The 30 Day Bar Hanging Challenge!

Recently I have noticed a high number of my patients within my practice have been presenting with numerous shoulder issues. From sprains, to AC joint separations to frozen shoulders, it has really shown how much limited shoulder function can affect your overall quality of life. As such, I have been researching simple ways to improve, strengthen and protect your shoulder joints for the future. Below is a simple but challenging exercise for people of all fitness levels, however if you are having problems with the challenge please speak to your chiropractor.

The image to the right, which is taken from Ido Portal’s website (, outlines the basics rules surrounding what he calls “The Hanging Month” which in effect means that participants in the challenge need to work their way up to hanging on a bar for a cumulative period of 7 minutes every single day for 30 days or a whole month.

Sounds simple right? 7 minutes isn’t all that long each day, well let me tell you that if you haven’t done much or any grip, shoulder and forearm strength then I almost guarantee that you will not find this easy.

Firstly, you need to understand that you can and should spread out your hanging exercises throughout the day rather than try to smash out 7 minutes worth of hanging exercises in a short space of time.


These Passive Hanging exercises can be done by anyone who have no prior injuries or problems with their shoulders joints. If you have healthy and strong shoulder but find that you have poor flexibility then these Passive Hanging exercise would be suitable

*Grip the bar overhand and a shoulder width apart.

*Slowly relax relax into the weight of your body.

*Focus on gently squeezing shoulders into ears, drop your rib cage down and maintain straight elbows.

* Use your thumb if you can.

For more in depth information about the passive hang as well as more advanced hanging exercises and techniques then please check out



It is not only your shoulders that will benefit from hanging exercises but a whole range muscles, joints and ligaments will benefit from you being able to complete the 30 Day Bar Hanging Challenge.

Hanging exercises involve what is called straight arm strength and this type of body weight strength can significantly improve your grip strength, your wrist flexors, your forearm strength and of course your shoulder strength.

The wonderful thing about hanging exercises is that if you are a novice and do not have much straight arm strength then you can start off with relatively easy hanging exercises and as you become stronger and progressively work your way up to more advanced hanging exercises which are certainly not for the faint hearted.

The specific benefits you will get from incorporating Bar Hanging Exercises into your training routine will include:

*Grip and Forearm Strength

Grip and forearm strength is part of the bodies core foundation and the link between strength and mobility in the upper and lower body.  

*Scapular Stabilization & Stronger Shoulder Muscles

The 30 Day Bar Hanging Challenge will definitely go a long way to promoting healthier and strong shoulders and it does this through stabilizing the scapulae and strengthening the smaller intrinsic and extrinsic muscles which all to often get neglected through weight training and exercise. Through scapulae stabilization and strengthening of the smaller shoulder muscles you will soon begin to notice a greater range of motion with your arms and shoulders whilst at the same time noticing more stability and support in the shoulder joints.

*Spine Decompression

You may not realize but just from carrying out your day to day routine your body and in particular your spine can take a significant amount of loading, subsequently becoming quite compressed. Simple activities such as sitting at an office desk or standing up from prolonged periods can result in a great deal of compression on the spine, even sleeping in bed can have minor spinal compression effects.

The idea of using hanging exercises for decompression of the spine is to relieve the stress and pressure off the spine, back, nerves and overall body.