Fit Minute: Raising the bar with Leap Fitness

Who knew hanging from a bar could provide so many health benefits? Whether you are doing chin ups or just hanging with your toes touching the ground, Leap Fitness trainers Ethan Palmer and Max Mellor say that using a suspended bar can be a great exercise to perform from your own home.

“There’s a lot of important exercises that you can be doing. There’s not just one exercise that fits all,” said Palmer. 

Palmer says that while being able to do a variety of different movement patterns on the bar, such as chin ups or pull ups, just holding yourself up can dramatically increase your shoulder strength, and help straighten the spine.

“If you just wanted to focus on being healthy, to be able to hang from a bar for a time, it’s going to decompress your spine and its going to make your shoulders healthier.”

It’s important for those who want to work their way up to overhead exercises on the bar to start with short increments because, as Palmer says, you need to be able to hang from a bar comfortably before attempting more intense workouts.

“Anything lifting overhead, all these things are impossible if you can’t just hang from a bar. Whether it’s hanging from a bar for five seconds, 10 seconds, just incrementally progress over time working up to a minute, and if you are really really fit, try and push it to three minutes,” he said. 

If you don’t have a bar in your home, Mellor says that you can get creative and use things within the house or around town, such as the bars at Gatchell’s Park and Seaside Park, that can be suspended and will also support you.

“It can be any suspended thing in the air that you can get a comfortable grip on,” Mellor said. 

Palmer says to build up strength slowly but surely, and hanging from a bar is something that you can do everyday.

“Everyday just chip away at it. You can literally hang on a bar everyday,” he said. “You don’t need to do it only once or twice a week. Build it up.”