Wednesday night = chest and arm day. It means bench presses, shoulder presses, TRX push-ups, strange planks with a wheel and, of course, THE HANG. I have a love/hate relationship with the Hang, because I love the fact that I can do it, but it hurts like F*** and I have to stretch my fingers afterwards. Then, like clockwork, my abs remind me that I just gave them a serious workout too, and I end with both my hands and my abs on fire.
So, what's the point of the Hang? The Hang is, effectively, an ab workout that also requires grip strength, especially in the fingers. Grip strength as a whole refers to what the hand can hold, i.e. grip, for how long. The stronger your grip, the wider you can grasp, and the longer you can maintain that grasp on a heavy object. The Hang is a grip strength exercise, but it is more about finger grip strength than it is whole hand grip, as my palms are doing very little work to hold me in this position.
I started doing the Hang by just bringing my bent legs up to my chest and then lowering them again, before progressing into lifting straight legs and then lowering them. One of the hardest parts of the Hang is that, to do it effectively and get a core workout from it, you have to make sure you don't swing. When I progressed from bent knees to straight legs this was hard, as I naturally wanted to use momentum to bring my legs up, but that defeats the entire purpose of this exercise, not to mention the damage it would do to my lower back! The key to keeping the core engaged and avoiding the swing is to breathe through the lift: in on the way up, out on the way down. At least, that's what works for me.
Tonight, however, I graduated from straight leg lifts into a circular lift with bent legs (see the video above). This was hard AF because, not only did I have to fight not to use momentum to bring my legs around, I had to force myself not to cheat as I became tired and simply kick my legs from one side to the other. The video above shows my third and final set, filmed by my trainers Pat and Hilal, and I was quite surprised how good it turned out, given it was my final exercise after an almost forty-five minute arm workout incorporating all my least favourite kinds of lifts: bench press, I'm looking at you!
Stay in the loop for tomorrow night's deadlift progress!
You don't find the willpower - you create it.
Me With No Apologies.