As I write this, most of us that started the challenge on December 1st are on day 15, just about halfway in terms of number of days we're hanging, and already past the halfway mark in terms of our 6:00 goal!
This is when the challenge really starts becoming a challenge. When you can't skip a day, because making up a missed day would mean 8:00+ worth of dead hangs the following day. Our calluses are growing, hards are peeling, shoulders and lats are sore, and forearms are pumped.
Now I'm not here to tell you there's a miracle cure, BUT there are a few recovery techniques that EVERYONE should be doing to avoid injury, mitigate soreness, and make sure the back half of this challenge isn't more challenging than it's already slated to be.
1. Hand Openings with Resistance
This is THE most important tip in this article, please don't sleep on it!!
Just like any other parts of our bodies, we want to make sure we don't create any muscle imbalances. With all the gripping we're doing, we need to spend time working our extensors. The easiest way to do that is by doing hand opening exercises with resistance.
I demonstrate in the video below, using these "Expand Your Hand Bands" by Iron Mind.
2. Hand Care
Raised calluses getting you down? A lot of time, our hands limit our hangs more than our forearms. Anyone else out there have calluses that are getting raised and pushed up?
Here's the advice I gave my athletes, do some basic hand maintenance.
The goal is to build up, and create "tough" skin where your calluses are, but keep them from being raised. When you get out of a hot shower, use something like a foot filer or pumice stone, and file down your raised calluses. Make sure to not get too carried away, every bit that you're able to bring them down will help!
3. Forearm Stretching
If you have any soreness on the tops of your forearms, I like to find the sore spot, push my thumb down in that spot, and then simply flex and extend your wrist (just raise your hand up and down without moving your arm - all in your wrist).
Use the Kneeling Forearm Stretch to target the bottom of your forearms.
4. Shoulder Stretching & Mobility
Here is a list of some of my favorite shoulder mobility techniques that don't require any equipment (I do love a good PVC pipe).
-Shoulder Circles: Start with your arms straight out to the sides, do small circles forward, then backward, then forward again and increase the size of the circle with each repetition.
- Thread the Needle
- Cow Face Arms (with or without strap)
5. Break Up the Hangs!
Ok, here's my last tip. I think that as the challenge gets harder, you need to start being more strategic with how you're doing your hangs. Instead of every day, every hang, hanging as long as you can, make a plan!
For example, 2:20 was the first day I didn't go unbroken. I decided since the streak had ended, that I would take the ":10, :20, :40, and :50 days" easy, so that I can try to hit the new minute, and thirty second marks unbroken. Wednesday I did 3:00 unbroken, and I will shoot for 3:30 unbroken tomorrow.
In between, I'm doing sets of 30 seconds - 1 minute. Something that will still feel satisfying, but will be considered more of an easy day, so I can go harder on the unbroken days.
Got any other tips that you've found helpful throughout the challenge? Leave a comment here, or on one of my Instagram photos (@spartan_spencer). Happy hanging!