Looking for an excuse to just hang out today? You’re in good company!
I recently interviewed author and kinesiologist Katy Bowman. She says a trip across the monkey bars is just what the doctor ordered… and your body needs.
Hanging from a horizontal bar might sound like child’s play, but it’s a terrific workout. Not only does it improve grip strength and shoulder mobility, but it also strengthens your core and stretches your upper body from your chest to your forearms.
In her new book “Rethink Your Position,” Katy champions hanging exercises as a fun and primal way to get your upper body in shape. A minute a day strengthens body parts only fully activated when you hang and swing.
So, how do you start monkeying around? Like any exercise, it’s best to take it slow. Here’s a safe & routine to start with:
- Start by leaning away from a parallel bar or sturdy handrail
- Pay attention, relax your shoulder blades!
- When ready, hang from an overhead bar.. but with feet on the ground.
- Use your legs as little as possible
- Next, feet just off the ground – but stay in control
- Once you’re comfortable, add a gentle swinging motion
But there’s no gym required. If you don’t have a park nearby, a $20 doorway chin-up bar can create a hanging station at home.
Swing into action with 20-second hangs twice a day, working up to a full minute. Your inner child will thank you, and your body will too.