Movements from a hanging position are extremely demanding. The result is very effective core training. We generally use them for body control….a.k.a., gymnastics. There is more going on than meets the eye. There are steps along the way. First of all, you need to develop sufficient grip strength to be able to support your body weight. Pulling with the arms will create flexion that typically will help, but presents it's own difficulty while testing arm strength. From the hang, flexionof the hips occurs with a simple knee or leg raise. Remember setting weight further from the point of movement, or fulcrum, will increase leverage or resistance. Further rising of the torso actually occurs around the shoulder girdle. There is a necessary engaging of the lats and shoulder blades. From there, the abdominals and back "pull" the torso upward, bringing the knees towards the elbows. The movement continues until the back becomes parallel to the floor, or further into an inverted hang. This is rotation around the shoulders and is very difficult. Here are some tips to help with hanging movements. Keep working and your time spent hanging will start to pay off.
- Work on your grip strength with dead hangs.
- Begin by raising you knees into a seated hanging position. Hold and control lowering of the legs. Control in both eccentric and concentric movements will prevent swinging and make the exercise more effective. Strive for control.
- Placing a box under your feet and slightly "jumping" is an acceptable way to learn the movement. As you become stronger, use less jump and soon, no jump.
- Proceed to a straight leg raise. Lack of hamstring flexibility will keep the legs slightly bent but with time, that will improve.
- Continue the upward pull of the torso, bringing the knees towards the elbows.
- Working on back strength with pull-ups, GHD work, and body rows will help. Get the feeling of keeping the lats and shoulders engaged.