Hanging

musem displaysAdulthood and aging aren’t just about cellular processes degrading. There’s also the loss of mobility. Movements that adults can’t do anymore isn’t always just because they’re adults. It happens because they stopped doing those movements.

Most animals, including us, are designed to be mobile. In other words, we should be able to run, walk, jog, crawl, swim, climb, throw, and jump.

Because our bodies are efficient, they adapt to whatever position or movement pattern our bodies finds themselves in most often.

In his book on shoulder health, orthopedic surgeon John M. Kirsch, M.D. said he noticed his kids easily swinging on monkey bars and realized he couldn’t because he didn’t perform that movement pattern anymore. He didn’t need to. Or did he?

Along with our ape relatives, we’ve evolved a complex shoulder joint giving us the ability to hang from our hands. Dr. Kirsh reasons that because we don’t occasionally hang from our hands, our main shoulder ligament can become tighter, often leading to shoulder problems.

He figured out that by hanging (not pull-ups) every day or so you can fix or prevent many common shoulder problems. Don’t worry if you’re short for your weight, you can hang with your feet supporting some of your extra weight

After childhood, most people don’t need to hang by their hands, but you should. He thinks it’s smart to hang at least a little bit. You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to because something might sound “silly.” Remember, without conscious and deliberate effort, inertia always wins.