Stretch it by doing a “dead hang”

Pull-ups are easier for some people than others.

I personally fall into the “other” category.

Now, I can grab the bar effortlessly and stick to it for a while.

I can even do some intermediate tricks on the trapeze (the swing power helps), but I can’t lift my body.

Obviously my taller guy puts me at a disadvantage because of the long arms and I have more distance (and, for some, more weight) than shorter guys, even though we are of similar size.

If you’re on the playground, watch how the kids, boys and girls, effortlessly swing on the horizontal bar.

When adults try, they usually give up before halfway through, saying it’s too hard.

do not trust me? Try it yourself.

These days, however, kids are playing while adults sit, text, take photos or proudly share video clips of their offspring.

As we age, we lose flexibility in our shoulders and grip strength, so even a simple dead hang where you just grab a pole and hang your body with your feet off the ground can leave your muscles sore .

Many things require a strong grip, including opening bottles or jars, or rock climbing.

I sometimes have a hard time opening a water bottle with my left hand (like most people, I’m right handed)!

According to 2018 published in british medical journalresearchers found that grip strength can predict your overall mobility, strength and fitness, as well as your risk of heart disease.

As you age, the stronger your grip, the more likely you are to survive certain diseases, including cancer.

Research has also found that grip strength can be a good overall marker of aging.

In Norway, for example, researchers found that the grip strength of people in their 80s and 90s predicted each person’s likelihood of living to their 100s – although in these turbulent times, I’m not sure who wants to live to 100 .

arms over head

On average, we hardly ever raise our arms over our heads during the day unless we reach for something on a shelf.Horizontal bars are easy for kids but a feat for adults, so they are included in many obstacle courses.

Most likely, we’re listlessly looking at our computers at work or at leisure.

We might put a shirt or smock on our head and take it off at night, but it’s hard to get a full range of motion in the shoulder joint.

If you don’t exercise enough, the muscles around the shoulders and upper back can start to tighten and eventually lose mobility.

Doing a dead hang is an inexpensive, easy way to stretch these muscles.

So, never mind, if you can’t do pull-ups, you might as well use a dead hang as it strengthens many muscles—namely, the upper back, shoulders, core, forearms, hands, and wrists—and provides many other benefits as well.

American orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Kirsch writes through his own observations that shoulder injuries are often misdiagnosed, combined with 25 years of research Shoulder pain?Solutions and Prevention.

Now in its 5th edition, this self-help book offers simple shoulder exercises to treat and prevent rotator cuff tears, impingement syndrome, and frozen shoulder.

One of the exercises he recommends is hanging dead.

Dr. Kirsch himself suffers from shoulder impingement syndrome and believes the surgery has not provided effective results.

He tried hanging at the bar for a few minutes a day and lo and behold, after a few months his pain was gone.

He asked patients with the same problem to try hanging instead of a knife, and they all reported positive results.

Static drape is also great for stretching the upper body and releasing tension in the hips.

I use it as a post-workout stretch, but you can also do it before a workout, especially if you’ve been sitting all day.

Believe it or not, you will find it easier to breathe when this area is open.

In addition, static suspension decompresses and stretches the spine, known as spinal traction—similar to what is done on a handstand in a chiropractor’s office when you have low back pain.

how to hang

Here’s how:

  • Start by finding a bar that will support your weight.

    Unless you’re a gym member, a playground or park near you is the best option.

  • Your grip should be shoulder-width or slightly wider, with your palms facing away from you—this is the standard grip.

    If you can’t reach the pull-up bar, stand on a box or a safe flat bench.

  • Keep your legs and arms straight, your core engaged, and your glutes contracted.

    Allow your body to sink while your shoulders reach your ears.

    If the bar is too low, bend your knees and slowly allow your arms to bear the weight of your body so your feet are still on the floor.

  • When you feel confident, lift your feet off the floor or off the box.
  • Maintain a strong grip on the barbell.
  • Hold for as long as you can and enjoy the feeling before letting go of the grip.

    At first, you might not be able to get more than 5 or 10 seconds, but that’s okay.

The above instructions apply to passive freezes, you don’t have to think too much about what you’re doing.

Once you get the hang of it, you can move on to active crashes.

The difference is that you retract your shoulder blades so your shoulders are down and away from your ears.

Since active dead hangs are more muscular, you won’t be able to stay in this position for too long.

Note: If you already have a shoulder or wrist injury, start slowly, or seek permission from your doctor beforehand.

Pay close attention to your body and stop immediately if you experience pain or discomfort.

Grip Type and Pole Circumference

Not many of us can do pull-ups too.  — TNSNot many of us can do pull-ups too. — TNS

Once you get the hang of the standard grip, you can try different grips, such as a supine grip with the palms facing the face (like pull-ups).

This grip stretches your triceps well.

A wider-than-shoulder grip allows for a greater stretch in your lats — the large, flat muscles that cover the width of the mid- and lower back, or the “V you see in good-sized men” “shape.

The narrow grip focuses more on the arms and shoulders.

More importantly, the circumference of the bar must be the right fit for a good grip, i.e. your fingers must be able to wrap completely around the bar.

A standard pull-up bar measures approximately 1.25-1.75 inches (3.18-4.45 cm) and will fit most adult hands.

Depending on the size of your hand, you may need a larger or smaller circumference to hold.

In general, the larger circumference and smoother surface make it harder to grip.

So go ahead, look for a bar and hold for 10 seconds, slowly progressing to a minute.

Do it a few times a week and you’ll start to notice a difference.

You might even feel taller.

Revathi Murugappan is a certified fitness trainer trying to fight gravity and continue dancing to express herself artistically and nourish her soul. For more information, please email The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only.neither star Neither does the author make any warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other warranties of such information. star The author is not responsible for any loss, property damage or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.


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