PULL-UPS AND PASSIVE HANGING “How to Do the Perfect Pull-up” by Joe Vennare for Greatist.com in 2014 has 4 parts. First, Vennare provides instruction about the pull-up and how it differs from a ‘lat’ pull down even though each exercise uses the same muscles. He explains how the pull-down is performed with a machine, with weights being moved away from the body, and the pull-up is performed on a bar with full bodyweight moved up toward and then lowered away from the bar. The pull-down, Vennare says, isolates one joint and a single muscle group whereas the pull-up is a complicated action that involves the coordination of more than one joint and muscle group.
Next, Vennare gets down to business describing the technique for performing the exercise as promised by the title of his article.
In the third part, for those of us who have recently attempted pulling our bodyweight up and could not manage even a fraction of an inch, he provides advice on how to work up to performing a pull-up. Exercises with weights can help build the necessary back, should, and arm strength, he says. Assistance can also be obtained with the help of a buddy, a special resistance band, or an assisted pull-up machine.
Part 4 explains four pull-up variations, 3 of which increase the difficulty of the already difficult move.
Vennare’s tutorial is not basic. Although he describes the pull-up as one of the most difficult to master, he doesn’t address problems that the beginner will experience or offer a progression that avoids injury. Just hanging and swinging from a bar, supporting my full bodyweight, can be very difficult for more than a minute, I’ve noticed.
After searching the internet for additional help with a safe pull-up progression exercise series, the information coming from trainers seems to indicate that PASSIVELY HANGING from a bar is the best way to begin. Some physical therapists indicatethis move could benefit shoulder health generally!
ZHealth Performance’s, Dr. Cobb explains how to hang while supporting yourself on relaxed knees in a YouTube video. Matt Shu from UpRightHeath has a YouTube tutorial that trains beginners to passively hang. Shu provides stepwise instruction on how to perform a very simple passive hanging move with proper form, and a plan for progression from a few seconds to minutes.
The always entertaining self-proclaimed, “Most Famous Physical Therapists on the Internet”, Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck also have a helpful video, “Shoulder Pain: Fix by Hanging from a Bar-Impingement, Cuff Tear, Etc.” which highlights the work and book of an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. John M. Hirsch.
My search of medical literature and scholarly articles on the internet didn’t locate additional recommendations by orthopedic surgery or physical therapy professional organizations/departments regarding hanging exercise for shoulder health, the alleviation of shoulder pain, or rehabilitation from injury. Thus, anyone experiencing shoulder pain or with a history of injury should be cautious when performing these exercises, and consider checking with a physical therapist before proceeding.
The idea of re-gaining youthful playground greatness by swinging and climbing on monkey bars and other playground equipment with ease is so very appealing. I wish I had known earlier in life that this kind of physical capability was important to preserve. There’s still time to carefully start work on the basic moves and strengthening exercises. Hopefully, with persistence, I’ll be able to accomplish the huge victory that mastering pull-ups represents.
Or at least keep my shoulders healthy with the effort.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
ZHealth Performance, Dr. Cobb
“Shoulder pain relief: Hanging for Healthy shoulders”
Matt Shu from UpRightHealth
“Passive hang for shoulder pain: How to do it safely”
Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck
“Shoulder Pain: Fix by Hanging From a Bar-Impingement, Cuff Tear, Etc.”
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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