Did you ever climb trees when you were a kid? The founder of New York City’s most luxurious personal training studio, Will Torres, said that “hanging” literally on a pull up bar or just a simple branch of a tree will “open your back” or a healthy spine. According to Will, hanging stretches the spine, improves grip, develops strength in the forearms, and helps with shoulder health. It is quite similar to a yoga pose that sort of like “opens your heart” as it enables your entire body to stretch and lengthen. Torres also said, “Everyone knows and feels that they have tension in the shoulders, in the elbows, in the back. And what hanging does is use your body weight to start creating more space between the joints.” He added, “So you create more space and strength in the elbows, in the shoulders, and between the ribs of the rib cage. Also, gravity pulls you away from the anchor point on the bar, so you’re creating space between the vertebrae of the spine.”
It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Whenever you let go of your body towards gravity as your hands grip on the bar or tree branch, those lego-like vertebral bodies that make up your vertebral column would sort of “stretch”, creating more room between each and every single one of them. Over time, the habitual stretching or “hanging” will enable your body to adapt to sitting straighter than before; whether in your car, at your office desk, or basically any other place you could think about where slouching the back is common.
It is important to remember though, that there is a right form in “hanging” and you have to do it right in order to reap the potential benefits. Did you know that a five to ten second hold can work wonders on a crumply spine? You may find it difficult at first; especially on gripping at the bar for too long, but if you make “hanging” a part of your everyday exercise routine, grip will eventually become stronger and you wouldn’t notice how long you’ve been hanging. Remember, practice makes perfect! One day you can just simply hang in there as long as you want without effortlessly!