The flexed arm hang is a pull-up progression exercise and a common military test of upper body strength.

Primary MuscleBiceps
Secondary Muscle(s)Forearms, Back
Also known asFlexed Hang, Flex hang
OptionalRings, Pull-up Bar

How to do flex hangs

  1. Grip the bar or rings with hands shoulder width apart and get into the top most pull-up position, with chin above the bar (you may need to use a bench or partner for assistance to achieve this). 
  2. Without any support other than your hands, simply try to hold your chin above the bar for as long as possible. 
  3. Rest and Repeat.


  • You may find it easier to start with an underhand grip as a beginner. 
  • Engage all upper body muscles to build tension and support throughout the body.  
  • If the exercise is too difficult the use of resistance bands to reduce the body weight used during the exercise can be an effective method.

What are the Benefits of Flexed arms Hang Exercise?

It’s natural to want to know the value for your hard work. Below are some of the benefits you’ll get after dedication your time and energy to this workout.

Strengthens Wrist and Hands muscles

As you hang with your hand grip holding the bar, your wrist and hand muscles are engaged and worked on. They include the flexors, deltoid and the brachioradialis. In fact, flexed arm hang exercise targets those muscles that boost your grip. With a firm grip, you can hang on the bar for a long time. In addition, strong arms help in the execution of many other exercises.

Strengthening Your Biceps

Flexed arm hang workout increases the strength of your biceps. Moreover, it stabilizes your back muscles and strengthens them.

Building up Trapezius Muscles

This exercise helps in developing strong trapezius muscles especially if you raise your shoulders as you target them during the workout.

Builds-up the Abdominal Muscles

As you hang with your knees straight, then your abdominal muscles and your hip flexors are targeted, worked on and strengthened.

Increasing Your Height

During the flexed arm hang exercise, your body becomes greatly stressed because of the downward pull of the gravity as you resist and pull it upwards.  As a result, your entire body stretches, and your spine extends. In most cases, the height increases by some inches.

Alternatives to Flexed Arm Hang

What happens when flexed arm hang becomes a hard exercise for you? Do you just give up, and throw the towel? No!

It takes more than a bench and assistance from a colleague to successfully execute this exercise. So if you have tried following the laid down techniques from your instructor and still can’t seem to achieve it – you’re not alone!

And its time you embarked on alternative workouts that bring same results. So which are the alternative exercises? Your question is well taken care of in our below discussed workouts.