Dead Hang Pain? Here’s Why Your Back Hurts & How to Fix It

The overhang, a seemingly straightforward exercise, can benefit your fitness journey immensely. It strengthens your grip, decompresses your spine, and engages various muscle groups, including your core, back, and shoulders. However, for some individuals, this exercise can turn into a source of frustration due to back pain after hanging.

Let’s explore the reasons behind this discomfort and equip ourselves with practical strategies to conquer it.

Unveiling the Hidden Culprits: Why Your Back Aches After Dead Hangs

Several factors can conspire to unleash back pain after death:

  • Improper Form: Maintaining a neutral spine is paramount during a dead hang. When you slouch or round your shoulders, you create an imbalance in your posture, placing undue stress on your back muscles and ligaments, ultimately leading to pain. Imagine yourself as a marionette doll with perfect posture – that’s the ideal alignment you should strive for during the exercise.
  • Muscle Tightness and Imbalances: Tightness in your hamstrings, hip flexors, or back muscles can disrupt your body’s natural alignment and exacerbate back pain after dead hang. Additionally, imbalances between your core muscles, specifically imbalances between your front and back core, can hinder the proper support your spine needs, leading to discomfort. Think of your core muscles as a supportive belt holding your spine in place – an unbalanced belt won’t provide the necessary support.
  • Core Strength Deficiencies: A weak core struggles to stabilize your spine effectively during the dead hang, increasing the risk of back pain after the overhang. Imagine your core as a sturdy base for your spine – a weak base makes it harder to maintain proper posture and stability during the exercise.
  • Pre-Existing Back Conditions: If you have a pre-existing back condition, such as disc herniation or spinal stenosis, dead hangs might aggravate the pain. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before attempting dead hangs if you have any pre-existing back issues. Think of your pre-existing condition as a fragile area – adding stress through dead hands without proper guidance could worsen the situation.

Practical Solutions to Eradicate Back Pain After Dead Hangs

Now that we’ve identified the culprits let’s arm ourselves with solutions to prevent and address back pain after dead hang:

  • Mastering the Art of Form: Before adding weight, focus on getting the dead hang with proper form. Engage your core by tightening your abdominal muscles as if preparing for a punch. Keep your shoulders down and back, maintaining a straight line from your head to your heels. Imagine yourself lengthening your spine as you hang, keeping your body in a long and lean line.
  • Addressing Tightness and Imbalances: Regularly stretching your hamstrings, hip flexors, and back muscles can improve flexibility and reduce tightness, contributing to back pain after a dead hang. Consider incorporating exercises like hamstring curls, lunges with torso twists, and cat-cow stretches into your routine. Additionally, exercises like planks and dead bugs can help strengthen both your front and back core muscles, creating a balanced core to support your spine.
  • Start Slow and Progress Gradually: Take your time with weighted dead hangs. Begin with bodyweight dead hangs and gradually increase the duration and difficulty as your strength and form improve. Think of it like climbing a ladder – start from the bottom rung and work your way up steadily.
  • Seek Guidance from a Professional: If you experience persistent back pain after dead hang, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional or a certified personal trainer. They can assess your form, identify any underlying issues, and recommend modifications or alternative exercises tailored to your needs. Think of them as experts who can help you navigate your fitness journey safely and effectively.

Prioritizing Safety: Essential Precautions

Remember, safety comes first! Always prioritize proper form and listen attentively to your body. If you experience any pain during the dead hang, stop the exercise immediately and consult a healthcare professional.


Dead hangs can be a valuable tool in your fitness arsenal, enhancing your grip strength, core stability, and overall posture. However, understanding the potential causes of back pain after dead hang and implementing the above strategies can help you minimize discomfort and reap the full benefits of this exercise.


Q: Can dead hangs improve pre-existing back pain?

A: While dead hangs can decompress the spine and strengthen core muscles, which may benefit some individuals with mild back pain, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before attempting this exercise if you have any pre-existing back conditions. They can assess your specific situation and determine if dead hangs are appropriate for you and, if so, recommend the most suitable modifications.

Q: I’m experiencing lower back pain, specifically after dead hangs. What could be the cause?

A: Lower back pain after dead hangs often indicates weaknesses in your core muscles or tightness in your hip flexors. Focus on strengthening your lower back and abdominal muscles and incorporating hip flexor stretches into your routine. Additionally, maintain a neutral spine throughout the dead hang to avoid unnecessary strain on your lower back.