Copy of The Natural Approach to Fighting Inflammation (1)

Hanging for Shoulder Health

The shoulder is one of the most complicated joint in the human body and in my experience, the one that gives people the most trouble.

Why is this you may wonder?

Look at your posture. Look at your daily activities. Look at your movement.

In today’s’ society we don’t use our body the way it was designed to, yet we ask so much off it and criticise it when it is not cooperating.

I myself have been working through a long term Love-Hate relationship with my shoulders ability (or lack of) to do as I ask off it. Over this past year I have been working hard to correct many of my biomechanical faults and tidy up my own restrictions.

It was during this process that I discovered Dr Kirsch, an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in shoulder health and has developed a specific hanging protocol to help prevent clients from going under the knife. Now that is my kind of surgeon!! 🙂

He states, “Man is the fifth great ape”, “Because our shoulders aren’t getting the exercise that nature intended, they eventually weaken and become prone to injury”. By following a hanging protocol, almost everyone can reduce pain, increase mobility and strength, and more importantly prevent unnecessary being cut open, all by going back to basics!

I have been utilising this into my own training and with clients with great success. There is always progress to be made but by incorporating more hanging and play-time into my routine, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…

Check out my 3 videos walking you through hanging basics to more advanced moves & enjoy the process.

Passive Hang Basics


  • Opens through shoulders
  • Elevation & Protraction of Scapula
  • Allows Smoother Scapulaohumeral rhythm
  • Increased grip strength
  • Alignment drill for pelvis, ribs & skull
  • Spinal decompression

How To:

  • Work slowly and within your range to start
  • Grip the bar tight (especially pinky as this tends to loose grip more)
  • Relax through your shoulders
  • Avid rib flare
  • Breathe into position & challenge yourself to time

Active Hangs

This is a progression to add in once you feel comfortable with the passive hangs for 30sec + and allows you to start recruiting more muscles of the shoulder blades & upper back

To do:

  • From passive range, pull head to bar while keeping elbows straight
  • As you pull up, don’t allow ribs to flare or hips to pike too much
  • Work between passive to active for reps, increasing the range through the moves

Hanging Progressions

Once you have mastered the active and passive hangs, now it’s time to play & challenge yourself.

Always work to what your body is telling you and focus on your weaker side more as there is no point making the strong side even stronger, thus increasing the imbalances.

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Explore the movement yourself.

Play with positioning.

Don’t work through pain!

LISTEN to your body!

Any questions, just ask 😀

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Yours in Health & Happiness

Fin McKenna-Fox

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Fin McKenna-Fox

Fin McKenna-Fox

Movement & Lifestyle Coach