A Place to Hang


Talking essential gym equipment, this is the place I think everyone needs to start.  We’ve already covered the blender, floor space, a brain, and your body.  Now we’re getting into some actual, traditional exercise equipment.

Why does something to hang from go at the top of my list?  Simply put, pulling is a basic human movement pattern that is difficult to train without something to hang from.

There are a few primal movement patterns.  Different folks will have different lists, but I look at the basic patterns as:

  • Push
  • Pull
  • Level Change
  • Hinge
  • Hip Separation
  • Trunk Stabilization
  • Locomotion

You can train all of these with just your body, and of course you can get more complicated and advanced, adding various weights or pieces of equipment to challenge and progress these patterns.  Pulling is the only one that really needs an external object to accomplish.

  • You can push yourself off of the ground in a push-up or handstand push-up
  • You can train a level change with a basic air squat
  • You can practice the hinge by bowing or doing hip raises
  • You can do hip separation with a lunge, split squat, or stepping up onto the first step of a staircase
  • You can develop trunk stabilization with a simple plank hold
  • You can go for a walk to practice locomotion

But a pull is going to require at least a towel or rope and something to wrap them around, maybe a table edge to grip onto, a door frame, or an object like a sandbag, kettlebell, or dumbbell to use for rows.  The best option for pulling is simply something to hang off of.

Pulling exercises primarily train our grip (hand & forearm muscles), biceps, and back (lats, etc.), as well as basically all the muscles and connective tissues in the body that are supporting the strain of resisting gravity in the opposite direction from normal.  IT’S IMPORTANT.

So, let’s look at some great options for home equipment to hang from:

  1. Pull-up bar. The simplest, most basic form of hanging place.


2. Gymnastic rings.  They need something to hang from themselves, but open up a world of possibilities.







3. A rock-climbing hang board.  These mount above a doorway and give you tons of great options for varying your grip.


4. A rope. Because hanging doesn’t have to be from a horizontal object.


5. A tree branch.  You don’t always have to buy something or build something.


6. Aerial silks.  Time for some advanced, crazy stuff?  Tons of options here.


7. Stall bars.  You get a regular pull-up bar, plus a bunch of bonus horizontal bars to play around with.



Published by nicnakis

Nicholas |nik-uh-luhs| n. a male given name: from Greek words meaning "victory of the people" John |jon| n. a male given name: from Hebrew Yohanan, derivative of Yehohanan "God has been gracious" Nakis |nah-kis| n. a Greek family name derived from the patronymic ending -akis (from Crete) Amha |am-hah| n. an Ethiopian given name meaning "gift", from Geez Selassie |suh-la-see| n. Ethiopian name meaning "trinity", from Geez

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