I have a pull up bar at home. I could hang at most 10 seconds as of now.
There are two issues

  1. It starts paining
  2. Callus

I tried putting a towel/hand glove but it feels like I lose the grip. The grip is not as strong as with bare hands.
Any suggestions to increase the hanging time?
I saw one special gloves for callus, anyone has experience how good they are?

  • 2
    Why are calluses an issue? You don't have any, so you are experiencing pain? Or you don't wish to get any? How long have you been training?
    – E.Aigle
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 7:19
  • 1
    Why would you want to increase the time hanging on the bar?
    – Liiuc
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 11:38
  • Right now I can hang for 10 seconds. I believe it will help me in doing pull ups well and leg raises and develop strength to do more bar exercises Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 18:09

2 Answers 2


Use a hook grip, you will be able to hang on much longer.

This grip style is also very popular in Olympic Weightlifting. The hook grip is where the thumb is pinned between the barbell and the remaining fingers. It is also a more secure grip than more traditional grips, where the thumb is outside of the fingers.

The hook grip puts a lot of pressure on the thumbs and may cause damage to the skin or thumbnails. This can be overcome with regular training using a hook grip, or taping your thumbs. It typically takes about 2 weeks to get used to using a hook grip at first.




Rock climber here. If you're trying to hang for extended periods of time, you're going to want to develop calluses. It is the body's natural response in an attempt to further protect you. This is the salve I use after climbing, if my hands hurt. It works well and you can buy it at pretty much any outdoors store: https://www.jtreelife.com/products/climbing-salve However, I you don't want calluses, you could get some climbing tape: https://www.metoliusclimbing.com/climbing_tape.html

Pull ups or going to a climbing gym are going to help the most, as those activities will help build up the muscles you use directly for hanging, and the ones that help stabilize you. A second exercise might be to practice doing leg lifts while you're hanging, they will cause your body to swing a little back and forth, thereby causing activation in the stabilizing muscles and core. But make sure you've got some padding underneath you in case you slip off. It hurts... trust me. you could get a rock climbing crash pad, or just do one leg at a time.

10 seconds is a good start, and maybe doing those aforementioned exercises might still be too much at this point. If that's the case, just get a stool or something. By standing on the stool, you can essentially take off as much body weight as you want, and continue to hang. The farther away you place the stool from directly underneath the bar, the less assistance you'll get from it.

If you're super serious about extending your hang-time I'd buy a fingerboard. The kind like Metolius offer. They will build up your muscles like crazy.

Whatever you decide, be careful and take note of signs of overtraining. The potential risk is real, and when you're doing bodyweight exercises like these where you're working your tendons and putting a lot of pressure eon joints, it can easily sneak up on you, and put you out of training indefinitely. You can usually end up clocking in more hours training if you rest, instead of "powering through" and end up sidelined with an injury.

  • thanks for detailed answer. My main reason for increasing th hanging time is to do pull ups and keg raises..right now I can't do a single pull up. I think if I can't hang for longer time pull ups will be more difficult. How long you suggest to hang Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 18:03
  • I never heard of fingerboard before. It seems like doing pull-ups with fingers. Is it for that purpose? Climbing tape sounds really cool.. this seems to be a good when doing adventure sports. Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 18:08
  • A fingerboard is specialized equipment for climbers. While you can train for finger pull-ups (climbers call these "monos"), you can start with much easier grips. I actually think a fingerboard would be easier to do pull-ups on, but that might be because I'm used to the shape of the grip at the tops of fingerboards. Fingerboards are prolly a little too advanced at this point, as they demand good form to avoid injury. As far as hanging technique, start out by hanging with your arms straight, with the stool approach I mentioned, increasing time as you go. Try pull-ups with the stool too.
    – Squanch
    Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 20:49

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