Hang those shoulders

In this blog post, we are going to talk specifically about how hanging can aid in recovery from a lot of shoulder problems.

Now before I type away I need to shove a disclaimer in here. What I will talk about can work for many people, but can also cause further issues for some. So if you are not sure what is happening with your shoulder, go and see a professional first. It is better to get a form of diagnosis before starting this.


There, lawyers have stopped reading now.


What we are going to discuss today is the 'Brachial Shoulder Hang' that an orthopaedic surgeon who specialised in shoulder surgery (Dr. John M. Kirschhow) believes can eliminate the need for surgery.


With 30 years of experience in the field, he claims that when working with his patients and when he prescribed this exercise 90 per cent didn't need surgery and the pain went away.


Let's start with what it is

So the picture here shows you what the hang is. As you can see it can be done on almost any bar, but you could also do it from a door frame easily.


The trick is to have your palms facing forward like the image and just try to lift your legs from the ground or bend them so you take the weight off your feet.


It genuinely is that simple.


If you’re injured or are simply not strong enough hang on with your feet in the air yet, don’t force it. Instead, you are able to support your weight with your feet. Adjust the pressure on your palms and shoulders by how much your knees are bent.


Stay in this position for as long as you can but start slow. Try for ten seconds then build up. You can hang for just 20 seconds or several minutes if possible over time.


After this, rest for a couple of minutes until you feel that you can perform it again and go. I like to just build it into my day as I pass by doorways.


Moving on to what studies are showing this


So are there any studied of evidence supporting this or is it just the word of a Doctor who is selling a book on amazon and only has things to gain? Well, there are some studies, however, the main one that you will see all over the internet especially is one conducted by the man himself. However Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. John M. Kirsch, conducted research through a series of CT scans performed in 2004 to study the mechanics of the hanging exercise on the shoulders of live subjects. The study found that this simple exercise called relaxed hanging aka ‘brachial hanging’ was helpful in certain shoulder problems.


Why does it help

When you think of this exercise we look at the “acromiohumeral joint.” The joint is engaged while hanging from overhead support or bar. When engaged, the humerus (upper arm bone) leans on the acromion bending this structure, providing more room beneath the acromion. This leads to healing subacromial impingement syndrome, frozen shoulder and rotator cuff tear symptoms. The idea is that when the arm is fully overhead (in flexion), the upper arm bone (humerus) will press against the acromion (tip of the shoulder blade) and eventually reshape it. Hanging also stretches and strengthens the supraspinatus tendon. The Supraspinatus tendon is particularly responsible for shoulder stability and strength.


So there it is, one simple exercise, backed by some studies, but widely renowned as one of the best shoulder exercises out there!


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