A daily spinal decompression practice is a good habit to put in place to take care of your back. Hanging from a pull-up bar is one of the first things I do after a long day. It is a major relief and as I perform this movement, I delightfully enjoy gravity’s work by feeling the pressure get released from my back. Trust me, you’re going to feel great after performing this exercise after a long day at work. Especially if your job entails sitting at a desk for 8+ hours.
Over time, your normal daily activities can affect the health of your spine: standing, sitting, lying down, running, lifting weights, etc. These activities can lead to the vertebrate of your spine becoming compressed, potentially leading to stiffness, soreness, and a very obnoxious back pain.
There are solutions out there such as Gravity Boots and Inversion Tables to assist with spinal decompression. However, a standard pull-up bar will do the job just fine. Gravity Boots and Inversion Tables tend to be costly and more difficult to set up and use. Pull-up bars on the other hand are inexpensive, versatile and easy to use.
Find yourself a pull-up bar and perform this spinal decompression practice in the morning, after work, and before and after your workout (especially if you are doing squats or deadlifts). This daily practice has worked wonders for my back health and I am confident it will do the same for yours.
Spinal Decompression Exercise
With an overhand grip, grab a pull-up bar bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Keep your head straight and faced forward to maintain a straight alignment of your spine.
Let gravity take over and allow your body to come to a dead hang. Your shoulders should be right next to your ears. The key is to allow gravity to pull your torso down, allowing your spine to be straightened.
Take long, deep, slow breaths. Breathe from your belly during this practice. Personally, I like to inhale for four seconds then exhale for four seconds, completely inflating and deflating my lungs.
Hang for 60 seconds. If you can’t hold this position for 60 seconds then hold for as long as possible.
Repeat three times.
**If you want to advance this stretch then brace your abs, glutes and legs and attempt to stretch your feet towards the ground.
Additional benefits of the dead hang stretch:
• Increases grip strength
• Stretches your shoulders, lats (latissimus dorsi), and other upper-back muscles.
Please consult with a professional before participating in this spinal decompression exercise. Especially if you have chronic back pain or another sort of pain or injury.