How to fix tight Shoulders with the German Hang

Spending all day hunched over a desk is terrible for our posture. It causes a tight neck, weak upper back and rounded, tight shoulders. The German Hang is an incredible shoulder stretch that helps open up the chest and shoulders. It is an easy move to perform on Gymnastic Rings, but perfect to stretch and strengthen the shoulders. Gymnastic Rings are one of the most useful pieces of equipment around. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it, and fix those painful, tight shoulders. For more exercises on fixing shoulder pain click here. Make sure you always warm up properly.

Get yourself a pair of Rings.


It is best to use a high anchor point when performing the German Hang as this gives you more space in which to hang. Ideally Rings should hang at head height or above to give your bod and legs enough space to hang below without touching the floor.

A non-essential but beneficial pre-requisite for the German Hang is the Skin the Cat, for tips on how to do that click here.

How to perform the German Hang1. Begin by taking hold of the Rings.

2. Lift your legs up and rotate your body up the Candle position, where you are inverted. You can do this by performing the Inverted Deadlift move.

3. Tuck your knees into your chest, then continue to rotate slowly to the hang position. Once in this position you can extend your legs.

4. You are now in the German Hang position. Allow your shoulders to stretch and aim to hold this for time. You can rotate your palms to face backwards to open your chest even more – increasing the stretch.

You should feel a large stretch on the shoulders, chest and arms. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together to keep the Traps engaged.

This position also helps builder shoulder strength and stability required for more advanced Calisthenic exercises such as the Back Lever. For tips on building a strong core see here.

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