As athletes & movers (which is what we all are as athletes) it is easy to get caught by the sexiness of advanced skills tricks and forget that working fundamentals isn't just for the newbies. Spending time with fundamentals throughout your training career builds virtuosity, proprioception, maintains body health, and continues to grow your foundation from which all movement stems.
That said, have you ever thought about the benefits of hanging? Coach Nikki has put Chad on the 30 day challenge to help with his shoulder health and mobility, and I thought it was worth while to pass the challenge along to you!
The Hanging Challenge
The Challenge: The Hanging Challenge is simple - spend 7 min of accumulative time (not in one go but spread throughout the day) performing various types of hangs - passive/active/dynamic for a period of consecutive 30 days.
Passive Hanging - relaxed, deactivated, targets more of the passive structural integrity components than the more 'muscular heavy' hangs. It is where more often than not we will start with a beginner. (certain issues with shoulder health and integrity might require we start with active hangs for example)
Active Hanging - selective activation of the pattern, engaging musculature and minimizing the demands on passive structural integrity while maximizing the active-component demand and adaptation. Active hangs are a type of strength work. More specifically - Straight Arm Scapular Strength.
Dynamic Hanging - the use of a combination of passive/active hangs AND momentum to initiate a variety of dynamic actions such as Brachiation, Swinging, dynamic release and catch (Lache for example) and more.
Here are a few patterns to play with, while accumulating your daily 7 min total hanging time:
Why you should participate...the Benefits to Hanging:
Hanging provides an important building block for pulling. In fact, hanging is a center piece in basic movement approach implemented with beginners as well as relevant in the training of more advanced movers.
1. Shoulder/elbow/wrist health and the recovery of the lost 'overhead reach' range - promoting optimal range and making use of the upper body as it was designed to be used. By simply allowing gravity to 'do its thing' in the passive work or "fighting it" in the active work - one can send a very intense adaptation producing signal into one's structure. I wonder if we implement hanging work throughout our lives, from young age and into old age and without taking too large of a break what would be the results over the now lost 'overhead reach' range and shoulder injury rates.I suspect we would have little need to 'stretch our shoulders' any further. Of course shoulder integrity, elbow and wrist/hand/finger health can benefit tremendously from daily hanging as well. (See added section below on the subject)
2. Lead up to pulling work, climbing and more advanced patterns. Hanging sits at the base of those patterns, just like standing does for walking. A deficiency in hanging work will become evident at a certain stage - some get stuck early unable to develop even a single chin up. (very common female problem)
3. Active hang work is especially important tool in certain advanced phases and scenarios - as a plateau breaker for advanced pullers approaching the One Arm Chin Up for example.
4. Grip Strength and Grip Endurance. If you cant grip it - you cant manipulate it/yourself. We have grown weaker all over due to the lack in physical demands in our daily lives. Grip is no different.
5. Creating 'Terminology' for future complexity. Hanging work creates awareness and a language of positions that can be later used to put together sophisticated pieces of movement in a variety of scenarios from gymnastics to parkour to tree climbing to rock climbing and more. It is a tool for improvisation and play.
Who is in for the challenge? I myself started today!