Friday, July 20, 2012


The Dead Hang

A sure fire way to get your arms growing, tighten your abs, strengthen your back, and seriously improve your grip strength.

Get yourself to a pull up bar take a supinated grip (or chin up grip) pull your self up get your chin over the bar lock your self in position And stay there, It's as simple as that!

Set your self a time goal if this is new to you start of conservatively with anything from 10 to 20 second holds. 
Be sure to concentrate on your breathing as with any isometric type contraction, if you hold your breath your blood pressure will rise! 
Don't snatch at the bar on the initial pull, take a firm grip think about the muscles you will be using and pull yourself up in to position recruit the maximum amount of motor units.

Once in position concentrate on breathing and repeat over and over 
anyone who grew up watching Batfink will recognize this cartoon reference, but it will take your mind off the lactic acid burning in pretty much the whole of your upper body.

You can do these with your arms straight and solely work on grip strength but why miss out on recruiting all that upper body musculature? more bang for your buck and the more muscle recruitment the better.

Most people are quite surprised at the amount of core activation they get from a few sets of dead hangs, also glute activation. 

Of course you can do this with all manner of grips supinated, pronated, mixed, and if your a badass try hanging from a couple of towels if you want a set of forearms that will send Popeye green with envy! and once you are proficient 1 min or more, you can add load ie weight vest or simply hang a dumbbell / kettle bell between your feet.

If you are feeling adventurous try the inverted dead hang.
This is a basic precursor to preparing for the front lever.
And if your grip fails here it's a fractured skull as 1st prize! always fun to up the stakes.

Add in some hangs with your normal sets of chin/pull ups after every 3 reps hang for 3 seconds this will probably reduce your total amount of reps but will add a new challenge to your pull up workout and ramp up that time under tension.

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