One-arm dead hang exercise

One-arm dead hang

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Wrist flexors (especially flexor digitorum profundis and flexor pollicis longus) and some small hand muscles
  • Synergists: None
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Using an overhand grip, hang from a pull-up bar until your arms and shoulders are fully extended.
  2. Release one hand so that you are only hanging with one arm.


  1. Breathe naturally as you hang for the prescribed duration, or, if you’re just starting out, for as long as you are able.
  2. Repeat the one-arm dead hang with your opposite arm.

Comments and tips

  • The one-arm dead hang is a great exercise for building your forearms and improving your grip strength. Strong grip strength is essential when performing such exercises as the barbell deadlift and the trap bar farmer’s walk.
  • Compared with the wrist curl and reverse wrist curl, which are also used to build the forearms, the one-arm dead hang is safer on your wrists.
  • Work to increase the duration you are able to hang by adding 5 to 10 more seconds to the amount of time you are already comfortable with.
  • Be sure that you have first mastered the two-arm dead hang prior to performing the one-arm dead hang.
  • You may find that there are differences in grip strength between your hands. This is normal. See first how long you can hang on your weaker side. Then, do not hang longer on your stronger side. This will allow your weaker side to catch up.

One-arm dead hang video

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