7 Health Benefits Of Hanging From A Bar
One of the simplest yet most overlooked exercises is hanging from a bar. You heard me right: hanging from a bar.
Someone recommended that I hang from a bar recently as I recovered from an injury. In the process, I’ve found that this is a great exercise for a variety of reasons, and I’d like to share some of the benefits below.
6 Hanging From A Bar Benefits You Need To Know
1. Improve Shoulder Strength and Stability
Have you ever noticed how gymnasts tend to have strong shoulders? This in part is due to the fact that most of them spend a fair amount of time hanging from a bar.
Hanging from a bar can be a great way to strengthen the shoulder muscles and joints. And it can do so in a way that is safer and more gentle than other shoulder exercises.
This is why some experts say that a regimen of hanging from a bar can even be helpful for people who experience rotator cuff injuries. If this is your situation, and you want to give hanging a try, just be sure and check with your doctor first.
By the way… hanging from a bar can help your shoulders be more flexible too… making this a great exercise for all kinds of athletes, as well as anyone who wants to improve their shoulder flexibility as they grow older.
2. Increase Grip Strength
Grip strength is beneficial for many things we encounter in our everyday lives — from opening jars to giving a firm handshake and just plain enduring any kind of repetitive activity involving the hands. A strong grip also enables you to perform many other forms of exercise more successfully.
It is not surprising that hanging from a bar can increase your grip strength. After all, the exercise depends on you hanging onto the bar with a good, solid grip and this can only help but strengthen those muscles being activated.
Also worth noting… some people prefer hanging from a bar over using hand grippers or squeezing a ball as a way to strengthen the hands. This is because hanging from a bar is considered a passive form of exercise that uses the force of gravity, which many find easier and more enjoyable to perform.
3. Strengthen Tendons
One of the difficulties that can arise from weight training is an imbalance in strength between muscles and tendons. Typically what happens is that the muscles become relatively stronger than the tendons, and as a result soreness develops in the tendons
that connect those muscles to the bone.
This can also happen when there is repeated stress on certain muscles in particular sports. For example, tennis constantly
exerts the hand and forearm muscles, and if the tendons are not sufficiently strengthened, it can lead to elbow tendonitis.
Hanging from a bar can be an ideal way to prepare for this common problem as it strengthens both muscles and tendons.
5. Improve Posture
One of the things that happen when you hang from a bar is that
it tends to decompress the spine. In other words, it helps to optimize the alignment and spacing of the vertebrae.
This is especially important for those who do any kind of weight-bearing activity. But it can help anyone who feels as thought
their back is stiff or bound up.
One of the big benefits from this loosening of the spine is that it can improve your posture. And this should be welcome news for anyone who tends to have a rounding of the upper back or spends a lot of hunched over a desk on the job.
6. Grow Taller!
Sometimes people wonder… “Will hanging from a bar make me taller? Well, it might!
Part of this has to do with the loosening and lengthening of the spine just discussed. But in addition, hanging from a bar can also lengthen your muscles and joints, making you taller as a result.
So, if you’d like to increase your height a little, some regular hanging might be an easy way to achieve that goal!
7. Core Strengthening
Finally, I should mention as well that hanging from a bar also serves to strengthen your overall body, making you more fit. The core especially can be strengthened in this way, and even your internal organs may benefit from this form of exercise.
There are all kinds of exercises people pursue these days. Some of them require special equipment and others don’t. Also, some take a certain amount of time to learn — like tai chi or tango dancing — while others — like walking — are extremely easy to do right from the start.
Exercising by hanging from a bar is as straightforward as it sounds. All you do is find a solid bar — like a pull-up bar in a gym, park, or between a door frame — grab the bar with your two hands (by jumping up a bit if necessary), and then lift up your feet from the ground while you bear all your weight with your hands.
As with all exercise, make sure your condition allows you to hang from a bar. And if you have any question about that, be sure and check with your doctor ahead of time.
Also, you don’t need to overdo this. And you don’t need to bring yourself to the point of total exhaustion as you perform this exercise. Just start out easy, working up to three sets of 30 seconds each. Then work toward 60 seconds each.
Daily practice of this exercise can bring about the best results. But if you need more recovery time, every other day is fine.
Have fun with this!
Have you tried hanging from a bar as a form of exercise? How did it go? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 27, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.