The “Orangutan Hang” as a pre-race rowing stretch?

The two key stretches I’ve added to my warmup over the past year are the deep, wide squat and the simple hang, or “orangutan hang”.  Today I did the latter on rings outside (each hang lasting about 20 seconds), and realized that this could be a wonderful pre-race stretch for rowing.  Why?  I was cold and tight, and started out with my toes just grazing the ground on my first hang, having to hop slightly to get my hands fully on the rings.  By the fourth hang , the entire chain from my fingers to the base of my spine was tingly and warm, and my body had gained about 3 inches of length, to the point where I could put my feet flat on the ground (in minimalist shoes, so really flat!).  I got to thinking about the possible effect of an extra 3 inches of mobility between the base of the spine and the fingertips on the arc of a sculling stroke over the course of a 1000-meter race, and I felt silly that I had never considered this before.  I think I might be taking my rings with me to the next race and hanging them from the nearest tree!

While Mark Sisson maybe goes a little overboard with his “Grok” persona, he has a good description of both the simple wide squat and the simple hang on his Mark’s Daily Apple blog.

Kelly Starrett also has a great video demonstration of dynamic variations on the deep squat on the Mobility WOD blog.

Anybody else try this?

2 thoughts on “The “Orangutan Hang” as a pre-race rowing stretch?

  1. RULES Orangutan Hang

    1. Straps, dowels, or substances other then chalk that aid in grip are
    strictly forbidden. Bare hand only.
    2. Athlete must not receive any assistance from officials, bystanders etc.
    touching or assisting the athlete will result in DQ
    3. The timer starts when the athlete is fully suspended with arm fully locked.
    4. Timer stops when athlete either is assisted by an individual; attempts to
    rest part of their body-weight, i.e. elbow on any part of the bar in order to
    reduce their own body-weight or pushing foot off a side bar to help support
    weight; or if any one of their feet touch the ground. Note: An athlete may
    touch a side bar briefly to help from swinging, but in no way grip the bar,
    the hand must be open and can only lightly tap the bar.
    5. It is illegal for the body to be submersed in water or any other liquid in
    order to gain an unfair advantage by becoming buoyant.
    6. Athlete may choose one form of grip only. An athlete who hooks his wrist
    through a hanging ring or strap will be DQ’d as this is a bar hang only.
    7. Using an angled bar or wedging your hand against another bar is also
    prohibited. The hand must not be aided in any way by other attachments
    or bars.
    8. The bar can be of any diameter, as long as it is an inflexible material such
    as steel. The bar can be a tri-bar with 3 flat sides, as long as the bar does
    not have other specialty adaptations such as finger holes drilled through a
    large diameter bar to help gain an unfair advantage.
    9. Any other attachments, that attempt to lighten the true weight of the competitor is prohibited e.g.
    attaching helium balloons.
    10. Weight and age should be noted and documented, as well as height.
    11. Athlete must weigh-in before the attempt and must be wearing the exact
    same shoes clothes, apparel etc during the attempt.
    12. For verification purposes, a minimum of two witnesses must be present and one official timer and
    possibly a back up timer. The video camera must be able to film the entire athlete from head to
    toe including the bars and apparatus used. If the athlete grabs a part of the bar outside the range
    of the video camera, the record will not be authenticated. The video will be subject to strict
    review, frame by frame analysis and timer verification. The video can and will be used for posting.
    Make sure to send a photo of yourself in the hang position during the attempt.
    13. The free hand is prohibited from grabbing onto the arm or wrist of the engaged hand or arm used
    in the attempt. The free arm must hang only. See rule #4 can only lightly tap a side bar.
    14. Please also note the location, elevation, and temperature if possible.
    15. This offer applies only to humans–no orangs, monkeys or chimps need

    Superior hang times for various Age groups Male and Female
    Under 130 lbs Female: <15 :17 <19 :25 20-29 :30 30-39 :36 40-49 :36 50-59 :20 60+ :15
    Under 194 lbs Male: <15 :26 <19 :40 20-29 :49 30-39 :52 40-49 :53 50-59 :32 60+ :18

    WR 1:53

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