All You Need to Know about Dead Hangs

Blogs, / By Shi Qi Yap

Dead hang is a simple yet effective exercise that offers a wide range of benefits. However, like any exercise, it is important to understand the proper technique and possible risks associated with dead hang.

Read this blog to know more about it!

What is Dead Hang?

The dead hang exercise is a simple yet effective exercise that targets multiple muscles in your upper body, primarily your back, shoulders, and arms. It involves hanging from a bar or other stable object with your arms fully extended and your feet off the ground.

Benefits of Dead Hang:

  1. Improved grip strength
    Whilst performing a dead hang, you are holding onto a bar and hanging your body weight off it. Thus, it is an excellent way to improve your grip strength, which is important for many daily activities, such as carrying heavy objects or opening jars.
  2. Decompression of the spine
    Dead hang can help to decompress the spine and replace space that has been lost between your bones, joints, and discs in your back. Therefore, it helps to relieve pressure on the lower back and improve posture and help in injury prevention.
  3. Increased shoulder stability and mobility
    Dead hang requires you to hang in the passive position that help to improve shoulder mobility and flexibility by stretching the muscles and joints in the shoulders and upper back.
    Dead hang can also strengthen the rotator cuff which can stabilize your shoulder and speed up the shoulder injury recovery if you have any.
  4. Posture correction
    Besides, dead hangs can strengthen, decompress, loosen, and mobilize your upper body which leads you to have better posture!

Possible Injuries of Dead Hang

  • Shoulder and elbow pain

    Hanging from a bar in a wrong form can put stress on the shoulders and elbows, particularly if you have a history of shoulder or elbow injuries.

  • Wrist strain

    If you have any history of wrist injuries and your wrist in not strong enough to hold your weight, you may strain your wrist while doing dead hang. It’s important to maintain good form and avoid overexerting yourself.

How to perform a dead hang

To perform a dead hang, follow these steps:

  1. Use a secure overhead bar. Use a step or bench so you can easily reach the bar with your arms. You don’t want to jump straight into a dead hang.
  2. Grip the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you). Aim to keep your arms shoulder-width apart.
  3. Move your feet off the step or bench so you’re hanging on to the bar.
  4. Keep your arms straight. Don’t bend your arms and stay relaxed.
  5. Hang for 10 seconds if you’re new to the exercise. Work your way up to 45 seconds to 1 minute at a time.
  6. Slowly step back onto the step or bench before releasing your arms. Repeat up to 3 times, if you wish.

We have posted a short video about “Which hanging technique has higher risk to cause injuries”. Give yourself a try!

If you have any more questions or would like our physiotherapists to assess or treat your back pain, feel free to drop us a question, talk to us, or fill in the form below. Do check out our Instagram page too.

Yap Shi Qi
Rehab Therapist

Shi Qi graduated with Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons), awarded by Anglia Ruskin University, UK. Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP®). She practiced as a physiotherapist in a Malaysian private physiotherapy center with a special interest in musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation. Her previous experience inspired her to combine active approach along with patients’ education to optimize the rehabilitation outcome in sports-related injuries and postural pain.

In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, singing, and playing piano.