GRIP – Don’t hold on any longer if your fingers start to slip. You’re flirting with a nasty finger injury if you don’t control your contact with the bar.
The Fix… do as I told you to do above! Do more sets of less time if you’re struggling to adapt. Do yourself a huge favour and buy some chalk. It will really, really, really, really, really, really, really help your grip. Like 20-40 percent better.
ARMS NOT STRAIGHT – Very common! It looks like you’re 'guarding' against what’s to come. It could be because you’re too weak. It could be because your biceps and shoulders are too tight, or it could just be because you’re not used to being in this position. If this is the case, just be patient – you’ll need to work into it more gently.
If you’re too tight, the fix can be complex or simple, but a lot of stretching and if necessary seeing a specialist that can give you the gift of returned movement would be wise.
If you’re too weak, or just not used to being here, we have the luxury of a simpler solution. Practice lots of short sets, or find a way to work on it with your feet down. Keep half the weight on your feet, get in perfect position for a few seconds and then release. Gradually switch more and more weight into your upper body until you can achieve lift off with straighter arms.
SHOULDER BLADES NOT ELEVATED – All the same as above can go wrong here. Plus it’s very common to struggle with this if you have rounded upper-back posture.
The fix is to work on your posture and practice, practice, practice until your comfortable with this position. I’ve taught this to a number of personal trainers; even many of them do it wrong at first. Even many experienced trainers need to be reminded at least a few times before they get it right. Use the ‘push the bar away’ cue below and practice with focus, and you’ll get it right and life will be better (although temporarily more torturous).
HEAD ALL OVER THE PLACE – we want our neutral spine position, chin down slightly, and then our neck should ‘disappear’ (don’t worry, it comes back).
LEGS ALL OVER THE PLACE – don’t kick your legs like a big baby, don’t cross them like you’re here to relax and don’t dangle them like you’re just chilling; squeeze them together and get your body feeling like one unit. It will then be easier to control your body, easier to get your Abs engaged, and you will get a better stretch (and more strength) through your Lats.
T-SPINE ROUNDED – Common! People don’t move enough —> people get bad posture. Be careful if this is you. One can easily anger one’s shoulder joint while reaching one’s arms over yer ‘ead. Work on your posture, learn The Skill of Thoracic Extension and practice these very carefully.
LESS THAN A MINUTE – I usually resist mentioning standards and scale as a requirement in these, because we are all different. But, I couldn’t resist on this occasion because, for some reason, people don’t see hanging as a real exercise and tend to move on too soon. But you mustn’t as the benefits can be profound, far reaching and life changing (body changing at least). So, this month, get perfect mechanics, then get some endurance.