If you are suffering from any kind of hip discomfort, hamstring tightness, shoulder, back, or abdominal pain, then this exercise could be the cure that you need.
If you live a relatively active lifestyle and exercise regularly, then you have probably experienced some painful tweaks in your body. If you exercise with more extreme intensity you then you may have suffered from an injury that is more serious.
The truth is, that with a little discipline and some knowhow, almost all injuries can be prevented. If your body is at the stage where a tendon, ligament, or muscle has torn, then you have usually missed multiple warning signs along the way.
One of the earliest signs that you have begun your journey toward an injury is noticing an imbalance in your body. When it comes to the structure of the human body, symmetry equals stability. In most cases, noticing an imbalance can be extremely difficult and usually requires a full assessment from an expert, however there an activity that allows you to notice misalignment while preventing a multitude of other injuries simultaneously.
If you have access to a chin up bar and a mirror then you’re in luck. Jump up and grab the bar with both hands at around shoulder width, and let gravity drag your body toward the ground. Allow your arms straighten while letting your legs dangle loosely toward the floor. In this position, your shoulders should be hanging out of their socket slightly, providing much needed relief from the constant pressure and grinding that most exercise routines cause. Another valuable benefit of hanging comes in the form of spinal decompression, hanging freely for any period of time allows your spinal cord to extend and stretch, providing much needed relief on your discs. When you are walking, standing, or sitting, gravity is causing ongoing compression of your spinal cord. However, while hanging, gravity creates the exact opposite effect.
Earlier I mentioned the correlation between body misalignment and injury. Now, hanging is an excellent way to stretch out your joints, decompress your spine, or cure some aches and pains. But it can also be an efficient tool to help your discover an imbalance in your body, thus addressing a potential injury trap that you may be unknowingly travelling toward. Try to hang in front of a mirror if possible, while doing so; pay attention to the alignment of your shoulders and try to notice if you are favouring one side over the other. Also, keep a close eye on the position of your feet, often one foot will be hanging slightly higher off the ground than the other. Having misaligned hips is an extremely common cause of injury, noticing uneven feet while hanging is a great way to discover that hip misalignment. If you notice that your feet are hanging unevenly in relation to their distance from the floor, consciously drag your higher side down toward the ground, allowing gravity to do most of the work, until you are able to achieve as much of a symmetrical alignment as possible.
There can never be too much hanging.
The amount of hanging you do should only be limited by the frequency of your access to a chin up bar. Hanging provides comprehensive relief for the body, some hang for many minutes every day, others for only a few seconds sporadically throughout the course of a week. No matter how much hanging you do, it’s doing your body good. So give it a go and try to hang as frequently as you can and for as long as possible. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results.