Dynamic Hanging for Loosening Upper Body Muscles

January 19, 2016 by VAHVA Fitness

Dynamic hanging will improve the flexibility and mobility of your upper body muscles; especially the shoulders and back muscles.

Your shoulders will become more flexible. You will also feel the hangs heavily in your back muscles, especially the lats. Your trapezius muscles and even chest is also stretched to a great degree. 

Dynamic hangs are dynamic stretches which means you are using movement and momentum to stretch the muscles.

Dynamic hanging is a great alternative to the regular stretching and we believe the movement based mobility work is in fact much better, because your body needs to work as a whole.

We have compiled several effective dynamic hangs that will really loosen back muscles. The easier progressions will be approachable by beginners, but the harder progressions will be effective even for the advanced practitioners. 

If you are a complete beginner, you should first become comfortable just hanging on the bar - that passive hang alone will improve the flexibility of your upper body.

Eventually you can start working on the dynamic hangs at your own speed - explore the range of motion by swinging slightly to different directions. 

We have compiled several great dynamic hanging variations below.

Dynamic Hanging Variations

Side Dynamic Hang

side dynamic hang
side dynamic hanging

Side dynamic hangs are one of the key hanging variations to really stretch the upper body. Your lats, posterior deltoids and upper back muscles are stretched very effectively. Even the midsection mobility is improved. 

Expect to see great improvements in a very short time.

How much you move to the sides depends on your current level of fitness. You can start by just doing very slight lateral movement and then gradually increase the swing. 

1-Arm Side Dynamic Hang

one arm dynamic hang
one arm dynamic hanging

One arm side dynamic hangs are the advanced variation of the two arm version. You dynamically hang from side to side by switching hands. 

1-arm dynamic hangs are more about strength and mobility - and for this purpose they are phenomenal, because the scapula (shoulder girdle) strength is built very nicely.

One Arm Rotations

one arm rotations
dynamic rotation
one arm rotation

One arm rotations will work on the rotational strength and mobility of the shoulder girdle. Grip strength is also developed depending on how thick the bar is. 

The body rotates almost naturally - it requires very little strength to turn. Just hang and let the body work on its own.

How Much? When?

Dynamic hangs are mobility work. You can do them either in the beginning of your workout, between workout sets or in the end.

You can also do them separately any time you like (especially if you have a pull up bar at home). This "Grease the Groove method" tends to be the fastest way to develop upper body mobility. 

Do the sets until you start to feel tired and your form starts to suffer. Then rest for 1 to 3 minutes and begin a new set. 

Train hard, stay safe.


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samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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