How and Why You Should Be Doing the Dead Hang



Full-body compound strikes get all of the credit score for constructing muscle mass. Jacked quads? Thanks, entrance squat. Killer glutes? Recognize you, deadlift. Bolder shoulders? Could not have completed it with out you, overhead press. And whereas these strikes definitely deserve their spot on the high of the load coaching meals chain, easy physique weight workout routines might be simply as useful.

Take the useless cling, for instance. Requiring you to understand a bar and easily cling there, it has not one of the glamour of a again squat or the strength-gaining potential of a bench press. However what it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in advantages because it counters a number of the adverse results of compound strikes, together with tight muscle groups, spinal decompression, poor posture, and shoulder immobility.

We’re not suggesting useless hangs take the place of your beast mode strikes. As an alternative, add the useless cling into your current routine, and you might discover you are stronger and extra limber than ever. 

Desk of Contents:

  • What Are Useless Hangs?
  • Variations Between Passive & Energetic Useless Hangs
  • Advantages Of Energetic And Passive Useless Hangs
  • Muscle groups Labored & Stretched Throughout Useless Hangs
  • Performing Useless Hangs: How To Do A Useless Dangle
  • Programming The Useless Dangle
  • Variations Of The Useless Hanging Train

Dangle with us, and you may know every part there may be to find out about this train.


Easy however efficient, useless hangs are an train requiring you to just do what the title implies: cling. The overhead bar on the gymnasium is not simply reserved for pull-up variations. Additionally they work nice for the useless cling. Or, you will get inventive and use no matter bar is obtainable. We’re by no means against using a park’s monkey bars to get in an train or two. 

As soon as you have acquired your bar, align your physique equally to the way in which you’ll when performing a pull-up. With an overhand grip, palms barely wider than shoulder-width, legs straight and off the bottom, your physique will cling from a bar. And as you do, you may reap many advantages (extra on this quickly!). 

An essential advice we now have for the useless cling: Do not soar as much as seize the bar. Use a bench, plyo field, or anything to line up your palms appropriately earlier than eradicating your legs from the field and gently letting your physique cling. Leaping as much as seize it locations pressure in your shoulder joints and does not assist you to arrange with correct type.

Passive Useless Hangs vs Energetic Dangle

The impartial grip useless cling comes with decisions: You may let your physique cling there, treating it extra as a stretch, or you need to use it to construct power by isometrically contracting your muscle groups all through the maintain. 

The passive useless hangs train place is the stretching model, through which your legs cling straight down with much less concentrate on contraction and far more on stretching. Your shoulder joints are nonetheless activated, however the remainder of your muscle groups needs to be lengthening on this model.

The energetic useless cling turns the stretch right into a strength-building transfer. As soon as in place, concentrate on holding a full-body contraction as you cling together with your legs barely in entrance of you rather than hanging straight down. Activate your again, such as you would in any latissimus dorsi strengthening exercises, and shoulder muscle groups by rolling your shoulders outward and retracting your shoulder blades. Create pressure in your whole higher arm as you concentrate on participating every muscle. As you raise your legs in entrance of you, activate your core, hip flexors, glute, quad, hamstring, and calf muscle groups. Your focus is on sustaining your head-to-toe muscle contractions all through the whole motion.

This hanging train does not sound as simple now, does it?

Are Passive Useless Hangs Unhealthy For You?

No, fairly the alternative: Passive useless hangs are nice for you. At first look, how the useless cling primarily works could seem onerous on the shoulders, however the train is not stressing them. It is stretching them. As you cling there, your shoulder joint mobility is enhancing, which is crucial to any motion requiring you to raise or transfer your arms. Even holding the bar for a again squat requires movement from our shoulder joints.

Should you endure from shoulder ache, your first step needs to be to clear this transfer together with your physician – security first, all the time. However when you do, this transfer will show you how to excess of the fast cross-body stretch you doubtless carry out after an intense upper-body dumbbell workout. Useless hangs do an amazing job of stretching an important shoulder tendon, the supraspinatus, which helps with general shoulder well being and mobility. 

As with every part, moderation is vital. Performing this transfer a number of instances a day locations an excessive amount of pressure in your shoulders since you’re overusing them. As an alternative, goal two to 3 instances weekly, observe correct type, and your whole physique will profit from passive useless hangs.


There are completely different advantages to each useless cling variations on account of their completely different focuses. For instance, the passive useless cling stretches and elongates, so you may discover lots of its advantages relate to this. Alternatively, the energetic useless cling strengthens, so its key advantages are linked to rising muscle mass and serving as a stepping level in a pull-up progression plan.

Because of the nature of the hand place and the final “hanging there” necessities, one profit you may obtain from each strikes pertains to your palms and forearms.

It improves your grip strength and forearm muscle. No matter whether or not you are making this transfer energetic or passive, it nonetheless requires your palms to understand a bar and help your physique as you cling. Which means your forearm flexors, essential for hand grip power, will work in both place. Should you’re thinking about gaining power right here, these forearm exercises and this dumbbell forearm workout are nice for constructing mass and power.

And whereas it is probably not essentially the most glamorous muscle, it’s integral to every part you do. On a regular basis actions like carrying groceries require grip power. And simply think about the way you’d carry out any of your favourite lifting strikes with weak palms and minimal grip. Heavy (or mild) dumbbells, barbells, pull-ups, and rows all develop into not possible to do when you’ll be able to’t grasp one thing correctly.

Apparently, current analysis reveals that grip power is a superb predictor of future illness, mobility, bone mineral density, fracture threat, despair, and general power and physique operate1

hanging exercise

Advantages of Passive Useless Hangs

Right here why’s together with passive useless hangs into your routine is a good suggestion.

1. Improves shoulder joint vary of movement: 

We spoke about this above, nevertheless it’s value concerning once more because it is likely one of the high advantages of passive useless hangs. Shoulder ache or a scarcity of mobility impacts on a regular basis capabilities, like getting a jolt of ache each time you attain for one thing on a shelf to needing to rotate your shoulders outward as you grasp a barbell to carry out a squat variation, just like the again squat. By hanging there, you are enabling the shoulders to stretch inside their whole vary of movement, which isn’t one thing most shoulder stretches can obtain. Between that and focusing on the supraspinatus tendon, your shoulders are properly on their solution to feeling their greatest.

2. Spinal decompression: 

Belief us after we say that decompressing your backbone feels so extremely good. It’s possible you’ll not even understand you’ve got pressure in your again till after performing this transfer and feeling the distinction. Many elements trigger your backbone to compress, together with sitting at a desk or in a automotive for vital intervals. Leaping and different plyometric strikes and performing squats and deadlifts are different widespread culprits. Let’s take leaping up and down for instance. As you land, your backbone absorbs the pressure from that motion. This locations strain in your discs between your vertebrae, compressing them as they work to soak up your touchdown shock. Your intervertebral discs are primarily a cushion defending every vertebra as they take up shock and stress.

Think about when you’ve got a heavy barbell loaded in your higher again for a again squat: The load is pushing down in your intervertebral discs, as they take up the load and shield your vertebrae from pushing towards one another. Your discs are doing their job, and the compression they bear is normal. 

However it’s essential to point out them some love by serving to relieve that compression. In any other case, you might end up coping with again ache, the very last thing anybody needs. The passive useless cling helps relieve disc strain by oh-so-gently creating area between your vertebrae because it pulls them aside due to gravity tugging your physique downward. The additional area relieves strain, allows your discs to broaden, and prepares them for future shock-absorbing duties.

3. Higher physique stretch: 

Our higher our bodies really feel higher simply occupied with the deep stretch from a passive useless cling. This transfer lengthens muscle groups that may be onerous to focus on with conventional stretching, partially due to the downward pull of gravity. Nonetheless, it additionally hits quite a lot of muscle groups that are inclined to develop into brief and overactive when they do not get sufficient stretching consideration, which may result in muscle imbalances and damage. Your shoulder and arm muscle groups will get a deep stretch, as will your whole again, together with your lats, traps, and rhomboids. It definitely deserves a spot in your lat stretches routine.

4. Higher posture: 

These tight again muscle groups we simply mentioned can wreak havoc in your posture, so the higher stretched they’re, the extra improved your posture shall be. As well as, sitting for lengthy intervals as a result of dreaded, however fairly widespread, desk job will not do our posture any favors both. And to make posture issues worse, a compressed backbone additional results in a hunched-over look.

Fight all of those results with the passive useless cling. Because it decompresses your backbone, stretches out your entire higher physique muscle groups, and counteracts the consequences of sitting for lengthy intervals, you may discover your again turns into straighter than ever.

5. Units you up for progressions: 

For these seeking to grasp the pull-up, an amazing stepping stone is to start out with a passive useless cling. Regardless of hanging there, your higher physique muscle groups are nonetheless working to help your whole physique weight. Grip power can be very important for profitable pull-ups, and as talked about, this cling helps enhance your maintain.

You may as well use this train as a stepping stone for chin-ups and different workout routines that require a powerful grip or good shoulder mobility, together with the deadlift, bent-over rows, lat pull-downs, and upright shrugs. Any train that depends in your palms and forearm flexors to understand weights will enhance as you grasp the passive useless cling.

Advantages of Energetic Useless Hangs

Concerned about energetic useless hangs and what they do for you? Listed here are a number of the energetic useless hangs greatest advantages.

1. Full-body contraction: 

The energetic useless hangs require isometrically contracting your muscle groups. Greedy the bar prompts your forearm flexors, and as you maintain your self up, your triceps and biceps additionally interact. Plus, your shoulder and again muscle groups are all working as you rotate your shoulders and retract your shoulder blades, creating pressure all through the higher, center, and decrease again.

Increase your legs in entrance of you barely through the use of your core, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, holding every muscle contraction all through the transfer. Our muscle groups are far more accustomed to contracting concentrically and eccentrically, so a protracted maintain will work them in a brand new method.

2. Improves core power: 

Core power is crucial for performing strikes like pull-ups and chin-ups, so participating your deep belly muscle groups at any time when doable is essential. A powerful core additionally protects your again throughout heavy-duty workout routines just like the deadlift, and when mixed with following a cutting diet plan might outcome within the six-pack of your desires.

3. Reduces muscle imbalances: 

As you cling there, contracting your entire muscle groups, you are making certain one aspect of your physique is not uncared for. As your power improves, you’ll be able to take this additional by attempting a one-handed energetic useless cling. There is no simpler solution to determine aspect imbalances than by taking one aspect utterly out of it!

4. Builds severe power for train progressions: 

As soon as you have mastered this transfer, you are in your solution to finishing pulls-up and chins-ups. In reality, after performing the energetic cling, contemplate reaping the advantages of a weighted vest by placing one on earlier than knocking out your pull-up reps. And due to its emphasis on muscular contraction, you are additionally laying the inspiration to deal with some hardcore weight lifting strikes, together with the entrance lever, through which you grasp a bar, reducing your physique horizontally and sustaining it on this place. 

Mountain climbing is an exercise through which you may be joyful you first mastered the energetic useless cling since grip and higher physique power are very important for pulling your self up on uneven rocks and surfaces. It additionally lays the inspiration for more difficult energetic hangs, together with one-handed and performing it on gymnastics rings. Due to a rise in lat power, enhancements to your deadlifts and Kroc rows are doubtless.

hanging position

Does a useless cling construct muscle?

The energetic useless cling is superb for constructing muscle. Your forearms will get a severe exercise. And so long as your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and again are contracting, you’ll be able to construct mass in every of them, making it an ideal addition to any upper body workout. As well as, the core, glutes, quads, and hamstrings activate to boost your legs, and you may make beneficial properties within the decrease physique.

As with all workout routines, progressions will proceed constructing muscle. When you cease feeling challenged, improve your time, units, or reps, or contemplate including a weighted vest or ankle weights for some further muscle hypertrophy-inducing results. Graduating to a pull-up or chin-up is all the time an choice as properly.

back muscles


Because of the similarities in type, the identical muscle groups work in each variations. The principle distinction is how the variations work: Many of those muscle groups are stretched within the passive variation and strengthened within the energetic useless cling.

Higher Physique Activation:

Listed here are the higher physique muscle groups labored throughout useless hangs.

  • Forearm: The flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profondus, and the flexor policus longus are accountable for grip power and activated within the passive and energetic useless cling. The opposite muscle groups listed right here get a superb stretch from the passive useless cling, however the forearm muscle groups are fortunate sufficient to get in a severe exercise all through the train.
  • Shoulders: Even within the passive useless cling, the deltoids are semi-activated as they work to rotate downward all through the train. Plus, the shoulders are getting a deep stretch that may assist with shoulder ache and enhance your shoulder joint vary of movement. Lastly, prepare for much more activation within the energetic variation as you consider miserable your shoulder blades and concurrently activating your again muscle groups.
  • Lats: Weight lifting, driving, and sitting an excessive amount of may cause our lats to shorten. As this happens, it throws off your posture, inflicting a hunched higher again and shoulders that spherical ahead, which does not look or really feel comfy. The passive useless cling does an distinctive job of letting them totally size and stretch, creating longer, happier lat muscle groups that shall be extra agreeable to utilizing heavier weights in your overhead press and Pendlay rows. Use these lengthened lats within the energetic useless cling variation as they isometrically contract all through the train.
  • Core: Have interaction your core as you retain your physique completely nonetheless, making certain your physique does not twist or sway side-to-side (useless cling no-nos) whereas working your deep core muscle groups in each variations. With the energetic useless cling, contract them much more as they stabilize your trunk and maintain your legs in entrance of you.
  • Rhomboids: These higher again muscle groups are important for good posture, and once they’re tight trigger a uninteresting ache to radiate between your shoulder blades. Roll your shoulders outward as you cling, as it’s going to assist lengthen and scale back pressure in your rhomboids. You may get extra of a stretch with the passive useless cling, so consider this variation if you happen to endure from higher again ache.
  • Trapezius: The traps are totally engaged within the energetic useless cling since one in all its major capabilities is shoulder stabilization and shifting the shoulder blades. The higher traps assist elevate and rotate the shoulder blades upward, whereas the center traps retract the shoulder blades, and the decrease lure fibers rotate the shoulder blades downward2. These trapezius capabilities imply the big again muscle is totally activated as you pull your shoulders down throughout the energetic useless cling.

Decrease Physique Muscle Activation: 

Your decrease physique muscle groups are particular to the energetic useless cling. The glutes contract as they maintain your legs barely in entrance of you. Use that mind-muscle connection we steadily talk about to interact your remaining decrease physique muscle groups. As you maintain your legs in entrance of you, squeeze the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, isometrically contracting them the whole train. Focus in your full-body contractions, and you may anticipate the next lower-body muscle teams getting labored:

  • Glutes
  • Hip flexors
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves


Able to appropriately carry out a useless cling? Here is the best way to do it.

dead hangs

Tips on how to do a Passive Useless Dangle:

  • Stand behind a pull-up bar, grabbing it together with your palms going through away from you in an overhand grip, together with your palms barely wider than shoulder-width aside. Use a bench or plyo field to step up and attain the bar fairly than leaping up for it.
  • Greedy the bar, preserve your arms straight with a slight elbow bend. Hold your torso and pelvis impartial, together with your legs hanging straight down, totally prolonged, and never touching the ground; tuck your chin. Your arms needs to be totally prolonged.
  • Regardless of being a passive cling, your shoulders are nonetheless semi-activated, remaining down and again all through the train.
  • Consider being nonetheless and sustaining a gradual respiratory sample as you cling there. When completed, place your ft again on the bench or plyo field to get down.

Tips on how to do an Energetic Useless Dangle:

  • Beginning in the identical place because the passive cling, seize onto the bar with an overhand grip, with arms totally prolonged. Start within the passive cling place, letting your legs cling straight towards the bottom.
  • Contracting your quads and glutes, increase your legs barely in entrance of you. Tuck your pelvis by tilting it barely, specializing in creating pressure all through your higher and decrease physique as you retract your shoulder blades and rotate them downward whereas rotating your shoulders outward.


Regardless of your trainee stage, this is how lengthy to focus on holding your useless cling for.


As with all workout routines, to start with, it is all the time greatest to start out small and shortly work your method up as your neural system makes fast diversifications and will get your motor models firing, all of that are important for coordination and highly effective contractions. Goal 20 to 30 seconds for the passive cling. You may attempt to attain the identical for the energetic cling however might need to begin nearer to 10 to fifteen seconds. Should you’re battling hanging for any time period, first construct power utilizing an assisted pull up machine.


Passive hangers with some weight lifting expertise ought to be capable of cling for over a minute, ideally nearer to 80 to 90 seconds. For the energetic model, goal 1 minute of useless cling time, working your method up every week.


Passive hangers simply finishing 90-second hangs are able to carry out some severe cling time. You may cling wherever from 2 to five minutes for each the passive and energetic hangs. Be warned: Even the fittest of the match might have a tough time holding an isometric maintain for this lengthy within the energetic useless cling. Hanging so long as you’ll be able to, constructing in your time every week.

Is hanging on a regular basis good?

We don’t suggest hanging each day. Whereas there are numerous advantages, together with stretching you out and constructing power, training moderation is crucial.

This train appears to be like deceivingly simple, particularly with the passive model, as you are simply hanging there, proper? However regardless of its stretching advantages, it is nonetheless stressing your higher physique. Overdoing it might result in shoulder joint pressure, elbow ache, and a weakened grip. Goal 2 to three instances per week, and get all the advantages and not one of the overuse pressure.


Rookies incorporating the passive cling into their routine ought to intention for 2 units of 20 to 30 seconds every. The energetic cling ought to begin with two units of 10 to twenty seconds, persevering with to extend your time every week, even when solely by just a few seconds. Relaxation one minute between units.

Intermediate lifters can goal two to 3 units, lasting 80 and 90 seconds every, resting 1 to 2 minutes between units. Intention for 2 to 3 units, one minute every, for the energetic cling, rising your time as you progress.

For superior lifters able to passively useless cling with the perfect, program one set starting from 2 to five minutes. Energetic hangers ought to observe the same format, focusing on one set between 2 and 4 minutes. After you attain this level, it is time to transfer to a development. 

We suggest including the energetic useless cling to the start of your exercises to assist heat up your muscle groups and saving the passive useless cling variation to your calm down when your muscle groups are craving lengthy, deep stretches. Strive utilizing the energetic useless cling as a heat up for this back and shoulders workout

Useless Hanging Train: Variations

In search of extra variations of the standard useless cling to strive? Take a look at the video beneath, which along with exhibiting you the best way to do useless hangs, additionally covers the supinated useless cling, gymnastics swings useless cling, tau grip useless cling, and one arm useless cling.

Embody Totally different Useless Dangle Variations for Extra Exercise Selection

As soon as this turns into a staple in your exercise routine, you might crave some selection in your strikes whereas nonetheless reaping the identical nice advantages of the useless cling. Change your overhand grip to an underhand, impartial, slender overhand, or suicide grip, that means no thumbs.

Add instability to the motion by performing it on gymnastics rings, or use a thicker bar that’s further difficult to grip. You may as well work one aspect tougher whereas figuring out pesky muscle imbalances by performing the one arm useless cling. The choices are infinite. 

Pleased hanging!

The useless cling train is nice for enhancing your grip. Questioning why that is essential? Take a look at our article on the 5 Benefits of Grip Strength!

start hanging 


  1. Bohannon, Richard W. “Grip Power: An Indispensable Biomarker for Older Adults.” Medical Interventions in Getting old, vol. 14, 1 Oct. 2019, pp. 1681–1691,, 10.2147/CIA.S194543.
  2. Ourieff, Jared, and Amit Agarwal. “Anatomy, Again, Trapezius.” StatPearls Publishing, 6 Dec. 2018,


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