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Bulletproof Your Shoulders With This One Exercise

There is only exercise you need if you want to have pain-free and mobile shoulders with the benefits of improved posture. So what’s this special exercise? Drum roll please…it’s the hang. Yeah, really, that’s it. All you need is access to a bar; and if we’re being honest, we all have access to a bar. Whether it’s an actual pull-up bar in your house or a tree branch in the park, you can do this exercise. And the best part is, it’ll only take you 7 minutes. So, if you’re the person who can’t carve 20 minutes out of their day to do other traditional shoulder mobility movements, then the dead hang is perfect for you. Everyone has 7 minutes to spare, and I mean everyone. Except for Beyoncé, she doesn’t have 7 minutes. But if you’re not Beyoncé, then you have 7 minutes to spare, which means it’s time to get to work.

What is the hang, and how do I do it?

Well, there’s two types of hangs, the dead (passive) hang, and the active hang. The dead hang is literally just that. You hanging from a bar, dead like. You’re not actively pulling your shoulders away from your ears like you’re about to do a pull-up, you’re simply allowing gravity to weigh on you, decompressing your spine, pulling your entire body toward the ground. And the only thing preventing you not dropping is your grip on the bar. The dead hang is a great passive stretch. Most people will feel it in their abs, upper back, lats, and shoulders. If you spend most of your day sitting at a computer, you’ll find this hang highly beneficial.

The active hang is the opposite of a dead hang. Instead of passively hanging onto the bar for dear life, you are actively engaging your core, upper back, lats, and so on. Think about driving your shoulders down and away from your ears and retracting your shoulder blades together. And there you have it. This hang variation is a great strength-based movement for your back and core. Ideally, you’d want to incorporate both hangs into your 7-minute routine.

The Routine

So now that you have a basic understanding of the hang and its main variations, I can give you the simple routine. Here it is: Hang from the bar actively and/or passively for 7 minutes a day. Most people won’t be able to do 7 minutes straight at first, so all you do is set a timer for 7 minutes, and anytime you hang you let it run, stopping it when you stop. Simple. Don’t be too concerned if you’re only able to get 5 or 10 seconds at first, that’s okay. Just stick to it. Over several weeks you’ll be able to do your 7 minutes in just two sessions, and when you reach that point, I suggest you consider progressing the movement. You can do that by adding time OR (if you don’t HAVE time) hang from one arm rather than two. This will present new challenges and benefits, giving you something new.

That’s really it. If you’re still on the edge about it, just give it 21 days and see if you can feel the difference. If you do, great, if you don’t you never have to do it again. But, I’m willing to bet this one is something you’ll find yourself utilizing often! If you have any questions about this please DM me on Instagram @herperformancecoach. I respond within 48 hours.