Rosanna: 'I'm a half inch taller now thanks to pilates stretches'
MODEL Rosanna Davison says she has a secret technique to make you taller - pilates training.
The former Miss World claims practising the yoga-like strength exercises can add inches to your height.
Rosanna (30) says she has added a half-an-inch to her own height since she became a devotee of the flexibility exercises at the age of 18.
She told the Sunday Independent: "I've stretched out about half-an-inch through pilates - I was 5ft 9 and now I am 5ft 9-and-a-half inches.
"It's a known effect from practising it regularly. Pilates helps to elongate and lengthen muscles, improves posture and plumps up the cushioning discs of our spine."
Her mother Diane - who encouraged her model daughter to take up pilates - also insists she has grown taller by practising the excercises.
Diane took it up as part of her fitness regime after she broke her neck in a horse-riding accident in the mid 90s.
Rosanna added: "My mum really noticed these benefits too. We've been going to two-three classes a week for 13 years, so it does need to be consistent."
While pilates is now a firm favourite with celebrities, from Kate Hudson to Colin Farrell, Rosanna was a convert before it became fashionable.
Fellow Model Aoife Cogan last year opened a reformer pilates studio along with husband, rugby player Gordon D'Arcy.
"I have been doing it since the early 2000s, so I suppose my mum and I were a bit ahead of the curve," said Rosanna.
The technique has also helped her cope with stress, boost her confidence and improve her posture.
According to Rosanna, keeping fit helps her mind as well as her body. A former athlete who represented her school nationally in running, she has exchanged pounding pavements for pilates, which, she says, has less impact on the body.
"It is so important to feel you are doing the best you can at your level of ability. Then you will always feel confident in yourself. Back when I wasn't quite so into fitness and nutrition, I would have felt less confident in myself. I think it's about knowing you are pushing your own limits and achieving your own personal goals. I am competitive. But these days, I only compete with myself."
Three hours of pilates at Mags Clarke Smith's studio in Kilmacanogue Co Wicklow is now a cornerstone of Rosanna's impressive weekly workouts, which also include two hours of gym-training and another hour of running or time on the cross-trainer.
She will be sharing her health and fitness tips in her new clean-living blog that she will launch later this spring. It will focus on lifestyle, nutrition and fitness.
And those who would like to follow her strict dairy and gluten-free vegan diet will be able to do so when she releases her first cookbook in the autumn, Eat Yourself Beautiful.
While the idea that pilates actually makes you grow is debated by experts, qualified instructors agree that it does help you feel as though you have grown, as it focuses on spine alignment, balance and posture.
Jennifer Aniston has said pilates "makes me feel taller", while singer Belinda Carlisle claims to have grown over two inches after practising it for eight years.