How To Do Dead Hangs, Main Benefits

Dead hangs are weight-based exercises that target your upper back muscles. Dead hangs can be practiced by gripping an overhead bar, monkey bars, or gymnastic rings. You can hang your feet from the ceiling by raising your feet. Dead hangings can increase your grip strength, spinal compression, and help stretch your back. You can also try the neutral grip dead hang or single-arm dead hold after you’ve completed this hanging exercise.

Muscles Made Work And Benefits Of The Dead Hangs

Even though they are simple, dead hangs can be very beneficial. There are many benefits to dead hangs:


Dead hangs can be used to strengthen your grip and forearms. More than 20 muscles are found in your forearms. You can divide these muscles into two groups: flexors and extensors.

The flexor will make your hands close and bend your wrists. The flexor and extensor groups will allow you to open your hands and reach backward, while the flexor and extensor groups will do the reverse. Dead hangs can be a grip strengthening exercise that will improve grip strength.


You put your spine under great strain with heavy deadlifts and squats. Your spine may become shorter temporarily if your intervertebral disks are compressed. After exercising, your disks will be back to their original shape and thickness within an hour. Any height that has been lost will also be regained.

Benefits Of The Dead Hangs

Dead hangings can be a great way to speed up this process. Your vertebrae are pulled apart by hanging from your arms. This allows your disks to have the space they require. In medical terminology, this is called distracting a joint.

It can be helpful to do dead hangs between sets of deadlifts or squats.


Contrary to popular belief, dead hangs can be used for more than just strengthening your grip. Dead hangs should be performed safely and correctly. Your shoulders should be pulled back so that your shoulders are not hung from your shoulder ligaments.

It is simple to pull your shoulders back or retract your shoulders, but it is difficult to pull your shoulder down or depress your shoulder. Shoulder depression is caused by your lower traps.

Weak lower traps can cause shoulder pain. This muscle is often overlooked and can be strengthened to decrease the chance of injury.


The latissimus Dorsi (or lats) can become shorter and tighter than any other muscle. Although exercises such as deadlifts and pull-ups are great for strengthening your lats, strength training can make this important back muscle smaller.

Tight lats can affect your posture and shoulder mobility. They can also cause injury. It can be hard to stretch your lats.

Dead hangs will stretch your lats and provide a gentle, but deep stretch. More flexible lats make overhead presses and other chin-ups easier.


Your posture is how aligned your joints are. This can be either good or bad. Good posture places very little stress on the joints and muscles. Bad posture can lead to muscle tension, aches and pains. Bad posture can also affect how you look.

Long-term sitting can cause postural problems. You are constantly being pulled in all directions.


Dead hangs enable your body to expand and reverse gravity. After a series of dead holds, you will feel more upright. If you do it regularly, dead hangs can help improve your posture.

Top-7 Benefits Of The Dead Hang

This passive hang exercise covers everything you need, from strength and mobility to muscle gains and elongation. This is what you can expect from this exercise.

1. Decompression of the Spine

Our spine is compressed by most modern-day activities and movements. For one, prolonged sitting can cause damage to the spine. However, other activities, such as lifting heavy objects, squatting, and sleeping, can cause compression of the spine.

Even a few seconds of hanging in the dead hang position can help to decompress the spine. You can replace the space between your bones, joints, and discs. This is a great way to relieve tension and back pain, as well as prevent injury.

2. Grip Strength

There are many “band-aid” solutions to improve grip strength such as weight lifting gloves, straps, and hooks. The best way to improve grip strength is to grip a bar! While performing a dead hold, you will be holding onto a bar while hanging your body weight off of it.

Dead hangs are the best way to increase your grip strength.

Grip Strength

Good grip strength is beneficial for all types of exercises that require grips, such as pull-ups, rows and deadlifts, rack pulls, lever variations, and rows.

3. Shoulder Joint Range Of Motion

This passive position allows you to relax your upper body and allow your arms to rest. This position improves your shoulder mobility and overall health.

Many people are strong and size-oriented. Mobility/range of motion is often neglected. This exercise will improve the range of motion in the shoulder joint capsule. It allows you to safely perform overhead movements such as squats and presses.

4. Rotator Cuff Strengthening and Shoulder Injury Repair

Many people have had success in recovering from injuries to their shoulders, aches, and pains. This was primarily due to the Rotator Cuff.

In his book “Shoulder Pain, the Solution and Prevention”, Dr. Kirsch, a medical professional, explains how nature designed movement patterns for our shoulders. These movements are not what we currently participate in. We are both weak and more likely to be injured.

By giving his shoulder injury patients dead hang exercises, 90 of the 92 patients in a single study were healed. The surgery would have been necessary.

Before you spend thousands on corrective measures and physiotherapy, give the dead a try.

5. Forearm gains

You should give up the useless forearm curls. Instead, do a few sets each week. Dead hangs can be a great way to increase strength and size in your forearms.

A dead hang is different from a forearm curl. Your forearms are constantly under tension during a dead hold. You can perfect your dead hang if you are able to do it over a long period of time. If you can do it for a long time, your forearms (and vascularity!) will improve.

6. Latissimus Dorsi Lengthening

The dead hang will instantly feel how tight your lats are. The dead hang is a great static stretch for your lats and other muscles.

This helps to keep your muscles healthy and fluid by lengthening your lats while you hold the dead hang position. This will show in your pull and push exercises, where your lats do most of the work.

7. Correction of Posture

Dead hangs are great for correcting posture. As mentioned in previous points, dead hangs can help strengthen, decompress and loosen your upper body. These four factors are key to better posture.

Don’t spend any money on posture correction gimmicks, there are so many. Just hang in there. Literally.

How to Do a Dead Hang With Perfect Form

Begin with 2-4 sets of 10-60 second dead hangs. Your ability to maintain good technique throughout the set will determine which sets you to choose and how long they should be held.

  1. You should hold a pull-up bar in your full overhand grip. Your grip should be approximately shoulder-width, or slightly wider than that. If you are unable to grasp the pull-up bar, use a plyometric or flat bench to support your hand.
  2. Allow your legs to hang from the ceiling. Your arms and legs should be straight and your elbows bent. Your spine and pelvis must be in neutral. Your pelvis should be in a neutral position.
  3. Engage your core and squeeze your quads and glutes. To engage your lats, rotate your shoulders inward. Your shoulders should be pointing upwardly away from your spine. As if you were holding eggs under your chin, your chin should be tucked during the movement. This position should be used for all repetitions.
  4. To avoid swinging, maintain a firm grip and tension throughout your body. For the required time, hold.

How to Do a Dead Hang With Perfect Form

And shortly instruction:

  1. The most popular grip type is the nated grip
  2. A standard pull-up grip is best if you are going to be working for maximum time.
  3. Hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
  4. Hang loose. Relax the rest of your body and keep your grip tight.

Dead Hang Variations

The dead hang is one of my favorite exercises. It offers progressions and different variations. These variations can be used after you’ve mastered the standard version.

1. Neutral Grip Dead Hang

You should do this with your palms facing one another.

2. Hang from the Under Grip Dead

These should be done with your palms facing inward.

3. Suicide Grip Dead Hang

As a standard dead hold, place your thumb above the bar with your other fingers.

4. Gymnastic Rings Dead Hang

You can use any of the grips mentioned above, but only on Gymnastic Rings and not a fixed bar. Hello, stability!

5. Hanging from a Single Arm

You can do the single-arm dead hang in any of the above variations.

Important Tips for Dead Hang Training

Don’t overdo it. Dead hangings don’t need to be difficult. However, you don’t have a reason to do them every single day. Exercising too often could cause injury to your elbows and hands. Dead hangings should be done at least 2 to 3 times per week. This will allow for ample recovery time between workouts.

Don’t always train to failure. It is possible to overtrain, get injured, and sore by training to failure. Although it’s okay to perform a maximum length test set during your workouts, you should limit this amount. This will allow you to determine how long you can dead-hang in a given range. Next, perform 4-6 sets of 50-70%. Increase the intensity as you gain strength.

Use a passive grip to avoid overuse injuries caused by dead hangings. If you are planning to do three sets, you could try a different grip. This will make your workouts safer and more challenging.

Important Tips for Dead Hang Training

Add dead hangs to your pull-up routine: Continue to rep out, but if your arm strength is low, you can hang from a pull up bar for as long as you like. Do not do this after your first set. You may find your hands too tired to do another set. This strategy should be reserved only for the last two sets.

Supersets of a dead hang are a great choice: A good place to dead hang is between sets that involve a lot of spinal compressions such as overhead presses or squats. This is the super setting. These can be performed between sets of deadlifts but you shouldn’t fatigue your grip. It is enough to hang for a short dead hang time.

Dead hangings can be very beneficial. Doing a few seconds each of overhead presses and squats can help to decompress your spine. This will reduce tension and pain. Hanging for longer periods of time can help improve dead hang grip strength and posture.

While dead hangs may seem easy, there is more to them than swinging from a pull-up bar with an overhand grasp. If you don’t do it right, you could inflict injury on your elbows, shoulders, or hands, negating many of the benefits.

Use but don’t abuse dead hangs. They are an important tool in your exercise arsenal, but they can also be harmful if they are used too often or if you try hard to make them work.

What’s the difference between Dead Hangs & Pull-Ups?

Both exercises work muscles in your upper body by using your bodyweight. However, the dead hold is different than the pull-up because it uses your entire bodyweight.

  • Motion pattern Dead hang is an isometric static exercise that strengthens your muscles and keeps you in passive hang. Pull-ups require your elbow joints and shoulder joints to hinge while you lift your body through a full range.
  • Muscles worked Pullups and hang activate many of the same muscles such as the latissimus Dorsi. The pull-up is a lift that requires activation of your arm muscles and back muscles.
  • Difficulty level: Pull-ups are harder than dead holds. Warm up: Practice dead holds and increase the dead time until you feel comfortable enough to pull-up fully.

How to work out safely and avoid injury

If you have any health issues, consult your doctor before you start an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to ensure safety and effectiveness. You might have to modify each exercise according to your individual needs. It is important to choose a weight that allows for complete control of your body while you exercise. If you feel discomfort or pain, stop.

If you include proper warm-ups, rest, and recovery into your exercise routine, you will notice steady improvements in your fitness. Your final results will depend on your ability to recover from your workouts. You should allow your body to rest between 24 and 48 hours before you return to the same muscles.