How To Do Inverted Hangs

Inverted Hangs are literally where you are hanging upside down from the bar. Think hanging handstands. This means that you are only above the bar from the waist.

Inverted Hangs are a great way to build muscle tension and isometric strength through the back and front of the body. Hangs like this will also work your grip, all down your forearms.

As with other Isometric Exercises, when you are doing these you will likely shake a lot, but being in the shaking point will mean you are really working your muscles, if you are not going to the shaking point, you simply aren’t working yourself hard enough.

So let’s break down these hangs:

The Hollow Body Hang (your front against the bar)

The Hollow Back Inverted Hang (your back against the bar)

With each of these exercises it is important to be able to do a few reps of pull ups, hanging leg raises and ideally be able to do a Skin The Cat and a Tuck Lever.

Without being able to get at least a few reps out of these exercises, you will struggle to get into the right position.

How To Do An Inverted Hang:

  1. First thing to do is to pull up into a tuck lever
  2. Bring your legs under the bar as if you were going to do a skin the cat
  3. Instead of rolling right over, extend your legs around the top of the bar and look forward or down towards the ground – this is your stable position, where you are arching around the bar
  4. Now you need to straighten up bro! Straighten your body slowly putting your bum back towards the bar and turning your head to look down your body – up towards the sky. This will help to pull your shoulders forward a little.
  5. Squeeze your bum to help keep your legs up and hold tight with your arms and shoulders so you don’t swing down into a back lever – or face plant the dirt.
  6. You are now in the right position, your body should be totally straight, try move your body away from the bar slightly so that you are taking all the weight on your hands and shoulders.
  7. One note – be careful when getting out, you don’t want to drop straight off the bar, you don’t want to swing down, tuck your legs in and lower yourself into a skin the cat position, or bring your feet back under the bar into a tuck lever position and out!

How To Hollow Body Hang:

  1. Hanging from the bar, pull up into a tuck lever, but with bent arms
  2. Straighten your legs so your feet are pointing up into the sky
  3. Push your shoulders and head down away from the bar and lever your hips up to the bar keeping your feet high.
  4. Hold this position focusing on keeping as straight as possible, looking down your body at your feet
  5. Your shoulders should be slightly rounded and forwards, in the hollow body position.
  6. Don’t try swinging down into a front lever – this is stupid hard to drop into from a hollow hang like this – you could hurt yourself.
  7. Stay high, with your hips away from the bar slightly so you are holding yourself up and not cheating.
  8. When you are coming down, bend your arms and your legs at the hip, so you fold into a leg raise, but with bent arms. You should finish in the top of a pull up position.

When you are doing these exercises, remember to focus on the tension in your body, squeeze everything you need to and stay tight. Isometric exercises like this will make you shake or tremble a little when you are holding, just like L-sits.

Doing these exercises will help build static tensile strength and are the next step, after the foundation exercises, on your way to mastering the levers.

Work them, get them nice and strong, and you will see the development across your other exercises. 

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