Hanging – Fundamental Human Movement


Hanging – Fundamental Human Movement


You used to hang all the time. As a kid in the playground, climbing trees, learning to walk and hanging off the edge of the kitchen table. At some point in your life, you probably stopped hanging off things in favor of more culturally appropriate behavior. This is a mistake.

Most people spend lots of time with their arms in front of their face. At a desk, driving a car, eating. Many people find it hard or painful to lift their arms overhead. This lack of movement in the shoulders and upper back can lead to pain and other problems. Check out my article here for more info.

Brushing your teeth

Think of hanging as ‘brushing your teeth’ except for your upper body health. We don’t think twice about spending 5 minutes a day caring for our teeth, mostly because we want them to last a lifetime. Why should we view our shoulders any differently?

Hanging stretches and strengthens your shoulders in an overhead position and given enough time, can address many of the movement dysfunctions that modern life can inflict on you.

So what is hanging? It really is simple, hold onto something overhead and lift your feet off the ground. Don’t let go.

Easy right?


Except it’s not. Hang on for 1 minute and you’ll be working hard. For most people 2 minutes hanging is impossible.

I would be remiss of me not to mentions Ido Portal here. Ido re popularised ‘movement’ in modern times. Four years ago Ido wrote a blog on hanging and issued a ‘hanging challenge’ to people to hang every day for a cumulative time of 7 mins for 30 days straight. I encourage you to read Ido’s blog here it is an excellent insight into hanging.

So I challenge you to hang. If you are reading this living in Australia go to Kmart and buy this:

Put it in your doorway. Put the kettle on and go hang. Start cooking your dinner, wait for you steak or tofu to cook and go hang. Walk past the door – go hang. You get the gist. Try not to think of hanging as exercise, just something that you do throughout your day to maintain your shoulders.

Most people want all the fancy pulling exercises:

  • Their first pull up
  • Their first muscle up
  • A front lever or back lever
  • The list goes on.

It all starts with hanging. Build a solid foundation with the basics and you’ll be well on your way to a lifetime of healthy shoulders and more advanced pulling movement.

Oh – your hands will hurt. Get over it. No one has died from sore hands. Yet.

See you in class


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