s physically impossible to lengthen a muscle. “Muscles have a fixed origin and insertion point, therefore the only way to truly ‘lengthen’ a muscle would be to surgically detach and reattach it,” Holland says.
So why are almost all Pilates and Yoga instructors so tall and slim? They were born that way, Holland says. “Women who possess the Pilates or Yoga ‘physique’ walked in the door that way. They are ectomorphs, born with the long, lean physique.”
Bottom line: Pilates and yoga both offer plenty of benefits, including improved flexibility and posture that can help you feel and appear a little taller, they just can’t actually make your muscles ‘longer.’