Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Let's Hang!

One of the best books on travel you will ever read is Phil Cousineau's The Art of Pilgrimage. It contains this magnificent sentence:

All our journeys are rhapsodies on the theme of discovery.

So good! Life is one constant discovery. Today I discovered the joy of the passive hang. Seems my massage therapist thought it would be a good idea to add that to my gym routine, along with arm stretches. Today I began with 3 sets of 30-second hangs. Here's what it looks like:

Remember, the passive hang is an isometric exercise. You simply relax and "hang out." But while your body is passive, your grip is still active. Hanging improves:

  • shoulder mobility
  • grip strength
  • core engagement 
  • spine stretching

If you can't hang, use something under your feet to make it easier. 

Incidentally, some have claimed that grip strength is directly related to longevity. I rather doubt it. Obviously you're not more likely to die because of inferior grip strength! That said, grip strength does seem to be a corollary of good overall health. You don't live longer (or better) by improving your grip strength. But if you have better than average grip strength, it's likely that you're healthier than average.

Please don't try this exercise without first consulting with your doctor. And you will probably want to start off with 5 second hangs until you get the "hang of it."

Here's the other exercise I added to my weekly routine. You do this with each arm 3 times during your workout. 

Pretty simply and common exercises, I know, but perhaps you might want to consider them for your own workouts.

Have a fabulous day!