What is hanging?

Hanging can come in three main forms, and all can be used during the challenge. Make sure to watch all three videos to get an thorough understanding of how to perform these drills:

1. Passive Hanging: This is when you hang in a ‘relaxed’ and ‘deactivated’ state and it targets more of the passive structural integrity components than the more ‘muscular heavy’ hangs. This is a great place for beginners to start.

2. Active Hanging: This is when we engage certain muscles and reduce the demands on structures involved in passive hanging. This kind of hanging is a form of strength work for both the muscles of the shoulders and also forearm and wrists.

3. Dynamic Hanging: This is a combination of passive/active hangs AND some momentum to initiate a variety of dynamic actions which challenges the musculature to stabilise different positions,a great all round approach to building shoulder health and function.

CHALLENGE: Hang every time you are in the gym for 5 to 7 min on a bar

It doesn't have to be unbroken! Start off with 20s on / 10s off or any variation you can do without feeling a shooting pain in your shoulders. Focus on accumulating time not on hanging as long as possible.

Consider the following first before you start:

What ratio of passive:active hangs you should do, depends on the status/history of your shoulders:

  • If you have a history of shoulder pain or partial or full dislocations, then focus only on active hangs. No passive hangs. These can be done with the feet on the ground as well.
  • If you have strong, healthy but inflexible shoulders focus on passive hanging for the most part.
  • If you have healthy but weak shoulders (cannot pull/chin up or can only perform few reps), spend <1 minute on passive hangs and several minutes on active hangs.

But hanging hurts my hands!

Yes it hurts. Find the “softest” options around.  Wear gloves if you need to. Whatever you do, your body will adapt to become more capable of doing that. If you hang, you will get better at hanging. If you sit around or make excuses, you will likely become most excellent at both!

Wow I can barely hang 20seconds, and I thought I was strong!

This challenge is not about who can hang the longest at any given time. It’s about an accumulation of time over the course of the whole day. It is also perfectly OK to do a supported hang (feet touching the floor for support) while you get used to the grip and build strength/flexibility. To support yourself you can either lower the rings down or put an object under your feet so you can use your feet for assistance. With the assistance of your feet you should aim for 20-60 sec hangs.