About two years ago, I began routinely hanging from a pull up bar to develop more upper body strength. I felt weak at first, but with consistency, it got easier and I found I could hang for longer. I notice a stronger connection with my body from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes since I started practicing the exercise consistently. I have also enjoyed healthier more mobile-feeling shoulders.
Here are some things that have helped me hang on a bar:
While hanging, I notice my hands gripping the bar. Breathing calmly helps my grip stay strong.
2. SHOULDER POSITION
I keep my shoulders slightly shrugged and I remind myself to ‘bend the bar’ with my hands. Naturally, this motion rotates my palms towards each other, bringing more stability to my shoulders. I read about a similar cue on a blog I follow called cirque physio.
3. CORE AND LEG STRENGTH
When my legs start to swing, I bring my feet together and squeeze my thighs.
When I first started hanging on a bar, my intention was to strengthen my UPPER body.
I found that this exercise strengthened a feeling of connection through my WHOLE body. I can report that my confidence has grown in my ability to hold myself up.
Now your try!
Hang on the bar for 30 seconds OR as long as you can, 3 times.
You can use a chair, step ladder or low box to reach the bar and safely step down.
– Warm up your shoulders before hanging. See ‘yoga straps guide’ for shoulder mobiility.
– If your hands hurt or keep slipping, keep trying. That is part of the process. It may take a while to develop grip strength. If you go bare hands, you will develop callouses and it will be easier. If you want to avoid callouses, wear gloves.
-If your body starts swinging, be aware of the position of your feet and hips.
-If your forearms and hands cramp while doing this, stretch your hands and wrists daily. The condition of your wrists will improve! See wrist care video.
-Do not hold your breath. Instead, breathe calmly through your nostrils.
When you are able to hang for 30 seconds without swinging, move on to more advanced hanging exercises! (knee tucks, straight leg raises, pull ups)
See the video that corresponds with this post below.
Thank you for reading this blog. Enjoy practicing and please share your experience in the comments section below. 🙂
To learn more hanging bar exercises, sign up for my exercise video membership subscription.