Unlocking Shoulder Health and Grip Strength: The Power of Dead Hanging

When you dead hang, you harness the power of gravity to create space in your shoulders, relieving the compression often caused by modern-day lifestyles. This simple yet effective exercise can open up muscles around your shoulders, such as the lats and chest, that tend to become stiff from prolonged sitting. By reshaping the bone surrounding your shoulder joint, dead hanging allows for increased mobility and strength in your shoulders and core, enhancing overall athleticism and resilience.

Moreover, dead hanging is not just about shoulder health; it can also significantly boost your grip strength, a crucial predictor of mortality. With regular practice, you’ll notice improvements in your grip strength, shoulders, and core, translating to enhanced strength and overall physical performance.

If you’re new to dead hanging, start gradually and aim to increase your hang time over time. Consistency is key, so consider incorporating this exercise into your daily routine, perhaps in the morning and before bed, or even alongside your resistance training sessions.

General Recommendations on Duration

For optimal results, men should target a hang time of around 90 seconds, while most women may aim for 60 seconds. While longer durations are feasible, shorter, more frequent sessions are recommended. A total daily hang time of 3 minutes is an excellent goal to strive for, with intervals throughout the day being particularly beneficial.

As you progress, challenge yourself to increase your hang time gradually. Aim for continuous hangs of 1-2 minutes, repeating the exercise multiple times a day to accumulate a total of 3 minutes. Push yourself further by gradually extending your hang times, but avoid exceeding 3 minutes in a single session to prevent overexertion.

Recommended Setup

Dead hanging requires minimal equipment and can be easily performed at home. Here are some setup tips to get you started:

Setting up — Use an overhead bar, like a pull-up bar, which can be easily purchased online.

Bar height — Ensure the bar is reachable without the need to jump, preventing unnecessary strain on your shoulders.

Using a stool or chair — If necessary, use a stool or chair for added support while reaching the bar.

Exercise caution — Avoid overstraining your shoulders during the exercise.

Performing the dead hang — Simply grab the bar and hang, allowing your body to relax and your grip to fatigue gradually.

Progressions — Start with assistance from your feet if needed, gradually reducing support until you can dead hang unassisted for the desired duration.

Gradually increase your hang time — Work towards achieving a daily hang time of 3 minutes, adjusting as needed to reach your goal.

Advanced Add-Ons

For enhanced benefits, consider incorporating additional movements while dead hanging:

1. Add neck rotations — Rotate your head to each side while hanging, holding each position briefly to increase mobility in your cervical spine.

2. Add spinal rotations — Rotate your upper body from side to side to engage core muscles and enhance spinal flexibility.

3. Contract your shoulder muscles — Engage your shoulder muscles by tightening and relaxing them in intervals, promoting strength and stability.

Grip Strength Is a Reliable Biomarker of Biological Age

Increasing your grip strength through exercises like dead hanging is not just about physical performance—it’s also a key indicator of longevity. Research suggests that maintaining strong grip strength can slow down the aging process and contribute to overall health and vitality.


As highlighted in recent studies, grip strength serves as a valuable biomarker of aging, with implications for various aspects of health and wellness. Prioritizing exercises that enhance grip strength can have far-reaching benefits, impacting not only physical performance but also overall vitality and longevity.

Scroll to Top