Whenever you load up a squat or deadlift, especially with weight…your loading your spine! Constant loading and compression over time can become an issue on your back and the rest of your body. Dead Hangs are not only a great way to ‘monkey around‘ on a pull up bar, but also offer several health benefits that will carry over to your workouts and general fitness.
Improves your grip
We will often prescribe this exercise as a great way to also help with pull ups. The dead hang will work your grip in its entirety from your hands, fingers, wrists and forearms. A strong grip has carry over to nearly all your other exercises, allowing you to hold and control more weight with better form.
Relaxes your spine
Since your entire upper body is stretched in a dead hang, so is your spine. It helps to decompress the back, keeping it aligned with the body by making it straight. A weak back invites many other health problems like neck pain, shoulder ache and inflexibility. This exercise will prevent these from happening. If you’re spinal loading with squats, deadlifts, overhead pressing…a lot, then make sure to do dead hangs.
Increases shoulder mobility
Like with the ‘monkey around‘ pun at the start, if you practice dead hangs regularly, it’ll open up the shoulder muscles and increases their range of motion.
Strengthens your core
Core strength is important to do any strength training exercise. The dead hang helps improve your core power, as it requires stability to hang still from your abdomen, arms and shoulders. This will increase your strength and endurance overall.
How To Do Dead Hangs
To start your dead hang you need to grab the bar using an overhand grip (palms facing away from you), making sure your hands are more than shoulder-width apart and your arms are straight. You then want to engage your shoulders (squeeze your shoulder blades together) and hold on to the bar for as long as possible.
- Beginner: 10-20 seconds
- Intermediate: 20-45 seconds
- Advanced: 45 seconds +