Trying to understand what a good dead hang time is?
We’ve got you covered… this guide provides some useful benchmarks to aim for (based on fitness level and age), as well tips for improving your overall dead hang time.
Be careful not to become too obsessed with averages though, as there are so many factors that will influence what a “good” dead hang time is for you… and pushing yourself too hard could lead to injuries.
- If you’re a beginner, anything over 10 seconds is a great starting point.
- Elite athletes can often hold a dead hang for over 2 minutes.
- If you have an existing shoulder injury, speak to a Physical Therapist before starting any new exercises like dead hangs.
Dead Hang Time Benchmarks – At a Glance
The dead hang exercise involves hanging from an overhead bar with both arms fully extended. Here are some general benchmarks based on experience levels:
- Beginner: 10-30 seconds
- Intermediate: 30-60 seconds
- Advanced: 1-2 minutes
- Elite: 2 minutes and above
Benefits of Dead Hangs
Dead Hang Time Chart By Age
While individual performance can vary, here’s a general guideline for dead hang times across different age groups:
|Age Range||Average Dead Hang Time|
It’s important to note that these are average times and individual performance can vary based on fitness level, health, and regular practice.
How to Improve Your Dead Hang Time
Improving your dead hang time requires a combination of consistent practice and improving grip, back, shoulder and core strength.
Similar to pull-ups, the overall difficulty is also heavily influenced by your own bodyweight too… so if you’re overweight, shedding some pounds might actually be the most effective way to improve your dead hang time.
We also have a guide on the best forearm equipment for improving your grip which includes some of our favorite products that are designed to test and improve your grip strength.
Grip strength plays a defining role for increasing your dead hang time. The stronger your grip, the longer you’ll be able to maintain the hang.
Here are some exercises that will naturally improve your grip strength:
Farmer’s Walks – This exercise involves carrying heavy weights (like dumbbells or kettlebells) in each hand and walking for a certain distance or time. It’s a simple but effective way to build grip strength. You can also do single arm farmer’s carries (also known as suitcase carries) to further activate your core too. You could also do overhead walks, such as waiter’s carries to incorporate shoulder stability training as well.
Wrist Curls – Wrist curls target the muscles in your forearms and involve curling your wrists towards your body while holding a weight. You can perform this exercise with a dumbbell, barbell, or resistance band. You can also use a thicker bar (or wrap a towel around a bar) to further engage the muscles around your forearms.
Supported Dead Hangs – The dead hang itself is a great way to improve grip strength… even if you use resistance bands or a step to support some of your bodyweight. If the bar is low enough, you might also be able to rest your toes on the ground.
Equipment accessories like Angles90 grip handles are also worth considering if you’re struggling with grip as we’ve found them really comfortable to use (which may result in a longer hang time).
Consistent practice is key to improving your dead hang time. Try to incorporate dead hangs into your regular workout routine. Start by hanging for as long as you can, even if it’s just a few seconds.
Gradually try to increase your hang time as your strength improves.
You could also consider adding extra weight (such as wearing a weighted vest) when you dead hang to increase the difficulty.
A strong back can provide more support when you’re hanging from the bar, which can help improve your dead hang time.
Here are some exercises to strengthen your back:
Rows – Rows target your back muscles and can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells, or a resistance band.
Deadlifts – Deadlifts are a compound exercise that targets several muscle groups, including your back. Make sure to use proper form to prevent injuries. You could also do b-stance deadlifts or single leg RDLs.
A strong core is essential for maintaining stability during a dead hang. Here are some exercises to strengthen your core:
Planks – Planks are a great exercise for strengthening your core. Try to hold the plank position for as long as you can, gradually increasing your time as your strength improves.
Weighted Dead Bugs – Weighted dead bugs are one of our favorite core exercises for improving strength and stability around the mid-section.
Bird Dog Rows – Bird dog rows are a fantastic way to strengthen the back and core with one single exercise. They also improve overall balance and coordination.
Sweaty Hands Holding You Back?
Things to Consider
While dead hangs are a great exercise in general, there are a few considerations to keep in mind to ensure you’re performing them safely and effectively.
Existing Shoulder Injuries
If you have any existing shoulder injuries or conditions, it’s really important to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting dead hangs. This exercise can put a significant amount of strain on your shoulders, which could potentially exacerbate any existing issues.
If you’re cleared to do dead hangs, make sure to start slow and listen to your body. If you feel any pain during the exercise, stop immediately.
Anyone with shoulder instability issues or hypermobility will want to take extra care when putting their shoulder joints in this sort of position.
Shoulder Stability Decreases When Tired
Your shoulder stability will naturally decrease as you get tired, which can increase your risk of injury.
This is why it’s important to listen to your body during a dead hang. If you start to feel your form slipping or your grip weakening, it’s better to end the hang rather than risk injury.
Over time, as your strength and endurance improve, you’ll be able to maintain a dead hang for longer periods without compromising your shoulder stability.
What Is A Good Dead Hang Time?
A good dead hang time can vary depending on your fitness level and experience with the exercise.
For beginners, being able to hold a dead hang for 10-30 seconds is a great start. Intermediate exercisers might aim for 30-60 seconds, while advanced individuals could target 1-2 minutes.
Elite athletes often exceed 2 minutes. Remember, these are just benchmarks, and your personal goal should be based on gradual improvement from your current ability.
How Long Can The Average Person Dead Hang?
The average person, without specific training in dead hangs or grip strength, can typically hold a dead hang for around 30 seconds to a minute. However, with regular practice and targeted strength training, it’s possible to significantly increase this time.
How Long Should You Dead Hang For?
If you’re just starting out, aim to hold a dead hang for as long as you can, even if it’s just a few seconds. As your strength and endurance improve, try to gradually increase your hang time.
A good goal for most people is to work up to being able to hold a dead hang for around a minute.
It’s better to do shorter, more frequent hangs with good form than to risk injury by trying to hang for too long.
The dead hang is a great exercise that can significantly improve your grip strength, upper body strength, and overall endurance.
Remember to consider factors like existing shoulder injuries and shoulder stability when performing dead hangs.
Instead of just increasing the duration, you may also find adding resistance to your dead hangs (such as wearing a weighted vest or holding a dumbbell between your feet) is another way to progress the exercise.