One Arm Hanging Work

23 Aug, 2014

We are still hanging!

With over 8000 members in the Movement Culture group (please join us) and hundreds of thousands of views of the various hanging drills posted on our YouTube channel, we continue pushing hard (or should I say 'pulling') into the Hanging Challenge.

 Its time to introduce some more advanced One Arm Hanging exercises for those who are ready for it.

Word of advise: in general, in your movement practice, aim to REMOVE EGO from the equation or... pay the price. Even though I've issued countless warnings and highlighted the difficulty of certain drills and their potential danger for those who are not ready, people are people and there have been many attempts to try to 'jump over your own belly bottom' (as we say in Israel) and attempt things that are beyond your reach. The One Arm Hanging exercises are not for beginners who did not spend a good amount of time building the various two arm progressions - from Passive to Active to Dynamic drills. Review prior blog posts and the Movement Culture group for those.

Now for the new drills...


One Arm Passive Hang

A prerequisite for this drill is the 120 sec continuous two arm passive hang. One should not attempt this drill if unable to perform that first. A 2 min Passive Hang shows the you've spent enough time effecting various tissues involved in the hanging work and can now (relatively) safely overload the hang by X2. Note - that is a HUGE jump, so take care.


Holds in the One Arm Passive Hang should not be below 20 sec - anything below that indicates your best bet, at the moment, is to build the two arm progressions further.

Sets - 1-10 sets per session.

The One Arm Passive Hang can enable you to start to build to longer overall holds with alternating one arm holds.

Observe Stas going for a 15 min On Bar Hang, showing some advanced hanging endurance work and using One Arm Passive Hangs mostly.


One Arm Active Hang

An excellent exercise, a mainstay in my training and that of my students. I've been using this variation for many years now to develop Straight Arm Scapular Strength as well as support the uni-lateral Bent Arm Strength moves such as the One Arm Chin Up.

Note: under the Ido Portal Method flag we only perform full range of motion One Arm Chin Ups - every rep starts from a passive one arm hang, goes into an active hang and from there the pull commences. Anything else is your ego talking, not quality.

The One Arm Active Hang is also an excellent drill to develop scapular control and can be used to heal and protect the shoulder in preparation of more intense dynamic hanging, brachiation and climbing/pulling work.

The One Arm Active Hang is usually attempted with what I view as UN-satisfactory standards, take note.

A prerequisite for this movement is a One Arm Passive Hang of at least 45 seconds as well as quality Arching Active Hang with proper retraction for sets of 5 with a 3 sec pause at the top of each rep. 

You need to be able to achieve FULL depression and pull the free side shoulder in line with the active side shoulder as a basic requirement.


Rep range should be around 5-15 reps with a static pause of 1-10 sec at the top contraction of the rep.

Another variation will be just one long static hold with 15-60 sec per set of time under tension.

Sets - 3-7 sets per session.

The One Arm Active Hang is a relatively unknown and underrated exercise, I urge you to give it a try for a few weeks and see how it effects your shoulder health and strength development.

 The Shawarma 

 The Shawarma drill is a more advanced movement - challenging but with large potential rewards. It also contains more inherent risk and should not be attempted by those who are unable to present the needed basics.

Prerequisite: One Arm Active Hang, shoulders level with the horizon, held for 30 sec.

The Shawarma drill is a more advanced version of the One Arm Active Hang and contains a static pause at a SUPINATED One Arm Active Hang at the top of each rep. On the other side of the drill - there is a stretched, passive hang in a One Arm 'Eagle' Position - this position is internally rotated and pronated and without proper preparation can mean trouble. Take note.

There should not be any pain during the performance of the drill or after it whatsoever.

The Shawarma Drill prepares the shoulder and develops rotational control and strength - which is essential for various dynamic movements later on as well as important for the development of one arm pulling strength. (most don't understand that when approaching the One Arm Chin Up - you must control the rotation first before the actual pull will become possible / safe / smart)

The Shawarma Drill promotes good range of motion in the shoulder, elbow and wrist, since the tissues are under tension, it warrants the development of strength along side flexibility.  It can be used as a tool for joint protection and is taught by us under the Corset - Total Body Protocols flag as one of many joint protecting movements. (For more information about the Corset - check out our event pages for workshops and internships)


3-10 reps per set, static pause of 3-5 sec at the active, supinated one arm hang, controlled unraveling and return back in the dynamic part, no bouncing, no pain, no 'serial killer face'.

Sets should be 3-7 per session.


Implementation and examplary sessions

Intermediate Level

A1 Alternating Passive One Arm Hang - 30/30,20/20,10/10 sec, without coming down X 2 sets

B1 One Arm Active Hang X 5 reps per arm with a 3 sec static pause at the top of each rep X 3 sets

C1 Side to Side Stationary Swing X 60 consecutive sec X 1 set

This represents your daily 7 min hang time, as recommended in the Hanging Challenge.

Advanced Level

A1 Alternating Passive One Arm Hang - 30/30,20/20,10/10 sec, without coming down X 1 sets

B1 One Arm Active Hang X 10 reps per arm with a 3 sec static pause at the top of each rep X 1 sets

C1 The Shawarma  X 5/5,4/4,3/3,2/2,1/1 reps with 3 sec static pause at the active part of each rep, alternating sides and with minimal rest X 1 set

This represents your daily 7 min hang time, as recommended in the Hanging Challenge.


Keep your efforts of hanging or join us if you haven't already and start to implement the various drills and exercises into your daily routine.

I want to thank all those who have been spreading the good word around them and getting their friends, loved ones and students involved in the challenge.

I am very excited to see the size and quality of the response and how many are willing to get their movements and body back to where it should be - this makes me want to continue to share more and more of my perspective into how we should regain our physicality and with it our true nature of movers. Get involved in the community - there is a lot more to come!

Enjoy and let me know your thoughts,



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