How to Hang to Stretch Out the Back Vertebrae

How to Hang to Stretch Out the Back Vertebrae

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Stretching your spine or backbone can be the difference between having a healthy back or back pain. Your spine consists of 24 vertebrae -- seven in your neck, 12 in your upper back and five in your lower back. Whenever you stand upright, the vertebrae put pressure on the sponge-like discs that separate them. These discs squeeze out fluid that's essential for the health of your spine. A hanging stretch can combat the pressure on your vertebral column so that the discs can absorb liquid and your back remains healthy.

Step 1

Reach up and grab a pullup bar with a shoulder-width, overhand grip so that your thumbs go under the bar while your fingers wrap over it. Alternatively, use the top of an open door or monkey bars at a local park.

Step 2

Extend your arms and legs and hang from the bar, using only your arms to hold your weight up. If you feet touch the floor, bend your knees 90 degrees to raise them or keep them on the floor but don't allow them move or to carry any weight.

Step 3

Face forward so that your head stays aligned with your spine and breathe normally as you focus on lengthening your vertebral column. Let gravity take over and imagine all your weight sagging to the floor. Hang like this for at least 30 seconds, and repeat the stretch three times.


  • Wear weightlifting gloves to protect your hands.
  • If you're not strong enough to hang for 30 seconds, start with five or 10 seconds and place your feet on a chair or on the floor to support some of your weight. As you get stronger, gradually increase the duration that you hang and raise your feet off the floor.
  • Stretch at least twice a week to maintain your flexibility.


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  3. Jess

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  4. Faron

    Wonderful, very valuable thought

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