Improving hang position

Part 3 of shoulder positions. This section provides some useful mobility exercises for improving the hang shape. This will help improve transitioning into a clean or snatch position.

Where we start can direct us to where we finish.

This is the third part of breaking down the 4 shoulder positions. With the goal of giving you mobilisation exercises and stretches to access the full range of these positions. Overall helping you perform better and more consistently, but also minimising the risk of injury.

We’ve got a great over head position and front rack now. So hows your clean or snatch? Even if you’ve cleaned up your movement over head and in the front rack you will struggle to find it without a good transition through the hang. The bar will deviate from a straight line and cause changes in load through the shoulders, making it much harder to get organised at the end point.

The hang shape challenges us most with internal rotation. Full internal rotation at the shoulder is rarely used and is often over compensated with an anterior tilt of the shoulder blade. A lot of patients that come in for treatment struggle with lifting their hand off their lower back, some are completely unable lift it off because of tightness in the shoulder.

Below are stretches that will help get the shoulder more flexible in a hang shape.


Internal Rotation stretch with rigging – Take the hand behind the back and hold the bar. Step away from the bar slowly until you feel the shoulder begin to stretch. Hold for 2 minutes. Then add a small squat to build the stretch. Hold for another 2 minutes. To wind it up even further do a little turn away from the shoulder. Hold for 2 minutes.

Lying down Barbell on shoulder – Lying down on your back, take the barbell and place the end of the barbell over the front of your shoulder, ease it down gently. With the elbow in line with your shoulder and elbow at 90 degrees, take the palm of your hand down towards the floor. Try to keep the shoulder on the floor. Repeat for 2 minutes.

Author: Graeme Lawson

With more than 13 years working both in the UK and New Zealand, Graeme offers a vast amount of experience and knowledge when treating musculoskeletal conditions. Being part of various clubs on the grass roots level to international with the England Volleyball team he has developed a broad skill set. His patient’s see exceptional results from a progressive blend of hands on manual therapy, education and exercise prescription. Catering from the home and work related injuries to athletes from novice to elite levels. Graeme’s outlook is the same with all who visit, that prevention is better than the cure. While providing a variety of hands-on treatments, he knows how important it is to offer education, preventative advice and tailored exercises to continue long after you have been discharged, helping avoid injuries in the future. For pastimes he has played basketball over the last couple of decades at different national levels. Graeme has also been doing CrossFit for 6 years. Having both the knowledge and ability of these technical movements provides athletes confidence with the advice they receive.

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